Let’s figure out the ‘how to’ for the next step forward on the journey of life. Whether one is experiencing a life transition, the quagmire of chronic pain, uncertainty of making dreams a reality; we can assess abilities, strengths, skills, and values and discover options for living life fully. With understanding of ourselves, overcoming areas of struggle and limitation, developing our potential and possibilities, we can express ourselves and connect with others. Let’s explore ways to shift from being MIA in life to engaging with purpose.
Hello I am Edith Johnston – The question is “How To” not whether we can or can’t
I have worked with individuals and groups to discover a personal understanding and create the ‘how to’ for their personal development. I provide tools, supports, insights in understanding, overcoming, developing, expressing, and connecting to experience one’s potential. My tool box includes energetics, visual, and creative methodologies to discover one’s personal story and develop a change in the story line.
Are you in the midst of a life transition? Are you experiencing the chaos of chronic pain? Are you uncertain of how to make your dreams a reality? You are at the right place and time. Let’s explore options, discover solutions, and figure out ‘how to’ go from MIA to engaging in life with purpose.
The starting point is, understanding ourselves. What is important to us? What works well for us? What do we do well? What do we enjoy? What are we like? What does our genetics, health, family, culture, or environment have to do with who we are?
Lots of questions – deep thought provoking question to reflect on.
A simple place to start is our values. What are your top 10 values – top 5? What do you Value – adventure, balance, community, freedom, health, justice, peace, recognition, self-worth, wealth, independence, creativity, courtesy, fairness, honesty, reason, safety. Write down 10 values that are important to you. If you want to explore a fairly comprehensive list of 418 values, check out a list by Steve Palvina online. Exploration of such a list expands your values language and helps you know more specifically what is important to you.
Know yourself though looking at your genetics/biology (predispositions); characteristics (introvert/extrovert, calm, friendly, excitable, intuitive, serious, contrary, sensitive, outspoken, domineering, kind, opinionated, etc.) Characteristics can be related to our biology, family, culture, and/or environment. This is where you want to look also to know more about yourself. One other area, which like characteristics, that can become part of you from a variety of sources is
YOUR BELIEFS. Is the earth flat or round? Yes a silly question now, but was a major change in beliefs at the time. Looking at your beliefs – are they true for you now?
Next we can explore – what is not working for us, our limitations, our challenges. We need to know what is uncomfortable for us, our fears, our frustrations, yes, everyday challenges. What are they? How do they affect us? When do they affect us?
We want to be consciously aware and then we can figure out how to manage, confront, and/or change the effect. Making it go away is many times not realistic. However, we can figure out ways to manage and minimize the effect, empowering us to further engage our desired outcomes.
We can use a variety of tools, such as; breathing. Which, believe it or not, many times we are holding our breath or shallow breathing. Breathing also allows us to us the pause in order to consciously make a choice.
Other tools are based on how we achieve a relaxed state or experience joy – nature, are, music, running, bicycling, walking, cooking, cleaning, etc. Then there are tools to manage our though processes – reframing, perspectives, details, big picture, etc.
Let’s try an experiment with DeBono’s Thinking Hats – Think of a situation where you want to try something new. Look at it from each hat.
The White Hat is neutral, facts
Red Hat is the emotional view
Black Hat is cautious
Yellow Hat is optimistic
Green Hat is creative
Blue Hat is the big picture
Our next step is to develop our strengths, our abilities, our talents and include balance in the process. We need to begin the journey of mastery – working toward our goals and desires. We will face our personal resistance in many forms – self-doubt, excuses, procrastination, etc.
Resistance is physiologically part of us to keep us safe. If it is unknown or uncomfortable – resistance will come into play. Having tools for us to manage resistance is important, such as; awareness, breathing, small steps (smallest that feels easy and safe), accountability buddy, planning, a support team, etc. These give us the means to continue to move forward.
Also, working with mastery as a journey, not a destination, is important. Not to get bogged down with perfectionism, self-sabotage, feeling like an imposter, or giving up. The mastery journey involves peaks, valleys, and plateaus. It requires learning, practice, repetition, and pushing our limits.
We need to acknowledge our successes, our accomplishments in the process. We need to assess our expectations and other’s expectations and decide what really works for us.
We understand ourselves. We are managing challenges. We are developing our potential. How will we express ourselves and connect with others? Our connections start with us, being in tune with our wholeness and well-being. We need to have a plan, know our direction, and yet have flexibility for challenges and synchronicity. Balance is important.
We are actively engaging in our lives to fulfill our needs and experiencing joy. We can desire a more solitaire experience or one that contributes to the world. Both are authentic options.
We do and will interact with others and in those connections we need to communicate. Communication is a skill. It is understanding ourselves and going outside of us to connect effectively with others. Effective communication involves active listening, being open to differences, understanding many perspectives and reference points each of us come from. Communication is about integrating the differences and collaborating.
With discovery of who we are, what we need and desire, tools to meet challenges, engaging in mastery, having a plan (choosing), we can express ourselves and communicate effectively. We can live life fully and on purpose – with all the ups and downs and turns. No longer are we MIA in our own lives.
Yes, we can figure out the ‘how to’ for our next step in life.