Taking Inventory & Finding Grace in Times of Uncertainty
I talk a lot with my clients about taking inventory of their lives. When things aren’t in alignment with how we want to feel and the impact we know we’re capable of making, what needs to change? We often look at their lives from a healthy distance, aiming for mindful objectivity. In general, this approach can help you find that *sweet* spot of perspective that’s simply unavailable when you’re caught in the day-to-day bullshit. It’s a practice I’ve replicated time and time again, but what about when the world throws major shifts and turns our way? One could argue things have always been uncertain, and it’s true. But in the interest of not beating around the bush, our lives since COVID-19 hit have been different. It’s been a theme with all of my clients and one in my own life.
It’s important that we neither run away from our problems nor cling to how things “used to be.” Chances are, things were a lot less certain than we now label them to be. It’s easy to look back and say things used to be easier, but chances are they were simply different. These changes and uncertainty don’t have to be labeled ‘bad’ or ‘good,’ rather acknowledged for what they are: the wild ride of life on this planet. Nonetheless, there’s no denying or need to spiritually bypass our way around the fact that the way we approach growth and purpose has shifted. Now that things are undoubtedly different, how can we ‘take inventory’ and more importantly, move forward with grace? Read on for several tips and tools.
Take inventory of your inner world:
Now is a great time to hone in on what you can control while also making peace with uncertainty. When we feel out of control, it’s a great time to re-remember how all we can ever really control are our responses to life. My first tip is to take inventory of your inner dialogue. How do you speak to yourself? Take a few moments to pause and reflect on the tone you use when talking to yourself. Are you kind to everyone else, but kind of an asshole to yourself? That may be common, but it doesn’t make it acceptable. A few good questions to ask yourself are: if someone heard how I talked to myself, would they say I’m hurting myself? Can I be as kind to myself as I might an innocent child? What would my thoughts sound like if I believed myself to be a highly respected individual, or even a master? Cleaning up your inner monologue will do wonders for your life, and it’s definitely something we can work on whether there’s a raging pandemic or not.
Take inventory of your space:
You most likely are spending more time at home now and will for the foreseeable future. When quarantine began, a lot of people felt pressure to take on home projects and the like. Let’s think of this as something way more practical and less aspirational. I’m not talking about completely redecorating your house or beginning an aggressive crafting project, though if you feel inspired to do so, go ahead! What this is more about is taking inventory of how you feel in your space. Ask questions such as: How does my home make me feel? Do I keep it clean? Is it cluttered? How does my home affect my mood? You may realize, simply by pausing to reflect, that the art on the walls reflects a younger, less mature version of you, and you’re ready for a fresh aesthetic. Perhaps you realize you’ve been clinging to things from childhood or a past relationship. Maybe your workspace is a mess, or you simply don’t have one and continue working from bed. Empower yourself by empowering your home set up. Everything in your life will feel much better after doing so, I promise.
Take inventory of the changes.
What parts of your life have been completely changed in the past month? Have you taken a look at this and, beyond complaining or wishing for your old life to return, evaluated the benefits? A journal or piece of paper is great for this one. Write down some of the changes. Can you see the benefits? What about the changes you’ve labeled as bad…are they really so bad?
Move forward with ease and grace.
Once you’ve taken some time to proactively evaluate where you are and become aware of what’s making you feel ‘different,’ it’s time to move forward with grace. We will always be navigating uncertain waters in this life, but sometimes they’re more volatile than others. Train your brain to have and accept a new dialogue around the circumstances. What do you ideally want, taking into account the way things have changed? If you’re feeling overwhelmed by uncertainty, remember that you always have a choice. Try things out. If they don’t work, gracefully let them be.