One of the latest technological advancements of the new iPhone is the implementation of the new "portrait mode" in its camera. Macworld.co.uk defines this mode as creating an "artistic depth effect, whereby the subject is in focus and the background is blurred. It truly does make for a pretty picture. The desired object of focus is clear, while the background "noise", which may at first have seemed undesirable, now seems soft, less imposing, and even an inviting addition to the scene. After learning about "portrait mode", I have actually used it many times to capture special moments- highlighting the beautiful, nourishing foods Kinda so lovingly prepares on our ReConnect Retreats, showcasing the special gifts we prepare for our retreat participants, and featuring the beautiful crafts created at our ConnectEd Workshops.
Tonight we held our first online event of the new year. Our Facebook Live event features three guests who join us to discuss how the Four Seeds of Self-Care have shaped the successes in their lives and offer tips to more efficiently and consistently practice self-care. We also gift Four Seeds-themed raffle prizes to our loyal viewers. We asked each guest to tell us their word for the year. This word sums up the one sentiment they would hope to concentrate on for the coming year as they move through the inevitable successes and hardships that come with being a human being on this planet. The words shared were joy, forgiveness(of self), contentment, stability. As I listened to the inspiration for the words, I couldn't help but think of what would be needed to achieve these states of being. One action item continued to show up as a necessity in realizing each person's vision. That was FOCUS. By the end of the conversations, it seemed we could all benefit from spending a little less time living our lives in "black and white", where everything is either/or and two-dimensional, and a little more of our time in "portrait mode", where we can clearly focus on the miracles right in front of our eyes and tone down the edges of our distractions, disappointments, and frustrations- maybe even learn to find the beauty in the whole picture.
I believe that on some level, in some aspect of our lives, we all have a vision that would include increasing the amount of joy, contentment, self-forgiveness, and stability we experience. But how can we make our vision a reality? By simply deciding what you will choose to focus on. For example, one of our guest resolved to experience more joy by retraining the thoughts that she thinks. Every time she has a negative thought, she will practice replacing that thought with three more positive thoughts. She is making a conscious effort to focus on a more positive way to respond to challenging situations, thus creating more joy in her life. Another guest chose to focus on forgiveness, specifically forgiving herself in order to create contentment in her life. She told the story of exercising as a means of simply looking good rather than a desire to create long-lasting health, and how she would undergo vigorous workouts that she didn't even really want to do in pursuit of a "perfection" that was unattainable. It was by focusing on the forgiveness of her imperfections that she could truly give herself the space to find an exercise routine that not only contributed to her overall health, but that ultimately led her to the fitness instructor career that she loves and is, in turn, changing the lives of others for the better. Another guest knew that while her business was thriving, her family life was suffering and it was time to bring some stability back to their lives by focusing on what was most important in order to bring everything back in balance.
Some advice I always give at the end of our monthly coaching calls for Self-Centered Women is "you get what you give", "you get back what you put in", "you actualize what you visualize", and "there are no shortcuts". These all mean to say that our reality is comprised of the thoughts and actions we CHOOSE to focus on. This can be an exciting revelation because that means we are the author of our stories. Our lives can be ANYTHING we can envision if we are willing to focus on what matters most and leave the distractions in the background. Consistent practice of The Four Seeds of Self-Care will always bring us closer to our vision more quickly because when we focus on our self-care above anything else, we contribute to maximum brain health which leads us to accomplish our personal goals easier, foster more meaningful relationships, and better connect with our community. As we continue on in the new year, I encourage you to strive to experience your one and only precious life life clearly focused on the beauty that surrounds you.
With love and gratitude,
Kinda and Rachel