Your Voice: Is it loud enough?
Are you saying what you want to say or do you find yourself holding back?
With a partner? An employer? A friend?
Do you fantasize about how things 'could be' but you never actually communicate how you want them to happen?
Take a quick moment to evaluate, are things in your life going the way you want them to?
If the answer is no, that is okay. This is an opportunity to make a change.
Find a quiet space. Take out your journal (a paper and pen will do).
Now is the time to get real. What is that you are not saying? What do you wish was different? See if you can answer these questions without judgement but rather just by simply observing what comes out.
It is SO easy to get swept up in the day to day, the habit, the routine of how things are because that is how they have always been. But when you get stuck and don't speak up, you are denying yourself the true opportunity of what could be.
What does finding your voice look and feel like? It takes practice of reaching the edge of your comfort zone through these strategies.
Are you ready to be heard?
Finding your Voice
Feel your Voice: If you're going to listen to your inner truth you have to truly FEEL it. Take a mindful moment to tune into your voice. Place both hands around your throat and close your eyes. Say three things that you are grateful for, feeling the vibration of your words. Tune in and ask yourself, 'what is important to say today'? 'what can you say and to whom that will leave you feeling happy?' Observe what comes up and practice every day to develop a relationship with you truly want to say.
Get your vocal cords pumping: One of the best ways to practice saying what you mean is my belting out your favorite song. You can do it in the shower, the car, with music or without. Practice what it feels like to let loose and really experience how powerful your vocal cords are.
Observe your urges: Are there times where you are having a conversation but are not actually saying what you want to say? Notice them and write them down. Then write down how the scenario could have played out with you actually saying how you really felt. Painting the picture of how the situation could be allows you to get closer to the truth and re-approach the convo with a clearer direction.
One step at a time
More often than not the hardest part of achieving anything is starting. This can be true for completing daily tasks, reaching a goal or achieving a long term dream. Taking that first step can hold us back more than we realize.
It's easy to get caught up in HOW things will happen and we tend to look 10 or 20 steps ahead instead of focusing on the here and now. Our mind can spiral between to do lists and all the reasons why a goal may feel impossible to attain based on our future projection of the achievement. Do you know what happens if we give into this spiral? We often feel so paralyzed in the impossible, that we end up not doing ANYTHING on the to do list, taking zero inspired action towards our goals.
Can you relate?! If you're anything like me, a big dreamer, it can be so easy to feel the pressure and overwhelm from starting something new and working towards a goal that seems impossible to reach.
Well I have dreamed A LOT of things into reality, that once seemed impossible and I am here to tell you how I did it.
You might just achieve the impossible too ;)
Goal Achieving Strategies
Get Clear: Before you can achieve a dream or reach a goal, you have to first know what it is that you want. To be crystal clear about what it is that you want, start making a list of all of your ideas, desires and interests. Do this every day for a week. At the end of the week, take stock of what you've written. Was there something that came up multiple times during the exercise? Are there commonalities between what you desire? Once you have figured out what you want, be sure to ask yourself WHY you want it. Getting clear on the reason why will help you stay focused each day when you start taking action.
Stay present: presence is the most powerful too in getting what you want. Focusing too much on the future is a clear gateway to the spiral, but by continuously tuning into the present moment, you can stay clear on what action you can take now. Try taking 10 deep breathes when you need to refocus and ask yourself, "what is important right now."
Backwards Planning: We get so caught up in step 10 sometimes that we miss step 1, 2 and 3. Working backwards can help you break down the steps one by one and bring you back to the first step that is required to take along the path to achieving your goal. This is a great exercise in helping identify what you can do NOW, instead of future.
Trust: Starting something new and going for a goal requires trust and as you continue to take inspired action towards your goal, more and more of the path will reveal itself. You don't need to know the final outcome or the end result. Trust that you are capable of achieving the impossible and that the universe will have your back every step along the way.
Spring has Sprung
There's a lot of NEW right now - if you think of your year like quarters, we just rounded out Q1 at the end of March, welcomed in a whole new season with the Equinox and experienced a New Moon last Friday. The air is warmer, the flowers are growing, and the leaves are budding - all signs of a new beginning and cycle of growth and rebirth.
With all this swirling of NEW and refreshing for Spring, it's easy to get caught up in a few limiting mindsets...
One of those mindsets is the idea that we always need to be happy or that is it better when it's sunny. The truth is, we need the sadness and the rain in order to grow, transform and evolve. We need it to help our roots get deeper and our hearts to get stronger. We need it, because without it, we would never see a rainbow.
So even though Spring is here, and the days are getting longer and filled with more sunlight - it is ok if those rainy grey days still exist in the weather and in your mind - since those days (and moods) are a necessary step to growth.
April showers bring may flowers after all ;)
I have been thinking a lot about how to harness growth and use seasonal changes to our benefit. This is what I came up with.
Spring Refresh tips
- Take stock of what is currently working in your life and make time to celebrate the small victories! This is SO important to do in every phase of reflection as we often forget to focus on all the amazing progress we are making each and every day.
- Once you've celebrated YOU, objectively reflect on where you want to shake things up in your life this season... this will help you get clear on your intentions and determine your goals for Q2.
- Declutter your living and office space. If your external is organized, that gives way for your internal mind to declutter too. Channel your inner Marie Kondo and find the bliss in cleaning up.
- Get outside. Notice all the signs of spring emerging, growing, rebirthing + see how that bloom is reflected in yourself too.
- Embrace the rain! Rain helps things grow after all, so I invite you welcome in the rain and gloomy days. Maybe this looks like grabbing your rubber boots and splashing in some puddles, or allowing yourself to feel sad when it comes up and letting yourself release with a good cry. You just might see a rainbow after :)
Take care of YOU first
I'm a firm believer that by taking care of yourself first, everything else falls into place. This isn't about being selfish, but rather about knowing that your own self care leaves you feeling your best and when you feel your best you can give more to those around you.
We've all heard the same metaphor in different forms over and over again...
Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others...
Light your own candle so that flame can light many other candles...
Fill your cup up first, so you can give from the overflow...
But what does that look like day to day? In our fast paced society when it is extremely easy to say YES to others demands on our time and energy, how do we take care of ourselves first?
My answer, NON-NEGOTIABLES.
Non-negotiables are the daily MUST DO's that support YOU to be your best self. When you understand yourself well, know what makes you tick, what motivates you and what is really important to you, you can prioritize these non-negotiables to help optimize your energy and the impact you have on others in your life.
I break these down into micro-practices - small acts that I perform daily, because doing small things that you love daily create a big impact on happiness levels.
These non-negotiables can be in the form of 10 deep breaths when you first wake up, a daily sweat or an evening walk, a restorative yoga practice or reading a chapter from your book. Everyone is unique, and the idea is connect to your own uniqueness of what makes you feel your best.
This week I invite you to reflect on the following questions in the pursuit of understanding your own uniqueness and creating your own non-negotiables.
What is important to you?
What activities give you energy and make you excited?
What are your current daily practices? Are they supporting you to be your best?
What will you do today to take care of yourself?
Take some insight from your answers and implement them into your daily routine. Watch your cup fill up, your flame burn bright, your breath get deeper. Don't say I didn't warn you ;)
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.