Gosh, all this reflection on spirituality, the warmth of the holidays and the impending closure of our year-long blog project has got me feeling pretty darn sentimental!
Broadening the scope from this month’s discussion of religion/spirituality, I have been thinking a lot about the ways in which I want to be present in the world. Or, more simply, a way ‘of being’ in my everyday. There are a couple of key ideas I have been pondering, and tonight I will discuss one.
For those regular readers out there, you well know that the ultimate purpose of this here blog/challenge project of ours, is to “cultivate an authentic life.” As such, I want to step up the genuine. This is not to say that I don’t think I am a genuine person in the world. In fact, one quality that I like about myself is that I consider myself to be pretty down-to-earth. For instance, I never write anything in a greeting card that I don’t fully believe (ie. I’m not going to say I enjoy working with someone if I don’t – haha, I’ll wish them the best in their future endeavours instead!), I strive to find at least one thing that I admire/appreciate in each person that I meet (and do my best to focus on said attribute), I don’t give compliments if I don’t mean them (I just don’t say anything) and I will tell the truth if you ask me a question (even if it hurts – though I do try to be as tactful and creative in my answers as possible!).
Yet, in light of all of this, I still want to increase my expressions, and more particularly my verbalizations, of what I am thinking. Because, here’s the deal: there are many times where I am observing/thinking positive things and not sharing them with those around me. I want to take the time to stop, think and actually say the strengths/attributes I notice in others. It’s kind of like expressing gratitude – not for the people/privileges I have in my own life – but rather for the great things I genuinely notice in other people.
Years ago, I was in a professional development workshop for child therapists and the presenter emphasized the importance of taking the time to greet children with genuine delight every time you connect with them. She talked about how each child deserves to be greeted with delight and to feel intrinsically important in an adult’s presence. In my biz, this basically means expressing warmth and delight when you begin a counselling session. Okay, that’s great for kids and teens (and I have wholeheartedly incorporated this into both my professional practice and my parenting) but what about adults? I have a sneaky suspicion this desire to be greeted with delight does not end when one turns 18. So, I’m thinking it’s time I extend this principle to the adults I encounter in my life who I am genuinely delighted to see. Why not take the time to make someone feel good???
To be honest, stepping up the genuine has been a past New Year’s resolution of mine. In fact, I’m fairly sure I talked to Meagan about it once upon a time in our pre-blogging days… yet, the time has come for me to really do this. I’m not certain what has hindered my efforts in the past (perhaps I feel a little shy/embarrassed of how my genuine delight may be received?), but what I do know is it is time for me to give this idea a good go.
I wonder, is stepping up the genuine something that you might consider including in your New Year’s resolution?