Healing Human Practices

Updated: Feb 5

My healing journey continues each day reflecting on thoughts and prayers for truth, restoration of light in this world and hearts changed; while hoping for equality and peace. The challenge is to search our heart and soul to examine what new priorities have developed and lessons learned over the course of 2020-21. Equality and peace are further reaching goals, but we must continue to push forward. I know some of us are tired.

I see a glimmer of light with vaccines available and infections finally begining to trend down. Remaining are civic issues and tension with the mask mandate, businesses opening up in various forms and more. Making adustments wtih higher prices, logistic supply change challenges and staffing shortages contribute to tension. The decision to take the vaccine or not take the vaccine, political disaccord, and still fighting for equality in so many areas will continue.

Division is present, yet I have to believe there is a glimmer of light as we view these challenges ahead. How long will it take for change? Who knows? What I do know is it will take all of us as a united people. It’s not an easy job, but anything worthwhile is rarely easy. There are four worthy human practices that have worked over the decades. We’ve just forgotten to use them intentionally. So, I’m bringing them back to light.

Being accountable and responsible. I’ve had to make myself accountable to me for how I work and when I work in a more demanding way. Not having yoga sessions, healthy lifestyle classes to teach, or meetings and appointments to go to, I've had to work in a different way. Embracing technology fulltime is new to me. I often say--"I'm Zooming my life away". Laying out my day more strategically and intentionally all here at home. Granted, I'm very accustomed to setting my own schedule and making my own deadlines as an entrepreneur. But, the temptation to explore the comforts of home can be tempting.

Challlenges now are stay on task and being productive each day. Developing and being accountable to a routine is key. I have a morning routine and specific time to be in my home office. I've created successful habits for productivity, setting goals, task deadlines and even self-care moments. All these habits make a huge difference. Having new ways to be accountable to your work, your family and self is so rewarding. Now as I start a new business project, my challenge is working too late because I am at home. Another boundary I have to tackle this year.

We are accountable to ourselves first, then to others—even if you have a co-worker, team leads or collaborators/partners that are miles away. Together we can flourish, separated we fall easier and harder. What we do in our work and personal world does make a difference. I read “On Tyranny” by Timothy Snyder. Although basically a political book, some of the messaging talks about responsibility. He states, “Life is political, not because it cares about how you feel, but because the world reacts to what you do. The minor choices we make are themselves a kind of vote, making it more or less likely that free and fair elections (I would substitute free and fair choices) will be held in the future.” Our choices in any given situation can make a difference. Our words, spoken and unspoken, gestures, and our type of leadership matter.

Opening our heart and mind is key for understanding others. Both are so interconnected we don’t realize how one helps control the other. Much of our thinking is filtered by how we feel at the time, right or wrong. We let our emotions take over. When we stop to listen to others and hear their story without judgement, it will expand our perspective outside of our selfishness nature. We can start conversations with a mutual understanding of kindness, while realizing our choice of words.

A quote from Theodore Roosevelt; “Neither our national nor our local civil life can be what it should unless it is marked by the fellow-feeling, the mutual kindness, the mutual respect, the sense of common duties and common interests, which arise when men take the trouble to understand one another, and to associate together for a common object …". Empathy requires an emotional component of deeply feeling what the other person is going through.

Examining purpose and identity reveals your character. As years march on, we acknowledge our accomplishments and mistakes. One of my first purposeful awakenings came after the diagnosis of cancer. Any cancer thriver knows when you hear the “C” word your world stops for a moment and you think about your mortality. Then you are quickly shocked back into reality and what to do next. My solace was to keep in mind this cancer journey would pass and there would be a next chapter. A change in priorities, career, attitude and gratitude for life followed. A better me, a more humbled me.

Now, as we look at our life with all its complexities, possibly redefining where we are and where we want to be personally and professionally, our self-conversations change. It's time to define our self-conversation to good, meaningful and reflective thoughts with encouragement for hope and a brighter future. Then move to conversations with others that reflect that new hope. We have another chance at this thing called life. So go for the gusto and give it your best. You can make a change in yourself. Even better, strive to make a difference in the life of someone else.

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