When was the last time you did something that really enriched your life? Not just a quick win or ‘fix’ that lasted temporarily… but something that really tipped you up and made you land in a different place, outside your usual zone. It’s so easy to carry on as normal every day, meaning that enriching activities get pushed aside. This often happens to me (“I’m so busy!”), despite trying to do something enriching as often as possible.
I’ve just come back from a life-enhancing trip to Norway, where I spent some time cross-country skiing – which, for me, was a thoroughly enriching experience. It took lots of concentration, and when I wasn’t concentrating I was in awe of the spectacular landscape. I didn’t think about my to-do list, whether I was having a productive enough day, or what I was going to do tomorrow. It was completely engaging and enormously rewarding… despite struggling to move my ribs for the next couple of days! Life-enriching and in the flow: for me, a great place to be!
Does it feel good to be you? It's a question that we might not ask ourselves very often, if at all. But it's something that I've been thinking about this week. If it feels good to be me, do I need external stimuli to help me feel better? Surely external stimuli are needed only when it does not feel good to be me.
In my work in education, I see this so frequently. Without a strong sense of being 'enough', children grow up to be adults who search for the thing that will make them feel better about themselves, be that constantly buying new stuff, dependence on substances, lack of self-care, or self-destructive behaviour. But what if they didn't need to do that? What if they felt they were enough? Many people think it's too late to change once they have reached adulthood ("That's just the way I am!"). Yet all it takes is having a word with yourself and realising that you are in charge of your mind and you make the decisions, not the other way around - and you are worth looking after. You might discover that you are enough without the external stimuli, and that the world still turns without them in your life.
Do you ever feel like you aren’t doing enough? Like you aren’t making a big enough difference in the world? I sometimes get like this and realise I’m having one of my ‘tilting the earth’ moments (© Joanna Feast!) – I feel like I want to do something so significant and helpful that its impact will literally tilt the earth on is axis. Then I make a list of everything I want to do, knock off the stuff that is wildly complicated, and I’m usually left with manageable stuff. My lesson from this is always “I can do anything but I can’t do everything”. I try not to get overwhelmed with everything I’m not doing and focus instead on what I can and am doing. Still having an impact, just not knocking the earth around. I’ll leave that for a day when my ‘to do’ list is shorter!
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
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