Recently my nightly scroll time switched from furtive furniture shopping (buying couches online is stressful, no?) to pandemic conspiracy research (but are they really conspiracies?). Which is to say that, as December faded into January, I was busy consuming online content that had precisely nothing to do with the new year content season.
I think like many rational humans, I’m kind of done with the concept of linking personal development with the change of the year.
Because change, even radical change, can start on any day we choose. And happens when we’re ready for it, not when the calendar says so. And is gradual and ongoing. For most of us, meaningful change is a long series of baby steps in the right direction. It’s percolating, rather than instantaneous.
Introducing gentle change
Good coaching requires deep, wide, attentive listening. Want to know what I consistently heard from my clients in 2021? I heard how much they needed change. And also, I heard how much they needed it to be gentle.
I have so much respect for my clients – thoughtful, deep, resourceful, curious, courageous, talented, ambitious, creative. They are multi-faceted, with commitments in all directions and a desire to keep growing and investing in themselves.
The vast majority aren’t looking for a times-square-ball-dropping-kind-of-career-explosion.
They want gentle change. To start or keep moving towards something that feels better, more aligned, more rewarding, more meaningful, and more true.
Let’s start by standing
Our culture loves speed because it loves excess. But the Age of Enough has dawned. So no, you don’t need to sprint in the direction of your dreams if you don’t want to (if you do want to, lace up and power to you!).
After almost two years of pandemic life, and all the tectonic-plate-shifting-type-change it has wrought, many of us are starting from standing. And standing is not a bad place to be. In yoga we call a simple stand Mountain Pose, and it is just as transformational as any fancy balance or inversion. Planting the feet, lengthening the spine, relaxing the shoulders, tucking the chin slightly, and gazing far into the distance, are excellent practices for body and mind.
And as you stand in the majestic stillness of Mountain Pose (figuratively or literally), and survey the abundant options available to you in the wild wilderness where your mountain resides, what if you gave yourself a beat?
What if, before you start sprinting, leaping, walking, climbing, gliding, swan diving, moonwalking, etc., in one direction or another, you simply chose where to face? Or maybe, just maybe, allow where to face to choose you?
I’ve tried a few times to come up with my plans for 2022, and you know what? It was not flowing until I backed way up and started thinking more simply. And by simply, I mean simply. I started thinking about standing. About Mountain Pose. And, how before I move a toe, my first step is to choose where to face.
In my experience, when you zoom the lens out and consider the direction you’re facing, the right day-to-day projects and tasks become pretty obvious.
Where are you facing?
So if you have been overwhelmed or uninspired by big bold statements on what wooly-mammoth-sized challenges you’re planning to violently conquer in 2022, here is your soft, gentle alternative from my heart to yours: where are you facing?
Are you facing in the direction of continued care of your mental and physical wellness?
Are you facing in the direction of raising your income? Career impact? Career satisfaction?
Are you facing in the direction of more downtime? More comfort? More adventure? More risk?
Are you facing in the direction of new priorities at work and home?
Here’s where I’m facing for 2022:
- Playing the long game when it comes to health, wealth, career, relationships, and legacy
- Surrounding myself with beauty, especially inspired by nature
- Creating / writing a whole lot more
And now I ask you – where are you facing? What feels light, fun and maybe even a bit exhilarating? I would love to know! Comment below or DM me over here .
I’m cheering you on.
Want to learn about coaching? Here’s a link to get on my calendar for a free intro session.