Just like the seasons, our lives – and the projects and relationships we invest in – go through different stages. Sometimes life feels great and in flow, while at others it feels tough and frustrating; and as we go through these processes our energy levels move up and down. If we look to nature and how it copes with the weather and seasons, we learn that life moves in cycles. We can begin to trust that our low, unproductive periods will be followed by lighter, easier times.
It’s easy to feel tempted to live in an eternal spring: to feel the need to constantly push new ideas and move in new directions. But there’s far more benefit in recognising that some endings, as with leaves falling from trees, are healthy and necessary in order to make space for new beginnings and new opportunities. By accepting that change is an inevitable and necessary part of growing, you will access a greater sense of inner well-being and peace.
Autumn is a time for self-reflection. We are in harvest, and by allowing yourself time to gather your gains and take stock of where you are, you can build on your successes and continue to move forward – without losing your sense of self in the process. By reflecting on the different aspects of your life, you will be able to recognise which areas leave you feeling happy and fulfilled, and which leave you feeling drained.
One way to work through these reflections is to take a life inventory. Split your life into sections and reflect openly and honestly on how you feel each of these areas is working for you. Then spend some time evaluating where changes might be beneficial. Rid your life of any toxins by disengaging with negative people or habits, and focus on enriching and nourishing those areas of your life that make you feel fulfilled and happy.
Here’s how to begin taking a life inventory of three key areas: we have previously covered your working life and we are now moving onto your relationships, and your personal sense of well-being.
Consider the significant relationships in your life: whether they be romantic partners, friendships, family or co-workers. Focus on what you get from each of these relationships, as well as what you give to each; and assess whether you think they are fairly balanced. Make a list of the people who you spend most time with, and reflect on how you feel before, during and after interactions with each. Examine the ways in which these people influence you, your attitude and your emotions – and try to establish whether these impact you positively or not.
You may realise that some of the relationships in your life need to be worked on. It may be that small changes are all that’s needed to improve the quality of your interactions, and you may feel it’s worth making an effort to rejuvenate a relationship which has begun to be taken for granted by either or both of you. You may also come to realise that there are some relationships in your life that are no longer working, or that may be hindering your happiness. If this is the case, it may be time to look at letting these people go, or lessening their influence over you.
Focus too on those relationships that you find infinitely enriching and positive, and make time to expand and appreciate them. By surrounding yourself with positivity you will feel more confident in your own sense of self, and in your outlook on the future.
Many people find it uncomfortable to reflect openly on who they truly are, yet you have so many beautiful qualities and you will find your self-esteem boosted greatly from acknowledging these. By recognising, and focusing on, the unique qualities that make you who you are you can attune more clearly to your truest desires, and find more clarity in defining your desired life path.
If there are any aspects to your personality that you’re not comfortable with, look at ways to work on these in a positive and loving manner. Be forgiving though, because if you make peace with all parts of yourself you can find the strength to grow. Embrace yourself fully, and work at expanding those parts that you love and are proud of. Recognise your best self and celebrate her; make a list of your personal strengths and assets. Think of those closest to you and write down what it is about you that they are drawn to and cherish. Establishing a clear picture of who you are at your best is a powerful and enduring way to boost your sense of well-being.
Envision a picture of your best future self; this will reveal to you your own potential and define the qualities you wish to develop, and will fill you with a sense of inspiration and inner peace. Concentrate on the things you do well, and enjoy doing, and look at how you can use these as tools to enrich your life. By increasing awareness of your unique strengths and talents, you will be able to work on the areas where you feel less confident, and create a path for yourself which will you encourage you to thrive.
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