Now that we’ve grasped the concept of flourishing – the next question often is, when have I actually flourished? What does that look like? What is the finish line to this journey? Well for all of us it will look and feel differently but one most important thing is it’s a never ending journey. Like the seasons of the year, it’s a repetitive cycle but within each season we will continue to learn, grow and flourish differently as time passes.
I know one area of weakness for me is my impatience and that often shows in the areas of my life where I’m ‘doing the work’. Maybe you can relate to putting in the time, effort, grace, compassion and dedication to yourself and feel as if you should have reached a finish line or won an award for all that hard work. Well it’s not about the finish line – sadly – but more about the growth that comes from continually pursuing flourishing. We will continue to face challenges in life and hardships, but will we continue to lean in and find areas to grow, ways to improve our patience and remain steadfast to our growth?
Along this journey to flourish we need to understand that highs and lows are expected – and even after a season of realization and growth, we will often be faced with another new challenge. This is when our foundation of understanding comes into play – just like it does for athletes. PSA, forgive me if you hate sports but I promise this correlation works! Most successful athletes practice their shot, swing, dive, etc with their eyes closed. This is because they’ve formed a foundation and habit of that movement that they can complete without their vision. For example, when Michael Phelps was training for the Olympics he practiced swimming his entire races with his eyes closed. This prepared him to feel what a race was like and to understand his body fully in the pool. Not only did this give him the foundation to have a second nature ability to swim at his best but it also prevented him from losing his focus when water got into his goggles during an Olympic final which in turn he won! This, like any habit, takes time, practice, perseverance and dedication in order to create a second nature habit. When it comes to flourishing, this is what we too need to do in order to stay steadfast when we feel as if we aren’t flourishing fast enough, crossing that finish line or achieving our next goal.
In order to remain consistent we have to lean on our foundation of understanding and habits that set ourselves up for success. Revisit the previous week's exploration of flourish and remind yourself of what has worked for or connected with you in order to understand what you personally need to flourish. Do you require a home reset, look around and see what’s infiltrated your home and taken away that sense of calm, safety and inspiration. Have you noticed your internal monologue shifting to a negative place – how can you get your thoughts and perspective back on track to result in positivity? When you feel like you’re taking a step back, not doing enough or even failing, revisit your core foundations of what allows you to flourish and implement these habits back into your life. Lean on them to support you as you get back on track and into the right headspace in order to continue on the journey to flourishing.