This month, I’m reflecting on how a culmination of small shifts have created BIG leaps for me. With May zooming in on mental health and dedicating an entire month to this worthy course, it’s such a great opportunity for us to pause and reflect on where we may currently find ourselves and perhaps more importantly, what we want out of our lives going forward. It blows my mind that we’ve been creating meaningful and rich content for 4 whole years, here at Hope to Recharge! My heart bursts with gratitude each and every time I receive an email from one of you, telling me how a certain episode or conversation helped move you towards taking better care of YOUR own mental health.
‘Mental health’ is a big word and it helps to break it down and apply it in small, yet enriching ways in our everyday lives. In walking my own journey of recovering from depression and anxiety, I learnt that one of the biggest forces of change which helps create a momentum of healing within us is our capacity to sit with silence and deepen our OWN awareness. Now, I understand how daunting this may actually be, TRUST ME. I recall being in the tight grips of depression and feeling like all I wanted to do was distract myself from the deep void I felt within. Silence can feel scary. It’s the loud movement which exists within us all. It gives us permission to hear ourselves more clearly and helps bring deeper internal shifts – both of which are necessary in order for us to take the next step forward.
So, although a focus of this month may be about advocating for mental health by going for therapy, and opening up avenues of conversation about how we feel, today I’d like to urge us all to turn that awareness inwards and gift ourselves with the ability to delve in our own inner territories of silence.
What do the spaces of silence feel like within you? What does your own voice say? Notice how tempting it may be for you to try to distract yourself and escape from answering these questions.
Silence helps direct our attention to what needs shifting. It’s very helpful to start looking at tiny shifts we can practice consistently, rather than attempting to make BIG changes all at once. I’ve developed a practice of asking myself what brings me joy each day and what I’d like more of, to help cultivate a dearer sense of happiness within me. My elder sister (whom I admire deeply) is a huge believer of small changes. About 20 something years ago, she decided to implement greater mindfulness into her daily routine and started off by choosing to sit and eat her food, rather than standing. Can you guess what happened? Just this one act alone helped bring more awareness to how she was choosing to eat her food, encouraging her to embrace this task with deeper mindfulness. Another helpful technique I often use with my clients is for them to bring greater awareness to what surprised them yesterday, what they’re grateful for right this moment and what they may be looking forward to tomorrow. Mind you, I KNOW these tasks sound almost too simple to be effective, but when done consistently, they help rewire our brains to start paying more attention to what’s happening around us and what’s happening within us.
Small shifts create big leaps!
Once we’ve developed a keen practice of self-awareness, it’s key that we begin the process of implementation. What do we do with the new information we’ve gathered through this practice? Are we aware of how our behaviors may be impacting those around us? What are we willing to change? This feeds into how we hold ourselves accountable and step into the ‘doing’ part of the work. I always tell clients that just because they may have tried a certain therapy a few years ago which they found unhelpful, it doesn’t mean it won’t work for them today. As human beings, we’re constantly in a state of flux and we must embrace different techniques with a renewed sense of hope, trusting that we will find what works for us RIGHT NOW.
So, if I leave you with just one thing from this piece, it’s the willingness to sit with oneself and ask how willing you may be to do the work. How willing are you to pair mental health advocacy with self-awareness? How ready are you for change? Our mental health is one of the biggest and most notable investments we can ever make in this life.
Just your ability to answer these questions may serve as the catalysts you need, for your change.
Small shifts create big leaps.
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