As I sit here just after 6am I can’t help but think “What a bizarre year 2020 has been”
I bet, like many of us, right about this time last year I was looking at the year ahead, thinking about all the things I wanted to do and be. Setting goals, drafting plans....and then March came around and changed the way we live, for good.
At first, I must admit, I embraced it. I thought “what a great opportunity to slow down, focus on the important things” and then as quickly as I thought this I found myself trapped between endless zoom / teams calls, experiencing screen fatigue, not able to properly switch off from work and, being a mum of 2 little ones, juggling these meetings with guest appearances of them dressed as Superman or princesses and nonchalantly chatting to my workmates.
Whilst of course, having to home school, entertain, play, cook nutritious meals, do exercise (thank god for Joe Wicks!) and keeping an overall healthy lifestyle.
And then it hit me: I am not superwoman. I am not a teacher and I was not going through just a “couple of weeks” of change. This was here to stay, and to pretend that I could do it all was the understatement and biggest lie of the year. If I continued to go as I was, I would either drop to the floor exhausted or I would become the grumpiest, most regretful woman on earth. Neither of which were going to do me or my family any good.
So, I took a breath (or a million), I looked at what was important and I made a plan, a family and work plan, so we could all get through this, together.
And this was one of the first learnings I had from 2020: I was not going to accomplish anything alone, we were a team. We were in this together and together we will get through it.
It also has been one of the things that has dented us the most: isolation, lack of contact, of human interaction, of physical contact. I was lucky enough to have my kids and partner with me, and that they were already used to my million cuddles! Because I am someone who needs physical contact. I am tactile! I am a cuddler and a hugger. But, what about those who couldn’t have this? Who have had to endure this pandemic without the touch of a hand? It’s all good to say I miss you or I love you or sending you hugs, but do those hugs ever arrive?...
And with this thought came my second learning: never save up those signs of affection. Hugs, kisses, cuddles....these are not for later. The world can wait 30 seconds, your emotional well-being cannot.
Speaking about well-being, this became the hot topic. High on the agenda for both people and companies. Because if there was ever a time where we have needed to properly look after ourselves is now.
Challenging the preconception of self-care, for many understood as a pampering day at a spa or having your nails done.... set-care went far beyond that. Self-care meant looking after our mental health, establishing an emotional well-being routine, looking after our working patterns, making ourselves a priority and learning to put some boundaries in place to protect our overall health.
Meant learning to say no, to communicate openly, to not shy away from the fact that we would have good and bad days, and to learn to ride those waves as and when they came. To understand our own limits and to help others understand them too, so no limits were trespassed, barriers where kept up and so was our brain, body and energy.
This delivered the third learning: we are not one dimensional. Our body, our mind, our heart have to work together. This is a time I took to dig deeper into them, to truly understand how they all interacted and influenced each other. How if I wanted to get through this situation not only just surviving, but thriving, I had to go through a complete lifestyle overhaul.
Don’t get me wrong, I have always been someone that moved (exercised in the past, but not since having children), ate healthily (but without really paying attention to what I was feeding myself with, just thought let’s have some vegetables with that!) and tried to keep my learning and development up (podcast, reading, courses....) but this....this required that we were all in synch.
My mind, my heart, my body had to be singing the same song. And so I took exercise as a daily practice (started off by doing 7 min workouts, then joined online classes then signed up for fitness plans), I followed a meal plan, designed to cater for a vegetarian, 2 toddlers and me - which sometimes meant cooking 3 different meals. And I reserved one day a week to work on myself, via coaching, via courses, reading....anything that would help me cultivate a higher self approach to my life.
This was also the year when I decided to launch my coaching practice. Now, some of you reading this far may be thinking, “FFS woman, just drop that. Like you needed more pressure on....” of all the years to kick off a business, 2020 might have been on paper the one to postpone. But, I’ll ask you this, if you know that by doing what you do, you could help one, just one person, get to live each day thinking they’ll make it through, if you could help just one person look at the day ahead with hope instead of despair, if you could help just one person to decide that life is worth living....would you not carry on?
Yes you would, and you would give it your best shot, because all those people, all those hearts and souls deserve to look at life with hope, deserve to look at life thinking they can do it, there’s a better tomorrow and they have what it takes to create that tomorrow.
Coaching is not a job, is a lifestyle. Is a passion and a purpose, gives meaning to all. And I want to share this meaningful life with all, impact and fill those hearts with hope, joy, passion and excitement.
And this became the fourth and most important lesson of 2020: share. Your gifts, your kindness, your love. Helping each other, lifting each other up. Being here for one another, cheering each other up. Together, United, bonded by one common goal: become better individuals, higher-selves, focused on improving ourselves and the lives of those we touch.
As Gladiator said “what we do in life echoes in eternity” and if I think of what legacy I want to leave behind, I’d like to think it’ll be one of openness, joy, optimism and love.
I let this be the guide of everything I do.
So, if I look at 2020, with all its ups and downs, challenges, curved balls, loved ones lost....I still look at it with gratitude for the many learnings, for the opportunity to raise stronger, for the awareness and awakening to a higher, more driven and determined Lucia than ever.
And I would like to invite you to do this exercise too. To look back at this unprecedented, uncertain year, and dig up the good things.
- What did you learn?
- Who did you become?
You may want to try and use this journal template from Calm to do so, a beautiful way of reflecting upon your year and what to look forward to on the one to come:
Now, bring on 2021, we are ready for you.
Wishing you all the Happiest New Year, filled with joy, purpose, passion and love.