Blooming through disruptive times

We hosted an event with Human Potential and Parenting Expert Nikki Bush in honour of Women’s Month. We have all been sitting in a place of extreme discomfort and with an overwhelming sense of lack of control over the past months, and during this insightful talk, Nikki provided us with tips and tools to help us bloom through these times.

Life sends us tremors constantly, and sometimes it sends catastrophic life quakes that can break you open or bury you alive; and according to Nikki, we need to learn how to reframe these situations to reauthor our lives.

1. Getting Comfortable with not knowing

Most of us have spent years building sound financial plans and life plans which provided us with a certain degree of comfort about the future. However, we now know that this is no longer the case; we really don’t know what the future holds in terms of our plans. In order to reframe so that we can become more resilient, we need to get used to this discomfort.

2. Comma or full stop?

When Nikki’s husband, Simon, was tragically murdered at the end of 2017, the life she had known came to an end. In one split second, her whole world changed. Her family of four suddenly became a family of three, and all her hopes and dreams of her future with Simon were shattered. Nikki describes this time in her life as feeling like a full stop. However, with time Nikki began to turn this full stop into a comma, a pause, not the end, and she started creating a different future for herself. She had to actively decide to do that. This journey took her completely out of her comfort zone. She had to go to new places, meet new people and define who Nikki was without Simon. She urged us to consider whether significant moments in our lives where we feel completely out of control are full stops or commas.

3. Collateral beauty versus Collateral damage

Not only did she lose her husband, but she also lost her home and her anchor. Her family picture had been broken. While it was understandably easy for her to focus on all that was lost and broken, she also decided to focus on what she had gained, as with the damage came beauty too. Nikki calls this exercise in perspective Collateral Damage vs Collateral Beauty. In this exercise, she encourages you to fold a piece of paper in half. On one side, write the collateral damage of a particular situation, and on the other side, write down the collateral beauty. Take lockdown, for example; you would perhaps write isolation from family and friends on the collateral damage side, but what could the collateral beauty be? Could it be that you learnt new skills such as Zoom, which now means that you connect with friends and family overseas more regularly? It’s important to always look for the beauty in situations, and this exercise provides a perfect opportunity to gain perspective.

Nikki ended the session with this quote “Listen for the messages in the flames, and dig for the treasures in the ashes.”

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