A really important take away from the course for me was the notion of being kind to yourself. We can all too often forget that we are putting ourselves through a lot of hard work, commuting and stress every day and that we are achieving, we just need to cut ourselves some slack. It was liberating hearing our facilitators telling us to be kind to ourselves and others.
This fitted in well with the idea of creating balance in your life, between work and home, between characters in groups at work, between pushing yourself and realising how much you have already achieved. We worked through positive feedback we had received prior to the course and realised that there is a lot of value in appreciating your strengths as well as your weaknesses and looking at your performance as a blend of the two. Life can seem like a balancing act most of the time but this week has let me see that I can identify that balance, work out how to change it and even use it to my advantage.
I agree that it is important to realise that we cannot control everything, which can be hard for someone as ordered and logical as me. Gaylene Gould, a writer, presenter, coach and Clore fellow advised us to be resilient, responsive, adaptive and opportunistic. To take those opportunities with both hands and make things happen.
Gaylene opened her talk with a quote, which resonated with the group long after she had finished:
'Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people that have come alive.'
Harold Thurman Whitman
For the people in the room, this really hit home and made us question what we are doing and why we are doing it. Gaylene explained that trying to achieve what makes you feel alive can be an iterative process, it will ultimately lead you to a position where you can fulfil your ambitions and live out your values. For me, as with many questions and comments throughout the week, I understood the importance of it but couldn't speak to it straightaway. My job does make me feel alive but I have yet to pinpoint why and which of my values it meets (a theme that you'll notice in these posts).
To be kind, balanced and alive may seem like three simple points but I really needed reminded of them and I'm probably not the only one. Putting them into practice may be a different matter but I am already making sure that I am kind to myself and those I touch.