Let Your Light Shine!
Do you agree that these have been a pretty harrowing few months? Quarantine was never on anyone’s bucket list. Social change, while pushing us towards a non-negotiable, more inclusive reality, brings with it growing pains. We ‘re concerned about health, education, family, finances, mental well-being. Many of are dealing with loss of employment or even loved ones. We’ve been living in a crappy little bubble, and basically, it’s kind of sucked! Kinda hard to let your light shine, right?
At the same time, though, there have been cracks in the bubble where bright light has filtered through. That light might be the promise of what could be. Maybe it’s what helps you make the most out of the situation, or maybe it’s wonderful new discoveries that you’d love to hold on to as real life once again becomes go, go, go. But if you are determined, you can shine your light shine!
When you think about new habits, hobbies, or healthy choices that you have made, during this time think about the conditions that allowed that to happen? What allowed you to notice the cracks? How can we replicate that when you are no longer spending most of your time standing still?
Back to Busy
Busy is beginning to again encroach into my daily life. I live in Pennsylvania where we have almost moved from yellow to green wich eases some of the social distacing restrictions. For the first tiemin months I have an appointment for a haircut and I’ve noticed that I’ve again been shopping once a week instead of every other. Recently, I gathered with friends (using appropriate physical distancing, of course) and we are dreaming about when we can get back to dining at a restaurant.
While we may have been incredibly busy with work, cooking, and cleaning at home, I know that once we begin to do more on the outside, our time will be even less flexible. And, we will still have the same demands. When you can barely get it all done in a day, how can you take the time to worry about where you can find sunshine in your life? When things just really suck, if you are depressed, truly worried, or even grief stricken, how do you begin to take notice of the possibility of light and let your light shine!
Life’s demands put us under “the tyranny of the urgent.” The truth, however, is that we have time for anything that we make a priority. Can I convince you that YOU are the priority? That showing up strong for yourself will allow you to show up as your best self everywhere else?
Habits that let that light shine through
Literally, chase the sunshine. What I love about walking is that it can almost become meditative; a chance to clear my head and help my heart all at the same time. And, if weather permits, walking in nature gives me the added benefit of feeling connected to something larger than myself. A reminder that no matter what happens, even if it’s the most challenging, it’s all part of the natural order of the universe. What a perfect time to let your light shine!
Here are just some of the benefits of walking:
- Improve your health and happiness including increasing happy brain chemicals and decreasing body harming/fat inducing cortisol.
- Promotes weight loss, improved sleep and better digestion.
- Sparks creativity and introspection.
- Daily walking provides a routine which facilitates creating other habits and getting more done.
For more benefits of walking check out: https://www.prevention.com/fitness/a20485587/benefits-from-walking-every-day/
This is about taking time to pause and reflect. Let your light shine! Creating space daily to either meditate, invite gratitude, or even just to think allows me to deepen my connection with myself – making me stronger, more accepting, and more loving.
There is no one with whom you will spend more time or take care of then yourself. It is the absolute most important relationship that any of us will ever have, yet it is the one that we often consider last. Recently, every woman in one of my Healthy Habits groups admitted that she is not even sure what movies she enjoys watching or what kinds of food she prefers to order out. In thinking that she is being care-taking of her family, by deferring her desires she has forgotten to take care of herself.
It has been brought to my attention recently that one cannot be curious and anxious at the same time. As a psychologist, I would posit, that curiosity is also a powerful tool for anyone feeling down, lost, or sad. Curiosity can be a fun, idle, entertainment, but can also be a powerful, purposeful tool. For example, recently I noticed a hawk flying higher than I would have thought possible. It led me to wonder: “Do birds ever fly just for the fun of it? Can that hawk be able to spot a tiny mouse from that great distance?” and other such questions. Entertaining, yes. Will the answers, or even the questions, move me forward in my life, no.
So How Do I Get Productively Curious?
Getting curious about your emotions, your automatic self-talk, your habits, your desires, your life journey – all of that and more – has the potential to help us learn about ourselves, correct behaviors that are not working, or take decisive action to make our lives better. Like any other tool we use to keep ourselves healthy, curiosity is skill that can be cultivated. It is like trying a new exercise and finding a new muscle we didn’t realize we had – and building that muscle over time.
How can you find that curiosity muscle? Start asking yourself challenging questions and muster all your courage to listen for the answers. Questions like, “If I wasn’t worried about pleasing others, how would I really like to spend my time?” or “If my goal is to live a beautiful and exciting life, what is the one thing I can do today to get me a step closer to that goal?” If even the worst has happened to you, you can use a powerful questions to help move you forward such as: “How can I support myself in this moment to help me just get through this day?”
Some tools that can help: Read A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger, and reach out to jump on my email list and grab my free e-pamphlet: 3-2-1 Go! Powerful Questions to Make the Most of Every Day by texting LASTINGCHANGE to 22828. If you would like to learn how I can help you design your life to Walk – Wait – & Wonder – then please reach out. I would love to jump on a complimentary call with you and help you generate some ideas. Until then, let your light shine!
I am Lauren Weinberg, a Nationally Board-Certified Integrative Health Coach trained by Duke University’s Department of Integrative Medicine. Originally a counseling psychologist, for which I studied at the University of Pennsylvania, I am following my passion to help people become their happiest and healthiest selves by looking forward to how they want to live their lives and to support the behavior changes they will make to get there.
With a whole-person approach to wellness, I believe that a healthy life is multi-dimensional and ever-evolving. Kindness toward ourselves and others, deep satisfaction with work and relationships, caretaking of our bodies and minds, and a sense of connection outside of ourselves can all be a part of helping us achieve well-being and happiness. Whatever your focus, I will help with an open heart, a playful spirit, and deep compassion for your personal journey.
As a working woman, a wife of a busy professional, a mom of two “almost grown” young adults, and a chronic community volunteer, I know what it takes to fit wellness into a hectic schedule. To be perfectly honest… learning to prioritize my own health and wellness was a journey that took years! When I was finding my way I had never heard of “health coaching!” So take comfort in knowing that I understand the challenges in making life changes even when we know it is truly important to do so. I will walk with you every step of the way.