Nadine’s Take on Creating a Vision to Anchor You

Lockdown like Mat Leave?

I’ve heard some people say that this stay-at-home business feels a bit like a maternity leave. You feel trapped. There’s so much you want to do but you can’t leave the house. You’re bored as hell sometimes.

When I had my first child in 2005, most of us didn’t have smartphones. There were no tablets, no e-readers, NO STREAMING SERVICES! I spent the early weeks of his life feeding him in a hand-me-down rocking chair, while balancing a giant illustrated copy of The Da Vinci Code on my opposite knee, or waiting for whatever daytime TV show was being broadcast at that hour. The first 12 weeks of new parenthood were the hardest for me. Adjusting to the fact that life completely changed, while recovering from the physical trauma this new life brought with it was exhausting. None of my anxious brain’s worrying prepared me for this scenario. My sleep was affected, my ability to leave the house on a whim was impacted… Sound familiar?

But right around that 12th week, a new life started to take root. The baby (now 15!) started sleeping more consistently. I started to string together hours of sleep and began to feel somewhat human again. But I wasn’t the same human I was at the start of the experience. New habits, new thoughts, new worries, new joys, new priorities, new uncertainties — a lot like going through our coaching program during this pandemic! Ha!

The New Phase

I am getting used to some parts of this life. I miss podcast time and being with others, but I don’t miss my commute, for example. The shifts happening with family life are nice in some ways, but there’s a lot still up in the air. Kids are home without programming or friends until at least September. The mayor of Toronto is urging companies to keep employees at home until at least then. Big tech companies are pivoting to “digital by default” and suddenly young employees are eyeing affordable homes in PEI or Scotland. Our Black communities and their allies, are risking lives during a pandemic, are taking to the streets to protest what is unjust. Suddenly every marketer is trying to push out #blacklivesmatter messages, putting their dollars behind change.

There’s a shift happening. Can you feel it?

The Shift Towards Alignment

For me this shift has come from doing deep vision work. Much like when I was a new mom and spent my days dreaming of my child’s future and the world I was going to build for him, I think this time needs us all to hold space for each other like unwritten stories that are coming to life. Who could I be on the other side of this? How can I use my imagination and creativity to dream up a world we haven’t seen before? Being rooted in my vision, praying each day that I can use my privilege and position to help others up and out of these dark times, it’s working! My vision is helping me to turn my emotions into actions this week, enacting real change in my workplace. It feels so good – like exactly where I want to be.

So I encourage you to hit reply and answer the following for me: Who do you want to be on the other side of this? How can you use creating a vision to anchor you? With respect and compassion, Nadine

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Stephanie’s Take on Creating a Vision to Anchor You

There is a Shift

Yes, I feel a shift. As with before, I’m still seeing the pattern of everything being heightened and amplified, and I think it’s making it unavoidable for many of us to take stock about what matters to us.

On a personal level, this includes acknowledging what we miss and what we don’t miss, who we want to prioritize, and what we can replace. I miss less than I expected to, especially now that I’ve been to a few “distance” in-person hangs. I really miss walking with the purpose of getting somewhere (going for a walk just to walk isn’t the same), and easy unplanned get-togethers.

At the big picture level, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had to think about how they see the world, and who they are in it. A result of the uncertainty.

A Vision Doesn’t Drive Actions Directly

You said one thing I want to address: “My vision helped me to turn my emotions into actions this week”. I don’t totally disagree but I think that this statement over-simplifies the use of imagination and vision.

We do vision work in our online life coaching program. Creating a vision to anchor you is a very useful life coaching framework. But creating a long term vision about what kind of a world you want to live in and how you can contribute to creating this isn’t just something we can jump into when we are stressed, fearful, angry, etc. Those emotions have been scientifically proven to make us less creative, less resourceful, and more reactive. That said there is definitely huge value in those emotions, they show us what we care about. People don’t react emotionally to what they don’t care about.

But here’s the thing: In times of upheaval, if you have a vision you can call on, it will be easier to manage your emotions and find a place of possibility. It can be easier to re-route the anger and stress into inspired action instead of reaction. It will be easier to dig into uncomfortable feelings. You will catch yourself faster if you aren’t living in alignment with who you want to be.

The Weeds Are Still Present

And that sounds a little fluffy and theoretical but here’s the thing:

At the same time, we are having these global events (pandemic, finally a lot of attention on what the Black community has to deal with), we all still have our day-to-day lives. People aren’t getting a break from all of the other big or small things, for example, making their kid dinner, hating their job, cleaning the bathroom…

As I have developed my long term vision of who I want to be, how I want to live, and what world I want to live in, it has made it easier to balance out the rest. The first question I need to ask myself, no matter what shit hits the fan, is whether my thoughts, feelings, and actions are aligned with being the person who is creating my vision.

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