So often we make it complicated, don’t we? To me the essence of flourishing can be boiled down to three elements:
Creature comforts + white space + YOUR priorities
Creature comforts is where we begin. Things like enjoying that extra ten minutes in bed cuddling with your beloved. Or a glass of wine at sunset. Or warm lemon water in your hand as you journal to start the day.
These simple, sensual, daily measures allow us to ground.They allow us to drop out of the intensity of our fight or flight response. This is a requirement so that we detox our nervous system. So our bodies can heal. We can learn new things. And have the sustenance we need to make changes.
If we are completely wrapped in our stress response or our Enneagram personality is unconsciously driving our lives, we can easily ping from distraction to distraction without ever taking inspired action on our own deepest priorities. So as I shared last week, pleasure is fuel. Daily comforts nourish us so we can make CHOICES rather than REACT to the circumstances of our lives.
Next, we layer in white space. A day or half-day with no electronics. A beautiful morning or evening routine. A blank journal and new pen. A proper vacation.
These white spaces fill us up from the inside. So we can remember who we are. And allow ourselves time to reflect on what we are UNIQUELY here to do.
The final ingredient to flourishing in life is simple, but not easy: Choose to focus on YOUR priorities. This requires a willingness to edit out priorities others have for you. Or that an early iteration of YOU had for you. Release yourself from these old commitments so you have time to really focus on the goals which are MOST important to you now. You don’t have to do this fierce edit all at the same time. Tiny or turtle steps create powerful and lasting change.
I’ve been in touch with the power of simple comforts and white space this past week on vacation in Costa Rica. I loved daily walks on the beach. And practicing qigong (a simple movement routine like yoga) under the enormous mango tree. And swimming and going on boat rides with the kids. (You will find pics and videos from our recent travel adventures over on Facebook or Instagram.)
And since we have been back in Granada, I’ve loved the chance to focus in on my current priorities: final proofing of the print book and preparing some fresh teaching content for my May retreat. Recent public protests in Nicaragua, which have largely been ignored in US media or shown only with incendiary headlines, have also inspired conversations in our family about democracy and its challenges, in both our home and adopted country. We have also been deeply touched and inspired by the students who successfully led the protest and the large and peaceful march in Managua.
For all of these reasons and many more I remain deeply committed to this work of helping women turn on their unique light within and share it. I think we live on a planet in serious need for women who are fiercely committed to showing up and making their mark AND nourishing themselves. In this way modeling WHOLE LIFE leadership to the children and people in their world.
So what if this week you let it be simple?
What if you allow yourself to play and rest FIRST (even with all that is yet to get done) so that your contributions come from a deeply watered place inside?
For fun I’ve tucked some Rumi below. Because in my opinion we can never have enough mystical poetry. And I love this line“grant a great dignity to the cup of your life” – to which I would add: pour a splash of comfort and white space and see if your own TRUEST priorities don’t emerge.
Love and all the good, Courtney
The cup of your Life
Moonlight floods the whole sky from horizon to horizon;
How much it can fill your room depends on its windows.
Grant a great dignity, my friend, to the cup of your life;
Love has designed it to hold eternal wine.
– Jalal-ud-Din Rumi
(Translated by Andrew Harvey from A Year of Rumi)
** If you could use some support creating a life with more white space or setting your own most precious priorities I have a handful of current openings for new coaching clients. Book your complimentary Flourish Assessment Call here and lets get started. xo