Cultivating peacefulness by connecting to your purpose
A colleague who I trust and respect was recently telling me about their newest business venture, a consultancy business, which they were starting up on top of their private acupuncture practice AND on top of their 9-5 as a wellness consultant for a large corporation.
WOWZA I thought! I felt tired and anxious just hearing about all that they were doing.
Yet this person was sincerely excited and energized by taking on a big brand-new venture.
When the sensations of envy and disbelief start to come over you, it’s time to slow down and remember what you truly want. Here are three self check-ins you can use when you feel yourself starting to get crazy after conversing with others.
1. Self check-in: finding some distance.
When I slow down and check-in with myself, I see instantly that there is (currently) NO part of me that wants THREE separate ventures going at once. I completed this check-in by asking myself, “How do I feel internally (what do I notice in my body) when I consider having full-time work, my acupuncture practice, and a third consultancy business going?”
I notice that my chest gets tight and it’s hard to breathe. So, in fact, this option that I’m envious of actually feels awful and overwhelming to me. (Though I completely support my colleague in pursuing work that feels uplifting to them.)
In completing this check-in, I notice that a little part of me got swept away and felt insecure when I looked at my life in relationship to that of my colleague.
2. Self check-in: what is triggering these emotions?
Even though I didn’t want to take on so much, I realized that I was envious of their shining vitality and their capacity to juggle so many plates. This shows me that I value having endless energy and I like feeling like I have “enough” resources.
I completed this check-in by asking myself, “If I don’t actually want three work streams right now, what is it that I am attracted to in my colleague’s story?”
3. Self check-in: what is it that I want?
In some ways, knowing what you value most is always step one.
I am always wanting more resources for myself (enough time, enough money, enough energy) but what I want to do with those resources is RELAX which allows me to feel ENLIVENED.
FREEDOM is one of my core values right now, and having three major ventures going would likely not bring me freedom. I like deciding when I do and do not work because I like having plenty of downtime to spend with myself and my partner.
This rest time and self-care time allows me to return to my office refreshed and ready to receive the patients I care for. Adding any other major initiatives into my life would cut into this self-care time that helps me live a life that I love.
I completed this check-in by asking myself, “Why have I arranged my life as it is? What qualities do I gain from how I have arranged my life? What qualities am I craving more of?”
Going through this process of discernment allows the envy to get reorganized and helps me stay connected to what I truly want, rather than unraveling my energy thinking about what I *could” do, or what I *think* I *should* do based on the actions of others.
As the leaves fall from the trees in autumn, we are able to see the essence of the tree. The texture of the bark and the shape of the trunk are revealed as the foliage drops.
So too can we gain new perspective when we take a step back and take a better look at what we TRULY want so that we can create a life that will let us live from within our own values.