A few weeks back I was in need of a good old fashioned "reboot".
After a couple of months of travel, politics, a little heartbreak, illness of loved ones, death, and a lot of go go go and yo yo yo... my brain, heart, body, and soul needed a little refresh. A little timeout. A little breath.
So I snuck off for 48 hours, hit the ocean, slept, hiked, swam, ate clean food, sweated a lot, journaled my butt off, put my phone away, read... a lot, and stopped thinking. (Gosh what a magical place: the Land of Not Thinking. While it takes me a bit to travel there, the trip is worth it.)
There are three steadies I've found to be true -- again and again and again:
-- When I have the least amount of time to meditate or create internal space -- meditate more.
-- When I'm stuck/lost in my stuff or suffering -- honor "the stuck", get support, find gratitude, find the learning, contribute to someone else, convert the whole experience, come out of the whole thing even wiser and bigger.
-- And when I have absolutely no time to sneak away and unplug or dig into a bit of extra self-care -- sneak away and unplug and self-care that shizzle like a boss. (If even for an afternoon.)
I find these work in some way, shape or form... every time.
During my last "reboot session" I came across the book, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World with the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams.
The timing of course, was perfect...
They talk about a lot; joy, despair, hope, loneliness, gratitude, leadership, compassion -- you name it. All in current day with all the amazing and awe-inspiring things we have happening in the world, coupled with all the heartbreaking and devastating things we have happening as well.
A beautiful book. Grab it. (Audio is wonderful too.)
They dig into Joy. (Something that is free, internally sourced, a choice, and also contagious.)
What's essential in creating "joy"? (Not "happiness" which is often externally driven, but rather joy which they reference as internally driven and emitted.)
Paraphrasing a bit (really, truly, do grab the book):
Three states that increase one's access to joy?
- Reframing (events and situations)
- Gratitude (for everything)
- Kindness (to self and to others)
And four essential abilities for accessing and creating more joy?
- The ability to maintain a positive state (reframing)
- The ability to shift a negative state
- The ability to focus one's mind on productive and loving thoughts
- The ability to be generous to others (and self)
And of course at the route of all of it, kindness, love, compassion, empathy, generosity -- for others, and for ourselves. This is where the magic lies.
The more you practice these things, and CHOOSE them, the easier it is for your brain to access them and shift outlook -- the more resilient you become for joy.
Anytime it's hard or uphill or painful, we've likely stepped away from love and joy and breath. All we have to do is come back.
I've also found that all of this is instantaneously available to us -- we don't necessarily need to sneak away for "48 hours". We can have this in the moment.
In the moment...We can't control what happens or what others do (or think or, you name it) -- however we can control what we perceive, how we react, how we breathe, what we come back to internally, and what state we choose. And in that breath, in that decision, is the reboot.
It's Tuesday (ummm, where did Monday go?) Need a reboot?
Here you go:
- Make space -- an afternoon, a weekend, a week, an hour, whatever -- make the space. Mark it in your calendar.
- Set yourself up with good fuel, nutrition, self-care.
- Allow yourself the stress, the emotion, the aggravation, the whatever.
- Journal journal journal.
- Then plug yourself into any of the 7 offerings above; reframing, gratitude, kindness, etc. and view your situation through them. What shifts?
- And tonight... sleep. Breathe more. And when you're ready, come on back.
A little goes a long long way. Reboots and up-levels happen in the big moments, but really, they happen in the "cracks" -- in those small moments where you pause, breathe, access gratitude, and step into the next.
Let's go. XO
Want more?! For more on reboots, and a lot of the 7 mentioned above, take a look at Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization that Thrives (McGraw-Hill).