A New Way to Live and Work in 2022
Sometimes you’ve just gotta walk outside and look around at nature. Look at the sky, look at the flowers and the trees. Surround yourself in the beauty…
Because whether it’s a pandemic, climate change, fires, or floods… these things are going to happen! It’s hard to ignore that they are all happening at a more accelerated rate. We’re also made more aware of these changes because the media requires us to be.
So… HOW CAN WE ADAPT to KEEP JOY in Our Life??
We must live life differently now.
We must work differently too.
We must be more intentional about how we do everything… even in how we look at nature.
It’s time for a new way to live and work.
If we wait for something or someone before we can make a decision, create action, or do something outside of our comfort zones… If we wait until we figure it all out… if we wait until other people tell us to, until the right job, opportunity, timing, or the right relationship…
…Then we may be waiting too long and will be behind in our journey for a new way to live and a new way to work that will bring our lives more joy and success.
The world is accelerating with all the things that are happening around us becoming more extreme–like our Earth’s climate change and the global pandemic, two huge things that force us to have to DO something NOW to address things and to be a part of the change!
And so, for me personally, when I look at my daily activities (which I have a lot of!), I have to ask myself:
What do I have to do today to make sure I’m really living in JOY?
Like yesterday afternoon, I found myself looking out at a pink sky. It was this beautiful sunset,… and I felt the need to take that in for a bit… for my fight for JOY in that moment. So, I took a 30 minute break and went outside to see what it may offer. I walked around the park so I could look at the sky in its full beauty and to just look at everything–not to just take pictures of it, but to really look at it and be a part of it.
During the in-between moments, as I was drawn to my device, I chose to take those moments to send small, sweet messages to loved ones. It’s important to connect with others we care for, to stay connected, and to nurture these connections.
This brings in to our lives and shares to others’ lives so much more JOY than we give it credit for.
Well… I choose to give it more credit!
To fight for my JOY and the JOY of others is how I’m choosing to make my life have more meaning in every moment!!
For me, the first steps to take towards this new way of living would be to figure out the structure of my day… the structure of how it REALLY is.
And then, to figure out what’s important to me. You know what? …that really does require some intentional thinking.
As I’m thinking about it, I achieve this by writing out a list of intentions. I do journaling… pages and pages of writing to figure out what’s important to me. I also write out what my goals are and what my intentions are for the upcoming year… it’s a lot, and that works for me.
You can do this more simply by thinking about and writing down the main things that you want to focus on in your life right now. Talk about your whys and what the outcomes would be like. Talk about how it may make you feel to accomplish these things, and how you plan to fight to achieve these things.
We shouldn’t think of these as resolutions, but rather mottos to live by. For example,
- this is the kind of woman I want to be; or
- this is the kind of man I want to be; or
- this is the kind of person I want to be in this moment.
So no matter what happens, if there’s a fire out there, I can still move forward with grace. If there’s some new thing that happened in my job… I can move forward with grace no matter what the obstacle.
I have this motto of how I like to handle all the different situations that can happen. This means in all parts of my life as well, not just one part or another, but ALL. I think it’s good for us to pick some things about how we want to function in life… at work and in our personal lives.
We usually separate these two things… work and personal life. But I’m not very good at my job when I don’t have a personal life, I’m not very good at my work if I only play, and I’m not happy in my personal life if I am not performing well at my work.
It’s about finding that balance of making sure that I have really dealt with my body, my mind, my spirit, and my emotions in my day to day, and I have ways in how I want to interact with the world in that way.
That’s very philosophical, but how do you make that practical?
I was feeling super overwhelmed during the first week of January with the deadlines and things that were put upon me by my different customers in my corporate job. I really let it get to me in that moment.
And then…I remembered!
I made a commitment to myself that I was going to be strong in these moments. And I wasn’t going to let anything overtake me, no matter how good or bad. That I was going to be grounded in my spirit and in what I felt as the highest and the best intention for myself and those around me, and I’m going to stand in that integrity.
So this takes us back to my escape out to the park yesterday. I did my writing. I walked around the park, watched the sunset, meditated, got my power back inside my body and mind… And then, I pushed back!
I found my backbone!
I pushed back with a plan to move forward with goals to handle those who were pushing on me and in my life.
I’ll tell each of them, “Here’s what I will do... Here’s what I won’t be able to do... Here’s what I can promise... Here’s what I can’t do until I have full resources. And here’s what I want.“
It takes courage to find and show your backbone, but you can’t have that courage if you’re not taking care of your WHOLE self first.
For me personally, I work remotely, so I need to setup my desk so I can work well, stay focused, and have everything I need in front of me when I need it. I also must make sure I’m eating correctly, call people to connect socially, and doing the things for self-care DAILY like my meditation and exercises like walking or being in nature. Without these essential other tools in my day-to-day, it is unnecessarily challenging for me to have backbone in my work. With these tools, I can live up to my needs so that no one can push me into a corner to do things that are going to stress me out, overtake my progress, and ultimately impede upon my fight for joy.
I know that what I’ve created at my work has potential to be amazing!…. if I have the right resources.
So, with that, my promise to myself is that I won’t commit to something that breaks this process down. Not just for myself, but for all the people that trust and depend on me. I want to make sure to really, honestly connect with what it is I can realistically do. And then… leave the rest up to something bigger! Not to try to fix it, freak out about it, or allow it to make me so stressed out to the point where I become unable to operate efficiently and effectively.
Easier said than done, right?
But by having this motto, you can let something that once would have set you back weeks, months, or even years — turn around in only about 24 hours.
A recent story in my career that showed me that this works, was how recently I found my backbone and told my boss “this is just not going to work…” and “here’s what I can and will do…”
Instead of my boss standing up to me when I don’t show my backbone, she replied, “Oh, I’m so sorry! Yes, you’re right.”
As soon as I stood up for myself, everybody and everything else just naturally fell in line. And the best thing about this method, I didn’t have to do it in a painful way; I didn’t have to do anything inappropriate or far-fetched with myself or for my boss; I didn’t have to be outside of my integrity with my team or the project.
This way, I am able to live up to my commitments of the actual job that I do in a HEALTHY manner. It also allows me to live up to the commitments to my spiritual path and promises to myself. I’ve found that following this method has been the ultimately best way for all involved.
Working in a new way during a pandemic has made everybody look at the whole planet from the same situation where we have to reevaluate everything.
We have to reevaluate our health… we have to reevaluate how we work… we have to reevaluate how we interconnect… and we have to reevaluate how we take care of ourselves. And these deep reevaluations can be really challenging.
It’s so easy to just say things like, “Oh, well, I can’t see my friends… so it’s not going to work.” Or “I can’t go into the office, so it’s not going to work.” And we carelessly allow the challenges of the pandemic to hold us back and throw us off track from our goals and desires.
Create 3 Thriving Themes
We CAN find ways to thrive no matter what obstacles are put in front of us.
To help do this, start by coming up with three themes of how you ideally want to function differently this year. You don’t have to do it like I do… with 33 pages of goals and intentions. That’s can be a little obsessive and intense, but it makes me feel better to get everything written out and it helps me live up to those words I write.
Just come up with just three areas in your life where you want to hold your space and take your power back to make sure you’re living your life the way you want to live it.
With those themes, no matter what your job is, what kind of work you do, or how you work in the world, you’re going to feel like you’re alive and thriving. Versus, if you don’t do it, you can have the coolest job in the world but hate it because you are not living by your own values.
We have to set our own values. We can’t let the world decide this for us.
Right now, when there’s so many amazing things going on that are good and there’s also so much intensity around us that is stressful — dealing with a pandemic and all of the rhetoric and health issues, people literally dying, and everybody on the globe handling all this in different ways — it can be really easy to get caught up with everything and lose track of our values and goals.
To avoid all that, ask yourself simple questions like, “what do I need to do today that is the healthiest thing for me and those around me?” And “What do I need to do to be able to move forward with this next step in my life and my work?”
Like this week, I can’t even explain to you the unsurmountable amount of action items I had to deal with in all of my businesses. So I just kept going into my meditation like…
“Spirit source, universal intelligence… please show me what I need to do and know. I’m feeling nervous. Show me where I need to live up to those three themes I set forth… those three main guidelines I’m focusing on this year to work differently. So I don’t have to work in fear, but rather work smarter and thrive through this time.”
Already midweek, I’ve accomplished much more than I ever expected!
And making it more meaningful, I’m leaving for out of town next week and, as you may also experience, whenever we leave town, we feel like we have to have all our work done, to double-up on our tasks so we can leave without worrying about it while trying to vacation. And already, I feel like I’ll be able to leave without frantically overcommitting (and under-performing).
Nothing’s really any different.
What’s different is that I’m approaching this from an intentional, mindful place of looking at what’s really important, versus what I *think* is important.
Instead, really listen to your intuition, your source, or your truth… however you like to think of it. If you really listen to that — you will understand that we all have this individual knowingness that all of us can learn to tap into. And if we don’t do that, than our bodies fall apart, our minds fall apart, our relationships fall apart, and our jobs fall apart…
It’s really important to listen to your internal rhythm. It’s much like the rhythm of your heartbeat. This is where meditation can be powerful. When in meditation, you can silence outside noise and confusion to more clearly hear your life’s heartbeat so you can follow your life’s natural rhythm with confidence and peace of mind.
Every part of life has a heartbeat that allows for a natural rhythm and flow in our lives that we can tap into and learn how to see living life through a new lens–to work and live in a different way.
Find Your Entry Point
Many wonder how you suddenly start living “differently” and stick to it. It’s all about finding an entry point that’s right for YOU.
You know, for some people, they’re very physical. Our physical health can influence how we live our lives. It can hold us back and hinder our mental health to the point of spiralling into depression when our bodies are in pain, for example.
For me personally, I have struggled with a huge amount of health problems in my life – and even still just this past year was very tough for me health-wise. Due to the pandemic, I needed to shift the way I thought of exercise and strengthening my body, so I started committing to a certain amount of steps each day. Which, I find is not really my thing… But, regardless, I committed, and so I’ve started walking more! It has really helping my body and, in turn, my mind and given me more motivation in my everyday living of life. For me in this sense — walking was my entry point to live “differently” during this time.
You may be more work-driven and find your entry point around that, such as finding a new job. Maybe it’s to first learn how to like the job you have. Or perhaps to outline your work in a resume, asking yourself things like — “What are the things I like about my job? What are the things I don’t like about my job or role or the work I do?” or “Where am I and where am I not feeling fulfilled in my work?”
First we have to do some discovery within. Find some areas where you feel an entry point that is important to you.
Another example may be around exhaustion. That entry point may be then how to find some places to rest? Taking a bath, reading a book, or watching the movie? It’s very different for everyone. I know I sometimes feel like watching a movie will be restful, but then I don’t feel rested afterwards but more wound up. So really listen to your inner rhythm and what it is needing.
I read an article recently talking about how people are sleeping more because they are more exhausted from all the stress in their lives, but how they don’t feel rested afterwards. There’s all these different areas in our lives that we need to slow down so we can truly let our body rest. Because otherwise, all our adrenaline keeps us in fight or flight mode and then we can’t actually rest–even though we’re sleeping more or, like me, watching a peaceful movie.
This is where meditation helps… taking baths… taking quiet time where you unplug from the world, from your phone, and devices… where you don’t talk to anybody. Look at the sky or the ocean and just be quiet. Don’t even listen to music. Just be in the silence and stillness for a bit. These are just a few entry points to calm down if exhaustion is your thing.
Once you find some entry points, then you might find some other tools that help – those entry points lead you to resources and means that you never thought about before.
For example, I created the Fighting For Your Joy website and e-course after understanding all of these entry points that I have used over the years to heal myself from trauma responses and health issues and realizing they can help others too.
And another example is how I came into recruiting. I was bedridden and couldn’t perform anymore, couldn’t get on stage to sing. I couldn’t do anything I was used to anymore. So, I found a career that I enjoyed that I could do while I was healing and immobile.
So, sometimes our biggest obstacles can actually be incredible entry points for a whole new YOU!
What I like to tell people in this regard is to follow your pain.
Usually what you’re most angry about, most frustrated about, or most hurt about–that’s where your entry point is. That’s where a lot of energy is, and if you can transform that energy, that can help you completely transform the way you live your life.
Another example of this severe pain turned into an entry point was recalled the beginning of the year with the anniversary of when I lost a baby that caused crazy postpartum and was one of the hardest points of my life. And I’ve had a hard life, so it’s really hard for me to imagine that it was the hardest, but it was big.
That time caused all this physical, emotional, and psychological pain. And it took several years for me to overcome, but if you look back, that entry point of pain and sadness and depression helped me to then go to Africa, help others, and ultimately find my life purpose!
I didn’t realize at the time, it was to be my life purpose.
I was just following my inner guide, that rhythm, to what was the next step to heal my pain. And that led to my life purpose — to founding OneMama.
That same kind of journey led to all my fighting for joy tools that I’ve used to heal myself and become the woman I want to be in this world.
And so, we created this Fighting for Your Joy course as a gift to share with people who commonly ask me, “How did you help yourself crawl out of all the painful situations you’ve been through in your life?”
Sometimes the easiest entry point is found through daily meditation. Follow your spirit, ask the Universe to show you what is next for you.
There are also a huge array of resources and inspiration in books. Visit your local library or bookstore, or browse online to find something that calls to you. Or maybe podcasts call more to your interests. Whatever it is, carve out time for that as often as you can. (Don’t wait! No excuses!!)
You’re also welcome to come to our Fighting for Your Joy course as a free resource. It helps me feel like I’m not alone in this. I’d love to hear your feedback, comments, and start some conversations around this new way to work in 2022 and fighting for your joy.
So, if you’re feeling called to something, forget, “I’ll do that later.” These are our intuitive moments where our spirit is giving us some guidance, and those are the moments we can learn how to work and live in a new way. A better way for yourself and those around you. Fighting for YOUR joy, and the joy of others <3.
With Much JOY & LOVE,
Siobhan “OneMama” Neilland
“We all want to feel like we are loved and we matter in this world!”
Want to learn more? Visit fightingforyourjoy.com.