With its short days, chilly temperatures and sun-starved feel, Winter can be a bit depressing.
Whenever I catch myself feeling a bit down at this time of year I remind myself of what my friend Christophe Bichet says: « Whenever doubt gets the upper hand, or frustration and sadness take over, whenever you want to roll up in a ball — get moving ! Get outside, go running or climbing. After even a few steps, your day will be a different one ».
So, today when I’m feeling a bit down I don’t roll up in a ball anymore, I put on my running shoes and go for a run.
In fact, as I write I’m just back from one and I wanted to share that with you briefly, before heading off to move a few mountains. 🙂
Christophe and his life lessons are always a source of inspiration to me, and I’m thrilled that they’ll soon be published in his first book. Have a look at his « Inspir-Actions » on his facebook page, and and ‘like’ the page if you find them as helpful as I have. It’ll motivate him to finish his book so we all have access to his wisdom and inspiration !
During a recent visit to Sri Lanka, I often had the choice between working on my tan on the beach, or visiting a temple, a market, an Ayurvedic center or sari boutique.
When I was younger I would have chosen the beach pretty much instantly, in order to avoid having to wait around for the others to make up their minds, and endure the logistics of getting the group – as a group – to where it had finally decided it wanted to go.
Things have changed.
On a recent trip I found myself sat on a chair in the corner of a minuscule store right out of 1001 nights, watching my friends try on saris in every color of the rainbow while the tailor took measurements of our husbands for new suits. That was great fun, but it was even more fascinating to watch each couple haggling over price. It was a delightful show for me, and I didn’t have to be in the midst of it all to enjoy it.
Today I love these special moments and I certainly don’t run a stopwatch anymore to check whether I got my share of attention in any given situation.
Aging isn’t a one-way street. We can definitely improve with age, for example by being a part of the group, and being less demanding about our own desires and needs when there are many others involved.
How would you like to improve this year?
I have a strategy for when I get freaked out by my life. Whenever I get completely and utterly overwhelmed and am drowning in meetings, emails and way too many to-dos, I stop. I don’t do any of it. The things that have me panicking, I don’t touch.
Instead, I tidy up, make piles, file things where they belong, clean, and generally arrange things.
As a result I then have an overview of all the things that were freaking me out, and – as I no longer have my face planted in a tree that hides the rest of the forest – I can make an intelligent decision of what should be my next move.
I thought it was just me, but it seems that I am not the only one doing this kind of thing – and feeling the benefit of it.
Incidentally, it is exactly what we do when we go on vacation or when we go to bed. We take a step back in order to get back efficiently to work.
There are so many ways to make a « stop » for a better « go ». And you? What is your strategy?
New York. Love that town. I start grinning pretty much as soon as my plane starts its descent into JFK, and even the ridiculous queues in immigration can’t dampen my sense of excitement and anticipation.
I love it so much that it became a source of embarrassment for my client last week. Each morning when I caught sight of Manhattan, I threw my arms above my head and shouted: »Goooood Moooorning New York ». I was so thrilled that it didn’t really even occur to me that those with me might find that a bit embarrassing.
For the past almost 50 years, I have behaved myself. Been a good girl. And – as a good girl – there are certain things that one simply doesn’t do. Arm-waving enthusiasm for instance. After all, what might people think?
In my willingness to embarrass my client each morning for a full week, I realized that I turned a page. What people thought of what I was doing was not important. I simply followed my inner voice and enjoyed where it took me. By following that voice through the course of the week, my stay in New York was an incredible success on many different levels.
And you? How are going to express your inner voice?
Recently we went on an amazing trip with a group of our friends. One couple did all the organizing for the group, and they made sure that the trip was always logistically smooth but also full of wonderful surprises.
Even though each of us had paid our share to make the trip happen, one of our party suggested that we should perhaps reward our organizers with ‘a little something’ to thank them for doing all the organizing.
We were all ready to agree, when another member of the group piped up and demanded, “Why ‘little’, after all they’ve done?”
Why little indeed?
Why a little gift? Similarly, why a little hug, a little idea, or a little beer?
Why limit ourselves to a good idea when we can have a fantastic idea instead? Why have a small beer when I am really thirsty? Why a little hug when I need a big fat comforting one?
Using this kind of ‘softening’ word has a tendency to sneak into our discourse about all kinds of things, and takes the power out of our speaking. What would happen if we spoke clearly: asked for what we really wanted, said what we really meant?
Try this: count how often you use qualifiers like, “a little”, “a bit”, and “kind of”. Then get rid of them – so that your life gets back its intensity and greatness!