If you spend any time around me, you know that I'm an avid reader! I could talk your ear off about the books that I'm reading, how much I love my public library, and my favorite subscription box (spoiler alert: it involves books, not make-up!) Each year, one of my favorite bloggers writes a post in the middle of winter about what's saving her life right now? A few years ago, in the middle of the cold and grey days of winter, she adopted a habit of keeping a list–an actual, physical, pen and paper list–of the things that were actively giving her life in the middle of her least favorite season.
The idea actually comes from Barbara Brown Taylor's memoir Leaving Church. In her book, Taylor shares about a time she was invited to speak, and her host assigned her this topic: “Tell us what is saving your life right now." Most of us know what’s killing us, and can articulate it, if asked. But few of us stop to note what’s giving us life. Taylor says it’s too good a question to not revisit every once in a while: What are the things—big or small—that are saving us?
In fact, if you've followed Lara's Goal-Setting Series, you know that one of her 2017 goals is to live a year of radical gratitude and praise. This goal came out of her realization that she had been doing a lot of complaining recently, and that complaints are often clues; they reveal to us places in our heart where we aren't trusting. Her goal resonated with me because I've noticed the heaviness of our current climate weighing on many of those around me.
When she announced she was a hosting a link-up today, I thought it would be great for conversation within the Cultivate community, especially considering Punxsutawney Phil just forecasted six more weeks of winter for us all!
Here are a few things that are saving my life right now. I hope you'll share your lists below in the comments!
- Space Heater - Turning my space heater on in the mornings makes it easier to get out of bed in the winter, particularly if I have a 6am exercise class scheduled. I'm not ashamed to admit that I've been known to carry it from room to room in my house :)
- Six-Month Undated PowerSheets - While I'm a big fan of our One-Year Dated PowerSheets (which are sold out for the year!), one of the things I love about our Six-Month Undated Workbooks is the ability to start right where you are. We often say in the office, "There's nothing magical about January 1st!" to encourage friends to start cultivating what matters right then, and these PowerSheets Workbooks are the perfect tool for them! It's easy to start the year excited with big intentions and goals, but it can sometimes feel overwhelming to try to plan out action steps to make those happen. My PowerSheets (I have a work and personal set) give me a daily touchpoint to check in and make sure that how I'm spending my time is purposeful. We've opened preorders for a small batch of Six-Month Workbooks that are expected to ship in May, arriving just in time for June goal-setting. I hope you'll join us in living your most purposeful year yet!
- The Center for Civil and Human Rights - I visited the Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum in Atlanta last weekend for the first time, and I left speechless. According to their website, their purpose "is to create a safe space for visitors to explore the fundamental rights of all human beings so that they leave inspired and empowered to join the ongoing dialogue about human rights in their communities." The museum is engaging and interactive, and I read almost every word throughout each exhibit. It can be easier to look at some of the dark moments of our nation's history and want to turn a blind eye, but the final exhibit of the museum invites visitors to step into the hard work of thinking critically about what role they can play in changing the course of our future. It's worth a visit if you're ever nearby!
- Goody Large Claw Clips - I have good intentions each morning when I fix my hair for it to stay down, but by the end of the day it often ends up in a bun on top of my head! I had one favorite hair clip that I loved (it has plastic grips on the inside so your hair doesn't fall out!), and when it broke last year at MTH, I was incredibly sad because I hadn't been able to find the exact same ones! Unbeknownst to me, the sweet Rhi Bosse overheard me and happened to find them in her local Walgreens once she got back home. She sent me the sweetest video and a few days later, I got one of the best pieces of happy mail I've received!
- Asana - The Cultivate Team started using Asana last year, and it has been one of the best decisions we've made as a company! Our email inboxes have stopped filling up with to-dos, tasks aren't falling through the cracks, and we have a clear plan for what the next year looks like mapped out for everyone to see. Best part? It's free!
- Washing my face when I get home - I wish I could remember who first told me this trick a few months ago, but I've happily adopted it! If I don't have evening plans after work, I'll immediately wash my face when I get home. Not only does this help me unwind for the evening, but it also prevents me from talking myself out of washing my face late at night when I'm ready for bed, which I've been known to do more often than I should!
- Meaningful conversations - One of our daily PowerSheets goals at work is to have meaningful conversations. The ability to pause work for a moment to discuss a variety of things–whether they are work-related or not–gives our team an opportunity to step away from the to-do lists and re-energize. Not to mention it creates relationship equity!
- Amen Paper Co. - Our friends at Amen Paper Co. continue to surprise us with the products they are creating! Their Advent Devotional was not just beautifully done, but full of wonderful truths from some incredible women (including Lara!) throughout the holiday season. They launched their Lent Devotional yesterday, and we can't wait to get our hands on a copy!
- Enneagram - If you enjoy personality tests like Myers-Brigg and Strengths Finder, allow me to introduce you to the Enneagram! Most personality typologies explain “what” you do. The Enneagram, on the other hand, goes much deeper and explains “why you do what you do.” OnceI figured out my personality type, reading my profile was spot on (the negative things were cringeworthy because they were all so true!) This book is an easy and fun read and does a great job explaining the nine different personality types. Like any other personality test, this is an excellent exercise for team-building.
- Remembering that our words carry weight - This article reminded me that we have the capability to do good with the words we use, and listening to the words of others (particularly those who are not like us) can open our eyes to a new perspective.
There's an excerpt from my list, and now I want to hear from you: what's saving your life right now? Big or small, share below in the comments!
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