10 April 2019

SELF DEVELOPMENT | 5 THINGS I'M WORKING ON NOW


^^ Image by  Dominik Resek via Unsplash ^^

I know that the whole 'self-development' thing has become a phrase which is a little over-used these days and, because of that, has lost some meaning, but for me it is so important that I try to keep it at the forefront of my life every day. I love having full control over how I develop myself in a way that feels good to me and connects me to my place in this universe, because the way I choose to live my life, the way I show up for other people and the way I continue my human experience as a whole, is totally up to me to develop, no one else is going to wave a magic wand and make things happen for me. I don't want to conform to what we are told we should be and I certainly am not easily led by materialism or advertising in any way these days; I know what I want and, day by day I am learning more about who I am and that journey is so exciting to me.

I am completely aware that to really 'find' yourself is hard work and that to be the same as everyone else is the easier path, but easier doesn't mean better and easier certainly does not equal growth.  No matter what anyone likes to think about people who are into self-development (bring on the 'hippy' / 'woo-woo' comments!), the truth is this: to become more self aware is to embrace it all; the good and the bad, and you have to acknowledge your pain points and feel into the rawness of being you before the really good  stuff appears, but when the really good stuff does appear, that is when life gets magical.

So, here are my top five priorities for my own self-development at the moment, let me know one or some of yours in the comments, I would love to know what you are working on.

1 | M A K I N G  S P A C E

Do you ever reach saturation point in your mind? It can be many small things that have built up, or it can be one big thing; whatever it is though, we all need to have a clear out mentally (and sometimes physically too) of our 'baggage'. Right now, I need to redefine my focus, because it has got a little hazy over the last year or so; this is connected to my business mostly, because I have learned a lot and want to rework some things. To do this I need to make some space to allow my brain to think things through and know what will be a beneficial move for me.

I have realised how important it is, in order for true growth to take place, to intentionally create space in order for something new to appear, or else our energy is just getting more and more diluted as more 'stuff' gets packed into our minds. It is so easy to stay stagnant and wait for things to appear, but I truly believe in giving the new thing a nook to manifest in; we have to make sh*t happen for ourselves people!

What do you need to make space for to move forward in a positive way in your life?

2 | S H O W I N G  U P  A S  'M E'  O N  E V E R Y  P L A T F O R M

Something that has been bugging me for a long time is that I just cannot seem to maintain my 'voice' when I switch between my 'From Lucy with Love' and 'Leaf Lane Studio' Instagram pages. Something literally clicks in my head and I seem to lose all my personality when trying to do a story or post on Leaf Lane Studio's account (it's the same on Twitter too - not that I use Twitter that much; it's not my favourite platform, even though I have a lot to say so that may surprise some of you!).

I have made the decision to be exactly who I am across all accounts, because that is all I can be. I think I have been very self aware that it is a business and not a personal account, but I am also mindful of the fact that I cannot make everyone happy and that someone who aligns with who I am as an individual will 'get it' and those who don't like what I put out there will fall away, and that is okay!

What tends to happen with me is that I will stay away from doing something altogether if I am not 'feeling' it for whatever the reason may be. I want people to see exactly who I am, regardless of what the context or relevance to my business, which is the beauty of Instagram Stories after all right?

So you can expect to see more of  my general life on my Leaf Lane Studio account now too, so please make sure you are following along!



3 | N O W  I S  A L L  W E  H A V E

I know the whole 'living in the moment' thing has become a bit of an over used thing to say these days, but I am trying to really lean into re-training myself to do this because it is one of the biggest reasons I suffer with anxiety. As humans we are very much conditioned to think a lot about our past and dwell on what our futures may hold for us, which of course needs to be done to survive; we all have plans we have to think about and bills to pay, but I am talking about the bigger, more significant picture.

I think it is safe to assume that most of us, if not all of us, find ourselves getting upset or worried about things we feel may bring us some concern in the future; it is natural to worry about having job security or about whether our income is enough to sustain us and our families, but where we fail is making up too many stories that scare us so much that we become stuck in our lives.

The same goes for the past and things that have been done to us or that we may have done to others. If we refuse to learn from these times, and not move forwards, then we will either remain constantly sad and/or angry or turn bitter or worried about life in general, which will have a major effect on all of our friendships and relationships. There are always ripples out from anything we do in life, like little butterfly effects around every corner.

Let me tell you guys, this whole 'being in the present moment' is so hard to do though. I have been reading and listening to many people talking about this subject and it is extremely difficult to get my mind around just 'being', rather than comparing and contrasting to the past or what is yet to come. But think about it for a second; how many times do you feel anxious about a situation or slightly worried about doing something because of a previous experience? (Living in the past coming to haunt your future self!).

My most common anxiety is concerning people; what someone thinks, what someone may say, what they may do etc and so, for me, trying to get out of that habit is one of the best things I can do for self care, because it brings me so much anxiety. I can literally sit and make up a story of something that may happen or something someone just might be thinking about me and, before I know it, I am an anxious disaster. How crazy is that though? That we can think ourselves into that sort of mindset based on no facts whatsoever. That is what I am trying to change. 

Let's all try to live a bit more in the moment we are currently in, rather than wasting it thinking about a moment which has passed, or one yet to happen.

4 | M O R E  'M E'  T I M E

Okay, so this is a sweeping statement that could mean anything from taking a bath to going shopping (FYI, I am not a big shopping fan, not unless it is a) for gym kit or b) for art materials!), but I am talking about real quality time that speaks to my soul.

My morning workout is my first dose of 'me time' every day; it is my time to put my headphones in and lift something heavy to challenge my body, and I always leave the gym feeling so much better. What I am looking to bring back into my routine, now that spring is here and the weather is better, are my walks, no matter how short, along the coast path or just somewhere that is peaceful and allows for reflection. This walking meditation has always been the time where I can hear my intuition the most and can work through anything that needs filing away in my head or needs to be delved into more. I get my best ideas when I walk alone, quietly contemplating things and just allowing time and stillness to help me relax. The same is true late at night, when I step out and look up at the stars; staring at a familiar constellation and allowing my thoughts to pass through my mind always helps ease any anxiety I may have. The stars and nature are my 'go to' for me time.

5 | J O U R N A L I N G

I have kind of lost my way with journaling recently and I don't feel too good about it. Life has turned up a notch and many of my self-care habits have dropped away and I need to sort that out asap. For me, writing is such a passion but journaling is something altogether more cathartic and I miss it. I have suddenly developed a real guilt about having quiet time and need to drop that immediately because it is one of the most valuable things I can do to help my mental health and also generate ideas for my work. It's funny how we let go of the most important things sometimes yet still manage to find time for the most random stuff that we don't really need to do at all.

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I think the spring is all about a bit of a life audit for me; an evaluation of all the facets of my life and a re-jiggle to make sure that I have balance and time for fun (and that I try to drop all the guilt surrounding taking a few minutes off here and there!). Ultimately it will be for the greater good to take a step back and reflect for a day or two. I think that I will hold myself accountable right now and say this: I am going to take myself out for a bit of a Leaf Lane Studio / From Lucy with Love evaluation and planning morning, somewhere out of the house and where I won't get distracted by the cat or housework. It is easy to put things to one side when they are 'yours' and, actually, I deserve a morning of sitting somewhere pretty, with a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake, and working on fun ideas for my business!

There you go guys, I will get on that right after the Easter holidays, because right now Cornwall is a little bonkers! Let me know what you think you need holding accountable for when it comes to self-development, let's work on this together.

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