By nurture, I am a very self-reflective individual.
The backbone of my business is an emotional intelligence tool kit, and self-awareness comes at the top of the pile.
For me, working on my self-awareness supports me to build strategies and a new value system that works for me.
In turn, my contribution to society is way more effective.
I have a stronger ability to communicate and be socially aware.
Being socially aware is adapting and changing too, I’m being exposed and taught many things by the people I come in to contact with.
This weekend I’ve taken time to list my 10 learnings from lockdown and self-awareness:
1. I do lockdown really well. Potentially a little too well
I’m deeply introverted by nature which means I thrived on the isolation in the beginning. What I also learnt was, isolation was not a skill I should stick to. It prompted me to reach out to my extrovert pals and give them clear instructions – do not let me disappear into lockdown introvert isolation. They know me well, they know sometimes I need a prompt (and a good shove) to keep connected with the world on a personal and social level. In my career, I am read as an extrovert. That is so not the case in my personal life. My pals have my back or rather are hanging onto my ankles so I don’t disappear into the isolation lockdown abyss to never be seen again socially.
2. Being socially aware doesn’t mean you are judgement-free
I experienced deep rage around people not respecting social distancing. I literally raged at a poor woman who thoroughly disrespected my space at the post office. She walked up to the counter, leant across me and paid for her newspaper “just to make it quicker…” I rounded on her, spoke my truth in a very knee-jerk moment. It was visceral, sharp and I am ashamed to say, my sharpness made her jump.
It was wrong of her to not respect my space.
But it was equally wrong of me to handle it the way I did. I have no idea what is going on in her life.
I could have handled it better. I know how to assert boundaries and I am sorry I didn’t do better. In the flash of a moment, I was judgemental. And, I have done better since with social-distance-disrespectors (yes, I now have a name for them!)
3. Taking my supplements regularly do make a huge difference
Dr Sarah Davies, you are completely and totally right, I always knew you were, but I guess I thought I was invincible when it came to this stuff. Being home every. single. day. has meant the Base-Camp habit stack around my supplements have finally been nailed. I feel brighter, more grounded and my energy levels are insane. I ran an experiment and skipped them for three days (as I often would when I travelled or lied to myself about not having time to swallow 5 supplements!) and by day two I could feel the difference. By day three I was on the floor. This differing pace has helped me nail aspects of my health I was cutting corners on, not any more.
4. Mindset is the foundation for moments like this. I have spent 15 years working on myself
I have dug in deep time and time again, often into very painful parts of my life. I stayed in the room of the tough stuff and its paid off. My emotional resilience to cope has shone through and carried me during these challenging weeks. We have to work on our mindset, we have to be prepared to get in the arena and work with others who can help us do the dirty work. We have to keep working on the mindset. I see people do a bit of work, it’s very surface level and thinks that’s it, job done. We need to pull together a tool kit that we use often.
5. Now is not the time to test the strength of relationships
I had to have a word with myself around this. I was sad that distant family members hadn’t checked in with me. My friends are my crew. When our friendship group were consistently showing up for each other with voice notes, videos, memes, and other great stuff, it highlighted the fact I have no real family to speak of. I took some time to work it through (used my Flip The Thinking tool kit!) Reality is, I could reach out to them. I could check in with them. I have zero clues as to what may be happening for them and their immediate family members. This very strange and weird moment in time is NOT the time to be testing people. We never should ‘test’ people. But it popped up for me, I knew I had to do the work to shake it loose and free myself from the pain I was causing myself…
6. I LOVE BAKING and the way it helped me make connections
I don’t think I have baked since I left home. And that’s was a long time ago. I have loved using my mums’ baking gear. The joy of connecting with the tools, seeing them, using them, helped me feel deeply connected to her at that moment.
When you have experienced deep grief, you will know how vital those ‘connection’ moments are. The baking not only brought great joy, creativity, but it also connected me to my mum.
It also did something else too – It connected me to my community. I live on a very long road, I hardly know a soul. I have lived here for a while. Dropping baked goods on peoples doorstep helped me forge connections that I never would have. Community is important, it’s been wonderful to see that come shining through.
7. It’s ok and even great to grow your career and business
There is a lot of suffering as a result of what we are all experiencing.
I get it.
I see it.
I acknowledge it.
I feel it.
What I also know is, if you have an option to step up and out, and you can choose to do so, then DO. By remaining committed to our careers and businesses means we can contribute to the economy and to others.
Money and wealth is a tricky subject. Yearrrrssss ago I did a lot of work on my money story and continue to do so to this very day. I owned my mistakes and the consequences of my personal financial f^&k ups and took it on the chin going on to resolve them. I took responsibility for my thoughts, my spending habits and my respect or lack of for money. I became committed to being a great custodian of money. That came with a new understanding and grace for earning it. My value and what I deliver to the world is not connected to other people’s suffering. By owning my value has meant that I’ve been able to support others to own theirs. Supporting them to show up to still be able to earn and provide for their families. And, be of service to their customers and clients. My job is not to change the minds and words of people who don’t agree with this. My job is to change and own my reaction to those words and opinions.
8. I am making a home
My nomadic lifestyle has challenged me to feel settled in my house. Last year I made the decision to remain in Manchester. I was thinking of uprooting myself and heading back to the South. After some deep soul searching and long conversations, I knew that wasn’t right for me. But I still had the niggle for moving. Being home for such a long stretch has really helped me appreciate my home more and no longer see it as just a house. I’ve made plans. I’ve been in touch with my builder about a couple of projects we decided not to do as I wasn’t staying. Phase three of the renovations is on!
I’ve seen my home through my ‘lockdown set of eyes’. I way more appreciate the space I own. I realised that I was living with decor that was about moving the property on and not about what I love and the home I want to live in.
It’s down to me to make this home work. Staying put is a good financial decision, and letting go of the emotional turmoil around should I go or should I stay, made loads of room for getting excited about interiors and new projects.
All I’m gonna say is we have now planned a new large larder cupboard with a dedicated coffee station, the pantry is getting a makeover and I am having the pale pink bedroom of my dreams with the mustard curtains.
9. Putting my lippy on, a splash of my perfume and dressing like I’m going to leave the house is an essential
I love wearing lippy.
I love the daily habit of choosing a shade of nude or red.
I love the way it makes me feel when I wear it.
I love sitting down at my desk every day dressed and ready for business. I love going to my wardrobe making choices of wearing something different every day.
I’ll admit, the first day of lockdown I was all “what’s the point of getting dressed…”
I work from home a lot. I’ve always got dressed ready to be ‘on camera’. I’ll admit, I can be business on the top half, party on the bottom.
When I switched off the routine and didn’t follow my process of getting ready, it affected my productivity. It affected how I showed up.
I love being productive. I love showing up. I do what works for me, and utilising the tools I already have at my disposal works to keep me moving forward.
10. I love a bit of binge-watch subtitled thrillers
My dad loved all the Nordic crime thrillers. I just didn’t get it at the time. I have found watching and focusing on these has helped me disconnect from the weird place of being busy with work and bored due to the lack of change of scene.
I have loved three series so far and just started a fourth. I pace myself and don’t let myself get lost in them. I ration episodes and used them as a reward system as well as a good way to engage my brain in a different way. And, I have to say I have bloody LOVE White Lines, the new Netflix series.
There are no right or wrongs with how you or others are doing lockdown. We are all handling it with the tools we have available to us.
What are your lockdown learnings?
What’s the best thing for you as a result of this moment in time?
And, what do you want to work more on?