Monday, February 16, 2015
As 2014 closed and I narrowed in on my theme for 2015, I had no idea exactly how applicable this year's theme was going to be.
Several online dictionaries define unshakable as not easily panicked or upset and strongly felt and unable to be changed. When I think about the highs and lows, me and my family has already experienced in the last six weeks of this very young year, it's no wonder unshakable was the word that felt best to assign to this year.
Regardless the circumstances, the ability to stay focused and move toward our best good is imperative. But one must first define "best good" in order to live and thrive in shaky times. We have to be clear on what the "end game" is in order to stay on task toward it. And we must have coping strategies in place to buoy us through rough terrain.
Defining The End Game
One of my intentions for 2015 is to be an unshakable force for good in our world. That is pretty lofty but I've got it broken down into a few key areas - first, my home. I identified what I must do to be a force for good with those I do life with most closely. Second, I laid out what I can do to be a force for good in my work. Be it current clients or potentials, I teamed with my partners and contractors to list ways Relationships can add value in 2015 in ways we had not in the past. Finally, in my extracurricular activities - I clearly sought ways to add value in my volunteer and other commitments. That examination prompted me to let go of some commitments to which I could no longer devote my best talents and/or attention. Having a clear "end game" in all areas of life has made it easier to face the ups and downs that have come my way in all areas in this young year. And while I feel tossed and turned, my resolve to remain an unshakable force for good is one of the things that keeps me going.
Build Coping Strategies For Tough Times
The biggest surprise of 2015 so far for me was just how depleted my personal coping mechanisms are for extremes. The past few years have been relatively uneventful for both my family and my business. With my business growing rapidly and finally finding a rhythm, it was getting easier to integrate Relationships Matter Now with the rest of my life. However, as our family dynamic has changed (kids moving from kiddie to pre-teen and teen years - normal marital drift - elderly parent care pressures) during the same time period, it has become clear that we do not have adequate support systems in place to buoy us when things are rough - primarily me. We have operated in a silo with little to no external systems to help when we hit icy patches in the road. We are currently course correcting but I find it helpful to share what I think is necessary. Having several outlets for perspective gathering - groups of friends to listen and encourage. Dedicated time to unplug and recharge. Without that, our minds race and interrupt sleep and creativity when you most need them both. Getting outside impartial help - be a coach, counselor or therapist. Sometimes you cannot just muscle through.
Each day I am realizing that being unshakable does not mean not reaching out for help or vocalizing what's shaking us. In fact, casting out fear of all kinds is part and parcel for being unshakable. Nothing casts out fear more than facing it down with the support of many around you. So when you see me tweeting anything that ends with my #2015Unshakable hashtag - remember the 2 things that enable me to stay unshakable in 2015.