Totally bored of Personal Development as Usual? 5 Things to Try Instead
My problem with personal development is that it’s often very. Serious.
And people say things like ‘love and light’ to sign off emails.
But I like to laugh, and be silly, and connect with people! Not just sit on a rock, gravely contemplating life. So I shy away from people who take pictures of themselves with hashtag selflove and hashtag Sunday surrender.
Yes, self love is important, and yes it’s a good idea to take some time to rest, but do we need to be so solemn about it all? Hell NO!
So I have tried to change it up. Here are my top tips for personal development with a giggle.
1. Laughter is the best medicine.
Whatever’s going on, if you can laugh at it, it will be better. If you can’t laugh at it, laugh at yourself. If you can’t laugh at yourself, draw some eyebrows on your dog or baby and laugh at that instead. If you don’t have an animal or a child, look up Jimmy Fallon on youtube, or watch something else quick and funny. But laughter lightens the load, and lets you come back at whatever the problem is from another angle.
2. Get outdoors and move your body.
Ideally, both at the same time. You don’t need to do anything hard core, in fact, if you’re stressed that will be counterproductive. But go for a walk, swim in the ocean, breath amongst the trees. Exercising releases endorphins (which make you feel happy) and being outdoors has been shown to boost your mood. Double whammy! And all you need is five minutes of moment in the great outdoors.
If you’re looking for an easy way to get outside, move, and look at your life, join me for a Mindful Adventure!
3. Be serious if you want to be.
I don’t think personal development needs to be serious. But I also think the only way to grow past negative emotions is to actually feel them. Let yourself experience them so you can leave them behind.
An example of this from my own life is the grief of my father’s death. He died in 2000, and I did a very good job of pushing all the sadness and grief down, down, down inside me. I didn’t properly experience it, so I couldn’t properly release it. I didn’t realise the impact at the time, all I wanted was to not feel sad.
Refusing to experience and acknowledge the pain stopped me from cleanly moving forward. It wasn’t until early in 2014 that I had an alignment session with my amazing coach and mentor that the blackness I’d carried around for almost a decade and a half came up and I truly experienced it. Afterwards I felt spent, but lighter. Free-er.
So if there’s something dark that you need to go through, really won it, and feel it, and then let it go.
4. Find your way of being silent.
I used to REALLY resist meditating. In fact, I couldn’t even see any point to it, and laughed at my friends who were early adopters. I couldn’t fathom any reason at all to meditate. But then one day I started doing some yoga. And I found a bit of stillness in me. And I liked it, so I kept doing a bit more yoga, and realised I use it as a moving meditation.
I have also always loved to hike. Amongst the trees, silent (not the whole time, obviously! I’m a talker!), moving my feet right…left…right…left. Listening to the leaves underfoot, the birds above. It’s a place I can allow the silence, which leaves me with a calmness I can’t always find.
I do meditate now, but I still often find it difficult and use a lot of guided meditations. But now that I know the benefit I work harder to stay on the mat.
Find your silence. Don’t force it, just allow it. The mirror will be held up.
5. And from the shadow puppeteer at the Adelaide festival years ago… “There is always, always time to play.”
If you want to live a joyful life, then you need to do joyful things! These can be different for everyone, there’s no fixed format for living happily, but you need to let yourself play in a way that makes you happy!
I love adventures, and love travelling and exploring the world. I love connecting with people (probably another reason I like travelling so much) and host parties and gatherings as often as I can. Instead of a honeymoon we had a buddymoon, and I organised for 25 friends to travel up the East Coast of Australia for 2 weeks with me and the hub. Fun!!
So find what you love, and play at it. After all, to paraphrase the Dali Lama ‘all you need to do to be happy is more of the things that make you happy and less of the things that don’t’.
Let yourself play.
What do you think? Can personal development be taken a little less seriously? What do you do when you need to get back to yourself for a while?
If you’re looking for a little adventure, connection and introspection on what’s working and what’s not in your life right now, then join me for a Mindful Adventure. More details here, it’s going to be amazing!
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