Hello friends. Thank you for joining me for this final collection of the Self Awareness Series. About a year ago I decided to set this crazy goal of releasing a new collection each month from Jan-Oct. This was a lofty goal but I was so motivated to share my story with you, and the best way for me to do that was through my work. Although I didn't exactly complete this goal, I had a blast and learned a valuable lesson about rest and balance along the way.
In the summer of 2020, I joined a life coaching group. It was just what I needed at the time. I found community and clarity, and develop skills that transformed my life. Some of the key messages I took away, and the collections named after them are:
50/50: Life is 50/50 good and difficult.
Interconnected: The interconnection between our thoughts, emotions, actions, and outcomes. And a reminder that when we work together as a community we can build the world we really want.
Navigate: Our thoughts set our course in life. Choose your thoughts wisely.
Cultivate: Cultivating emotions. All emotions are good emotions. Creating space to feel and not repress our emotions will lead to greater self-awareness.
Stillness: The importance of rest and balance.
This leads to my final collection of the series, From Heart: A Choice. A Practice. The concept of "from heart" came from my former coach Heather Boersma, founder of Life Launch. It is a counter-response to "hustle". Instead of approaching our work from a hustle mentality, we build our business and life from our values. Always bring things back in check with what matters most.
For me living from the heart started with a pause. I was so busy moving thinking that the faster I moved the better results I would get. But it just led to overwhelm. I had to rethink my business and how I was showing up for it. What was my "WHY" (still clarifying that one)? What was the message I wanted to bring to the community? What mattered most to me and how do I integrate that into the work I am doing? Before I could answer those questions for my business I need to go through the process of answering them personally. That was what I explored for 2 years as a member of Life Launch.
When we live from the heart we bring our best self to our community, family, and to ourselves. We use our God-given gifts and talents in the way that they were intended, instead of trying to fit into the societal norm. We pause and listen, and align ourselves with our core values keeping them at the front of our mind. We let go of status, choose service, and find fulfillment. We find that each one of us has both a responsibility and a role in making our communities thrive.
It is a choice to live this way, and not an easy one. It is going to cost you. Learning to practice self-awareness is not the norm, and takes work. It is rewiring your brain to think differently. It is looking at the messy stuff you want to ignore. It means noticing when you are using coping mechanisms to avoid difficult thoughts or emotions. I have and continue to discover that I carry a tool belt full of tools to avoid. Now I am learning to recognize those behaviours and lean into the discomfort.
Choosing the heart-centred path may be the harder road because you are paving it brick by brick. When I was in my past career I stayed because of fear. For 9 years I stayed because I was afraid of leaving the security of the known for the unknown. All my life-decisions around that time were fear-based. I was so concerned with what I could lose I couldn't see what I was giving up to stay. I couldn't conceive of living my life with an expectation of joy in the everyday.
Following my passion happened accidentally. I had no idea that I would end up designing and making home decor goods for a living. I joined a community of like-minded and talented artisans. They were also forging their path creating a living, serving the community, and doing what they do best with gusto. I know it must have cost them too. Giving up other careers and making other sacrifices to build something from the heart. It is not an easy road, but it is worth the sacrifice of blood-sweat-and-tears.
The practice of living from the heart is an ongoing check-in with your values. Maybe being an artisan isn't your thing. But do you know what is? Do you know what brings your heart joy and fulfillment? Then do that! When other things get in the way (and they will try) check in with your core values and measure where you fall. We need to get clear on our values, so write them down, check in and modify them as needed. As we evolve our values sometimes do too.
Create routines that foster a heart-centred lifestyle. Whether it is daily prayer or meditation, exercise, thought downloads, or value check-ins we need to create daily routines that help us remember what matters. It is a way of setting our intention for the day. It seems needless to set up these habits, but trust me we change the game in the little things we do not the big gestures.
Just like we need to start some things, we need to stop some things too. This is where awareness of thoughts that lead to undesirable results comes into play. Daily writing down our good and difficult thoughts will help us deal with the thoughts holding us back. Then create new powerful thoughts that are aligned with our core values. We have the power here to transform our minds and set a new course forward.
In the past, we discussed how our thoughts lead to our emotions. Our emotions lead to our actions. This is why it is so important to pay attention to what our emotions are telling us about our beliefs. After we work on our beliefs our value-aligned thought will produce a new emotion. The new emotion will motivate us to take actions from the heart that will produce the results we really want. It all comes back to managing our thoughts. That is how we cultivate the belief we need to build a heart-centred life, family, community, and business.
What I have learned on this journey is that perfection is not the goal, daily practice is. I am far from perfect at this practice just ask any customer service rep I have spoken to after 30+ mins on hold. I struggle with my thoughts, emotions, actions, all of it. But, I have also come a long way from where I started. I am aware that I might not have been the nicest to the customer service rep a lot quicker than previously. Forward step.
Acceptance is what will build consistency. If we expect to arrive at some idea of perfection when we fall short (and we will) we will find it hard to keep going. Choosing instead to practice will keep us focused on one day at a time, and allow us the grace we need to move forward. And forward we will go on this heart-centred journey together scraping our knees and picking ourselves and each other up along the way.
And now I want to thank you. For all of you who have been here since the beginning and those who joined us since I am grateful that you are here. You are the reason why I share my work and life in this way. I am honoured and grateful to be in community with you.