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Posted by on Sep 6, 2018 in Featured | 8 comments

Bring Your Strengths, Your Positive Best This Year

Bring Your Strengths, Your Positive Best This Year

Bring Your Strengths, Your Positive Best This Year


September has always felt more like a renewal time to me than January. Maybe it’s all the excitement that comes with the back to school momentum or the simple freshness of our air… especially after all the forest fires we’ve had this past summer in British Columbia. It sure is exhilarating to see blue skies again!

I just love September for setting up personal & professional goals and new routines. How about you?

Imagine that this year is going to be your best year yet!! What if every part of your life expressed your core values, the fullness of your true self, your vulnerabilities, and your creativities? What if you held an unconditional love for yourself this year? What if you started living fully on purpose?

Do you think about your purpose? I know it’s a huge question and one that doesn’t generally come to mind with your first sip of coffee in the morning… more likely its a question that often gets lost in the busy hectic day-to-day realities of just keeping up. But if you ask a child in the morning what they are excited to do today, they will likely have a whole lot to say! Say yes to that childish excitement in YOU.

Just imagine that all parts of your life exemplified your truest expression of the heart. Imagine your heart driven life. What does that mean to you? Not sure?

Take a moment and sit back right now… when is the last time you felt excited, vibrant, free? If your answer was “I woke up feeling that way this morning” you don’t need to read any further… but if you didn’t, let’s get a conversation going about a collective positivity consciousness this year – within ourselves, within our families, and within our communities.

Let’s get back to loving our lives, celebrating what is going right and helping each other with what’s not quite right. Research tells us that positive emotions transform us . Barbara Fredrickson’s research suggests positive emotions make us more resilient to setbacks, improve our relationships and may even change our biological map.

What happens inside you when you think about love, about vibrancy?

Feeling good, feeling grateful, feeling vibrant, can be a game changer no matter what the conditions are. When you mine your own core values, personal and professional strengths and the supports already in your life, pretty much anything is possible for you this year.

But what do you actually want more of in your life?

Lots of people can’t actually answer that question. Often people know for absolute what they don’t want or don’t like about themselves or about others. Why do we struggle to celebrate our strengths or the strengths of others? What stops us from being generous advocates for the gifts we all bring to the table? Are these modesty habits working for us or limiting our potential for joy and creativity? I’m a fan of the book Strengths Finder and now iTunes has an app you can download to your cell phone to discover what makes you unique https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cliftonstrengths/id650833234?mt=8

In the meantime, take a moment.. sit back and imagine being an observer of your life. You might even consider a grandparent or parent observing you in your life… what might they say about your life and how you have been living in it? And based on the wisdom of their lived existence, what is most important to you having experienced them? What do you want to carry forward? What will you do differently?

My Mother passed away in the last year, so for me, its all about family, connection, belonging, giving back, making a difference, creativity, sustainability, health… and love are some of the values that come to mind off the top.

What’s important to you when you reflect on questions about purpose and values?

Based on what comes to mind, what do you want to design for yourself this year? What is one new goal you might set for yourself?

I know, getting children back to school, hitting the lineups for books, opening up your wallet for back to school clothes and various sports programs, can feel a little pressured, chaotic and out of control.

But in those frenetic times when you pause and think of your values (like Family), how do those feelings of pressure give way to ease and love? Game changer eh?

It is amazing how tenacious and gripping anxiety can be when life feels out of control. And yet when we sit back and mine our experiences for values, our natural resiliency and resourcefulness will show up. We are a meaning-making species. And maybe doing this exercise connects us to a higher power of sorts.

When you consider meaning and values, your life will start to feel easy. Your calm whole bodied brain will activate your own personal internal VIBRANCY app!

When we spin our wheels just doing volumes of tasks without considering why we are doing these things, anxiety and burnout often result. We can feel edgy and critical of others. Small tasks can feel really tough. But when we sit back to reflect on our core values, life feels so much more purposeful again.

If you have just come back from summer holidays and face an ever-mounting pile of files on your work desk or in your home, ask yourself your WHY.

Why did you decide to join the field of work you are in? What spiritually drives your passion for the work you are doing? Who influenced your decisions to head into that field of work? Are you still in contact with that mentor today?

Let VIBRANCY shape this year.

V values can shape an innovative new direction for you without any major changes
I innovation often comes from setting time aside for creative thoughts
B be in your life this year with a little more intention rather than repeat old patterns
R rev up your physical body with some kind of commitment to exercise
A action plans work. So what is your operational plan for your dream?
N no is a full sentence – what will you say no to so you can say yes to a better year?
C clear away the negative thinking – your goals are totally within your reach
Y yes to stretching yourself — do something different every day to get dopamine going

If you want to build a better functioning society, family or relationship, start a conversation about a shared vision. If you build it, they will come – Field of Dreams. Build a collaborative conversation about strengths, vision, and measurable results.

Develop a collective, collaborative conversation about what holds you or others back from actualizing your best results? We all need to have those difficult conversations sometimes. We may start with the discomfort of negative beliefs or fears and notice that when we really get to the bare bones of those stories, we realize they were untruths… no longer blocks but places to build from.

What is your relationship to your strengths? Do you tend to shrink wrap your strengths or let them flow into your day? As you start to believe in yourself again, you will notice an increased vibrancy in every aspect of your life.

Don’t doubt you are a powerful agent of change. If you build it, they will come. Vibrancy attracts vibrancy. When you step up in your life, you will notice others around you do as well.

Spend a few moments this morning thinking of one strength you want to bring to your day today. You may value connection, and a strength you have may be leadership. In this example, how might you bring leadership to your workplace or to your family? One idea is to start your next meeting or breakfast by asking others what they see as being their five most prominent strengths.

You may value family and your strength might be playfulness. How might you design a more playful connection with your family? You might have a vibrancy jar in your kitchen which everyone could write their secret super strength for the day in. At the end of the week, you could draw one of the pieces of paper and celebrate whoever wrote that strength down, validating and affirming the ways you agree with their self-reported strength.

How much more can you love you and all the wonderful people in your life this year?
Make this your best year yet. Live your strengths.

What is your number one best strength? I’d love to hear from you. Post a reply below.

What’s got you excited to work on this year? Share please… you inspire!

Lets turn up VIBRANCY

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8 Comments

  1. How did you know I needed this encouragement morning. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks so much Brenda! Its great to hear you are reading my blog. It feels good for me to get back to writing again this year.. in fact that is one of my personal goals that I have committed to. It is fun connecting with wonderful people like you through this avenue of sharing ideas. You have encouraged me to keep doing it! 🙂
      Did you try that link to the Strengths App? It really is helpful to remember our personal gifts… I’d say your’s might be the generosity of spirit! Because you took the time to write a response!! Have a wonderful day.

  2. I just recycled the Marcus Buckingham books to our lending library in my neighbourhood. Hope someone acknowledges their strengths and uses them to the max.
    I’ve enjoyed incorporating grace to our meals. Being grateful, or acknowledging events, one another, etc. It is grounding and warm.
    My wish to be a contributor has come, not through the formal Emergency Social Services (I am a volunteer)but by hosting evacuated relatives, and looking for opportunities for the displaced children of the family. As long as the wish is out there, it may be fulfilled in an unforeseen way.
    I am loving being creative! Sewing like crazy, learning cello, like crazy. Joined the amateur symphony for this session!

    • You embody what it is to live meaningfully Mary. Thank you for sharing all the ways you live vibrancy… and make this world a better place… giving more than you get. It is neat that you have donated your books and set up rituals in the transitions of every day…AND you play the cello! A true renaissance woman!

  3. I am sorry to hear of your mother’s death, Jo-Anne. I remember the hug you gave me when my dad died and I send it back to you now.

    • Thanks so much for your friendship and caring Susan. I think of my Mom often, as I’m sure you do of your Dad. They are profound reminders of what is important every day. Hope all is well in your world. It is heartwarming to hear from you.

  4. I love reading your blog posts! Thank you. So inspiring ❤️

    • Thanks so much, Nikol. It is really nice to hear that. You inspire me to keep writing them! 🙂

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