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    Blog 1

    - Not until we are lost do we begin to find ourselves - [Henry David Thoreau]

    Though feeling lost can be confusing, painful, heavy, frustrating and annoying, the realization of “I feel lost, something doesn’t feel right, I don't know what to do?” in itself is beautiful. You can look at it as ‘positive confusion’. You experience resistance, but something inside of you, your inner knowing, is telling you that it is time for change.

    It is your body and subconscious mind communicating with you: making you aware that you are ready to transform. The awareness of ‘feeling lost’ itself is therefore THE moment where, very organically, change can begin. Change in a sense of growing, evolving, stepping up your game.

    What makes this process so challenging is the unknown, the invisible, the uncertainty. ‘Yes, something needs to change, but how, what, why?!’ Often it starts with certain signals of your body, a feeling inside which you cannot describe with words. Your first response might be to ignore it and to keep on going. Since your mind can’t capture the feeling with words nor rationally understand it, the feeling might seem irrelevant.

    As the time passes and the feeling remains, you might experience going back and forth between your ego (your mind talking loudly) and your heart (loving awareness).

    Your ego might say: “you’re going crazy, nothing is going on, let’s not overcomplicate things, just work a little harder, focus on the things you can control”. Your ego will do everything in its power to avoid change, to make you stay in your comfort zone and to just ‘fit in’ and adapt to the situation as is, whether it’s comfortable or not.

    However, at some point, the feeling will get louder. Whether it be a yearning feeling, stress, unease, sleeping issues, a burnout, or other physical or mental discomforts: it simply wants you to listen.

    Again, it is up to you. You can either choose to still ignore the feeling, live in survival mode and seek external answers, or you can choose to trust your inner knowing, explore the feeling and embrace the change.

    Yes, it is scary as hell, but it is the only way towards yourself, all the answers within and your authentic life path. Like everything in nature, it’s an organic process of evolving, growing and becoming...becoming more you. A process of breaking free from old patterns & conditionings. A process of (re-)connecting with yourself and learning to trust your inner compass.

    Just like a seed growing through the dark soil, but trusting that it will eventually see the sun. Just like a caterpillar going through an uncomfortable journey while evolving into a beautiful butterfly. Just like the moon, trusting that whenever it leaves, the sun will come up.

    Trust the process, trust your inner compass and know that it has your best interest. Believe me, you've got all the answers within, sometimes you just need a little help to connect to them (again). But in the end, only you know what your values are, only you know what energizes you, only you know what your boundaries are, only you know what's best for you.

    Some periods in life, you might be caught up by the hamster wheel, seek external validation, thrive on your analytical skills and rely completely on your mind (/ego) and be disconnected from this inner 'knowing'. Just know that at any moment in time, you can choose to reconnect with yourself again. Your inner compass is always at hand, sometimes you 'just' need to peel off some layers (beliefs, habbits, patterns) and disconnect from the external expectations and conditionings to connect to your inner authority, your inner wisdom, your inner compass.

    Blog 2

    In essence we are human beings, something we often forget about. We happen to live more from a human doing perspective. But hey, how can you do things as your best version if we are not aware and conscious about who we are in essence?

    The unconscious automatic pilot

    You wake up in the morning, unconsciously your automatic pilot turns on and GO. You brush your teeth, you eat breakfast, you shower, you dress, you commute to work/your home office desk and start your day.

    Next you open your laptop, start working and aim to be as productive and as efficient as possible. You complete some reports, make calls with colleagues and clients, eat lunch behind your laptop and continue ticking off the to-do list. Whenever you notice yourself daydreaming for a minute or become aware your thoughts are wandering off, you almost feel guilty for not being productive and focused. You continue the day, typing, calling, (video)chatting, analysing, replying to WhatsApp in between and scrolling a bit through social media, until it is time for dinner.

    You figure that ‘work is never done’ anyway, so decide to close your laptop and start the evening. You actually feel like crashing down on the couch but decide that you also need to move a little. You choose between fixing a quick meal or ordering food to save yourself some time and race on to the gym. You want to forget about the day and to-do’s so you decide to do an intense work out and sweat everything off you. You shower, get home, watch Netflix, until it is bedtime. Another day passed by.

    Here comes the trick question: How many of these actions have you done consciously?

    And when I ask you: how was your day, really? Would you be able to answer that consciously? Did you feel your breath throughout the day? Did you notice how you felt calling a particular client, presenting your findings, typing all the emails or analysing the budget? Could you tell me, honestly, how you would rate all of these activities from 1-10? What energized you and what did not? Did you enjoy it, or did you experience any feeling of unease, stress or hurry? Were you breathing calmy throughout the day? Or did you experience shortness of breath and a tight feeling in your chest?

    No-one to blame, no need to judge, but…often we do not really know the answer. The example might be a little exaggerated or feel extreme, though for many of us, this is often how we go about life. Most of the days we spend entirely in our heads, without even realizing for 1 second how our body feels, how our breath moves through us and whether we smile or frown. This means that though we reside in a human body and are born to be and feel, we simply just use our body as a vehicle to move throughout the day to do things, without paying attention to what signals it gives and what it needs. We are continuously focused on doing and thinking and forget that this doing is largely affected by and dependent on who we are and what we feel.

    Your four bodies

    We are conditioned to use our mind and entirely rely on our thoughts. Listening to your body, your feelings, your emotions is often perceived as…well…something uncomfortable, vulnerable and not necessarily easy to do. If you are in touch with your body and how you feel, it can even be perceived weak, or you can be seen as being ‘too sensitive’, ‘too soft’, ‘too emotional’. But in fact, there is a reason you were born with a mental body, a physical body, an emotional body and a spiritual body: you need all of them!

    In short:

    The mental body enables us to think, understand, analyse, make decisions.

    The physical body allows us to move, sleep, breath, eat.

    The emotional body communicates how we feel and experience things.

    The spiritual body is related to energy, your vision and connects you to everything.

    Together they form the basis of your existence and the foundation of who you are. So instead of only relying on the mind and mental body, why not also open up towards physical sensations, welcome emotions as a part of you and pay more attention to energies?

    Your physical body is continuously communicating with you: it warns you, it gives signals and if you pay attention you feel all kinds of sensations in your body. It basically is the total sum of all aspects of who you are. Your emotional body can literally be seen as ‘E-motion: energy in motion’: it wants to flow through you. Whether it be anger, tears, laughter or frustration: see it, accept it, feel it, let the energy flow and let it go. Your spiritual body communicates to you via your intuition and your gut feeling and can be the most subtle one of all.

    What if I told you that, if you are more aware of who you are (and nope: I don’t mean what your CV indicates), and are conscious of what you feel, you could positively influence the doing and thinking? What if I told you that when you start focusing on the signals of your body, connect to your feelings and trust your intuition, you become the one in charge of your life? What if I told you that, (re-)connecting with all four bodies allows you to ‘live’, instead of ‘being lived’?

    Connect to your being

    Where to start? You might think… Well, what about starting the day with being. Before reaching to your phone when you wake up, put one hand on your belly, one on your heart, and breathe. Just be with your breath for one minute, follow it going in and out of your body. No need to change anything, just be with it. Be the observer of your breath and be the observer of what else you might notice: certain feelings, emotions, tension, or maybe nothing at all. Whenever you notice that your thoughts are taking over; move your attention back to your breath again. Your breath is always available to you and is your anchor into the present moment.

    You would not let the battery of your phone die, would you? So instead of checking your phone over and over again throughout the day, check how you are doing. Check your breath for a moment; how it flows, how you feel and whether you need anything. While doing this, see if your jaws are relaxed and if you can release your shoulders away from your ears. Repeat this a few times a day and I assure you, things will change. You become present and more aware, you can make more conscious decisions, you become aware of your boundaries and you will be able to respond more easily to what you need.

    Especially in the current (challenging) time, where your work and life boundaries might have been dissolved entirely, your dinner table might serve as your office desk, and your coffee corner chats and daily commuting breaks no longer exist, your breath might be a (very) welcome tool to pause. It will help you recognize and eventually prevent getting ‘Low Battery – 10% battery remaining’ notifications from your body.

    Though it might feel counterintuitive at first, just play around with it. Alternate your to-do’s with ‘to-be’ reminders. Add them to your agenda and start for example with 3x a minute per day: step consciously out of the hamster wheel and practice being present by focusing on your breath. Bring more being into your doing and experience how it helps you navigate through the day in a more sustainable way, by simply embracing the full ‘human being package’.

    Blog 3

    Misschien is het tijd...

    Je wordt vaak geprezen voor je ernorme verantwoordelijkheidsgevoel op werk en bent een echte team player.

    Je doet er alles aan om deadlines te halen en schroomt ook niet weg als je daarvoor nog wat taken van je collega's over moet nemen, zodat jullie als team goed presteren.

    Word je altijd erkend voor dat stapje harder lopen? Not really.

    Maar het geeft je een goed gevoel als je je collega’s helpt en kunt bijspringen waar nodig.

    En ergens zal je manager toch wel opmerken dat je meer uren draait, extra effort in projecten stopt en de boel draaiende houdt? Dat MOET wel opgemerkt worden en meegenomen worden in je beoordeling.

    Maar wat nou als dat niet zo is?

    Dat in de drukte van de dag je manager dat niet opmerkt. Of wel ziet dat je altijd tot laat e-mails verstuurt en een mega verantwoordelijkheidsgevoel hebt, maar dat zij/hij inmiddels niet beter weet en het daardoor vanzelfsprekend vindt.

    Dan komt de vraag:

    Hoelang kun je vooruit op dat goede gevoel wat je krijgt van het helpen van je collega’s, zonder dat je er (voor je gevoel) echt voor gezien, erkend en gewaardeerd wordt?

    Je weet stiekem wel wat je waard bent, wat je kunt, waar je goed in bent. Maar dat ‘weten’ durf je niet altijd aan te kijken, want je wilt jezelf niet ‘als heel wat voordoen’, ‘opscheppen’, of ‘je beter voelen dan collega’s’.

    Je blijft je verstoppen achter dat fijne gevoel dat je krijgt als je collega’s helpt, terwijl je weet dat er veel meer in je zit.

    Misschien is het tijd om even te reflecteren op je verantwoordelijkheidsgevoel.

    Misschien is het tijd om te kijken of je niet te veel verantwoordelijkheid neemt voor dingen die buiten jou liggen. Misschien is het tijd om (hoe spannend ook) wat van die verantwoordelijkheid terug te nemen en aan jezelf te geven?

    Verantwoordelijkheid nemen voor jezelf, wie je bent, wat je wilt en wat je goed kunt. En daarvoor gaan staan: persoonlijk leiderschap.

    Je waardes helder hebben
    Grenzen aangeven
    Bewust worden van je patronen en gewoontes
    Verbinden met jezelf en weten waar je van aan gaat
    Je durven uitspreken, ook al heb je een andere mening dan de rest
    Weten wat je het meeste energie geeft
    Ontdekken hoe je je voelt bij de dingen die je elke dag doet
    Je visie en ambities delen

    DIT. En nog veel meer coming soon in mijn nieuwe young professionals programma.

    In een aantal modules gaan we in kleine groepen aan de slag met bovengenoemde onderwerpen.

    Het doel?

    Energiek en at-ease vanuit de home-office helderheid krijgen over je purpose en strengths, verantwoordelijkheid nemen voor de stappen die je wilt zetten, bewust worden van waar je nu staat en vanuit je eigen kracht aangeven wat je nodig hebt en waar je je goed bij voelt.

    Wil je weten wanneer het programma live gaat? Of even sparren of het iets voor je team is of voor jezelf? Stuur me een PB, dan plannen we een korte call in.

    Ben jij er klaar voor?

    I see you.

    Liefs,

    Grace

    The Lucky Project: the-luckyproject.com