By Jennifer S. Wilkov
Survivor – Author – Collaborator
Celebrating Humanity Gracefully
“Fanning the Flames of the Human Spirit”
Every day we as women have plenty of opportunities to say yes or no to what’s happening in our lives and the invitations we receive. Someone is always attempting to enroll us in something! A new friendship, relationship, event, class, business, project, school trip for a child, romantic getaway vacation for two, girls’ night out – the list is endless.
What you say yes to determines how, where and when you will grow. There are no guarantees that the choices you make will all work out perfectly for you in the end. The truth is you’re most likely making them based on the information you have, word of mouth, what you’re looking to experience and focus on, and how you feel each opportunity can enrich and enhance your life, right?
Amidst the multitude of choices we receive, seldom do we find one that allows us the safe space to challenge ourselves, discover new perspectives and people, experiment with new approaches and ideas for living and working, and stretch ourselves beyond our day-to-day patterns, habits and comfort zones.
When these types of invitations come to you, think for a moment about how you respond:
- Do you feel like you don’t have the time for this?
— So when do you take time for you?
- Do you feel like avoiding these invitations and get-togethers?
— So do you stop to measure and see what’s really resulting from your choices?
— How are you seeking new approaches and perspectives?
- Do you feel like you’re already overcommitted to other people?
— So when do you focus on you, your dreams and your life?
- Do you feel uncomfortable talking about yourself and sharing your life and experiences with others?
— So how do you practice connecting with others so you feel safe and confident?
Start with this:
Give yourself the gift of 30 minutes some time during the next week. Take out your calendar now while you’re reading this article and schedule this. Make the appointment with YOU.
During your 30 minutes, reflect on:
- what you feel is easy and effortless for you
- what you want to learn and discover now
- what you’d like to “take into the laboratory” and experiment with and
- how you’d like to stretch yourself
Breathe for a few minutes as you think about these questions and then write down your answers.
This is a simple exercise where you take time and invest it in you. Of the 10,080 minutes you have each week, 30 minutes is less than 1% of the total time you receive and are responsible for investing in the life you said you wanted.
This exercise is how your life gets the opportunity to be considered by YOU and how you can direct the changes you’d like to make.
All by itself, this exercise may challenge and stretch you. It will give you 30 minutes to discover more about you and experience and experiment what it feels like to focus on you and what you want now.
If it feels good, schedule another appointment with you. If it doesn’t feel good, still schedule another meeting with you.
We rush our lives – sometimes too much – in an effort to get to everyone and everything. You may get lost on the path to what you said you wanted for yourself or what you want has changed because you have grown.
To stretch and grow, you must carve out the time for discovery and experimentation, conversations and celebrations, and consider what’s right for you right now.
During these precious minutes each week that you invest to challenge yourself and really look at the life you lead, you may discover more about the way you’re leading your life and what you’re willing to do differently to get to the life you want.
So when that next seldom invitation comes in to enroll you in an opportunity to focus on YOU, how will you respond? Will you pass it up this time? Or will you take it with you into your 30 minute appointment that you set aside with YOU and consider it?
The choice is up to you.
How will you stretch yourself today?
And what are you willing to say YES to?
You can do it!
For a great opportunity to learn more about challenging, stretching, discovering and experimenting YOU, join me and Michele Mattia for the Deliciously Fabulous YOU Retreat in New York City in May. Early commitment special pricing is available to honor the time you are dedicating to YOU. To learn more and to register, go to http://deliciouslyfabulousyouretreat.eventbrite.com
© 2011 Jennifer S. Wilkov. All Rights Reserved.
Jennifer S. Wilkov
Jennifer’s passion for communication has led to her being a # 1 radio show host, a best-selling award-winning author, a dynamic speaker, an award-winning freelance writer, a successful book business consultant and an enthusiastic entrepreneur. She survived being incarcerated in Riker’s Island, one of New York’s most violent prisons, after inappropriately being told to plead guilty to a crime she didn’t commit by an attorney who mishandled her case. Jennifer continued to succeed as an author, entrepreneur and speaker after enduring this devastating, unimaginable experience. She knows what it takes to live the life you love in the face of any challenge. She loves to inspire audiences everywhere with the insights, knowledge and wisdom she has gained so participants take action. Jennifer fans the flames of the Human Spirit in each audience member and empowers them to tell their story, express it transparently, leap powerfully into their lives and at last live the life they’ve imagined. For more information, www.jenniferwilkov.wpengine.com.