What gets you out of bed in the morning?
An alarm. Someone prodding you. The desire not to get fired from your job. Noisy kids. The need to pay the bills. A cat. Ingrained habit. Or the smell of coffee…
How do you feel at the start of a new day?
This is the first part of a series I’ve put together with 23 gentle rebel collaborators, looking at how to find self-acceptance and true belonging when things around you feel like they’re falling apart. We are looking at six different questions that will help us nurture our deep serenity in the trenches of life.
The world can feel bleak. We are witnesses to great division in politics and society right now. Everything oozes with distrust, hostility, and fear. And it can feel alienating and isolating for those of us who desire space, time, peace, and calm.
The external call is ‘get involved or run away’. We either sink to the levels that create this atmosphere, or we bury our heads in the sand and hope that the storm will pass.
But neither option is good for us. They both take the power out of our hands, and place it into to hands of something ‘out there’.
You Are Not Alone
I created this new series of podcasts as a way to remind, first and foremost myself, that there is still cause for hope in our modern world. I’ve experienced many dark moments at the state of the world (and my own life) lately. But this is a project that has genuinely helped me massively. The process of putting it all together has been a great time of reassurance and encouragement. So I am excited to share this with you, especially if you’ve been feeling dejected about how things are.
What I’ve learned is, I’m not alone. And my vision for this project is that anyone who engages with it will know and feel that they too are not alone.
Designing a Gentle Life
As introverts and highly sensitive types, I know we can learn to use our natural preferences as a gift (even if they currently feel like a curse). We can do this without denying the full spectrum of experience and feeling that comes with it. But we don’t have to be subservient to our reactions. We can choose how to engage with, and respond to, the external events going on around us.
And we can begin to design life in such a way that we are fully aware of how our energy is affected by all manner of things. In order that we might identify how to create the abundance of energy we need for the things that matter most to us as individuals.
You don’t have to take my word for it. I have been joined by 23 amazing Gentle Rebels, who bring a whole range of backgrounds and experiences. They show that whoever you are, whatever you care about, it’s possible to take the reins and live a life of meaning and creativity as an introvert and/or highly sensitive person. Even when the world feels like it’s falling apart around you!
We will be hearing from:
Alice Southern | Beth Buelow | Boom Shikha | Cameron Airen | Carina Nickerson | Cat Rose | Jacob Nordby | Jacquelyn Strickland | Jim Woods | Jennifer Kahnweiler | Josie George | Lauren Sapala | Leah Burkhart | Mark Pierce | Michaela Chung | Nancy Ancowitz | Neil Hughes | Sarah Kuhn | Sarah Santacroce | Thea Orozco | Tracy Cooper | Tracy Guillet | Tuula Ahde
Where Do You Find Your Positive Drive?
So much of life is spent reacting to things, numbing ourselves, and ‘getting through’. We move from one thing to the next, hoping it might bring us the happiness, contentment, or peace we so desperately desire. And we don’t necessarily any positive drive or vision, moving us along the road.
There is a vague hope that one day things might change. And we tell ourselves that if only things were different (we had the latest gadget, the perfect job, a different partner etc), then finally our lives would fall into place. Most of the time this is little more than abstract magical thinking. And it keeps us dissatisfied and frustrated. It prevents us from engaging with life-giving truths about what we want driving us in our daily lives.
But what if our positive drive has nothing to do with having, changing, or being somewhere else?
Positivity isn’t about vague hopes and dreams. We can be driven in positive ways through the pain, chaos, and confusion of daily life. In fact, our positive motivations might come from the very heart of our struggles and challenges. Positivity isn’t about dreaming that things will be better one day. It’s about finding joy where we are, wherever we are, whatever is before us. And this lies at the heart of all change.
When Things Don’t Go To Plan
We are surrounded by messages that tell us we are supposed to be ‘living our best lives’. We need this or that, and we’ll find happiness and fulfilment.
“You’ve got to find your passion, live a life of meaning, and discover your purpose.”
These are really stressful messages, and can make us berate ourselves and beat ourselves up. But there is a theme that emerges over and over in the responses to this question…
We can be open to the messiness of mystery and creativity. This is often found by coming face to face with our personal (and collective) struggle and pain. Alongside an enjoyment of the most basic, simple aspects of life.
From these foundations we develop a deeper sense of perspective. Perspective about both our smallness on the one hand, and our potential on the other hand.
What are the positive drives for other people in everyday life?
It’s the simple things. The big things. The small things. And the mundane things. It’s the exciting things. Curiosity. Creativity. Serving. Having a nice lunch. Noticing. Observing. Helping. Relationships. Work. Rebelling. Feeling. Learning. Responding.
It’s everything and it’s nothing.