Man standing in wide open space deep in thought

Who do you want to be right now?

As I sit at my desk on a cold and wintery January afternoon thinking back over the Christmas period at the start of 2021, I believe I would be hard pressed to find anyone who was overtly sorry to see the back of 2020.  Wherever you look, in the press, on television or radio, people are venting about how pleased they are to be shot of a year like none other known to most of us.    

Our lives have been impacted on so many levels, whether through bereavement, the loss of livelihood through redundancy, freedom of movement due to COVID-19 restrictions, or a loss of solace brought about by being locked down in a confined space with others, or loneliness through being locked down on our own.  Human nature dictates that as soon as we are told that we cannot do something, we instantly want to do it more. 

Not withstanding the implications of the pandemic, we are all living a very different life than the one we had grown accustomed to.  There is no doubt that some positive change will result from the fact that we have had to adopt new ways of conducting ourselves from the habitual ones we had done for years without question.  This has required huge effort, and has taken its toll on many of us, either physically or mentally. 

I feel as though in the last 12 months I have certainly had to ‘dig deep’ but on the whole, I think that my inner strength and determination has kept things moving forward, but I have certainly relied on the inspiration and ideas of others on many occasions. 

“Who do you want to be right now?” was a question recently posed by Carol Kauffman and Marshall Goldsmith which really resonated with me and the ‘Right Now!’ is the key. 

Consider this, you are annoyed with someone, and you are about to let them have a piece of your mind.  Ask yourself who do I want to be right now (in this moment), the question grounds you and provides split second space to evaluate. Your hesitant to do something, perhaps a little scared, ask this question. When the wind goes out of your sails, ask this question. A different part of you can surface and take you forward along a different path from the one you might have anticipated. 

I remember listening to a Radio4 interview last year with musician Marianne Faithful, discussing an album she had released called Native Capabilities.  She described this work as a celebration of her eventful life, and some of the key influencers in it, many of whom are no longer with us.  The aim was to illustrate her thinking, and what it had done to shape her strategy for the future.  Some reflections are personal and others are observations of life, and the way external forces, larger than us as individuals such as terrorism are changing us all in a way that could ultimately prove self-destructive. 

I have always loved Marianne Faithful’s music, and been intrigued by her back story.  Listening to the interview led me to track down a copy of the album.  The first time I played it, from end to end without interruption, the place it took me to amazed me. 

Not only was it musically brilliant, but it was also thought provoking, taking me to a place where mindfulness meets reminiscence, awaking in me thoughts about the past that were so rich in colour, that I felt completely immersed.   Not only that, but it definitely added reserves to my inner armoury that have been significantly diminished in recent months.  Whether it’s Marianne Faithful or a good book, whatever it takes, realise the importance of allowing yourself to be nurtured and inspired, and things will seem easier.  

So, what am I trying to say? 

How ever challenging life seems, or endless the perceived struggle, try to keep asking yourself this great question, “Who do I want to be right now?” and it will start a thought process that will help you feel more grounded.  Remember, there are things in life that we cannot change and things that we can.  Realise the importance of taking time to make sure that both feet are firmly on the ground, and perhaps the split second you stop to ask Carol’s question will buy you the time you need to dig down and find that you have more resilience than you thought.