“Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dream closer.” ~ Marica Wieder
When you’re born, your life is an open book filled with empty pages waiting to be written upon. We have the privilege and responsibility to write our unique story. Yes, our DNA and external forces, like our parents or culture, provide a structure upon which to build our story, but it’s up to each one of us to make sense of it and choose to write new chapters.
The question is: Will you let outside elements control your story, or will you pick up your pen and declare for yourself how you want to be? You can shape the person you are by intentionally declaring your commitments and purpose in life.
Declaration is the third step in our proprietary PADLE model we use to develop leadership skills. How do you declare your purpose? It’s more about what you do than what you say…
You declare your purpose in the way you approach your self-care.
Leaders who make a real difference do so by embodying their personal commitment to self and others. They embrace routines and practices that focus on self-care and centeredness, because that’s what energizes them to take daily action toward their purpose.
Yet, oftentimes, isn’t self-care the first thing you neglect, because “you’re too busy” or “you don’t have the time”? What you’re in essence declaring is that your purpose isn’t important to you. In contrast, taking time for self-care allows you to be centered, to mindfully find balance between your mind, body, and spirit. When you value and nurture yourself wholly, you have the power to direct your energy towards building any skill and cultivating any chosen behavior.
There are four steps to connecting self-care with declaring your embodied purpose…
1. Learn to feel and identify your body sensations, as you experience life. Reflect on how the first light of morning warms your skin and opens you up to another day. As you eat, nourishing food floods your body with renewed strength and vitality. Your loved ones cause you to soften or tense, depending on the current state of your relationship. Increase your awareness of sensations like these throughout the day.
2. As you make the connection between body sensations and emotions, you build trust in your Primal Core. Without judgment, you can see things as they are and accept them in the moment. Each reaction, each emotion informs and teaches you what serves you and what doesn’t.
3. With this increased clarity, you can form or un-form boundaries in your life. Define how you want to interact with the world and all living things within it. Define what you stand for, what you value, what you’ll allow and what you won’t. Your interdependence and interconnectedness is lived and felt, rather than being a vague concept of “right” behavior.
4. Your embodied purpose becomes actionable and observable. For example, if your purpose is to help women become leaders, you’ll embody a healthy lifestyle — you’ll eat nutritious food and exercise regularly, so you have the energy to keep going. You’ll value education and learn all you can in your chosen field. You’ll master leadership behavior and skills, like communicating effectively.
Regrets usually arise from what you don’t do, from unfulfilled dreams. These four steps will help you become more mindfully aware, which will enable you to declare what matters to you each day. Have you clearly identified your embodied purpose? Have you declared your commitments toward living that purpose? Sometimes we can get lost in the busyness of life. If that’s true of you, why not take advantage of our Newave PADLE leadership model questionnaire to help you get back on track.