Friday 27 December 2013

What works for your long term sustainability?

As I generally do at this time of year I was reflecting on the last year and the changes I wanted to make that would ensure that 2014 was even more successful than 2013. It came as no surprise as I did this that one of the new processes I developed during the year came to the fore. 
Landscaping Your Life (LYL) is a concept that uses nature as our teacher to provide insight on our life and current situation. I've been using it to facilitate change with others since the late 90s (even using gardening as a metaphor for purchasing with business leaders and managers to help them understand what the devil procurement is all about - but that's another blog entirely). A new LYL process that emerged this year was the ICECAPS checklist. 

The ICECAPS checklist is a reminder that in order to make progress in life we, just like the planet, need to preserve our ICECAPS (achieving this through: Integrity, Creation, Evolution, Collaboration, Action, Perspective and Sustainability). It's only by achieving all seven elements that progress is assured. 

As I reflected on 2013 I realised it was Sustainability with respect to Integrity that that had waned towards the end of the year and should be bolstered as I start the new year. 

Integrity is about knowing who we are, our values, our strengths and our passions. Integrity is about being true to ourselves and our essential nature. From nature's perspective if you're a rose then be a rose. If you're a butterfly be a butterfly. In nature a rose never wants to be, nor tries to be a butterfly. (A pity we so often forget this simple truth that the easiest, less stressful, person to be is yourself). 
Integrity is also knowing about what works for us and enables our energy to soar, and knowing what doesn't work and brings our energy crashing to the floor. Otherwise without this energy how can we move into the Creation stage of envisioning the future state we're wanting to move towards or taking the necessary Action to get there? 
Today I was reminded of the essential components that allow me to be me. The essential components, or actions, that provide the energy (whether mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually) to move in the direction of my goals and to stay true to myself. They're not difficult, they're certainly not new -  just very very (perhaps even too) easy in a busy world to forget. Yet when I do forget them the sustainability of my actions is lost, and I live one day to the next in a constant battle trying to retain some sense of balance and self and trying to get back on track. 
For me these essential components are:
  • Eating more of the right things throughout the day 
  • Drinking more water
  • Breathing in fresh air
  • Getting enough sleep 
  • Exercising - especially with weights
  • Doing more things I enjoy doing
  • Spending time with people I love
  • Focusing on the positive and things I have to be grateful for 
  • Long baths (a biggie for me as I think its when I'm at my most restful and contemplative)
And perhaps just as importantly:
  • Minimising eating the foods that negatively impact me (wheat, night shades & alcohol)  
  • Avoiding doing things that don't give me pleasure 
  • Reducing time in a state of negativity and fear
I said they weren't new ideas.
I know, however, if I follow through on these and commit to doing more of them daily the energy I have for everything else in my life will be significantly improved. A bit like the Buddha above that emerged from the garden this year after 3 or 4 years of being smothered by overgrown shrubs and plants. 

What do you know you need to do more of to help you be even more successful in 2014? Perhaps more importantly what will you do first and when? 

Do let me know how you get on - as you can tell from the frequency that wellbeing crops up here in my blog there's a constant dance going on between getting it right for me and not! 

Festive greetings and wishing you all a 2014 of your wildest dreams come true :-)

Alison Smith
Inspiring change inside and out

+44 (0)7770 538159