You know that dream you have of becoming a this or that or reaching here or there? What is pursuit of that goal producing in your character? It’s a gentle question with a light reminder that prolonged hunger can sometimes trigger things like irritability, frustration, despair, desperation and just plain stinky-personality syndrome.
I’m a fan of focus just like you and find procrastination a l’il annoying, even if I’m the one doing it. But – y’know something? We might impress people with our jam-packed schedules, blink-less stares, meticulous training marathons or blistered busted-up toes, but it’s really important to do a self-check to monitor or upgrade our state of mind and quality of life at intervals along the way.
How many times have you read about billionaires with poor values, heard about a high-profile someone who slowly or suddenly gave up on life, or watched a heartbreaking documentary of a famous musician who teeter-tottered between creative excellence and mental torment?
What happened to Whitney Houston woke me up in a big way – one of the most beautiful known voices on the entire map – gone…and like that.
Don’t ever doubt that your quality of life counts for something.
Where do you find yourself on the health and wellness scale when it comes to reaching for your dream? I often have to ask myself the same thing, since I have a tendency to dedicate every ounce of muscle and pour a massive amount of energy towards anything I’m working on or fixated with.
When I was running a 24hr vocal studio while gigging, coaching and traveling in between (with studio gear in suitcase), there were many sleepless nights, travel hiccups, money-collection arm wrestles and missed meals (’cause you’re not supposed to eat up to about 2 hrs or so before singing.)
Most of it was exhilarating – some moments were relaxing (like in the pic above), but oh the heartbreak and headaches amidst all the highlights. Now, as I’m preparing to release new songs and share them soon with you, it’s with fresh joy that springs from a heavenly place, a healthier perspective, and a refreshed work-from-home lifestyle.
So, I want to encourage you too ’cause I know what it’s like to work hard, sleep little, eat barely, and sweat like a mule for your goals, while trying to keep up with the curve balls life tends to pelt your way and squeeze in time to ‘slow down’ in between.
Let’s get to today’s 9-point checklist. There’s no point system for this, so don’t feel pressured ok? You can write your replies to the questions coming up in your journal or somewhere you can reflect on them in your quiet time.
SELF EXAMINATION CHECKLIST
Some of these questions may be uncomfortable to process; I don’t mean them to be. If it’s too heavy right now, guard your mind, skip that one for now and tackle one that’s lighter. This isn’t a test and I’m not a counsellor; just a sister who is often challenged by the same questions. There’s no time limit to answering these prompts but having the courage to delve into them and pour out each answer on paper is extremely helpful.
These kinds of exercises can sometimes stir up suppressed tears, unaddressed aches and on a brighter note, joyful nudges forward. Don’t bully yourself; be kind. Honest, yes…but kind. The world is rough and getting rougher by the day; treat yourself with love.
Got that pen and paper or a journal? The Notes section on your phone can work too; you’re just likely to type faster than you’d write and ideally we want this process to be gentle, not rushed. So, let’s grow:
- What does success look and feel like to you?
- Would you say you’re happy about, driven by or obsessed with your dream?
- What’s the air, lighting and volume like in your creative workspace. In a/c or dim booths or rooms a lot? How often do you enjoy fresh air moments and quiet time? Do you crave or avoid it?
- When you think about your dream, what thought and emotion spring to the surface first? Are you able to enjoy that expression of artistry without becoming consumed with the business element of it? Are you genuinely happy for others when you see or hear about their highlights or do you roll your eyes at the oddness of it all? Do you want what ‘they’ have, honestly admire who ‘they’ are as a person or are you looking forward to what’s set aside just for you?
- How, what and when are you eating? How’s that daily water intake and movement coming along?
- What’s it like being around you? We can all get pretty self-absorbed when we’re ready, and in The Arts, it’s no secret that the nature of our business is known for being magnetic and full of fans screaming your name…but when the mic, camera and spotlight are switched off, what are we like behind-the-scenes in everyday moments?
- What are the 3 main fruits in your conversations with others? Are they alkaline or acid? Sweet or sour? Hot, warm or cold? Tip: Two key that helps me recognize subtle signs of tension or fatigue are pace and tone of voice, whether mine or somebody else’s. I notice my pitch, breathing and rhythm change when speaking about different subjects or to different people, especially when rushed. Next time you’re in a conversation, pay attention to how you’re speaking and what you’re ingesting by listening. Because ‘misery loves company’, anxiety can be contagious if we’re not conscious.
- How do you rest and refresh? Do you rest and refresh or is it go-go-go all the time? How does that affect your creativity, attitude and self-care routine when no-one’s looking, listening or applauding? Make a note to make a change for the better if you notice a pattern of having high energy boosts followed by sharp collapses. Don’t be embarrassed about needing to recharge; you are not an ox or a robot and aren’t created to be one.
- How calm is your mind when you go to sleep? What mood do you usually wake up in?
I’m happy for you already, and am gonna close here, in case your pen is poised by paper ready to pour out more.
Maybe you, like me, recognize patterns that can change for the better with time and by grace. If we were in the same room right now, I’d make you a hot drink then close the door behind me to give you some space to process and just be.
Maybe a few tears pooled by the corner of your eyes while reading or writing just now…maybe one fell and maybe some are on the way…but that’s ok. Many an angry soul was hiding a loud cry and sometimes frustration springs from never having addressed pent-up emotions.
Tears can be healing, and if tender is what you’re feeling right now, that’s ok. This world could do with a lot more tenderness right about now. And you are being an active part of that process.
Yay for you!
Wanna share something to encourage someone else reading this? If so, you can in the comments. You might be sweetly surprised to know you have something special to share that someone else needs to hear through you today.
But if that feels like too much right now, I understand. Go ahead and write some more, get some fresh air or just rest your eyes from the screen for a bit.
Thanks for reading, sharing time here and growing through the questions in today’s post. Nuff’ love.
‘WHO ARE YOU BECOMING AS YOU PURSUE YOUR DREAM? | SELF-EXAMINATION CHECKLIST’ was first published on itsjoywithin.com