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From Broken to Badass Step 2 - Refocus

Welcome back for week 2 of the 5 part From Broken to Badass series! I hope you carved out some time to rest your beautiful body, mind and spirit over the last week. As we prepare to refocus our energy on what's most important to us this week, remember what I mentioned in Step 1: A strong comeback requires a strong foundation, and that foundation requires a rested, replenished YOU. If you haven't read Step 1, click here to read it before moving on to step 2 below.

Remember, REST isn’t a one and done, reserved only for when times are hard. No, REST ranks right up there with food and water as a necessity for a healthy, happy, BADASS life. So write it into your calendar. Make honoring your body, mind and spirit, a part of your weekly routine.

It’s not selfish. It’s not a luxury. It’s the first step in building our badass foundation. Every other step depends on it.

Now that we’re feeling a little more rested (and ONLY after we are rested), we’re primed to take the next step toward our epic comeback from broken to BADASS:

REFOCUS What does refocus mean?

Refocus means directing our attention and energy AWAY from the myriad distractions in our lives (the “fires” that constantly pull us in a hundred directions) and RE-DIRECTING that attention and energy into what matters most to US.

Refocus means figuring out what brings us joy and fulfillment toward our purpose, and focusing on THAT.

What we focus on grows, so focusing on what we want MORE of, not what we want less of, is where positive change begins. So how do we refocus? I want to share a few strategies with you that I use, not only in my private Empowerment Coaching, but in my own life as well.

Grab your notebook and pen for these exercises. I like to use a basic wire bound school notebook because I feel free to “mess up” when I write in it. I don’t worry about my handwriting or my spelling, and writing freely is the quickest way to get to what we truly feel, deep down beneath all the thoughts telling us how we “should” feel.

Plus, I know if I write something I don’t want anyone else to read, I can tear out the pages and shred them when I’m done. ;)

Before completing these exercises, it’s important to clear your mind as much as possible. For some people, simply sitting with eyes closed and taking a few slow, deep breaths works well. For others, like myself, who struggle to silence the constant chatter, I find guided meditations helpful.

I use an app called Insight Timer, which I really like.

For the purpose of quieting the mind, I recommend the meditations they offer that are less than 5 minutes long (You can search by duration.) Here are a few of my favorites for this purpose: Calm, by Sara Auster Simply Be, by Scott Langston Ten Breaths Meditation, by Mary Waldon, LCSW Quieting the chatter in our minds, even just a little, goes a long way toward helping us refocus. Once you’ve quieted your mind, either by slow breathing or a short meditation, open your notebook and quickly, without pausing to “think up” your answers (It’s imperative that you write quickly and DON’T OVERTHINK, just let your pen fly!), without judging your answers as unworthy or impossible, selfish or crazy, answer these questions: What would you do if you had a whole day with no responsibilities? Who would you spend that day with? (It’s ok if you’d want to spend it ALONE!) Imagine your house was on fire, what would you save first? Finally, what would you do for work or hobby if money wasn’t an issue, and you knew you COULD NOT FAIL? Make sure you take the time to allow every thought to fall onto the page before moving on. Now go back through your responses and circle the things/people that appear more than once. Write these on a new list called “My Soul List.” These are the things that, deep down beneath the chatter of “go go go!” and “should’s,” truly matter to your soul. These are the things that our hearts are begging us to refocus on. These are the things that motivate and fulfill us.

When we consciously focus on these things on a regular basis, we will begin to feel an ease around them, and they will begin to grow exponentially in our lives.

Because, for good or bad, what we focus on grows.

Unfortunately, these things on our Soul List are the same things we often shove to the back burner, to focus on all the other responsibilities screaming for our attention.

Do me a favor; go back to that first list you made last week of all the things you HAVE TO do. See where these two lists overlap. What is on your “have to do” list that’s also on your Soul List? Eye-opening, huh?

I actually do this exercise at least twice a year, because I find that I naturally wander from what matters most to me, toward the squeaky wheels in my life. So doing a quick recheck like this brings my focus back to my “WHY.” What’s your WHY? Look at your Soul List again. What jumps out at you? What excites you most? What stirs that butterfly inside when you read it?

Why? Why does it light you up? If the answer doesn’t jump out to you immediately, grab your notebook and free write again. What about that thing (or those things) excites or fulfills your heart? Why does it excite you? Once you’ve answered that, ask yourself this - why does THAT excite me? And why does THAT excite me? Why? Why? Keep answering until you get to the CORE reason why that specific thing matters so much to you.

See, most times it’s not the activity or person that actually lights us up, it’s the deep desire it fulfills that lights us up. That desire speaks to our WHY.

The answer you came up with above when you could no longer ask why… that core reason... THAT, my friend, is your WHY. For me, I love to spend time with my boys. I love to travel and write and connect with women. I love to bring women together to share their TRUE selves. I love to share my faults and screw-ups because I want everyone I meet to know it’s OK to not be perfect. I do the same with my boys, giving them the freedom to be imperfect too.

And while it can be emotionally exhausting to be a constant open book, knowing my WHY gives me the fortitude to push on.

When I go through each of these things asking “Why does that excite me?” until I get to the core, I discover my WHY, and it's this: I want to spread love and do my best to empower those who cross my path to adore the REAL version of themselves. I want learn from everyone I encounter, allowing them to inspire me as well. Ultimately, I want to know, at the end of my life, that I have left the world a little brighter for being in it. So every day of my life, the easy days AND the hard days, I refocus on my WHY. When someone hurts me or my life falls apart, I’m able to look back at my WHY and see the purpose in those events, as opportunities for growth, lessons gifting me empathy for others who are going through similar experiences. The empathy I gain through my struggles helps me live my WHY even more effectively.

Knowing what matters most to us, beyond our cars or houses or fit bodies or trendy clothes or full social calendar or fancy job title, knowing the WHY behind what excites us, gives us a guiding line that runs through everything in our lives. Knowing our WHY brings us back to our purpose when we get off track, which we ALL inevitably do.

What’s your why?

What was the underlying theme of your answers to the questions above. Do you see a pattern? A through line? (If you don’t, just go back and answer the questions again, completely honestly and unashamed, knowing you can shred what you write if you don’t want anyone else to read it!)

It’s there. Your heart will know when you identify it because it will feel like a puzzle piece falling into place, a spark in your heart, a return “home.” You’ve dredged it from the hidden depths of your unconscious. Now you know. And knowing is the first step in coming back refocused, re-centered and ready to rise… from broken to BADASS.

Write it down. Love it. Hug it. Focus on it when you’re faced with challenges. And focus on your WHY when life feels easy too!

Our WHY is our life raft when we feel like we’re sinking. Our WHY is our reason for the decisions we make that guide us to our true power. The force and energy behind focusing on our WHY gives us the strength and creativity that lights up our lives.

As we take the time this week to REFOCUS, it is THIS that we focus on. It will seem foreign, because we’re so used to focusing on our “to-do” list and the needs of everyone else. But since we put those “to do’s” into their proper place of prioritization through last week’s lessons, we now see that we do have time, and more importantly, we have the RIGHT to focus on what speaks most clearly to our soul.

It is possible to do both. The idea that we must constantly focus on everything around us is simply not true. REFOCUSING on our WHY goes hand in hand with REST, to build the strong foundation on which our epic comeback depends. And as a side bonus, that strong comeback will naturally allow us to tackle that to-do list so much more effectively in the end.

Program your WHY as a daily reminder in your phone. I like the Alarmed app for iPhone, but there are many apps that work well for this purpose.

Write your WHY anywhere you know you’ll see it throughout your day, as a gentle reminder to REFOCUS on what matters most to YOU.

Next week, we tackle the last of the three base-building steps of the From Broken to Badass series, RELEASE. Release can be a challenging step, but it’s absolutely critical that we let go of what isn’t serving us, before we begin the final two steps of our rebuild to BADASS.

We’ve SO got this. Together. Xx Jen

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