Awura's January Reflection - Happiness?
Awura abena simpe
Awura is the founder of Creative Women Collective, an ex-lawyer specialized in intellectual property and incredibly passionate about sparking courage in creative women. And fries. And Brené Brown. And podcasts.
Photo: Carly Wollaert
I am obsessed with self-reflection. This is 100% a result of circa 20 years of journaling. I have over ten diaries full of thoughts, experiences and stories from elementary school until today.
Through journaling I have developed a deeper understanding of my mindset, my behaviour and my purpose. The benefits of self-reflection are extremely valuable. All of my choices are rooted in the words I have written to myself, about myself and my experience of life. These words have fought off loneliness, insecurity and a variety of fears, a billion times. I owe these words the life I live today.
The trick with journaling is to be unjudgemental towards yourself. And this is also the hardest part. I often catch myself trying to filter my thoughts or experiences, in an attempt to impress myself. Which I know sounds a little bit crazy! The urge to edit reality is something which is normal on social media, but doesn't work when you are trying to your own Oprah. Self-censoring also dulls the power of self-reflection. If you filter yourself, you will not reap the full benefits of this essential life skill.
In my monthly reflections on www.thecreativewomencollective.com I will push myself to share an unfiltered review of my month. A look into the behind scenes of CWC without all of the (awesome) Inshot effects which we use (and love) in our Instagram Stories.
I look back on January with happiness in a way I haven't experienced before. A happiness which isn't tied to goalsetting, but to something deeper.
Let me explain.
The to-do list which I drafted for January is not crossed off 100% whatsoever. Probably more like 50%. And strange enough I am okay with this. I'm okay with not reaching every single goal. I didn't know why until I met up with Floortje Lopes from Tree Full of Scones. As we were chatting away, she shared this quote (which a friend shared with her): "Focus on being happy, instead of chasing after happiness."
When she shared this I realized this is why I have been okay with not reaching my goals. I am too busy being happy with the incredible things I did do:
- hosting a tech-start-up event in B. Amsterdam;
- starting the recording of The CWC Podcast;
- developing new concepts with my crazy talented intern Shenelva Booij;
- preparing, organizing and enjoying the 3 events we hosted this month (our final bootcampclass, our "consciousness" seminar and our event in collaboration with the Kanarie Club);
- and our alltime favorite; connecting with our collective offline!
I will carry the things I didn't do into February, not with a sense of failure, but from a place of happiness. Happiness of all the possibilities which are in front of this collective and myself.
I believe Floortje's quote struck a cord with me, because of one of my newest habits: meditation. In fall 2017 I started practising meditation out of curiousity. I downloaded the app Calm and was immediately a fan. I first fell in love with their sleep stories (which knock me out within 15 minutes), and after a while also with "The Daily Calm" (100% not kidding; just typing it makes me zen).
Meditation gently pushes me into the here and now, and all of the happiness which is available at this very moment.
I'm happy. Calmly.