There are times when we feel indomitable. We are where, when and how we want to be. We are enough. No. We are more than enough. We are squeezing every bit of humanity out of our fleeting existence. We are making things happen and getting sh*t done.
We love this place. We want to stay in this place. Alas, there are times when we fill up with insecurity, turmoil, and anxiety. We become paralyzed. We question our agency. We question our human right to shake sh*t up.
Our sense of empowerment varies from day to day and from hour to hour within the same day.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
It’s time to take a full-sensory inventory of those moments when we feel/felt fully empowered. So, grab a pen, download this worksheet (it has the same questions as below with spaces for your answers), and go to that time and place where you felt fully empowered. Populate that place in your mind and answer the questions below. Get specific. Get granular. Live it. Detail it. And, once you are done, do the same thing for those moments when you feel/felt disempowered.
WHAT DAY(S) AND TIME(S) OF DAY DO YOU FEEL FULLY EMPOWERED? ( or When was there a time that you felt fully empowered?)
Jot that down.
WHERE ARE YOU?
What country? What state? What city? Are you downtown, in a suburb or the countryside? Are you inside an office building, museum, or place of worship? Are you in the woods, rivers, oceans or air?
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Are you working? Are you creating? Are you making things? Are you driving, walking, riding, climbing, swinging, flying, reading, or chatting?
WHAT ARE YOU SEEING?
Are you staring at sunsets or strip malls? Are you surrounded by prairies or pavement? Are you seeing trees or telephone poles? Are you traveling waterways or highways? Are you gazing up at mountains or skyscrapers? Are you enveloped in birds, bees and butterflies or billboards?
Are you surrounded by art or advertisements? Are you basking in natural light or artificial light?
If you are inside, describe the colors, textures, prints, and patterns that cover the walls? What physical objects surround you?
Is the television on? Are screens streaming videos? What images come across the screen? What kind of story do they tell? What kind of lifestyle do they celebrate? What message do they send you about body image and your role in the dominant cultural narrative?
WHAT ARE YOU HEARING?
Do you hear music? What is playing? Do you hear commercials? What is being sold? Can you hear others people’s conversations? What is being talked about? What is the tone? Can you hear laughter, singing or crying? Can you hear the hum of traffic and honking of horns? Can you hear the rustling of leaves? How do your body, mind and spirit respond?
WHAT ARE YOU READING?
Are you reading emails, blogs, newspapers, glossy magazines, comic books, graphic novels, non-fiction, or textbooks? Are they challenging your beliefs? What images do they possess?
WHAT DO YOU SMELL?
Do you smell flowers, sewage, heavy perfumes, diesel fuel, burning biomass (one of my favorite smells) or green grass?
WHAT ARE YOU EATING?
Are you eating fast food, highly processed foods, or food right off the vine? How much of your food is already packaged and prepared? How much is from scratch? How much dairy? How much is raw? How much is vegetarian? How much sugar?
WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING?
Are you drinking water, soda, juice, coffee or tea? Are you drinking an energy drink or frappuccino? Are you drinking alcohol?
WHAT ARE YOU INHALING?
Are you inhaling exhaust, cigarette, cigar or pipe smoke? Are you inhaling something you do not want your Mom to know about?
WHO SURROUNDS YOU?
Who do you interact with in person or via social media? What do they expose you to? What do they tweet? What do they share? What do they like? What do they post? What do they talk about? What kind of conversations do you have with them? What are the topics? What’s the tone?
How do your patterns of behavior change when you are around them? What do you eat? What do you drink? What do you think? How do you feel upon leaving them? Do you feel at your best? Do you feel at your worst? Are you your better self when you are with them?
- How do your mind, body, and spirit respond to each of the aforementioned sensory experiences?
- Do you recognize any uplifting patterns? Do you recognize any destructive patterns?
- What interactive effects exist between what you eat and drink and your sense of empowerment?
- What role do marketers and advertisers play in influencing your sense of empowerment?
- What can you do to spend more time with those who make you better? What can you do to place limitations on those who move you away from who you want to be?
We are here to call forth the future, a better future, a more inclusive future. In order to do that, we need to get sh*t done TODAY. And, in order to do this, we need to know that our emotional/spiritual state of well-being is not arbitrarily and/or randomly determined. We influence it by what and who we choose to invite into our lives.
Now that we know, let’s go shake things up.
[bctt tweet=”Perform the Get Sh*t Done Diagnostic & squeeze every bit of humanity out of your existence “]
PS What am I missing? What would you add?
Shawn Humphrey, the Blue Collar Professor (@blucollarprof)