This week systemic coach Zita Tulyahikayo and barrister James Pereira QC suggest five things you can do over the summer to enhance your well being and start creating the life you want.
The summer holidays lie ahead. Several months of hard work are under your belt. You need a break. So what will you do with yours? See it as a temporary respite before returning to the grindstone? Or embrace it as an opportunity to check in with yourself, see how you can improve yourself, and start the process of change?
For those interested in the second of these, here are some tips on what you might do.
A report published this month by the All Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Well-being concluded that the arts can help keep us well, aid our recovery from illness – including the recovery of mental health – and help us lead longer and healthier lives. Creativity was recognised as enabling dialogue with the deeper self, helping change perspectives and contributing to the construction of personal identity.
So this summer, why not treat yourself to an artists note pad and make a promise to yourself to fill a page of it each day – with drawings, doodles, thoughts and whatever takes your fancy. No one else need see it – but with this first step you can start the journey of connecting with your inner self and allowing it to express itself freely.
You never know where it might take you.
Start doing something that you love
Close your eyes and think about the times when you have been really happy. What were you doing? All of us have something that we want to do or want to do more of because it makes us feel great. We all want to be happy as much and as often as possible.
So whatever your happy activity is, do more of it in your time off, and plan how to keep it up when you return to work. Buy some new kit. Join a club and meet other like-minded people.
Indulge your happy self. You won’t regret it.
Broaden your horizons
As we wrote in an earlier article how stepping outside your comfort zone can lead to growth and self-discovery. Broadening your horizons by stepping outside your comfort zone can be a richly rewarding experience and the summer holidays – a time of expansion with the fullness of life as reflected in nature – can be an ideal time to get inspired and be bold. So broaden your horizons by trying something new this summer.
Attend to relationships
Good relationship strengthen us, poor relationships drain us and weaken us. Our lives naturally give us a mixture of both. But how often do we take the good relationships for granted, and neglect those we love and who love us? And how often do we allow ourselves to get caught up in destructive relationships, without having the courage to change them for the better by finding a peaceful resolution?
Everyone wants to have a great relationship including those people who we are in relationships with. But not everyone is willing to go through the difficult conversations, the awkward silences, the hurt feelings and the emotional psychodrama, to get there. Some spend time wondering “What if?” Others just avoid the issue with long working hours or by taking work on holiday with them as a way to avoid what lies beneath.
So before the lawyers are called in and the painful and expensive process of divorce begins, or a friendship ends because of a misunderstanding, or a family member remains excluded from your life because of poor communication, why not take the opportunity to address your relationships over the summer?
Just take one good relationship you have, and build on it: tell your friend how much you value them, go and see them, and fix your next meet up before you part. Have those difficult conversations with your partner if needs be.
When we approach our relationships with authenticity and integrity, wonderful things happen, the air is cleared, and as unresolved issues are brought to light it becomes possible to find peaceful resolutions.
Create your future
Everybody wants something.
Many want to live a carefree, happy, easy going life, to fall in love, have amazing sex, experience professional success, make money, be popular, be well respected and admired.
In fact these “wants” are so ubiquitous that they don’t actually mean much until you start to be specific about what it is that you actually want from your life. What determines the outcome is not just wanting it enough; it is really about asking what are you prepared to do to make it happen. What is the price you are willing to pay?
Everything we want comes at a cost, and the equation for the sum total of that price equals desire plus effort. For some, the effort is more than they are willing to pay. For others, the fear that they might actually get what they want can act as a powerful deterrent.
The willingness to really answer the question of what you are prepared to do to get what you want is what defines the outcome. If you want to get fit and have great mental and physical health then you are going to have to commit to exercising and eating healthy food. However, not everyone is prepared to pay the price of changing their lifestyle in order to accomplish that. For example, some people want to achieve greater career success, but they are unwilling to examine the limiting beliefs or hidden loyalties they hold that keep them from moving up the career ladder.
If you focus on what you do want, your mind will be liberated to find ways to support you in making that happen. By contrast, you stay focussed on what you don’t want, you will get more of what you don’t want. The mind is a beautiful thing; use it wisely to create the future you want.
Make this summer count
Summer can be a richly rewarding time to try new things, as reflected by nature it is a time of expansion, abundance and enlightenment. Make this summer count by starting to create the life you want to live.
The authors welcome feedback from anyone concerned with the issues raised in their writing, and are also interested in hearing from anyone with suggestions for future articles.
Loving Legal Life will return in September.