10 Transformative Practices
Are you seeking less stress, more satisfaction, and a better balance in your life? If youcarry on with your daily activities in the same ways you always have, you’ll end up with the same results. Invite change by shaking things up with a new approach. Adopt one or more of the following transformative practices, and you’ll begin to notice an immediate difference. Stick with them to create lasting change.
1. Reclaim Your Time
Let your schedule mirror your priorities.
What is nearest and dearest to your heart? What do you most want to devote your time and energy to at this point in your life? Make a list and narrow down to the top three to five things that matter most. These are your priorities. Make choices based on these priorities, saying, “No” to what’s not important. Treat commitments to your priorities the same way you would business appointments. Schedule around them and show up when you say you will.
2. Go with the Flow
Work with your natural energy and enthusiasm.
Ride the wave of what wants to happen rather than swimming against the current. Pay attention to what are you compelled to do and when you are drawn to certain activities. If you schedule activities based on when you enjoy them, you’ll be more productive. There are also many ways to naturally raise your energy. Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and meditation are a few that combine body awareness and/or movement with focused breathing to help you facilitate flow. Discover what allows you to access and harness your energy and practice regularly.
3. Be Content with Enough
Appreciate the abundance in your life.
Western society has conditioned us to believe that bigger is better and to feel that we always need to strive for more. Instead of focusing on what you lack, increase your level of awareness and gratitude for all you have. Keep a gratitude journal or count your blessings as part of a bedtime ritual. You’ll likely fall asleep easily with a satisfied smile on your face.
Rekindle and reinforce relationships.
It’s easy to let the busyness of work and other commitments interfere with our social life. Yes, it does take effort to connect with others, but it is well worth it. Nurture a romantic relationship with a date night or a getaway weekend. Give each of your children some undivided attention each day. Throw a party, schedule a “girl’s/guy’s night out,” or reconnect with a long lost friend. Use the technology of email, cell phones, instant messaging, and social networking such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to keep up with the people who matter to you. Or put pen to paper and send a card or letter. As “snail mail” becomes less popular, it is even more treasured.
5. Find Work that Works
Bring all of you to what you do.
We all have something to contribute. Each of us has been dealt a unique set of strengths, preferences, and personality characteristics that can make a difference to others when set into motion. Discover your life purpose and answer the call. Don’t keep your gifts under wraps or discount what you have to offer. Be fully engaged, and do the work you are meant to in order to make the world a better place.
6. Be in the Present Moment
Be present, patient, and in process.
Like a simmering pot of homemade soup, good things take time. Instead of wishing the present moment away, savor it. Practice mindfulness and heighten your awareness by engaging all of your senses. Instead of rushing to a desired end, discover what each phase or stage has to offer. The experience is often as valuable as the outcome. When you honor the process, you free yourself from the striving trap: always working towards something and living for tomorrow instead of savoring the present.
7. Get Back to Nature
Gain perspective from the natural world.
The outdoors is always there, beckoning us to relax, gain perspective, and return to center. There are many ways to answer its call, ranging from getting outside during a break in the work day, exercising outdoors, gardening, stargazing, bird-watching, and exploring parks and beaches during weekends and vacations. Daily doses of daylight will boost your mood and can improve your sleep by regulating your Circadian rhythms.
8. Tune In
Use your intuition to help you make wise choices.
Regularly setting aside time to spend in quiet is a simple practice that can have a profound impact. Much can come from tuning in and giving oneself the gift of silence: answers to questions, clues for what direction to take, solutions to problems, and inspiration. Don’t expect your intuition to communicate through a loudspeaker or burning bush. It may be a subtle image, sound, feeling, or sensing that brings awareness. The regular practice of quiet encourages these whispers of insight and provides wise guidance to follow.
9. Stay Positive
Harness the magnetic power of attraction.
What you think about, you bring about. Thoughts, feelings, and intentions are powerful tools for manifestation. Set yourself up for success by adopting a “can do” attitude. Visualize a positive outcome and trust that all will work out for the best, although maybe not always as planned. Positive thoughts fuel possibilities. Create a dream map or vision board of what you’d like to bring into your life. Catch yourself when you begin to question your abilities, put yourself down, or complain. Transform negative thinking quickly before it has a chance to attract what you don’t want.
10. Take Care
Make self-nurture a habit.
We play an active role in creating our state of wellbeing. Many people spend a lot of time taking care of others but don’t do much to take care of themselves. However, if we want to have the capacity to give to others, we must learn to nurture ourselves. Discover the activities, rituals, and practices that keep you at your best, and develop these into habits. Look for ways to regularly engage and renew your body, mind, and spirit.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ICF Professional Certified Coach
Grace Durfee is a Professional Certified Coach, Professional Mentor Coach, Coach U faculty member since 2004, Reiki Master Teacher, and author. Grace helps busy professionals and “soul-o-preneurs” move from striving to thriving by cultivating a state of peaceful productivity. As Grace believes in learning by doing, she creates many coaching practice opportunities in class and asks students to come ready to coach and be coached. Prior to coaching, she was an account manager for a communications training company and a stay-at-home mom. You can learn more about Grace at www.balancewithgrace.com or contact her at (440)654-4643 or firstname.lastname@example.org.