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Surround Yourself With Support Systems to Keep Your Aspirations Alive

By Teresa Thomas-Carroll

In these troubling times, it is especially important to be surrounded by a strong system of support to keep our aspirations alive. A message I've heard countless times is that in order to strive effectively for peace in the world, we must also nurture a sense of peace with ourselves. To hold peace within ourselves is so much easier when we have the support we need.

Many years ago, I experienced a drought with my creativity. This is a big deal for someone who identifies primarily as a creative person. Looking back, it's easy to see that I was overcommitted with responsibilities that weren't recharging my creativity and I was experiencing burnout. Though I was immensely blessed with affirming support from family and friends, I also needed another level of support -- one that would challenge and encourage me to pursue interests that would exponentially grow my creativity as I put it to use.

Fortunately, I found a circle of women who support each other to reach our creative goals. We met every two weeks and continue to meet to this day. The group's discussion differs from that of friends and family because we specifically meet to talk about our goals, stepping stones and stumbling blocks. In other words, we do more than "hang out;" we have focused conversation and relentlessly encourage each other. Through this circle, I met and began regularly checking in with a skilled life coach who has always known just the right questions to help me dig a little deeper and clarify my intentions and goals. I quickly realized the immense benefits of building a loose advisory network to lend me inspiration and energy to carry out my work. The drought disappeared. Creativity once again bubbles out of a deep well, saturating everything around me.

Mini-Reflection Exercise

(It may help to have a journal or paper at hand.)

Brainstorm

Who are your friends, family members, neighbors and colleagues who listen well, ask the right questions, challenge and inspire you?

Imagine

What would the world be like if everyone had a nurturing support system? What choices might you make if you received all the support you needed?

Setting a goal

Is there a specific type of support that you would find helpful right now? Can you think of different or additional ways to garner the support you need? If so, set a goal for yourself to try strengthening your support system. If you are lucky enough to already have an effective network of people who lend you support, let your goal be to let them know you appreciate them.

Taking action

When what you really need is a specific type of support from someone, try asking for it. If you want a particular person to offer a different type of support than she is used to giving you, let her know if you need to be challenged, listened to or just accepted for your venture. People in your support network may be unaware of how they could best be of assistance. In turn, when people come to you for support, ask how you could be most helpful for them.

About The Author
Teresa Thomas-Carroll is the director of Purple Crayon Factory, which offers refreshing workshops and services for reflection, goal-setting and action in pursuit of an ideal life.


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