It’s International Women’s Day and the them for 2021 is #choosetochallenge
What does that mean and why does it matter to you as a change maker?
No doubt there will be something in this this will have you fired up…and also perhaps feeling frustrated at the slow rate of our progress.
It may be that you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and found yourself entangled in some them & us chats. MEN just don’t understand. WOMEN just don’t listen. If only THEY did this, things would be different.
If you’re looking for someone to agree that one group of people is to blame for the ‘state of our world’ today then it may be better to look away now. You’re not going to find that here. Instead, I’m going to be exploring how we ALL play a role in perpetuating and creating systems that don’t support us. And crucially what the solution is. And it’s an obvious but not popular one.
Choose to Challenge is an open invitation to get curious.
Radical Happiness is an open invitation to get curious too…about ourselves and others.
And creating sustainable change that positively impacts us all involves slowing down to speed up….and getting curious.
When we REALLY understand and apply Radical Happiness, it tranforms our life immediately giving us the battery power to take the action we need and want to take to evolve the systems around us. And given most of our batteries are running low right now as a result of being locked down for a year, it’s fair to say that any talk of happiness can be met with resistance and also why it’s more important than ever.
What is Radical Happiness?
First of all, what do I mean by Radical? Simply it’s no bullshit, no excuses, full on ownership. If you want to be happy, BE it, don’t just say you want it and continue to believe the stories that prevent you stepping into the AMAZING natural born creator you are.
And what’s Happiness? A misunderstood term that has a gazillion interpretations.
Hedonic happiness is the feel good feels of excitement and joy and love and all things fuzzy and warm.
Eudaimonic happiness is knowing you’re connected to something meaningful, that your life has purpose. It’s fair to say that there are many things we can do in our life that fulfil us but don’t feel fuzzy and warm. – Caring for someone when they’re sick. – Every moment of your work day when you LOVE what you isn’t filled with joy
The list goes on!
Johann Hari sums up what we intuitively have known for millenia in his book Lost Connections where he describes the 9 causes of depression:
1. Disconnection from meaningful work (not contributing in a way we feel matters)
2. Disconnection from other people (being emotionally and/or physically isolated)
3. Disconnection from meaningful values (not being tapped into what REALLY matters to us, living into other people’s expectations)
4. Disconnection from childhood trauma (not healing)
5. Disconnection from status and respect (not feeling valued)
6. Disconnection from the natural world
7. Disconnection from hope of a secure future
8. Brain changes (Hebbs Law…neurons that fire together, wire together. What we focus on becomes our reality)
9. Genetics (potentials within us can be activiated by our environment)
And the SOLUTION to mental dis-ease is the flip of this: connection.
And THAT is what Radical Happiness is all about… keeping our batteries charged, helping us connect to what matters and take action.
Radical Happiness has 3 ingredients: Radical Acceptance + Radical Compassion + Radical Responsibility
Acceptance of your circumstances.
Acceptance of yourself
Acceptance that you are so mcuh more than what you think you are, you are infinite and awesome JUST for being you. You are connected to and with all that was and and life is brain boggling and bonkersly brilliant.
Acceptance of other people and that they, like you are infinite and amazing beings too.
And acceptance that acceptance isn’t condoning, it’s simply stepping into our power because ALL our power is in this moment…not yesterday or tomorrow, or 2 minutes from now. It’s NOW. Accept THIS moment and love and leverage the arse off it.
Radical Compassion…because everything I’ve just said above can feel a bit much to take in.
Accepting ourselves fully and completely is TOUGH. So be gentle. Have compassion for yourself.
Who you feel like you are now and the circumstances you’re living in are simply the compound effect of all the things you’ve taken on board as true about yourself and the world around you. Bad things may have happened along your way and you’ve not created space to heal perhaps because life kept on happening and you haven’t had a chance to breathe. Or maybe it’s because on some level you started beleiving you weren’t good enough…you didn’t matter enough to love yourself.
Compassion is about getting curious about what’s behind the mask.
It’s changing the question from, what’s wrong with me? to ‘what happened to me?’ for me to show up in this way.
And asking this of other people too.
Rather than stay in resistance and frustration, accept what is and get curious….what happened for them to act like this?
Resistance is an energy drainer.
Love is an energiser.
Radical Responsibility is an invitation to accept what is and step into YOUR power. It’s a reminder to stop blaming other people and things outside of us for our choices. It’s an invitiation to look within and trust ourselves.
And see that our collective strength comes through our diversity.
Not one of us has a full, all encompassing view of the world. It’s impossible. Which is why it’s soooo blooming important to get curious and listen to other people and actually VALUE their perspective. It may jar with your own, but without it, you are perpetuating a them and us mentality.
And remember Radical Acceptance? We’re ALL connected. So that annoying person…you’re connected to them. We’re part of the same source energy…just rocking this life in different physical forms.
We are one. And sometimes it’s a LOT easier to choose to think otherwise…that THEY are the problem.
The only problem with that is, that THEY think that YOU are the problem.
And so the downward spiral continues.
So if you want to Choose to Challenge this downward spiral, now is a great time.
Accept that ALL of power is in THIS moment.
Get your compassionate pants on.
Actively seek out differences in opinion to strengthen your own.
Take responsbility for all your actions and non actions.
Change is created through the compound effect of teeny tiny actions.
It may seem like progress is slow but it IS happening…we ‘just’ need to keep our batteries charged and stay alive and curious to life and the diversity that makes us so strong.