What I find really interesting, is that many of the key things I have learnt that have helped me thrive these last couple of years, only came into my awareness or integrated properly just before that (yessss I get it, that’s how it works Lol). Growing up I learnt all the basic human stuff like we all do (and accumulated some crappy habits and beliefs), but it was the juicy stuff that realllly helps you thrive that came later. I get it, I had to crawl before I could walk right?
Well what’s been on my mind lately is trying to broadly summarise some of the key things or concepts I have learnt in trying to navigate and thrive in this world. Six core things came to mind. This is not an exhaustive list and I invite you to sit in reflection about some of your own key learnings.
In the meantime though, here are my main thoughts.
Key Thing One:
Learn how to actively listen so you are not listening to respond. Put your own ego aside for a hot minute and open your heart to what might be being relayed to you. Paraphrase what the person is saying is to check for understanding.
In my experience, I have placed so much value in being able to respond quickly. For me, being able to engage straight away was a sign of intelligence. I had this belief that people would think I was stupid if I couldn’t contribute my thoughts or knowledge straight away.
What I have found is that I need a moment to pause and take in what is being said. When I take the pressure off being able to respond straight away and replace it with a genuine desire to understand, I am better able to comprehend what the person is trying to communicate. I am also better able to then determine what further information I need to take the next steps (whether that be confirming direction around a project or being a support person to a friend in crisis).
Key Thing Two:
If a friend or family member has come to you in heightened emotions or with a difficult situation they are trying to navigate. Ask them if they need you to help them problem solve or just listen and hold space.
This lesson very much leads on from the first (not actively listening). I used to jump into assistance with problem solving too quickly too often. I wrongly assumed this is what people needed when they were expressing the details of a difficult situation they were experiencing. Part of me also wanted to try and make it all go away or be better, I wanted to leave someone with a plan.
In the past, this led to frustration on behalf of the other person who actually just wanted someone to hear them out whilst they verbally processed what had happened to them; or at the end they just needed a cuddle and not a brainstorming session.
Now when I am faced with similar situations, I feel into what this person needs from me or I flat out ask. If I have thoughts on how they can improve the situation, and the person just needs someone to listen – I zip my lip. It’s not up to me to decide what this person needs or wants.
Key Thing Three:
Become more aware of your emotions and learn how to accurately label them.
In a world where we are conditioned to believe that outwardly expression of emotion is wrong and to doubt or question what we are feeling, this lesson hit me like a tonne of bricks (Yup, Good Girl over here!).
Still to this day, I sometimes struggle to identify what I am feeling. I am improving of course, but learning to identify my emotions, know they are energy in motion and know how to move them though my body has been a life changing realisation.
Key Thing Four:
Become curious about your bias, triggers, limiting beliefs and habits; and commit to addressing them with compassion, patience and love.
Knowing that I have an operating system that has tried to keep me safe, but hasn’t always helped me thrive has led to so much more compassion for myself and others.
I don’t believe for one second that I cannot change a way I have always done a certain thing if I identify it no longer serves me and I also don’t believe I was a failure if I have to change the certain thing. We do the best we can in any given moment, and when we commit to a life of self exploration, self awareness, self compassion and self growth – we get to be excited about integrating something new or changing a belief. HOWEVER we do not have to berate ourselves for our past. We look with compassion back and know that each version of ourselves is worthy of love and gratitude.
Key Thing Five:
Intuition is a freaking superpower.
I have always been super interested in all things spiritual. I got my first pack of Oracle Cards in my tweens and I loved talking all things afterlife with my Aunty from when I was even littler than that. But even though I had these interests, I still downplayed them in my everyday life. I questioned the existence of my intuition and valued the input of those I believed to be older, smarter and more powerful than I was (freaking Good Girl again!). But when I fully started to lean in to my intuition in 2020, I finally started to feel a sense of alignment and calm I had never felt before.
We experience and interact with this world in so many more ways than just our five senses. I would have looooved to learn this at school I tell you now lol.
Key Thing Six:
Our bodies are amazing including our incredible nervous system is incredible. Get to know it all!
Our bodies have absolutely incredible healing abilities. We have so much more power to create our existence through mindset and environment than we realise. Just two of the many things I have now come to learn about my body. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh damn if I had known so much of this earlier!
Tell me what you would include on this list?
Image: Text at the top says ‘Human Learnings’. Then there are six boxes of text that say
‘Learning how to actively listen’
‘Ask if someone needs to express themselves or if they want help problem solving’
‘Be aware of emotions enough to label them’
‘Become incredibly curious about bias, triggers, limiting beliefs and habits’
‘Intuition is a freaking superpower’
‘Our bodies are amazing, including our incredible nervous system’
The background is pale pink with a darker pink radiating out from the centre. To the bottom right are red flowers.