Shine a spotlight on your shit.
It’s Wednesday morning, 5.30am. My alarm has just alerted me to the fact that it’s time to start my day. I hop out of bed in a huff. I’m resentful of the fact that my time to sleep has ended. I go about my morning feeling very flat and lacking in energy. The rest of my day pans out in much the same way. By 3pm I feel a headache coming on. By 6pm, it’s worse. The blame game begins. “It’s dark so early now which means I’m tired in the mornings.” “My students were being quite difficult today which means I’m annoyed.” “There was some traffic on the way home so my commute took longer than usual.” By 7.30pm, I’m extremely lethargic and ready to just go to bed early and end the day.
Sound familiar? I’m sure many of us can relate to this sort of experience. This was exactly how my day went this past Wednesday, until…I was reminded (through a podcast, aren’t they glorious?) of this little nugget of wisdom:
“Bad things are inevitable, suffering is optional.”
After hearing this, I reflected back on my day. Yes, it’s still dark when I wake up so it seems slightly harder to get out of bed. Inevitable. Did I need to sit in suffering all day because of it? No. Yes, the kids seemed more chatty and unruly than usual. Inevitable. Did I need to wallow in this for the rest of the afternoon? No. Yes, there was some traffic on my drive home. Inevitable. Did this need to affect my energy for the rest of the night? No. Shining a light on all the choices I had made that day that had affected me negatively, allowed me to be aware of these actions so my future self could choose differently.
Hence, the next day I woke from my alarm and chose to be grateful for a new day. I enjoyed the warm water of the shower and the feel of the soap on my skin. I cheerfully greeted my students at the door and made a conscious choice to laugh with them today (they were magical that day and I suspect it was the influence of my energy on theirs, but that’s a post for another day). I drove home in traffic and enjoyed the quiet, solo time in my car. No headaches. No lethargy. More presence.
I’ve learned that if we want to become the best version of ourselves and thrive in this life (instead of just survive), the first and most important step is to bring awareness to the unhelpful habits and thought patterns we run, sometimes daily. Once you’re aware of something, you can begin to implement change. Once you’re aware of something, you’re more likely to learn and grow from it. There is no possible way to learn and grow if you choose not to look at your shit.
In an effort to become more radically self-aware, I’ve begun a new practice where I simply write down 3-4 key words that describe my emotional and physical feelings each day in my dairy. For example, on Wednesday my diary read ‘stuck, low-vibie, blamey and headache’ and on Thursday it read ‘light, conscious, grateful, physically well.’ It’s a simple practice but I’m hoping it will allow me to shine a brighter light on my moods, as well as help me to notice patterns that may occur monthly or even weekly.
So I invite you to cultivate your own awareness practice. Keep it simple, nothing big and fancy here. Shine a light on your shit so that you can come out the other side a better version of you. And hey, maybe Wednesdays don’t need to be so dang hard after all!
With gratitude and love,
P.s. If you'd like to work with me to shine a spotlight on your shit, and be supported to up-level your life, simply click this link to book a Complimentary Clarity Call with me. I'd love to chat about how I can support you to embrace your most authentic self!