Let’s look at the world around us. Lay-offs? Check. Impending warnings of recession? Check.
Upsetting news of shootings? Check. And we expect our overloaded nervous systems to handle this as though there was no pandemic! Whom are we kidding? But some things we can control and others we can’t.
So what are the things we can control to upgrade our rest and calm quotient? No, this is not a “sleep more and drink more water” newsletter (although that does help!).
Remember first that an upgrade doesn’t just happen. It is something we must make a conscious decision to do. Even our computers and phones have to ask us to decide on their next upgrade, or else they start malfunctioning. Yet even when our bodies and minds are blinking and reminding us to stop, we carry on until we are forced to stop. But could our minds and bodies need more than rest and nutrition? Maybe they need the fuel of a different type: Fulfillment, inspiration, novelty.
The answer may lie in one of these 3 questions:
Success and fulfillment are not the same. Sometimes, we may have success at the cost of fulfillment. How do we then define this for ourselves? What is the touchstone? Are you running on E for empty as far as one or both? Give yourself a quick win and boost by setting a small but meaningful goal. We don’t want to overload the system but energy begets energy. In a world of social media where we are constantly comparing our lives to others and suffering from ‘comparisonitis’, finding fulfillment in small and big things is key to filling our bucket. Success is determined often by outward parameters but fulfillment is an inside job. You may not look like a success to others but you could still feel fulfilled and that is when you know you have arrived at the place of inner calm. The 2 ideas – success and fulfillment can co-exits but success without fulfillment will always feel empty. Discernment is required to choose those activities that are meaningful to us even if they don’t meet external criteria of validation. Start by adding those to your life.
When was the last time you did something just because you wanted to do it? Not because you felt you ought to or you must. Pure self expression can fill you up for pure joy which in turn can upgrade your rest quotient. Three days ago I took a side trip to Luxor on my work trip to Egypt. People could not believe I did it in a four day long trip all the way from Singapore but I did! How can you bring more inspiration to you? Maybe it’s something you can carve out time for and specifically put it in your calendar. When we live a life in alignment with our aspired self we feel ‘in spirit’ i.e. inspired. What are some of the blocks in the way of leading a life more inspired?
We aren’t stagnant creatures. Fight monotony and autopilot and disrupt the stagnancy. Many of us have fallen into the rut and routines of the pandemic. Find a way to inject novelty into your schedule. Surprise yourself with new routines at work and at home. Sometimes it takes as little as facing a window if you have been facing your desk to the wall. Sometimes it is adding a small plant or fresh flowers or a new brew of coffee. It may sound small but a small change can signal to the brain the invitation to hit refresh and feel a sense of renewal. It does not have to complicated. It just has to be intersting and sustainable.
The only thing worse than never asking yourself these questions is asking yourself these questions and denying yourself honest and true answers. So I hope this quick set of 3 questions allowed you to think of introducing calm to yourself a bit differently.
What’s the first step you want to take, today, to make that idea a reality? The only one who can is you. Want more tips on rest and recovery, read the three types of freedom you need to feel rested.
Thank you so much for reading.
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