Sarah Hobson, Ph.D.
Happy New Year! As we head into 2022, here is a question for you. What season of life are you in? As you head into this season, how do you reflect on previous seasons and what you have accomplished? How do you set goals and plan for what you want to accomplish and how you will do that?
Whether consciously or not, we often construct our lives by yearly, seasonally, monthly, weekly, and daily routines. Sometimes those routines are determined by the season of business or family we are in. Sometimes seasons of our personal and work lives correspond with holidays, weather changes, or months of the year.
Some of us have consistent and systematic routines for every season that we rinse, wash, and repeat. Some of us have routines that vary with each season and that shift according to new phases of our work or new activities we partake of, or new roles or responsibilities we acquire.
Wherever you are in this season of your family needs, education, career, or retirement, the question is – which aspects of your personal and work lives take precedence in how you create your life? Is self-care your starting point and a central focus in all you do?
In a recent Community Allies workshop, we took participants through the simplest core of the Honoring Stories and Integrating Curriculum™ approach. This approach ultimately helps organizations tap into, benefit from, and become an asset to a diverse array of people and communities. This agile approach helps teams systematically identify and make needed changes on teams and in departments that consistently yield better problem-solving and more innovation.
Individuals are central in the needed change, and one of the core elements of our approach is to hone in on our personal stories. As Mahatma Ghandi pointed to years ago, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” The change starts in each person who has effective systems in place that help them constantly expand their awareness of who they are, what they know, and what they offer.
We help people begin to identify how much they bring and do and to refine their process of tapping into more dimensions of themselves. We walk teams through collaborative processes that help people identify needed change in themselves and how they have organized their lives. Personal accountability and ownership of our lives is one part of the process of teams interrogating how they are constructing knowledge. It is part of the process of our organizations deconstructing how departments are working on their own and together to build communities that can keep improving and streamlining workflow.
To refine our personal lives such that we can be truly present to ourselves and to others and to a fuller experience of life in each moment, we have to be willing to examine the mindsets, systems and routines we personally use to prioritize and navigate each area of our lives.
In our workshop, we challenged participants to consider what it takes to live a sustained life of thriving, such that what we give to others comes from the overflow of our blessings, not from a cup half empty or hall full? And we took them through a process of tuning into how they already and might better factor self-care into everything else they do.
So, we ask you – as you head into a New Year – how are you prioritizing self-care? How do you even feel about the notion of self-care? If you have a negative perception of it, where does that come from? How much more present to yourself and to others might you be if you prioritized your self-care so effectively that you truly began to organize a life of consistent thriving? If you aren't already, what do you need to change in your focus, your life and your routines to move towards thriving?
Sarah Hobson, Ph.D. specializes in supporting teams, departments and schools, businesses, and government agencies in building inclusive innovative change-making communities who understand how to connect well with and join diverse populations in providing needed sustainable resources for all youth and families.