We Have the Power

Last month I wrote a blog about the stories we tell ourselves. We can have an interaction with someone and then almost immediately place a judgement or interpretation onto this scenario. Often times our perception (the story we tell ourselves about that encounter) can be skewed and misguided and therefore emotionally draining. This month I’m carrying that theme forward in this blog.
My birthday is in June and I took my birth day off from work. I checked out the newest book from one of my favorite authors at the library, grabbed some fruit, nuts, water and a blanket and headed to a local botanical garden. I spent the day alone, reading chick lit and enjoying the outdoors (although it was blazing hot so I sat in shaded areas around the park). I was also able to spend time reflecting on my life, the last year and looking ahead to my future. I think many people do this on or around their birthdays.
Even though that particular day tends evoke introspection, my hope is that people don’t just wait until their birthday to reflect. Life gives us many different opportunities to stop and think about where you are, where you are going and even where you want to go. Each New Year is another time of contemplation and resolution. And for educators, the beginning of a school year can serve as a time to not only prepare lesson plans, bulletin boards and classrooms, but also to check in with yourself to determine the perspective you want to embrace as you embark upon a new year and all that it can bring. Subsequently, there don’t have to be conventional occasions for self-reflection and direction. In fact each new day offers us the chance to determine our path and next steps. I spend a lot of time in my car, driving to various meetings, trainings, and conferences, across the state I live in, which gives me time to be reflective as well. Or when I’m taking a walk (or running, which is a good distraction). What are some times you currently use or could begin to use to start writing your next chapter?
Although I have heard it said many times before, I hate to admit that it just recently clicked for me that I get to define and control the direction of my life. And it’s not just true for me; it’s true for you too. We have the power to write our stories. We are in control of the pages and chapters of our life’s story.
I have a colleague who is working with people to help them develop their vision boards. I’ve never done a vision board before but so many people swear by them. There’s a reason for that. They work. I frequently close my eyes and picture myself in different scenarios and stages in life. I like to do that before a big meeting or presentation. In my mind’s eye I think about what I want to share and my desired outcome. It’s amazing to me how many times this vision comes to pass and often times even better than I anticipated. Journaling can be an effective way to think about & plan for the future as well. Deepak Chopra and Oprah teach, “The energy you extend comes back to you”. They say that what you put into the universe comes back to you. I’ve begun to test this theory with my actions (see “W” of S.L.O.W.). It’s been an interesting and validating experiment. It’s confirmed for me that as I work to put positive energy into the world that positivity comes back to me. I’ve been less stressed, felt happier and more energized.
It can be challenging to not default back to engrained habits or to just go into auto-pilot and move through each day without really being in tune with how we are feeling or interacting with others. I know I have to consciously be aware and present in the moments life provides. I encourage you to use the extra time, I’m assuming you may have available to you this summer, to think about how you want your future to play out. Are there upcoming projects, assignments, a meeting, the new school year, or a class that you hope goes a certain way? See what happens if you set the positive intention for how that event unfolds, believing that you have the power to set a particular course of action and impact.