These are stressful times.
We can't control the second wave/ further lockdowns/ the economic crisis.
But we can control our RESPONSES to this difficult situation.
The ability to remain grounded will be hugely helpful to our contentment.
Being grounded means you are centred in yourself; you are balanced; and you are calm, even in moments of stress.
I know this is not always easy:
I once lost my temper terribly with a junior colleague, because I was suffering from stress.
But I realised my error very quickly and apologised - and soon after, took steps to reduce my stress levels.
I was running on empty, filling my days with meeting, never having a break - and it wasn’t good for me.
I had to learn to tune into my energy levels, and do what was most nurturing and supportive of me.
I had to build self-awareness of my need for calm, quiet time.
Just like the man in the old folk tale of The Three Wishes…
There was once a man who lived a quiet life.
For a long time he was content:
he had enough food to eat from his garden and his animals;
he lived in a peaceful, rural village with neighbours to chat to, or to help him when he needed it;
and in the evenings he was happy reading books or whittling little animals out of wood for the village children.
But one day he noticed he was feeling discontented.
He was getting frustrated with his quiet life.
Not another day of tending his garden (yet more weeding)…
Not another silent evening alone at home…
He started to long for adventure and excitement - like he read about in his books.
And then one day, something exciting did happen…
The man was sitting by his fireside one night, grumpily sanding a little wooden cow, when the air in front of him began to shimmer.
The next moment, an all-powerful spirit had appeared in front of the man!
It bowed low, and said,
“I am here to offer you three wishes. Choose well…”
The man couldn’t believe it! Here was his chance for the adventure he craved!
“Thank you spirit!” he cried.
“I wish I was rich! If I had lot of money I could do anything and buy anything I wanted! Life would no longer be boring…”
The spirit bowed low again, and with a wave of its arm, a barrel full of gold coins materialised in the corner of the room with a heavy thump.
The man was overjoyed.
He took a handful of gold coins out of the barrel, and went out to spend them…
A week later, the man’s life looked very different.
He had used his money to create as much excitement in his life as possible.
He had been out and bought himself a whole new set of clothes.
He had bought new furniture for his house.
And he had hired entertainers, a chef, musicians, and servants, and held massive parties for his friends and neighbours.
This was the life!
Or was it…?
His new clothes weren’t very comfortable.
His new furniture was too big for his house.
But most of all, the parties - oh, he really had had enough of them.
It was so tiring having people around all the time! And it was so noisy!
If only the music and the singing and the raucousness would stop…
Then the man realised he could make it stop - he still had two wishes left!
So he closed his eyes, and wished with all his might - for his old, settled, down-to-earth life back.
And when he opened his eyes again - it was!
He was wearing his familiar, comfortable clothes, sitting on his familiar, comfortable chair - and in his house it was just him, in peace and quiet.
He breathed a sigh of relief.
He realised now what made him happy.
And then he made his final wish: for his life to remain grounded, peaceful and settled, forever more.
And his wish was granted.
So it was.
So at this time of new beginnings, where we are looking ahead to a new school year, it's worth asking yourself:
Are you like the man before, or after, his three wishes?
Discontented with your lot? Or recognising the positive aspects of where you are now?
And how are you helping yourself stay grounded by counter-balancing the inevitable stress from this situation we're all in?
If you'd like some extra support, my "Success Without Stress" course will help.
30 days of tiny tasks that accumulate to build your resilience to stress, so you can thrive whatever life or work throws at you.
To find out more, click here.
Wishing you a CALM, positive and productive week, and good luck to all the families with kids going back to school! 💖
p.s. that link to my "Success Without Stress" course again: https://kirstengoodwin.kartra.com/page/Success-Without-Stress