January 2023 – Jennifer McKinney
How to Gain Clarity
There are many things we were not taught. Many things we are learning and passing on to the next generation. Things like letting go of perfectionism; how to work with our emotions; how important things like our thoughts and words actually are, and how to find clarity on what we truly want. These have been learned through self-exploration, but never through traditional streams of education, and often not even from our parents and guardians who were not taught these skills.
We are at the beginning of a calendar year, which often elicits goals of taking advantage of a fresh start. We set intentions for what we want to invite in throughout the new year, but as we also now know, for greatest results, setting the intention takes some strategy. If we align ourselves more with the seasonal calendar, winter is the first step in creating intentions for the upcoming cycle.
In winter we slow down and go inwards. We meditate on what the previous year brought us; we explore our role in the outcomes we received; we peel back what may have been getting in the way, and we get CLEAR on what seeds we want to plant for the new year. This work requires bravery. It requires a season of pause before “springing” into the next goal. Slowing down is a big part of the phase of winter, giving more time for reflecting and processing the previous cycles. Slowing down allows you to notice what is and isn’t working. For this, finding frequent moments of peace, digital detoxes, meditation and prayer allow you to cut through the constant stimulation that is our current experience as humans. You have to knowingly wade into the noise, sit in it and allow the noise to settle around you to find the gems of truth that are always there below the chaos.
Questions to ponder in the peaceful moments: Reminder: You have all winter to explore these questions.
● How satisfied am I? (Apply to specific topic or keep it general)
● How do I want to feel this year?
● When I look through the lens of God/My Highest Self/Love, what do I see for myself this year? What is their vision for me?
● What is keeping me from moving forward? Where is there lots of struggle?
● What drains my energy most?
● What currently makes me feel alive?
The next layer to finding clarity for your new year is to express what you found in the quiet. Write it down, speak it out loud, create art with it as your muse, move your body to reflect the truths. Let it flow through and out of you, and then, pause again. Repeat the process a few times, exploring different things. After the introspection, after the expression, you digest. You tend to what needs healing, you rest and you revisit the expressive creations frequently, adding layers if you feel it’s needed, possibly getting additional support for moments that feel too deep for self exploration. There tends to be a lot of letting go and accepting what is, hopefully from a place of love and understanding for the human experience. Then, as if suddenly, you begin to see, you begin to feel what’s needed next. Slowly and simply you start to make a game plan for the next season, spring. You start to gather new tools and teachers; you invest in creating change; you build momentum in the form of foundational habits and small tweaks throughout the winter months. When spring rolls around, you are ready to spring into further action.
Clarity thru Crave
Big goals and projects may take many cycles before the momentum is there and this is very normal. Building a business, changing your habits, learning new skills all take years. This is why allowing plenty of time to reflect and get clear is so important … otherwise it is very easy to get lost in the weeds. It’s as if the moments of inner work are equivalent to pulling the weeds of your metaphoric garden, clearing all the stuff that became overgrown or neglected throughout the year. When I think about my time with Crave one of the biggest benefits was the space to dig deep and get clear on what I wanted to create. I had the idea of an online wellness program, but the project seemed too daunting. I lacked clarity. The workshops, the time to brainstorm with a trusted group, the professionals I got to meet and learn from through Crave were a very crucial part of the final product that will actually launch this SPRING!!! Five years in the making and it all started with the mindful mapping of Crave activities that unveiled my vision.
Jennifer McKinney, Crave I Leader
Foundational Fitness Online Wellness