Now that we are well clear of the holidays, it’s amazing how we can still feel the sensation of pressure, hey? Performance and refinement and all the other concepts of the new year seem to carry the holiday hustle into our day to day, even when we want to set it aside. But in order to do that, we have to cultivate a better way of living, so today I’m sharing details about a practice I use to keep myself aligned and connected with myself and purpose.
When we need to reclaim our sense of power and control in the world, it doesn’t take an iron fist. Our tendency, especially in the high performance atmosphere of capitalist America, is to put our 100% into each new promising pathway and hope for the best. That’s not what I’m offering today.
The idea I have for you isn’t going to be a reasonable idea for everyone, but if you’re interested in it at all, test it out for a day or three and see how you feel. Everything is just an experiment, so if you hate it, set it aside or see how you might adapt it to be a better fit for your life.
Each morning, I try to wake at 5 am for my own Power Hour Practice. The Power Hour Practice is a solo period of time designed to bring me into my own power. It invites me to ask the questions:
– What is in my control?
– Where does my own internal power come from?
– How will I support myself well to remain in my power and connected to my values?
This practice came from a season in my life when I felt all I did was wake, jump on work projects, serve my family, and stay up hours late with revenge bedtime procrastination – leaving me even more exhausted than before.
It’s not reasonable for me as a human to continue in that cycle, and when I tried to justify it, I sounded so sad. Literally sad – as if I’d forgotten along the way that I deserved to be cared for, too. So I love these questions, because they allow me to pivot when necessary. I don’t have to have a set structure, guidebook, or process to follow. I can feel out what I need for the day ahead based on what I’ve been experiencing and where I find lack. This allows me to recenter on what matters to me, what fuels my work and decisions, and how I can stay grounded through all the demands on my time.
I like to start the day this way, but when I’ve not been sleeping well or I’ve made poor end of the day decisions and stayed up too late, waking an hour earlier to invest this time seems unwise. If my body wakes naturally at that hour, I get up with the momentum. So that’s where you can make decisions for yourself. Would an hour of time invested in these questions and the subsequent morning hours be meaningful for you?
If you choose to try this in the morning, then what would that look like? Is it a 5 am wakeup call with movement, tea, meditation, writing, dancing, singing? Maybe it’s reading and imagination time, free of obligation to consider any responsibilities. Maybe you’re a night owl who could benefit from incorporating this power hour practice at night? Honestly, mine changes daily – because my needs also change daily. So some days, it’s a structured coaching practice and meditation. Other times, it’s reading and watching funny videos. The other day, I used a coaching strategy known as a Worry Station, and by the end of my closing mindfulness, I had clarity about a worry I’d carried for the last two years. It was wild and very unexpected! And I would not have encountered that new insight for myself if I’d been devoted to a single pathway of morning habits. Being open to possibilities is crucial for a power hour, because this is where we uncover growth and clarity of what we can control and what keeps us connected.
The end goal and purpose of a Power Hour Practice is to become more attuned with ourselves as we heal and uncover which core values are leading the charge – and which unhelpful automatic habits are trying to take over. Sometimes our core values have shifted, but we’ve lived with such busyness and distraction that we didn’t even notice. Maybe we’re committed to projects or even people that no longer feel like safety, warmth, connection, or health. These reflective questions and the hour I commit for fleshing out the answers and subsequent practices are restorative for an overworked and overcommitted soul like me.
Take a few minutes, right now. What does a Power Hour Practice look like for you? Set a time of day and for the next three days, commit to that time frame. Choose a space to practice where you can control the noise, temperature, sounds and quality of your experience because if you’re fighting off toddlers and begging someone to let the barking dog outside, that time will feel more stressful than reflective.
Choose how you’ll answer your questions, too. Will you write them out on paper? Will you create an ongoing note in your phone? Maybe you only want to reflect on them mentally. There is no right or wrong way to do this so make it your own.
You may also want to choose a method of incorporating your answers or values uncovered into your daily life after the hour has ended. This isn’t just for show; this practice is for transformation. So in what way might you add a little check-in midday to see how you’re handling your power?
Lastly, make the commitment that even if the time of day, location, or duration need to change, you won’t give up on the practice. It can be tempting to feel like you’re starting at ground zero every time you miss a day in a streak or skip a whole week entirely. You’re not starting from scratch. You’re a different person today than you were the last time you started. For example, this year I’m trying a different planner and work organization strategy for the first three months of the year…but it’s a strategy I tried a few years ago and failed. That doesn’t mean I’m unwise to try it again, because the me of today has a stronger baseline understanding of the strategy and I’m coming to the table with fresh vision, connections, and ideas about why I think now is the time to implement this strategy again.
And after three months (or even three days), I have permission to make a different choice. I am the one steering the boat – I have the power and authority to identify my needs and make my choices accordingly. Even with that statement, you can see how reinforcing my own power allows me to operate from a strong sense of self. I am worthy of the time, effort, and intentionality it takes to create a life I love even as I grieve where I feel powerful, safe, and happy – and so are you.
Thank you for listening to episode 120 of Restorative Grief. This episode may have sounded less grief-centric, but I guarantee that our griefy hearts benefit greatly from the attention we offer ourselves in a Power Hour Practice. When I am grieving, I feel so powerless. This doesn’t mean I’ll suddenly feel powerful in the face of loss, but I will begin to notice the places in my life where I can make a powerful influence…and you too, are a powerful person. You may not always feel powerful, but you contain multitudes. You carry within you the power and authority to carve the life you see fit, but it can be challenging to see that life if we’re always hoping for the end result to come magically fast (and without much changing). So much changes on a daily basis – even our cells! We are showing up for our current self in a new way, trusting that the power we contain and access will help us craft a life where healing and integration are second nature.
If this is your first time listening to Restorative Grief, welcome! This year we are chasing after some big ideas and big opportunities for healing collectively and individually, so I hope you’ll subscribe to the show and stick with us! If you liked this episode, please leave a five star review and share it with a friend who may also need a reminder of how powerful they really are. You know that feeling you get when someone sends you a link or a meme and says, “Hey, I see you and this made me think of you”? Maybe it’s your turn to pass that feeling onto someone else and see what a difference it can make. You’re a griever, so you get it. Feeling seen is a powerful gift to give.
And as always, one last thing before we go. Please remember, the only solution for grief is to do the work of grieving. Thank you for listening. I’ll see you next week.
Links + Resources from this episode: