It’s been a “thing”, hasn’t it? And not just one thing, but many many things. Plenty of good, bad and ugly. And, while most of us are ready for the clock to strike midnight on 12/31 and have instant change. Probably not going to happen like that. So, let’s talk about reframing how we look back and look forward.
On today’s show, let’s reflect on 2020 and I’d like to share what I have come away with so far, as gifts to me, my business and those who I serve, so far.
And, it remains ever evolving!
As with anything, there is 50/50 in all of life. Almost every day. We can wake up feeling fabulous and then quickly, that can be disrupted and we feel frustrated; anxiety; upset over something.
Then, life settles down again and all is groovy.
I’m preparing a goal setting workshop like no other for 12/30, and to do so, I have been sorting through the year for myself.
It started with so much promise, didn’t it? 2020 - the sound was so inviting; promising; and electrifying…
And, then, it all changed.
Within it, I’ve been reflecting on what I have gained from this year, as there is always gain.
Not to be cliche, but every day, life gives us lemons. Big, rich, bountiful lemons. Sometimes, the juiciness of the lemon is hidden beneath a skin that is dull, weathered and seemingly not fit for consumption.
Yet, when we peel back that skin, often we find that the juice inside is exactly what we need for our recipe. Life, right now, has offered us a basket full of lemons, and there is great opportunity here. It's all in how we choose to see and use those lemons.
Finding the right recipe.
Finding the right utensils.
Life is 50/50.
Joy, love, peace, happiness.
Pain, grief, disappointment, frustration.
We can’t know the bountiful fall harvest without the scorching suns of summer.
We can’t know the blooms of spring without the frozen ice of winter.
It gives us lemons, and we get to decide what to do with them.
We’re living through something that has never before occurred, on a global basis. Think about it; except for some remote civilizations in Africa, Australia, and elsewhere, we all wake up with one common thought daily - what’s new with Covid and what does it mean for me?
I’d like to share a little of my experience these past few months, and see if any of it strikes a chord with you.
For the most part, my life has been unaffected. I’ve been preparing for this since 1999, when I took my Direct Sales business online. Then, I quit the gym and transitioned to working out at home.
I love to cook, so being a homebody is easy.
BUT - and this is a BIG but -
I am also a control freak. A future focused person, who likes things to run on a schedule and predictably. I’m a 3 on the Enneagram; an Action, Type A, Performer, Achiever, Futuristic, Strategic, Positivity - in Strengths Finder, if you do any of the personality test.
As we end this year, that was so full of hope to begin, here is what I have chosen as my key take aways and growth areas. My focus areas of importance.
I always start with my 5 Fs, or value areas and I have measured each of the following concepts with regard to:
Family and Friends
So, here is my list of what has come to light for me
Prioritize - time is short; we have no guarantees. Know what matters and what is top priority in each area of your life. This may shift and change a little each day, with what you have going on. Each morning, look at your day; where you are and know what must be done and focus there.
Everything truly does start with asking and answering “why.”
WHY am I doing this; choosing this; pursuing this; letting go of this; and so on.
Then, after I know why, then I move to understanding what is required of me to fulfill this “why.”
This allows me to be more fully present in each day, knowing what my priorities are.
Learning to say YES, a whole lot more to what truly matters; and no to what does not.
Relax the Grip - I have come to realize that I don’t have Control now, for sure, and much to my dismay, I have found that I never did. What I had was a belief in how things were going to be. What the day would hold; what I would do; what you would do and what those around me would do; how the world would run.
Now, here is what I know for certain - I wake up with no idea what might be going on in the external world. And, I have the ability to control my actions and reactions. So, I am focused there.
Be Present - slow down, what’s the hurry? Be fully present in the moment and the experience. I’ve given this a lot of lip service in the past, but until I was truly in “lock down” with no where to go and no where to be, and nothing but time stretching out before me, I didn’t truly “get it!”
When we are fully in the “now”, we are no longer stuck in ANY story. We can’t be. Because stories only exist in the past; and the future.
We must learn to find the pot of gold within whatever we experience. Because it is there. we just sometimes need to dig for it.
We are often looking outside of ourselves and what we are experiencing in the now to find the gold. But, it is right here, if we can still the mind and breathe.
I’m no longer frivolous with time. It’s short and precious.
The universe has delivered a big message to me about the importance of slowing down. Just like being “now focused”, practice the art of More Non Doing. Taking time for the little things, like curling up with my husband to mindlessly watch some TV, something I have been resistant to for YEARS, because I don’t enjoy TV. But, I do enjoy time with him.
For years, I relentlessly worked on my business, often passing on opportunities to simply enjoy my life, the people in it, and the here and now.
And, for what?
I’m not suggesting that my business is not important. But, better boundaries are important.
Choose Healthy - I am very fitness and work out oriented. Health, wellness, and peak performance physically are important to me.
The last two years, I have continually injured areas of my body, disrupting my typical workout flow and daily plan.
It has been so frustrating. Then, one day, I asked my body - why?
I listened and it answered. Release negative, buried emotions and resentments from the past. And, slow down - stop powering through workouts.
And, life. You don’t have to set or break any records. There is nothing to prove to anyone.
When I started paying attention to aches and pains, and then paused long enough to think about what is on my mind; what stories from the past I am still mulling over; and what emotions I have never taken the time to fully feel and process, I have been able to release a lot of physical joint pain.
Mindless pain that seriously made no sense, as I did not have an injury.
I personally believe that much illness and physical pain is rooted in buried emotions.
Be Intentional with Thoughts and Actions - my journal is my BFF. It’s where all of my best thoughts, ideas and energies get recorded. The good, the bad and the ugly. It’s a powerful tool to help me sort through what matters, and begin to do that real priority work.
Becoming mindful - another word I have given lip service to over the years, and now I am deeply engaged with it. It’s the practice of welcoming all thoughts and experiences with acceptance and curiosity.
It’s truly “Feeling the Feels” and not running from them; avoiding them; or trying to immediately change them.
When we are mindful, we can open up a space before we act; to stop the resistance and embrace the present moment and look for the gift or lesson it contains.
No is a habit, in the form of resistance. Pay attention to those gentle nudges from the universe that you may be resisting.
Every morning begins with a morning practice of doing a thought download. 5 minutes of free flow writing to get everything floating through my mind out of me and on to paper.
Where I can look at it; assess it; question it; re-write it; move forward with it.
This process taps into the creative side of me; and what I want to do with the rest of my time here on earth.
It has also helped me better understand people better, starting with myself.
Seek to Understand and Respect the Perception of Others - this is part of understanding people. There has been more divide and hatred in the world than I have ever been aware of in the past.
And, yet, I know that ultimately, we are all more alike than we are different.
My goal is to listen more, judge less, including myself. Right, wrong, good, bad - these are just thoughts. Who gets to decide?
I’m open to allowing other people to have their opinions; express their opinions and not have the need to jump into the conversation; tell them why they are “wrong” or even be involved.
Through this, I am much happier.
Gather Your Tribe - this has been an interesting year of holding people close, and also letting some go.
I’m not even going to get into all of that, because it gets messy.
I have a mantra that serves me well - Everyone is doing the best that they can with what they have to work with right now…including me…
Acceptance and Releasing - the word that keeps coming up for me, and one of my beautiful lessons from the universe is - Impermanence.
“The state or fact of lasting for only a limited period of time.”
We must allow room in our lives for “not knowing.” We have no choice, really. We can struggle against reality and lose every time.
The only thing in life that is certain is change…and impermanence.
Have the courage to accept this, and the self compassion to sit with it and allow it to settle in.
Don’t wish for your life to be perfect. Release that thought. That expectation.
Examine other areas of expectation. Especially the ones letting you down.
Release anything around you that doesn’t serve you, both mental, emotional and physical.
Where are you holding onto past experiences that do not serve you? Release them.
Where are you too future focused, on things you do not control? Release them.
Where is there clutter in your physical space that is holding you back; keeping you stuck? Release it.
Look around you and find the beauty and perfection in what you have and what you want to keep, already, in your life.
Most of us have a distorted sense of the perfect life anyway. We think that is the reality we seek.
It’s the human experience.
Let’s seek peace instead. A peaceful life.
Character and Leadership - this was a year that tried and tested every fiber of our being on so many levels. At least it did for me.
I set an intention to stay in leadership and keep my business thriving throughout the year. Because of and In SPITE of all that was going on.
To show up and serve those in my tribe who most wanted it. Not the ones who need it.
I’ve worked hard this year to weigh in on my character and measure my thoughts and reactions against who I choose to BE, and who I am becoming to achieve all of what I want in life and business.
Be grateful, always - This is another area where it is easy to pay lip service to it; to say the words, and be grateful for the easy stuff.
This year, I dug down deep to find gratitude for things I feel didn’t serve me, but did serve the greater good.
My first grandchild was born in March. My son decided to make the USMC a career, which makes me both proud and nervous. Yet, it’s perfect for his family and the quarantine allowed him to be home for the largest chunks of each day for her first 9 months, and on into the first 10.
While stuck at home, I looked around and practiced gratitude for all of the great things about my home. And, the person who I share it with. My neighbors, who keep their homes neat and make our neighborhood fun.
My family, for their health. All of them. So far, so good,
I’ve chosen to look at the Gifts offered to me by this Great Pause, and explore the Limitless Possibilities.
I hope you have done the same. I would love to hear what’s been fabulous for you, and a gift, in spite of everything else.
Life gives us lemons. We have a choice. We learn to make lemonade. Or, we go thirsty.
Nothing stays the same. Nothing is guaranteed.
We can’t predict the future. Or bad things that happen. Or know when things are going to happen.
Here is what we do know - bad things ARE going to happen.
It’s part of life. It’s a part of life that we can’t avoid. These often leads us to feel pain. All Pain is a form of resistance to “what is.”
There’s nothing wrong with feeling pain. It’s normal and, expected when bad things happen.
The key is not to stay stuck in it.
And, let’s reframe what we see and perceive as “bad.” This pandemic, is it bad?
Totally? Yes, there is plenty of bad in it.
Is it good? Yes, there is some good in the great pause it has offered us all, and the ability to see and unveil the limitless possibilities in our lives.
I teach all of this in the Street Smart Wealth Academy. I have a module called “the People Puzzle” that educate you on psychology in your Network Marketing business.
Do you have a question for me? DM me on Instagram @jackieulmer
Ready to create more success in your business? Your first step to learn this - SocialSellingMagic.com - let’s start there.
Hey, if you like what you are hearing and learning on the podcast, you really should check out the Street Smart Wealth Academy. We take all of this and package it into a radical shift for you, and the way you think and act in your business.
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Learn more about the Street Smart Wealth Academy; THE "success mentoring" teaching you the "skills to pay the bills!"
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Taming the Money Monster
Peak Performance Habits
Mental Yoga and Thought Download Process
I'll be sharing the concepts, tools and training to support your marketing, growth and business goals. While the principles that I teach are complete for any Solopreneur business, the details, strategy and implementation will be tailored to you through my mentorship.
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