About a year ago, I attended the pilot of a management training that touched on how presence of mind, self awareness, and our own happiness feeds into how we interact with those we work with. It was a very unconventional training in a very corporate setting, seeing that it ended with people crying and hugging each other. It was an amazing experience.
Then we got back to real life. However, with every training that we and ,I assume, you take we may forget 95% of it, but a small percentage always stays with us, just like "writing things down, keeping reminder notes" is all that is left from my week-long training in "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" class years ago. From this crunchy mama granola training, I learned IGNUS.
IGNUS, as in IGNITE, is that thing we have or must have to start something new or morph into our next phase, even when every fiber of our being is saying no. It is vital, and necessary for growth. In order to use IGNUS, you must also know what your FUEL is. Your fuel is whatever activity that no matter what is going on in your life, once you do it, makes you happy, and renews your outlook. As part of the training, we were tasked to identify the one thing that feeds that fire for us. For me, it has always been new experiences, and travel.
Travel or experiencing new things, give me "Joie de Vivre." It's my thing. That's the reason, each year for my birthday, instead of the usual dinner with friends, I always pick something off my bucket list and invite a few friends to come along. This year, I went indoor rock climbing. Next year I may do a hike. I have hiked before but each trail brings a newness to the experience.
This brings me back to why knowing what IGNUS means and how you will use it is important. A little over 2 years ago, I went through relatively one of the most stressful experiences of my life. I made the decision to end an engagement. I was embarrassed, sad and doubted my own judgement. I saw myself slipping immediately into depression, keeping to myself, feeling sorry for myself and avoiding social situations. My friends and family were on high alert, calling all the time, trying to take me out etc. I PRIDE myself in being a happy person and always "keeping it moving", I gave myself a month to "wallow", and I booked a weekend getaway to beautiful Bermuda. There was not one fiber in my being that was happy and ready to go to Bermuda by myself, I didn't FEEL like it. But I knew IGNUS, is doing what you know is GOOD for you, even when you don't feel it and TRUSTING that in the process you will start feeling it, trusting that you will get there.
The moment I landed in Bermuda, the crew and Caribbean air and sun greeted me, I started to float. I spent a weekend with myself sleeping and reading on private beaches, meeting locals, and exploring Bermuda's history. I felt amazing, but most of all I DELIBERATELY reminded myself that:
1. My life is GOOD 2.I am blessed enough to book a last minute trip to Bermuda 3.There are so many new things in life to experience 4.The life waiting for me is much brighter than I can imagine.
Not to mention, all the "invitations" I received from the local dudes to take me out to parties, and try new restaurants boosted my ego a bit! Since I didn't want to end up chopped up in a plastic bag floating in the Atlantic, I politely declined and rolled solo everywhere.
All my friends and family were pleasantly surprised to see me bounce back fully, I even got some comments from a few people who didn't understand how I was so good so fast. IGNUS. I am not saying a trip to Bermuda was all it took, but it completed the most important step of the process, to change my outlook and put the pep back in my step.
I am sharing this experience to let you know that sometimes in life, you have to utilize IGNUS for your next breakthrough, you can't always rely on "I will do this when I get out of this situation, or when I feel like it, or when it FEELS like the right time." You may go into a hole, or ADDICTION to your current situation that you never FEEL like it.
This goes for lifestyle changes, My doctor suggests that I proactively reduce my sugar intake based on my family history. Now, it doesn't FEEL good to drink coffee, or tea with no sugar, but I trust that if I do it enough, maybe it will be bearable or even enjoyable. I am not even shooting for never ever using sugar, but I am shooting for being less dependent on it.
It may not FEEL right to make it to the gym, but IGNUS , that internal push will get you there. Keep using that IGNUS until you start liking going to the gym or liking the results of feeling stronger, or losing those pounds, or until physical activity is so much a part of your life, that you miss it when you don't go. Use IGNUS so that you don't remain stagnant.
I say all this, because you have to DELIBERATELY let go of the comfort or addiction of a certain situation, your status quo, a state of mind and do the things that will get you to your next breakthrough.
To go from a Caterpillar, to a Butterfly. You have to first be ok with feeling pain and discomfort. Use your fuel to push you forward. Do it until it feels right. What have you used IGNUS for?