🔍 Fresh Perspectives, New Learning, and Windows of Opportunity
When I decided to pick up my old guitar a couple of years ago, I had no glimpse ahead into the window that it would open. It was a few months into the Covid-19 pandemic, when I rescued my lonely old guitar from its dusty case thinking that if I could still scratch out a few basic chords, I could sing with them. I missed singing with others (forbidden during the early pandemic) and truth be told, was afraid if I didn’t intentionally exercise my vocal cords, they might not be so resilient when I resumed singing going forward.
Finding lots of joy, but less ability in my playing than I desired, I began guitar lessons with an amazing teacher, also “jamming” weekly via Zoom with one friend, and vocalizing with another close friend when we would get together.
A few months later, my kind husband offered to gift me a new guitar for my birthday – it would be my third guitar in this lifetime and he wanted me to finally have the one I really wanted. A friend and I visited several guitar stores trying them out. Suffice it to say, we were not the youngest folks in the stores. In fact, we were probably the oldest, but that only reinforced how much resuming this practice in this season of my life mattered to me. We left the store with a beautiful Martin guitar, which I play with joy and gratitude.
I share this story because – in ways I had not anticipated – dusting off my old guitar and singing with my friends and family have been more meaningful than I could have imagined. Yes, in the second half of my life (as opposed to when I started playing at age 15), I may need to stretch my hands after playing, but I love doing it. I’ve discovered inspiration, purpose, and joy in the activity – and sharing it with the kind, loving souls who tolerate my musical missteps and enjoy making music together.
Why does this matter? The human lifespan is fleeting and precious. Most of us don’t want to think about the finiteness of our lives, distracting ourselves in the busyness of our day-to-day. And yet evidence shows that seeking purpose and meaning is one of the cornerstones of wellbeing and reaching toward our personal potential (Kaufman, 2020).
We live at the edges of light and possibility. Beyond life’s challenges are windows of opportunity for fresh perspectives, new learnings, and transformation – openings to explore our questions and the questions behind the questions.
☀️ To Let More Light Enliven Your Life, Consider These Inquiries:
- Are you fully present for at least a few moments each day?
- What truly matters to you?
- What are your questions? What are the questions behind these questions?
- Which questions have you been afraid to ask?
- What do you notice that is genuine within you?
- Do you notice a call from somewhere within yourself? Do you notice a call larger than yourself?
- How can you pay attention to and enliven the energies of who you are and who you can become?
- What action will you take to reclaim your callings, creativity, wisdom, and spiritual giftedness?
Consider writing down your inklings and ideas in a journal or on an electronic device. Writing can help you reflect and also has been linked to improved health, wellbeing, and performance (Pennebaker & Smyth, 2016).
Exploring edges of light, fresh perspectives, and windows of opportunity:
There are many questions, and only you can explore the answers that are right for you in this season of your precious life. Here’s a five-step process to help you awaken: (Berns-Zare, 2020).
- Pause: Mindfully notice you’re breathing.
- Listen: Tune into your inner voice – the still small voice that guides you. Listen to messages from your mind, body, and spirit.
- Reflect: Notice and identify your feelings and reactions.
- Discern: Where do you feel called? Sift through your awareness and intuitive wisdom along with realities, possibilities, and choices. What additional information do you need?
- Act: What direction do you want to go toward? What’s the next right thing? Mindfully choose your next steps.
For more on this five-step discernment process, click here.
As you breathe, invite yourself to simply notice any inklings of light and possibility. Can you let yourself just be with this? What messages might you want to explore?
Who do you want to be? May inspiration, clarity, and deeper understandings illuminate your way.
* This article is for informational purposes only. No content is a substitute for consulting with a qualified mental health or healthcare professional.
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- Berns-Zare, I. (2020, January). Strategies to re-energize and flourish during life’s changes and transitions. Seminar presented at Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL.
- Berns-Zare. I. (2020). 5 strategies to begin a positive shift in your life; Stop looking out there for your answers.
- Kaufman, S.B. (2020). Transcend: The new science of self-actualization. New York, NY: TarcherPerigree
- Pennebaker, J.W. & Smyth, J.M. (2016). Opening up by writing it down: How expressive writing improves health and eases emotional pain. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
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Ilene Berns-Zare, PsyD, PCC, CEC, is an Executive and Personal Coach and Speaker. Ilene helps people live their best personal and professional lives by bringing mind, body, and spirit into flow with strengths, purpose, and potential. She inspires clients to find fresh perspectives and access their full potential as creative, resourceful, whole persons. Find Ilene online, set up a free discovery coaching consultation, and access free resources at https://ibzcoaching.com/.
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