Every client and every friend we interact with at the moment seems really in tune with the change of season, the long-awaited arrival of spring. We’re certainly noticing the emergence of the spring bulbs on a daily basis. It is one of the joys and gifts of lockdown that we have a new appreciation of what has always been around us.
There is a parallel between the change in season, with longer days and warmer temperatures, and how we are gradually starting to come out of the pandemic. The reopening of schools, such a part of the fabric of society and our community in the UK, bringing joy and relief to many. There is hope and optimism in the air.
If we rewind back a month there would have been a lot of activity underground preparing for spring growth. We spring clean, to make way for new. Interestingly, wood has the ability to grow in both directions; into the earth to make roots and up to create branches, twigs and leaves.
So using that image of spring optimism, looking back to look forward and looking down to look up, our invitation in this exercise is to connect with your optimism and joy.
This writing exercise is a great way of letting your thoughts flow, without the interruption of your internal editor. You will need a pen and paper and a comfy chair.
We invite you to write continuously for the next 3 minutes. Keep the pen on the page and don’t stop writing. If you run out of words write “I have run out of words” and just keep on writing until the next thought comes. If it’s uncomfortable that’s okay, it’s different for everyone. Please trust the process and keep going, there is no right or wrong, this writing is just for you.
Set a timer if you wish, and after 3 minutes move onto the next question, and continuously write.
Over the last twelve months what has brought you joy? (an example for me is being able to walk my dog daily and being creative in how I have collaborated with colleagues.)
What is joyful for you right now? (an example for me is a simple cup of tea and the new chair I have just purchased which is now really supporting my back as I work.)
Think of a time when we are not in lockdown, choose your own timeframe. What are you looking forward to? (feel free to think small or large, next week or way into the future.)
Having come more vividly in touch now with what brings you joy, what insights does this bring for you?
Gathering your thoughts, look back at what you have written about what has brought you joy, is bringing you joy, and you are looking forward to. Read and circle/highlight any words or themes that feel important and meaningful.
How do you want to hold on to this, what do you want to take forward?
Over the next few days, revisit this, add to it when further ideas pop into your mind.
If you like this exercise a downloadable version is here:
Take 20 is inspired and adapted from The Write Place™ with thanks to Elaine Patterson and Karyn Prentice of PattersonPrenticeDesigns