With Spring finally here, I have been thinking a great deal about change and growth. These two factors are part of my life and they’re part of yours too whether you realize it or not! I believe if we’re not changing and growing then we are dead in one form or another. This might sound a bit dramatic but realistically; it can mean that our physical body is dead; or it can mean that our soul, our spirituality feels dead – we know it’s never actually dead, but there are times in our lives where we feel dead – flat, empty, nothing, missing or lacking something. For some of us, this may be a permanent or frequent state while others may have recently started feeling this way or it has been gradually happening over time without us even noticing or realizing it along the way. You may wonder, “What? What’s she talking about? I don’t feel like that or surely I’d notice, right?” Believe it or not, this happens far more often than you would ever imagine!
In fact, it has happened to me….actually, if I were to be honest, it’s happened a few times over the years. I have been into reading positive mental attitude (PMA) and self-improvement books since I was a teenager (it’s scary to think how many years ago that is!). I practiced many of the tools and followed a great deal of advice; however, I was still oblivious to a lot around me in my 20s and 30s. I was well aware of many teachings; however, I can honestly say that although I had obtained, studied and acquired a great deal of knowledge and information, I was not consistent with my practices. I didn’t meditate every day, I didn’t eat healthy every day, I didn’t write in my grateful journal every day, I didn’t exercise every day, I didn’t daydream or plan or even prioritize!
When I hit my 40s, it was as if a lightbulb went off and things started to change in many areas of my life. I realized that I had all but given up on my dreams and I wasn’t in the place I thought I would be. I was working and had worked in toxic environments that have a way of sucking the life out of you before you even know what’s happening! Even more difficult for me to believe (and accept) is that I could fall into this trap (again) especially knowing what I know! I’m relatively intelligent and am great at helping, motivating, encouraging and supporting my clients and keeping them on track – at least during the time we are working together. They often get derailed or side-tracked once our sessions have completed which is the primary reason I encourage them to stay in touch and book a check-in session every six weeks or so – it helps them remain accountable, not just to me, but to themselves!
I believe I figured out how and why this happened. Truthfully, if I had been committed to all my practices and routines every single day, I know I would be in an entirely different place. However, I also believe that everything happens for a reason and in this case, the reason was for me to figure out that I ended up where I was because I got slack and lazy and I didn’t dedicate the time and energy to doing all the positive, impactful and life changing habits that I should have acquired. Big lesson learned! Thank God! Onwards and upwards!
My experience and my calling have finally lead me to the birth of my new program, Find Your Sparkle! This program is what makes me sparkle and it has elevated me in every sense imaginable! Just thinking about it and how it can help others improve their lives, take a personal journey of discovery to Find Their Sparkle gets me excited and motivated!
Where do you start to Find Your Sparkle!? Here are five simple tools that can help jump start your journey:
- One of the easiest ways to get a glimpse of what makes you Sparkle is to think back to your early childhood. Think about all the things you loved to do; what captivated your attention; what were you doing when time seemed to stand still – when hours passed yet it felt like mere minutes. Who were you with? Do you want to smile and do you feel lighter and more energized by merely reminiscing? How did you feel then? How do you feel now when you remember those moments? When did they stop happening? Why did they stop? Remember and embrace all the positive sensations and emotions you had back then – that’s what we’re striving for!
- Secondly, think about what your friends, family and colleagues come to you seeking your expertise, opinion or advice. Chances are, you are the “GO TO” person for something. It could be to help organize an event, decorate a room, pick out paint colours, building design, computers, health, wellness, carpentry, writing, art, fixing things, algorithms, personal or personnel issues – the list is endless. What is it that brings your name to the top of a list when someone is looking for help in that area. Ponder this for a moment – could this be your purpose? Could this be what makes you Sparkle? Only you can answer! You may not have realized it, but this is definitely a good indicator of what does makes you sparkle! It’s the stuff you do (regularly) for free because you love it and it makes you feel good and usually gives you extra energy.
- Another way to get closer to your sparkle is imagine that there are no obstacles holding you back – time, money, knowledge, place, resources and so forth – none are any concern. This can be challenging; however, it is a truly valuable exercise. What would you be doing? What would make you sparkle? Are you smiling just thinking about it? Can you see yourself investing in yourself to do what you are meant to do?
- Meditation is great for everyone and is a fantastic way to start and end your day on a positive note. However, meditation can also serve as a direct line to your spirit or your inner self – your authentic self. For some of you, this may seem “out there” or “new age” while others know exactly what I am referring to. Through meditation, you can ask questions to your inner self (soul, spirit, gut, intuition, 6th sense, authentic self, etc). I suggest writing your question down on a piece of loose paper and holding it in your hands, repeating the question several times and asking your soul for guidance. Stay quiet and listen to what message you “hear” from your inner self. This may make you uncomfortable at first; however, I promise you if you continue to practice this form of meditation, you will start “hearing” and recognizing what your inner self is trying to tell you!
- Finally, take some time to brainstorm all of the things you love to do; those things that bring you joy, fulfillment, contentment and really make you feel like the “true” YOU! Next I want you to think about your current situation at home, work and social life and what consumes your day. Make a list of those things you do and cross reference it with the list of things you LOVE to do. How much overlay is there? Are there opportunities to do more of what you like and less of what you don’t like? I’m not suggesting that you quit your job (although sometimes that may be the best option – it was for me!); I am asking that you really contemplate and brainstorm how to bring more of what you love into your life. Remember, we change – our lives change, our tastes change and change is good. Sometimes, we need to take a look at where we are spending our time and determine whether it is feeding our soul or adding unnecessary stress. As an example, it’s okay if you don’t love the volunteer role anymore that you’ve been doing for 10 years! Maybe now is the time to pass the torch and find a volunteer role that is meaningful to you.
I’ve been on a mission of truth these past several months and I have come to terms that I am human and I am going to make mistakes; but I always look for the lesson learned and how I can ensure that doesn’t happen again or devise a plan so it doesn’t! This post that started with wanting to share five ways to Find Your Sparkle! has morphed into a personal disclosure that I hope resonates with you in some way and inspires you to take your own self-discovery journey to Find Your Sparkle!
My goal is to reach as many people with Find Your Sparkle! If you, someone you know, or an organization or company would benefit from my Find Your Sparkle! Introductory presentation, please let me know! I’d love to share this with you and others! In fact, I am so committed to sharing and expanding my reach with Find Your Sparkle! that I am doing presentations at no cost but time.
For sponsorship opportunities, I would love to connect and discuss options!
Jennifer Stewart, JAS Potential, 902-233-4175, firstname.lastname@example.org