With all the talk of a second lockdown and facing the coming winter months with so many factors out of our control, I’ve decided this week that I’m channelling all things related to ‘mindset matters’.
By this I mean: I’m aiming to keep showing up, being consistent in what I’m doing, have faith that I’m on the right track, staying up beat and not getting too caught up in being ‘busy’ with no real progress being made….a tricky balance at the best of times.
As the evenings draw in, I’m also trying to find time to ‘just be’. This slowing down in the evenings becomes almost an art-form, as I gather blankets around me, light candles and sip a hot chocolate, actively practising Danish hygge https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hygge or the Norweigen version: koselig https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/koselig
After spending the last weekend in the Cotswolds with old school friends enjoying each other’s company in real life with good food and a real fire it’s set me up for a calm, positive, & optimistic week ahead. I’ve also enjoyed reading a recent article https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/sep/26/dreading-a-dark-winter-lockdown-think-like-a-norwegian by David Robson via The Guardian, which is focussed on how mindset matters for the inhabitants of the most northerly point in Europe as they prepare for the long, dark (sunless) winter ahead. Choosing to adopt a different thought process about the challenges they face for an extended 5 month wintertime, the local population actually thrived and maintained positive wellbeing scores in studies.
So, my aim for the coming weeks is to not only act in looking after myself and taking positive, constructive steps to deal with challenging situations, but to also to think & speak more positively about these situations. Verbalising our positive intentions can be so powerful. That’s why working with a coach is so beneficial – you are expressing your intentions positively, powerfully & out loud.
Get in touch to chat about how we can prepare you for future challenging situations, don’t face them alone, reach out – firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you got that back-to-school feeling?
It’s not just children dusting off their pencil cases, ready to take on new challenges. It can feel a bit like that for adults too. As holidays come to an end, we naturally start to take stock. Maybe you’ve had time to think about what you’ve achieved and where you might like to be? At this time of year, we often feel inspired to re-focus on our goals or to make changes in our lives.
September also heralds the first day of autumn. It’s a great time for some quiet contemplation, as the nights draw in and we begin to hibernate for the winter. This article perfectly captures the essence of the season.
Reflecting on our lives, loves and the way of the world is good at any point in the year, but it can be especially helpful now. We all get a little distracted in summer, so it feels like the natural time to get back on track with our hopes and aspirations, plan for the future and think about what inspires us.
What gets you out of bed?
To help you with this, it might be worth knowing about the simple Japanese principle of Ikigai. It quite simply means iki (to live) and gai (reason). In other words, your reason to live. What is it that gets you out of bed in the morning? What inspires you?
Is it a higher calling or spirituality? Are you driven to achieve great things? Or do you enjoy the simple pleasures in life? Holding your child’s hand on the school run, sipping your favourite coffee in the park, or going for a run at the end of a long day? For some people it can be a connection with the senses, such as music or art. Or something as simple as a beautiful sunrise on the morning commute.
Setting goals and planning ahead is great. It gives us something to aim for or dream about. But it’s important that we don’t miss out on the present. We’re all guilty of moving our own goalposts or forgetting to celebrate our successes when they happen. But when we discover what makes us tick, it can lead us to enjoy all things connected to this no matter how small or humble they might seem.
To find out how LifeMatters Coaching can help you find your Ikigai, get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.