Gently, Go Strong
Structure + Compassion
Whichever words you use -- goals, habits, intentions, or
even those infamous resolutions -- it all comes down to the
stuff you want to work on, achieve, and improve.
As I select my areas of focus for the year and the projects
I'll declare priorities this winter, there's always that tidal
wave feeling that tries to convince me they're all important
and should have been done yesterday. I allow that feeling
with a familiar nod of oh-yes-there-it-is. It's a natural
part of the process of periodically taking stock and Planning
with Perspective, as I've come to name it.
I was talking to my good friend Jill
about this last Friday, and after we got off the phone she
paid me a compliment in an email when she wrote: I always
admire your planning ability around the New Year. It
is as balanced with structure as it is with compassion,
and that is a recipe for success.
Cultivate, Don't Chop
an old prayer I like to keep in mind that speaks of growth
and transformation as being "more like cultivating a
garden than chopping down a forest".¹ It's a great
distinction because it reminds you that you can keep
moving forward with an appreciation of where you are, who
you are, and what you've got today.
The Right Balance
The right balance of structure and compassion is, as Jill
noted, a recipe for success. It gives you room to breathe,
to appreciate what's
good, and to enjoy your life now, even as you're working
on those items in progress.
Structure encompasses any or all of the following:
- Your organizational system, how you spend your time;
- Your habits, both physical and mental;
- Your strategy and approach, your support system and built-in
Just enough means understanding the specific type and amount
of structure that will help you be and do your best.
The compassion piece has to do with:
- How you're interpreting where you are now;
- What you're thinking, what you say to yourself;
- How you deal with your feelings;
- How you look at challenges;
- How you treat yourself.
This Week's Call To Action:
- Select a few things to focus on this winter. Set yourself
up with just enough structure.
- Identify ways to practice self-compassion.
Remember that: Going gently is going strong.
See you in the current,
¹If you'd like the entire prayer, feel free to email
me and I'll send it to you.
Current of Life, by Virginia Kravitz,
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