Courage to be Curious with Adina Tovell

A Courageous Look at 2021

December 29, 2021 Adina Tovell Episode 173
Courage to be Curious with Adina Tovell
A Courageous Look at 2021
Show Notes Transcript

How do you reflect on a year? If you typically take stock of what went well and how you can improve, with more attention to the latter (!!), let’s try something new. Tune in to learn more about our Courageously Curious approach to reflecting on this challenging and unusual year!

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Hi, this is Adina here with today's episode of courage to be curious with Adina Tovell. And if you are watching the video, you can tell from looking behind me that we are really focused on talking about how to close out 2021 and enter in welcome in 2022. But before we get into the meat of our episode, which is really on, what is the most productive way to go about reflections, and to go about planning for anticipating for the new year, I have my own takes on that, and I'm eager to share them with you. Before I do that, though, I just want to mention a few things to those of you who've been listening for a long time. We started this podcast, I think it's been podcasting about four and a half years as my daughter says, Mom, it's your business. Don't you know? Yes, it's been four and a half years been podcasting. encouraged to be curious, previously wonder your way too brilliant. And we are going to be taking a hiatus for a while because there are so many new things brewing for 2022, that we're redirecting our energies. And we'll not be releasing podcasts every week, as we have been doing now, with some gaps in there. But for four and a half years, we're going to share with you through our newsletter, all of the things that are coming up and through our newsletter and our emails, all of the things that we're be opening up in 2022. But you need to be on our list in order to get that information. So if you're already a subscriber, and you already get emails from courage to be curious, and from Adina Tovell, then you're good to go. And you're going to be finding out about everything. Just make sure that our emails are coming to your inbox and not into your promotions or your spam box. If you're not signed up, however, if you are a listener, but not a subscriber, and you are committed to personal development, you are committed to living your most brilliant life, to shining the light that's inside you to discovering all the wisdom that is stored in there and bringing it forward, then make sure you get onto our list. Now, you can do that by going to courage to be curious calm. The very bottom of the homepage, you'll see a newsletter signup button right there, get on our list, because you're going to want to be privy to what we're unleashing in 2022. So with that said, let me head into this week's episode. And then we'll come back again at the end of the episode and really close things out. One of the things that many people like to do at the end of the year is to take some time for reflection. Well, many people think that they would like to do this or think about doing this only some actually do. One of the beefs though that I often have with end of year reflections. And as many of you know, I'm Jewish, and we have a Jewish New Year that comes in the fall. And now we have the secular New Year, is that people often take an approach to reflecting on the year that is like, Okay, what did I do? Well, what didn't I do? Well, what do I need to do better in the coming year? And then that leads us to the all famous New Year's resolutions, which as you'll soon hear, I don't really love either. What I want to do today, though, is really debunk that proctored practice. I'm not even sure is that the right phrase, I want us to move past that, because I don't really believe that it is the most courageously curious approach to reflection. And I don't think it's the most productive and healthiest approach to reflection that we can engage in. And I would like to offer you an alternative today.

The thing I don't like about that kind of reflection, is that it sets us up in this kind of binary situation. We've done good things, we've done productive things we've done not good things. And what happens when we put those two things next to each other is it's amazing how little time we actually spend on what we did well, what we feel proud of what was really great, and how quickly we move ourselves to What didn't we do well, and what do we need to do better in the future? You've heard me say this so many times on podcasts. I attribute some of that to our schooling and the way that we kind of mark things down on tests and made perfection, the ultimate achievement level that we could aspire to. But none of that is actually true. And what I don't like to see is for people to start immersing themselves in and everything that didn't go quite right or that they didn't really like. Because we very rarely get to a truly productive place of where we want to go and how we're going to get there. And we don't spend as much time really celebrating and relishing all the wonderful things that have happened. And so here's my alternative, let's spend some time celebrating ourselves and who we were how we showed up what we engaged in what we prioritized, and even what we achieved in 2021 as a means of reflection. Let's keep it all in the positive. Because here's the secret, if we identify the positive and what went well, and we simply strive to keep doing more of that, and to expanding that, as we move forward into the next year, we're going to have addressed all those things that didn't go well, just because we're continuing to expand the goodness, we're continuing to expand from our place of strength, we're continuing to expand from who we want to be in the world. And that's a far better place to expand from them from a place of shame or regret. So just follow me on this. I want to invite everybody who's listening to because I'm only going to give you snippets here. But one of the things that you can do is go to the show notes. If you're not on our email list, if you are on our email list, you're going to have a link directly in the email that gave you access to this podcast. But if you are a listener who is not yet a subscriber, you can go to the show notes, and you can download our guide. So this is our 2021 year and reflection guide that provides a structure for doing this kind of reflection, the year end of 2021, and giving us a new way to start to think about how to move into 2022. So in broad brush, concept, here's what I would love to see you do. I'd love to see you spend time really carve out time, maybe it's on a long car ride, maybe it's by a toasty fire. Maybe it's just sitting in your kitchen, or as some of my clients like just say it's hunkered down on the floor of my bathroom, or nobody can bother me for some period of time, however it is you come by the time for reflection. Just pick up the pen, pick up your journal, or pick up a paintbrush or pick up you know, the phone and call a friend to do this with or somebody that you care about somebody that you love, I don't really care, what modality you use for reflection, but just carve out a little bit of time to do it. And when you download the guide, you're going to get some very specific questions in the guide. I'm just going to give you a sampling of some of them here. But what I want you to do, as I mentioned is I want you to really focus on what went well, you know, what do you feel proud of? What do you feel good about? And the very first question that I offer on the guide is who or what relationship made a meaningful difference in your life this year? Who or what relationship made a meaningful difference in your life. If you listen to the podcast last week, you know that I made a tribute to wil Wise, who was one of our podcast guests from September. And then he passed away in November. I had no idea at the time I interviewed him that we were within the final weeks of his life.

Here or somebody and I had no idea I reached out to him because I read his book. And I recognized the power of the questions that he asks the wisdom and the and the passion behind you know the his desire to help people be more connected to each other. And I saw I would like to know this person, I would like this person to be in my orbit. And it was amazing because in that hour and 20 minute interview that I had with him I can honestly say, I feel like my life was changed. I feel like he inspired me to look at myself differently. I feel like he inspired me to consider what I say how it is I convey it and how I show up in any given moment with deep intention, even more than I had been doing before. When I interviewed Well, his presence alone struck me so deeply. And it informed me and helped me to say what pieces of that. Would I like to become better at what I like to be able to replicate, or I don't want to say replicate, but make my own in my own brilliant way. That's really it. Right? I don't want to become better at it. I want to say what can I learn from this brilliant man that can help inform me to become even more brilliant myself, and how I show up in the world. And so here it was just in one encounter somebody who made a meaningful difference in my life. What a beautiful way to start out your reflection on a year, right? And the person you choose might be somebody very close to you. It might be somebody in your immediate family. It might be a pet, it might be somebody that you've met only once. It might be somebody at work. But who or what relationship made a meaningful difference in your life this year? The second question that's on the list, asks, whose life or lives Did you touch this year? in a meaningful way? I toyed with asking this question first. And then I remembered that most of us feel so much more comfortable, and find it so much easier to think about, you know, other people first than we do ourselves and to say, oh, my gosh, Who touched Me or made a meaningful difference in my life seems more accessible. And yet, it's really important for us to ask this question. whose lives didn't we make a significant difference? Who did we touch? Who did we make a difference for? In a way? Maybe we're aware of and maybe we're not. And so you might ask me, Well, do you know how can I talk about it, if I don't even know if I made the difference? It might be that you intended it. And you have no idea what the full impact was. But you did something that you hoped might have meaningful impact in somebody's life. We do that a lot. When we volunteer, right, we sometimes go to whether it's a soup kitchen, or shelter, or I'm Martin Luther King Day of Service or things like that. And especially in this day and age, we might contribute money to causes from, you know, the safety of our home and things like that, with the intention, that the contribution that we make, will have a make a meaningful difference in somebody's life. And just imagine, you know, maybe when you press that button, or you clicked it, you made a contribution or something like that. You did it from a place of saying, Oh, I really want to support that, or that's really good work. And maybe right now, in this moment of reflection, or when you sit down the guide, you're just sit down and allow yourself to linger in the experience. That what you really intended was to create some meaningful difference in somebody's life. Maybe you created to an organization that was helping to feed people during the pandemic. Maybe you're contributing to an organization that was trying to help students have a better learning experience, during the pandemic. Whatever it is that you were intending to do, how would it feel to give yourself the opportunity to really sit in that experience? And of course,

we're not only talking about contributions or service, we're talking about the person that you passed in the street. And you told them, wow, you look beautiful today, you had the sense that you made their day. Or like earlier November, when we talked to show rice and all through November when we ran the you matter marathon. And we talked about giving out cards that say you matter and conveying the message you matter to people. Maybe you did that, and you made a difference in someone else's life. However it is that you did, you have traveled close to 365 days here, and you have touched many people, take some time, reflect on that, see what it feels like. And for the additional five or so questions on this guide for reflecting on the end of 2021. Again, make sure you go to the show notes or your email and you can click and download the full guide. Then we move on to looking at the year to come. And I don't know how many of us actually do it anymore. But I have a sense it's still fairly common practice for people to line up each other and say so what's your New Year's resolution? You know, what are you resolving to do to become to improve that you try whatever it is in the coming year. Here's my challenge with new year's resolutions is in the scientifically in terms of how our habits are formed and how our brains work. Those things that we utter at the beginning of the year that we have not done long amounts of preparation for are very unlikely to stick and stay true, right? We just know by how many people join gyms in January. And I know for myself going to the gym in January can be a harrowing experience, because suddenly all these people come out of the woodwork and the classes are totally packed. And by March, most of them will be gone. And we'll be down to normal levels again, you know, maybe people get to the end of January, maybe they get through part of February, and then those wane. Or we might have a resolution to do better with finances or resolution to meet more people or whatever it is, our resolution is, but when the resolution is something that's only sits in our head, and we haven't really felt the significance of it. And if we haven't done any planning or preparation for it, it's very unlikely to stick. And what's worse than it not sticking is then we get to feel like a failure again, right, we get to say, Oh, I made another resolution that didn't work. And if we're so inclined, we get to beat ourselves up and blame ourselves for yet again, falling short from who we would like to be. So all around, I just don't like resolutions, if they work for you persist with them. But if they don't, I'm here to offer an alternative to note to New Year's resolutions. I like the idea of intentions. And a practice that somebody shared with me that I have now been taking on is instead of setting goals or setting new year's resolutions, I like to really sink into setting intentions, what are my intentions, and what's different for me about the word intention is that it connects to how I feel what I feel truly committed to what I feel deeply, deeply resonant with not just what I think in my head. And to take that one step further. I like to place this intention in a single word or phrase. So I've been doing this for a few years now. Where I start off maybe a week or so or two before the new year again, whether it was the Jewish New Year or the secular secular New Year, and I say, what's my word? What's my word or words for the coming year? What words do I want to serve as a guidepost for the choices that I make the things that I think about, for how I show up in the world? For how I treat others for how I approach my business? What words do I want to serve as my guidepost. And one of the ways to do this, and again, I start to introduce this in the guide in much more depth. But one of the ways I do this is I start to write down a bunch of words. And words can be anything the word could be creative, or creativity, the word could be boundaries, maybe I want to get better with boundaries, the word could be amplify, the word could be calm and serene. The word could be grounded. The word could be

joyful, right? The words could be deep relationship. You can go in any direction that's meaningful to you. What I encourage you to do is take a bunch of sticky notes or three by five cards or a page in a journal and write down a bunch of words. Because you might have things that you think you should choose, right, there's always that you know what, I should be a little bit more responsible, maybe I should make responsible my word. And that's kind of a word that sort of like trying to push you and connive you and shove you into becoming something but is it actually a word that you feel so deeply resonant with a word that feels so delicious, that you would love to sit with it and consume it every single day. So you see the difference. If it's a word you're trying to force on yourself, you're not gonna want to sit with it every day, it's not really going to be such a good guide for you. But if you pick a word that you would love to sit down with every single day, you'd love to think about you'd love to muse about maybe you'd love to draw, maybe you'd love to write a song about whatever it is, it's gonna feel really differently for you. So choose a word, and then follow the rest of the guide that I offer and how to really make that word a guidepost for you for the coming year. Because again, we're much more likely to live up to something that we feel and experience deeply and that actually means something to us than we are something we're just trying to force ourselves to do or become. So what I'd love to have you take from today's episode is that there's not just one way to do reflection on a year or to prepare for the year ahead, there are many ways you could go about it. Mostly, what I want you to do is to go about it in a way that fills you up. That helps you to see the brilliance and beauty inside yourself, that helps to lead you like the light and a lighthouse toward what you want, rather than trying to like push and shove you into a spot for reflection. And planning doesn't have to feel that way. It can feel delicious, it can feel good, and you're much more likely to have positive results when it does. So that's my wishes for you. And I deeply wish given the world that we're in right now, the 2022 brings some miracles, I love the numbers, the number of two's that there are in 2022, because two to me means like pairing, I think of Noah's ark, and two by two going on to the ship. I think about the way in relationship, that deep relationship, whether that's parent and child, or lovers or friends, people caring for one another. And I look at all of this attachment in the TOS. And just this symbols there. And I'm hoping that somehow or another 2022 can become a year where more people can find each other they can find each other in connection, rather than in separation. And then they're different and, and see their differences, but that they can come together and feel that connection. That's my hope and my wish, I hope and wishes that it's a healthy year, that we can move forward as a society and as a world toward greater health for everybody. And that there is a sense of hope, fullness, that I think, you know, we would very much like to embrace in the coming year. So those are my wishes. And certainly for you is the courage to be curious community, that you continue to cultivate and nurture your own curiosity. Because with that curiosity comes beautiful openness, and awareness to the miracles around you, the miracles within you and all the possibilities that this world has to offer. And with that, I want to express deep, deep gratitude, to gratitude for your support and your listenership over these years, again, you may have just recently found the podcast or you may have been listening for a long time. I want to thank you for supporting this community in this way, being part of it. And I want to let you know that we're not disappearing. This is like courage. Bicurious is not going away courage to be curious is adapting and morphing because, well, we're curious and we're courageous. And so we do stuff like that from time to time, is we make shifts and we move and we adapt to things and that's what we're doing and we have so many wonderful opportunities for you to adapt and engage with us as we move into this next year.

So one final play is that if you are only if you are a listener and not yet a subscriber, please go get subscribed it is how you are going to find out what's happening, how you're going to find out about what we have to offer and how you can stay connected to this amazing work courage to be Go down to the bottom of the page, find the subscribe to newsletter button and get your name on the list. And wishing you a beautiful beautiful healthy, happy safe, close to the 2021 year and entry into 2022. We'll be back with you again soon.

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