I have a little project for August; it is near and dear to my heart because it centers around gratitude, balance, and nourishment.
For the past couple of years, I’ve been paying close attention to these three themes with an eye to reducing the things in life that drain me, increasing the things in life that balance me, and giving gratitude for both. (You might wonder why I give gratitude for the “draining” part, well, the items that deplete me usually come with a big, fat life lesson tied in a bow, so that’s where the gratitude comes in. I have gratitude for the learning; the magical “ahh” moments).
When I take stock of my days, my first step is always to take a look at my conversations. I ask myself three questions:
1. Do my conversations interest and fulfill me?
2. Do I feel drained after certain conversations? Why?
3. Do I feel uplifted after certain conversations? Why?
These three questions are simple, yet powerful. They always bring me back to the quote: “If you want to know what your life is about, take a look at how you spend your days.” I have to admit, when I first read this quote, I felt a jolt. “This is so true, I whispered to myself.” (Gulp!)
Once I spend about three days observing my conversations, I have a pretty good handle on the types of conversations that pull me down or lift me up. Then, the re-balancing process begins.
What do I mean by re-balancing? Basically, I make a concerted effort to minimize draining conversations and maximize nourishing conversations. For example, I like to talk about ideas, inspiration, and creativity. Then I love to execute all of the above. It is very healthy and fulfilling for me. If my days lean toward other types of conversations, I start feeling drained. So, life has taught me that a need at least one or two nourishing conversations a day.
If I need to engage in the type of conversation that drains me, I try to keep it short and strive not to let the shadow on the conversation bleed into my day. The type of conversation that drains me is the habitual sort; I guess you could call it “small talk”. (That being said, some people are invigorated by small talk, so it just depends on how you are built).
What makes you Tick?
The key to this whole process is to gradually understand what makes you tick; without self-judgment or judgment of others. It is really quite refreshing and empowering (at least that has been my experience). Hey, maybe its time to “check-in” to make sure you are spending your precious life force energy on what is meaningful and purposeful to you.
Are you being nourished or drained? Hopefully, the answers to the three questions above will help you as they helped me.
Enjoy the day!