What will you take from the experience of living in a pandemic?
Every experience gives us an opportunity to learn and grow and refocus on who we are and what’s important. This article reflects on the conversations I’ve been having with family and clients and gives you the opportunity to focus on yourself through some questions to explore.
This question that became a discussion point yesterday as we celebrated fathers day as a family. It had been a flavour of discussions with clients over the previous weeks as I helped them think about what they had learnt about themselves and what had become important to them through this experience.
It’s been interesting listening to the responses, my Dad, who every time I have spoken to him has continually mentioned what has achieved each day and gets frustrated when he doesn’t achieve what he deems to be an acceptable amount each day. And despite me reminding him that at 78 he can take some ‘time out’ and that he’s got more time living in this situation, so he needs to ensure his list lasts. He was fairly predictable in his response, he’s appreciated being able to get so much stuff done, being able to clear the decks of things that had been on his list to do for ages, as he’s not had distractions. Which did make me chuckle.
For my mum it had re connected her with the importance of family, she has been lucky in that her granddaughter and I have been able to do social distancing walking and also in the early days helped with the shopping when they couldn’t get a delivery. More recently it is being able to see and chat with other members of the family and enjoying the simple things such as walking and picnicking together.
For my husband it’s appreciating the opportunity we have had to spend time with our 2 grown up children and really enjoy good discussions over dinner, being there for each other to help each other get through the ups and downs that this situation has brought. And connecting with a simpler way of life.
On my walk this morning I was mulling over all the discussions and the conversations I’ve been privileged to have with my clients and their reflections. All have taken some important life lessons that they have learnt about themselves, they have developed a greater sense of self and a deeper level of understanding about who they are and how and why they behave as they do. Often reconnecting to things they’ve forgotten or were childhood memories. Doing things that they enjoyed that they’d forgotten. Appreciating the fact that this situation has given them time to do those things that bring them joy. This has been the case for those that have also been working as well as those who haven’t. What also surfaced for a few clients was exploring what’s important to them, helping them understand their values and their life’s purpose and how in their work they can ensure that they can align their values and purpose to what and how they do it.
I have also had clients that have struggled with their anxiety and stress levels too through these restrictions and concerns, once we were able to help them manage this more effectively, they too were able to explore the situation through a different lens. Looking at what’s important to them and how they wish to live their life in the future.
All of these things got me thinking about this article and how it might be helpful to share some questions to help you reflect on this experience so you too can become more conscious about how you move forward. As humans we are susceptible to returning back to what was, homeostasis, which is often an internal challenge with our need to change and adapt. Personal change requires us to notice and be awake about what and how we do things, which is difficult to catch when we are busy and often find ourselves weeks later doing those things that we thought we’d left behind.
So, I share these questions to help you to be more conscious about what and how you wish to be as you evolve. Being aware and having an intention to do something / be something is the first step to integrating it into your life. The second phase is to develop your consciousness so you can check in with how you are doing, so you don’t lose what you’ve discovered about how you want to be.
So, get a journal, piece of paper and enjoy exploring for yourself, or explore with others and enjoy learning together.
- What have you noticed about yourself over this period?
- What have you enjoyed, what was it about those things that made them enjoyable to you?
- What have you struggled with and why?
- How have you grown as a person?
- What do you do now that you want to hold on to as you move forward?
- What do you want to let go of as it no longer serves you?
- What’s important to you as you move forward and how will you hold on to these as you move forward?
- What’s been your greatest self-learning?
- How have you surprised yourself? What does this show you about yourself?
- How do you want to be as you move forward?
Remember it’s in your gift to shape who you want to be in the future.
“Yesterday is gone,
Tomorrow has not yet come
We only have today
Let us begin”