As the calendared months of summer began to wind down, a dear friend and I relaxed into a small sunlit swing on her back porch. While it had felt like summer had just begun in Seattle, the true season – kids out of school, longer days, and warmer nights – was indeed coming to an end.
As we reflected on the summer – like we often do in life in general – we were amazed to unwrap all that had transpired. Below are three lessons we were reminded of during the summer of 2017.
Growth comes in all shapes and sizes.
If you asked me in August 2016 where I would be August 2017, I would have been way off. The truth is, we never REALLY know what will happen over the course of a year. What we do know is a lot can happen.
I was pretty comfortable in August 2016. That plush rug was plucked right out from under my feet at the end of June this year. At first, I was shocked. I had poured my heart and soul into what I thought would be a large part of my career/life path. When things happened other than I had planned, it felt like a sharp knife was wedged in between my shoulder blades. Having the air knocked out of my sails, I quickly realized that I had an opportunity to turn this into one of the best things that could have happened to me.
You see, our comfort zones are zero growth living rooms. Sometimes just beyond our walls is a world we had never imagined possible. A world including everything we could have ever wanted and more!
My friend, when life gives you lemons, squeeze them, and make some good fresh lemonade.
Focus. Focus. Then, by golly, focus some more.
Life has a way of providing all sorts of distractions. It’s easy to let a whole month get away from you. How often do you watch the clock tick away as 5:00 pm rears its head, only to realize your to do list has gotten longer?
Stay focused throughout your day by being intentional. Intention setting in the morning is extremely helpful to focus yourself on your mission for the day. Take time to sit. Be still, breathe, meditate, pray, and journal on what you need to focus on throughout this particular day.
After taking that time, write down one centering thought. Below the thought, jot down a quick list of what you want to accomplish personally & professionally for the day.
Stay focused throughout the day with little reminders. Add sticky notes to your computer at work, change the background on your cell phone to include the message, or set timers every couple hours to refocus. Ask yourself,
‘What is of the utmost importance and how can I stay focused on this today’?
Expert Tip: Be sure to not to let the lists get too long! It will just overwhelm you. Stay focused on your to do list as well.
Have fun and play WHILE being mindful of the needed balance between work and play.
If you played all the time would “play” lose its meaning? I seem to remember back in the day as a young child when the summer months began to come to a close, I was ready to go back to school. While I did enjoy the freedom of summer, there was a lack of structure and purpose in my days. It was almost as if the freedom of play had lost its glam.
Find a good balance between work and play over the next few weeks. Know that this formula may change not only with the seasons of nature but also with the seasons of life.
I encourage you to take some time to reflect on what you have learned this summer. Start with a journaling exercise using the following questions:
What has transpired in your life during the Summer of 2017?
What projects did you start?
What projects did you complete?
What surprises came your way?
What lessons have you learned?
What comfort zones have you set personally, professionally, spiritually, and emotionally?
What walls need to be confronted?
What season of life are you in?
Do you need more work or more play?
How can you cultivate the balance you need for where you are currently?
Finally, what will you take with you into the fall to move in collaboration with the season of change?
Please let me know how I can support you in this transition to September? Comment on this post to gain inspiration from your community or if you need us to hold you accountable to something you are working on! If you would like help through a one-on-one coaching session, direct message me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your complimentary consultation today.
Yoga Teacher & Life Coach