“When we go through challenging times, our energy and our signature virtues are the fuel we run on and the oars we row with. We need to keep referring to our basic habits of health and virtue more than ever when we are under pressure.”
- Creating and directing your energy
- Creating signature virtues in your family
- Navigating tough times with grace as a family
Thriving Together pt2 Caring For Yourself and Your Family
Let’s talk about energy. When you have abundant energy, you have the ability to be your best self, to skillfully respond to whatever happens in your life, and to live artfully. When we are exhausted we cannot live well. We perceive events to be more stressful and we act out rather than act wisely. Without a doubt, regenerating, directing, and protecting our energy is one of the most important things we can do for a better life.
I. Creating and directing your energy: How do you create energy? There are two ways 1) general health habits and 2) individual pursuits that fill you with delight. Importantly, we all need abundant and restful sleep (7-10 hrs). You cannot perceive how sleep deprived you are if you are living on borrowed energy from caffeine and sugar. You will know you are resting enough when you wake up before your alarm, feeling refreshed. This make take months of going to bed earlier but it’s so worth it. Sleep is the foundation of wellness.
When we are tired we crave simple carbohydrates, have lowered metabolic rates, reduced immunity, accelerated aging, reduced energy for exercise, poor decision making/impulse control, and many more deleterious effects. While nutrition, exercise, spiritual practices, and lifestyle habits are all super important…sleep is the queen. Start with trimming your schedule until you create the time to sleep enough regularly. Your willpower and clarity for all the other healthy habits will be fed by your rested reservoir of energy. If you want to be your best self, a super present mom, and enjoy your life it all will be fueled by the level of energy you have. And you have the opportunity to create high quality fuel for your life to run on.
When we go through challenging times, our energy and our signature virtues are the fuel we run on and the oars we row with.
II. Creating signature virtues in your family: What would you like your family to be known for? Identifying and investing in these qualities is key to creating a family dynamic you love and that represents your values. Start by making a list of qualities that you want to embody, you want your children to embody, and the dynamics of your home you would love to be characteristic of how you live together. Then group related words/qualities. Next, circle the word that most resonates with your heart…that makes it sing and swell with longing.
Gather 3 or 4 of the words you most resonate with and write out what those words mean in the context of your ideal family life. For example, if you wrote the words happy, fun, harmonious, and teamwork down, then circled harmonious, you might write: “we are harmonious with each other by paying attention to ourselves as individuals and the dynamics of our interactions. We take the time to be aware and to synergize so that we can enjoy life and support each other with grace.”
When you have identified your core qualities, and written how they look in day to day life, then its time to share them with your family and post them somewhere you can all see them. The crucial follow up is to review your signature virtues often and create habits that re enforce those qualities and keep you consciously aligning your choices with your aspirational values.
III. Navigating tough times with grace as a family: When we go through challenging times, our energy and our signature virtues are the fuel we run on and the oars we row with. We need to keep referring to our basic habits of health and virtue more than ever when we are under pressure. Sometimes our circumstances will change dramatically but our ability to sink or swim is contingent on our ability to keep our compass under pressure and not become directionless. Tough times make us stronger if we reconnect and deepen our commitment to our roots during the storm. One of the secrets of a life well lived is the ability to keep clarity of purpose when things are unmoored. Modeling this for our children is the best way to prepare them for solid living as they become adults.
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