In this post, Andy Cahill (He/Him/His) of The Mindful Creative holds space for our collective overwhelm by giving some helpful advice for how to be kind to ourselves and stay anchored in this mess of a world.
You can learn more about The Mindful Creative at https://www.mindfulcreative.coach/
Who are you and what is the Mindful Creative
I’m a transformational coach, and I help people live with more presence, purpose, and power. The Mindful Creative is about helping people step into the fullness of themselves – their creative potential, their capacity for love, their limitations and imperfections, all of it – so they can live from a place of mindful service and creation instead of one of mindless survival and self-protection.
What are your tools for coping with stress?
Yoga and meditation have been invaluable in my life and Internal Family Systems therapy has been truly transformative. In a particularly stressful moment, I can call on the skills I’ve built through these practices to slow down, look inward, and refocus. Having an organized calendar and inbox also helps. 🙂
Why do you think our culture is so stressed out?
Whew! I feel like I could write a book on this. One thing I am profoundly aware of is how often we receive the cultural message, both implicitly and explicitly, that we only matter to the world if we are hyper-productive, financially successful, physically perfect, and continuously focused on ’the bottom line.’
Anyone who exhibits any difference from that (impossible) norm – physical, cultural, intellectual, economic – is bombarded with pressure to conform and/or are subjected to constant ‘isms’ that degrade their sense of self worth.
As a result, we are forever left competing against each other for some far-off prize that only seems to get further and further away the harder we race. Having goals and working towards something is important, but learning how to embrace and lean into the present moment may be the most important shift we can make for ourselves and each other.
How do you stay grounded in your daily life?
Everyday I make it a practice to anchor into the work that I’m doing, and find the meaning and purpose that is driving me in that particular moment. Tapping into purpose helps carry me throughout the day, especially when I feel like a hot mess.
What’s the best piece of advice someone has ever given you about life, the universe, and everything?
I’ve got three that changed my life:
- Stop comparing your insides to other people’s outsides. We live in a culture that prizes external image over internal depth, but depth is where growth, change and purpose emerge from.
- People always overestimate what they can do in a year, and underestimate what they can do in ten. Most people give up far too soon because they think they’ve failed when really they’ve only just begun. Anchor in purpose, trust that failure and mistakes are not only inevitable but an essential part of the process, and stay in the game!
- The harder you hold on, the harder life gets. Change is life’s only constant. Surrender to the complexity, trust yourself, focus on what you matters most to you, and give yourself permission to have fun and experience joy in the midst of it all.
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