When I reflect on the last couple of years, I can’t help but think that I have been lucky to have different opportunities come my way in my work and life.
The last seven or so years have been the biggest for me and the irony is not lost that this magical spiritual number of rebirth and growth has occurred.
I was reminded of this of a recent conversation I had with my friend Kerstin Schink (@Kerstin_Schink) who I met up with in Germany and who showed me around Ludwigsberg Palace and her beautiful home town of Marbach.
I cannot recall the conversation exactly but I do remember thinking about how I’ve been grateful with how things have turned out in my life so much later in life.
I wondered, “is it a condition of maturity or is it just plain luck?”
Now it’s not going to be a post about the spiritualism of the number because frankly, I’m no expert in that. I do know that there are people who can talk in depth about the significance of the number to life cycles so I’ll leave that up to them.
Every Wednesday, at our work at Adopt & Embrace, we take 15 minutes at 3pm to check in with each other and take a “Mindfulness Moment“.
As we all work flexibly and remotely, it’s a way to check in with each other and take some time to reflect on things important for our mental health and well being.
This week we talked about gratitude and my colleague shared how she writes what she’s grateful for in a diary every day.
This got me thinking because I know a few people who do this and it helps them distil the moments in their daily lives that they appreciate.
A gratitude diary is a way to proactively be reflective. It forces you to think back, to go through, to consider, to reflect and to discover the moments in your day that made a small impact. I don’t have a diary but I do have this blog (and years before this blog I wrote in copious amounts of journals) and it made me think of the importance of having some kind of reflective practice in our day so that we are reminded of little actions of “humanity” every day whether it’s done to us or we do to others.
It’s akin to meditation of sorts.
I have so much to be grateful for both in my personal and professional life especially in my later years and I think much has to be attributed to a couple of big things.
- The first is having to make peace with my past, and
- Having a supportive partner who offers words of encouragement, trust and love with everything that I do.
I think everything though is underpinned by one thing only and that is, love.
I have understood this later in life.
I realised that there are situations that happen to us and people who enter (and leave) certain times of our lives who (knowingly or unknowingly) act as our guides and who teach us something about ourselves in the process.
These ‘markers’ are all around us but it’s up to us to realise what they are saying to us. (Sometimes they say nothing at all. They just pop into your life and it’s up to us to question why and find that answer within ourselves).
In some way, a gratitude diary, a blog post, a meditation is some way of being able to locate who and what these markers are which then opens the door for deeper self-reflection.
On Wednesday at the Mindfulness Moment, I frivolously responded, “I’m grateful if I just breathe every day”. Of course, my health is number one and on deeper reflection, I’m grateful for so much more in my life.
Leaving aside the personal aspect, professionally, I’m grateful that I started the journey many years ago to start using social media and find a wonderful group of people – my network – people who come from incredible backgrounds and whom I would never have otherwise met.
In the process, these people have become collaborators and best of all, my friends around the world. I have worked with them on different projects such as books, films, events, conferences and so much more – that have helped me shape the person I am and the work that I am doing today. I’m in a happy place for now and it’s all because of them.
Some have stayed with me along the way over the years but many have long since left my life, while others fondly pop in and out and who make me smile probably unaware of the impact they have made on me.
I’m grateful for all of them all for making me a better person.