Planning for Growth: Self Care Plans

They succeed instinctively because they each know their own temp and recognize it in the individuals and institutions with who they collaborate.” T.D. Jakes

Bishop T.D. Jakes wrote a book on instincts to enlighten the world about tapping into their inner being and living instinctively. The word “instinct” sends our minds to the animal kingdom but humans have natural instincts too.  Animals rely on their instincts for survival or else they become prey for predators. It’s something that occurs naturally and is not taught. Using your instincts is crucial to establishing a good self care plan.

Do you know yourself well enough to live by instincts? Living by instinct requires you to trust that little voice inside. This occurs when you take time to learn yourself as an individual. Intimately knowing self is the core of self-love and self-care. Proper self-care and self-nurture leads to growth. You make time for everyone except self, which stagnates individual instinctive growth.

Your instincts are at the core of your being, your spirit, your gut, your third eye, your chakras, your internal compass. Learning who you are instinctively takes time which means you will need to allow more time for self. Instinctive growth helps you tap into your core, and learn who you are, what you are naturally good at, what you are passionate about, and, how you learn, how you fall, your strengths, your weak areas, and more.  Use the information you discover to create your self-care plan so you can grow instinctively.

Instinctive Growth & Self Care Plans

Instinctive growth involves listening to your inner being to move along the path of self-care. How does one grow instinctively? It requires being in sync with yourself, God (Universe, Higher Power), your environments, your relationships, and your purpose.

The process of instinctive growth includes:

  1. Growing from the inner being outwardly
  2. Adopting or working from a growth mindset
  3. Recognizing constant growth within you
  4. Seeking opportunities to grow

Use stagnation as a tool to measure and review areas in your life for possible pruning. When you are in tune with your instincts you will recognize when you  need to establish boundaries, which helps develop self-discipline.

Path to Purpose and Self Care Plans

The path begins with a decision. A decision to live on purpose, thus making self-care your first priority. Do you believe there is more you could be doing, desire more peace, joy, and fulfillment? If yes, then you are ready to begin your journey, your path to purpose. But this realization also comes with the acceptance that self-care and purpose can be overwhelming, so where do you start?

Great! You decided to move forward with purpose and self-care. Next, learn what it means to live on purpose, how it relates to your inner being, how purpose influences your instinctive growth, and how to use everything you discover as growth steps in your self-care plan. Establishing your path to purpose will touch all aspects of your life through your growth steps, which allows you to implement a self-care plan that fuels your instinctive growth.

Learning to Grow Instinctively

You are born with an instinct towards purpose but may not know how to take hold of it. That’s where growth is necessary. Learning who you are is the first growth step to in your self-care plan. Which may require a fresh start in some areas. You have to open yourself to learning self much like a baby learns self.

For example, babies rely on their instincts for survival and self-discovery. In their first year of life, they discover self first through their five senses. They discover their body through taste and touch, they discover their voice through hearing and speaking and eventually they discover they can move their body on their own, they can sit, then stand, then walk, then run, then talk, and it goes on and on.

Once they have discovered all their natural abilities as a youngster, they are nurtured by their parents, their environment, and they grow! They receive input from their parents, their environments, their connections to people, and their inner self.

But what happens if the child doesn’t grow in this natural process? They become adults with incomplete foundations who don’t know how to nurture and care for self, much less others. As a result, they continue to grow physically but may be stagnated emotionally or spiritually. Your childhood growth pattern determines the path to purpose and self-care.

Growth Step #1: Go back to the basics. Rely on your inner self to learn who you are and use what you discover to grow instinctively.

The Growth Formula

The Growth Formula is designed to assist you with establishing a path to purpose and self-care plan. It involves your whole being and tapping into all resources including your Spirit (God, Universe, Higher Power), your Instincts (Self), and your Focus (Mind). So all are needed because each one brings a different perspective, tool, guidance, and power to your path.

Spirit + Instincts + Focus = Purpose (Growth)

Following this growth formula will fuel you on your path to purpose. It teaches you how to use all your resources to reach your goals. Once you discover your individual design, you will begin to see which resources yield the most return for you.

Realizing the importance of growing daily, where you are stagnate, and what is involved in each part of the Growth Formula is the first step in accomplishing growth and starting a self-care plan. The graphic below shows the Circle of Purpose and how each part of you relates holistically to your path to purpose and self-care. Establishing a path to purpose is the first step in implementing your self-care plan.

circle of purpose, self care plan, instinctive growth, hoistic

Finally, if you are still breathing then you are still growing and living on purpose. Therefore, to accomplish growth you will need to understand how spirituality, instincts, focus, and your mindset contribute to your growth and self-care. Everyday should be an opportunity to practice self-care, it should become like air, you need it to survive.

Contact coach Athena to receive your self-care assessment and planning tool which is designed to help you establish a starting point in your self-care journey.


PURPOSE OF LIFE: ARE YOU LIVING ON PURPOSE?

The state of the economy challenged many to examine their professional lives as they lose jobs they once believed would be there until retirement. Losing a job you really wanted or needed does something to your perspective. Suddenly things don’t look the same anymore.

A woman woke up one morning, went about her usual routine only to realize that something had changed. She no longer felt the same zest she had before perhaps it was because she was sitting at the kitchen table alone. Her youngest had started college a few weeks ago, her husband was off to his job and there she was. Alone!

A man who has invested 20 years in one company questions his next move. He was recently offered a job that he has waited his entire career for, but he’s not so sure its what he wants. He sits in his office and remembers the first day on this job. He was so excited and eager to learn everything. Now he barely makes it to work on time each morning, noticing that it takes him longer to get motivated each day. He begins to question what he would do if he did not take this job. Is there something more meaningful for him?
Self Revelation

The people mentioned above have entered into some level of self-revelation as they ponder their current life choices and whether they are still meeting the same level of fulfillment in their lives. Prior to identifying your life purpose you must first know who you are and what it will take to fulfill you.

There are many ways to go about this task, but the biggest step is realizing that a change is necessary, then taking steps to learn more about who you are and what things interest you. This journey can be challenging especially if you have not spent much time with yourself. The lady in the first scenario probably hasn’t spent much time with herself because as a full-time mother she has made her children her focus and was not paying close attention to her own interests.

Work vs. Fulfillment

Many people are now on the search for fulfillment in their lives. No longer satisfied with making a big paycheck or finding a job with a good company people have begun to wonder if their lives have meaning. If so, should the work they do have meaning as well? Was I created for a purpose? That is the question they ask themselves.

The American dream consists of finding a good job, paying your bills, buying a home and raising your family. Most never thought that there should be more in life. But there are some who don’t follow this path. They devote their lives to service such as becoming a nun, a priest, a minister, volunteering or creating organizations that help serve a community. These people are usually not the norm but the exception. Surely their lives have meaning right?

One can achieve fulfillment in work without devoting their entire life to the types of service listed above. There are many people who are re-evaluating their career choices and choosing careers that bring them fulfillment rather than just a paycheck.

The Next Step

Finding one’s purpose in life is rapidly becoming more important. 41% of consumer requests submitted to Noomii.com for life coaching services were related to discovering one’s purpose in life or career. Where do you stand on this question? Are you living on purpose or by accident?

To learn more about discovering your purpose, there are many resources and entry points available. Choosing one that fits you depends upon who you are. There are Christian based programs that help people discover God’s plan for their lives, one of which is the bestseller The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Another spiritually based approach is A New Earth Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle. Working with a Life Coach is an excellent way to discover your purpose in life as well.

Whatever avenue you choose, it is a spiritual journey that begins with God. Knowing that you are connected to God who has placed you here for a specific reason fuels the journey towards purpose and brings forth peace, prosperity and clarity.

PURPOSE OF LIFE: ACCEPT YOUR GIFT

“For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are your works.” Psalm 139:13-14 NKJV

Uniquely Created

Being unique means you are one of a kind. You were not made from a mold but fashioned together very carefully. No other being exists like you. There may be someone who is similar to you that may have the same hair color, the same car or listen to the same type of music. But they are not made exactly like you in every way. That was not done by accident. You were “fearfully and wonderfully made.” To be fearfully made means you were made greatly with much intensity and thought.

For His Purpose

In Him we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:11 NKJV

Not only are you unique but also you are chosen for a specific purpose that works in accordance with God’s overall plan. Initially you may not know how you fit into the overall plan, which causes you to fumble around in darkness. But at some point in your life God starts to reveal things to you.

You may have discovered that you are a good writer and begin writing a book about your journey with God. You may have discovered you can write and compose songs and begin working on gospel songs for your choir. You may have discovered that you are able to understand and teach God’s word to anyone and begin teaching Sunday school. You may have discovered that you are able to soothe those who are hurting and begin encouraging others. You may have discovered that you are able to lead a group of people and became a minister.

But something went wrong and you began to doubt your ability and effectiveness. Eventually you stopped practicing your gift. You fell into a slump and life became unbearable for you as you began to stumble around in the darkness again. But you can recover from this minor setback because God loves you and has invested in your success, according to Ephesians 1:11, which states, “that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.”

Expression of His Love

New parents hold their newborn in their arms, gazing in awe at what has been created out of their love. They softly caress her face and check her hands and feet to make sure they are complete. They watch her as she grows and gets excited when she discovers her foot for the first time, then lovingly watches as she keeps putting her new foot in her mouth, exploring it. That is how God is with each of his children. He created you out of his love and lovingly watches you grow. He gets excited when you discover your first gift and watches as you learn to use it.

Just like the baby starts by putting her foot in her mouth, she soon realizes that her feet are not for eating but for walking. Sometimes you don’t know how to properly use your gift and may use it for the wrong purpose and begin to experience struggle. Continuously doing so may make you decide it’s not worth the effort anymore, so you abandon the gift.

Similarly, the baby, now a toddler, discovers she is able to stand and begin to move around the room if she stands up and moves her feet. She begins to experiment with standing until gradually she builds up to taking a step. This is an exciting time for both parents and child. But if the toddler has a bad experience during her discovery and practice, such as falling or getting hurt, she may experience a set back in perfecting her gift of walking. Without proper guidance from the parent she may try to abandon her gift all together because of fear.

Intimately Known

The parent plays a big role in helping the toddler feel secure and continuing to practice her gift until she masters it because the parent knows the toddler intimately. He watches her practice and anticipates the ways she may mess up, so he makes preparations to keep the toddler on track and avoid a major setback, by installing safety measures in the house. As a result the toddler is walking without assistance and secure in her ability to do so.

God knows you intimately and will do the same for you. When you find yourself struggling or fumbling around in the dark with a gift, pray and allow God to help you. Ask Him to show you where you got off track and then ask Him to show you the proper way to cultivate your gift. If you have developed a fear in that area, ask Him to protect you as you begin to practice your gift again.

Just like the parent does with the toddler God will, give you praise when you reach a milestone, caution when you are going in the wrong direction, encouragement when it gets hard, protection from the unseen dangers, and lovingly reward you when you get it just right.

Accept Your Gift

So take a minute to revisit that book you stopped writing, that song you stopped composing, those classes you stopped teaching, those people you stopped encouraging, that degree you stopped pursuing, or those sheep you stopped shepherding. Accept that God has given you this gift and that through Him you were fearfully and wonderfully made to fulfill his purpose through that gift. Turn your struggles over to God and ask him to show you how to start again, but this time ask him to be your guide and actively engage him through your process. You will find it is much easier to navigate your new gift with a little loving guidance.

Start Your Own Business

There is so much involved in starting a business. It takes a lot of work and patience to successfully launch a business and turn a profit. However, many people underestimate the investment of time and planning that is involved before you get your first client or before the major expansion.

In 2010 my company celebrated ten years in business. I could not believe it had been that long. I started out part-time, just to have something to do while I was at home with my children. I grew to love the independence, the power in setting your own agenda, and helping others with their visions. I was making pretty good money on a part-time basis began to explore working the business full-time. But my life plan did not permit me to launch my business full-time.

Plan, Plan and Plan More

That did not stop me though. During my fifth year in business I started planning to launch the business full-time. I was going to launch when my youngest went to school all day. I conducted research and revised my business plan. I decided how I was going to expand, getting office space, adding additional services, and advertising. But it did not happen then. Life happened and I had to alter those plans slightly.

But life dealt me a pretty good hand back in December 2009 when I got laid off from my full-time job. My entrepreneurial spirit was reborn and I began a journey to revitalize my business. It feels good to see those plans come to life. In the process I added a new service, Life Coaching. Which I am passionate about and realize that I have been coaching most of my professional life.

New Opportunities

As our country recovered from the recession, companies were slow to hire. Therefore many are still without jobs. Although there is some growth in the job market, the game has changed. Now most entry-level positions require at least a bachelor’s degree. As a result many workers are displaced, including myself. But I turned this into an opportunity.

As I stated earlier, in 2010 I introduced Life Coaching. Since then it has become my primary business and I now longer have the original business that I started 15 years ago. I also returned to school to complete my bachelor’s degree in Psychology-Life Coaching to better position me for business opportunities as a Life Coach. When you are in business people want to know that you are a qualified professional in your area. Therefore pursuing additional education and credentials will lend credibility to your business.

I believe that independent contractors will fair better because companies are still weary about being saddled with the long-term expenses of carrying additional employees. Therefore, we will begin to see a trend of short-term contract positions. One of the most recent surges in this area can be seen with the company Uber, who hires drivers as independent contractors using their own vehicles to offer their transportation services. Traditionally a company would have purchased a fleet of vehicles and hired drivers. But this would have also cut into their profits. Are you ready to market yourself as an Independent Contractor? Do you know where to start?

Discover Your Passion

Start by discovering your passion and then what your marketable skills are. Look at some of the positions you are interested in and consider submitting a proposal to the hiring manager to bring you on as an independent contractor. But do your homework first. Research the type of service you want to provide and make sure that there is a demand. You must also make sure that you price your services appropriately. Ask for what you are worth but make sure it fits within industry standards and that you can justify your rates.

I am so thankful for those early years because I learned a lot about being in business, discovered my passion, and life purpose. I did my homework and planned how I to get started as an independent contractor and how to conduct my business. Those years of planning served as my foundation so when it is time to really launch, all I have to do is dust off my business plan, update some things, and get started.

In order to be successful in business your life plan needs to compliment your business plan. What ever you decide to do, do it passionately, and live your life on purpose.