My #1 intention for 2021: EMBODIMENT.
More deeply living and breathing the wisdom I've acquired in life school so far, owning my unique gifts and purpose, trusting my intuition to be my ME-est ME.
Maybe you're like me, having read all the books and taken all the self-development classes, but done little with all that information besides talk a good game? Accumulating more and more knowledge while leaving little time or space to integrate it was a great way for me to hide and fool myself into thinking I was doing the work. The real work involved a shift in my identity, something within me had to die in order for something new and better to be born; i.e. pretty scary stuff for my ego. But when I've pushed past that fear, even if slowly and gently, something beautiful within me inevitably emerged. And it was always totally worth it. In the journey to becoming, our courage to BE the change gives way to freedom and fulfillment.
I'm a life-long learner, but accumulating self-development knowledge without embodying the wisdom of it is wasted potential. And we all have too much to give to waste one drop of our potential during this lifetime.
I'll share here what my embodiment process looks like, because the Virgo in me likes a process for everything. And the concept can sound fluffy if not grounded in something tangible. I believe in sharing the tangible steps I'm taking in hopes that it may help you on your journey to be your best self.
As I learn something new or think about how I want to grow, I am committed to pausing to reflect on it before moving on to something else shiny and new. Here are a few questions that I need to ask myself: What parts of what I learned do I want to carry with me, and what parts of it do I want to leave behind because they may not serve me at this point in my life (or at all)? How will embodying this lesson or desired developmental area make my life better? What purpose will it serve? Where is the gap between my behaviors and thoughts today, and those I want to embody?
The next step is making a concrete plan to integrate what I want to embody into my life, so that it's not just something that would be nice to do, but something that manifests into my reality. This is where planning and accountability come in. It's time for me to set a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound (SMART) action to integrate this learning into my new way of being, and establish the accountability measure to make sure I follow through.
As I integrate, something for me to consider is the following: What has held me back from integrating this before - is it merely lack of knowledge or a limiting belief that is blocking me? If it's a limiting belief or subconscious block, what steps can I take to remove that so that I can be successful?
Now's the time to be brave, get a little uncomfortable, make things a little awkward, and just be in action. I may notice different responses (positive or otherwise) from others based on doing things differently, and the worst thing that could happen probably won't. I have to be in the practice of mindfulness of my self-talk as I grow, and noticing if my self-talk is supportive or sabotaging. What thoughts can I exchange the sabotaging ones for? How can I reframe my internal critic? Can I make it OK to not get it perfectly right right away? When we grow, we may be bumping against others, but often we are bumping against our old selves who want to keep us in a safety zone that just so happens to also be limiting. I like to leave space for stillness, silence and mindfulness practices so that I can be aware of what is coming up for me as I practice embodying a new version of me.
I will take a moment simply to notice when I am making progress to embody the woman I strive to be. When I notice that I respond to a situation in a more empowered way, or I took an action outside of my comfort zone, or things that use to be difficult are coming naturally to me, I can pat myself on the back and even share my wins with others. Acknowledging myself is motivating and affirms my commitment to myself.
This is a continuous cycle that goes on as I learn and grow and refine and learn some more. The best part is that there is nothing to get perfect; it's all about keeping a growth mindset and seeing the challenge as the opportunity to become more.
Wishing you all a 2021 of embodying your highest self and being held in loving support as you shift and grow.