“Happiness and fulfilment do not come from pleasure but from meaning,

from the pursuit of a noble purpose.” Fred Kofman

   This year marked our 10 year marriage anniversary, and ironically it was the first year that we spent Christmas apart. Silver lining: I’ve had more time to reflect on 2018 and build my plan for the coming year. As I reflect back on this year, I am grateful for the milestones we’ve achieved — from the studio completing 4 years and entering the second year of supporting teacher trainings, to starting our Live Awake events. Naturally, there were challenges we faced, however, with the continued support from you and the rest of the community, we’re glad to see Inspire still standing strong.

   Recently a friend asked me why I still keep the studio running in this economic climate … and yes, there are many closing down. But our approach to the studio is more about providing a sustainable space for the wellness of the community. As you all know, Inspire was born from our shared passion for health and fitness. John and I both feel that this is essential to help people lead better lives, and this is our way of giving back. Plus, we feel responsible for the people we employ, the teachers we support and all of you, for whom we strive to provide a warm, supportive place to feel right at home as soon as you step in — in fact, we’re renovating the place to improve your experience.

   You are all like our family, and for us, it’s about the blessings we receive. Moreover, offering a place where people can come together, connect, find support and get fit is what drives me each day; it’s the legacy I want to build — it’s the legacy I want to live — every day.

   I’ve come to realise that to make a difference and leave a legacy, we first need to live it — start by knowing what our purpose in life is, and actively make choices to live in line with it. Our purpose in life goes beyond ourselves for the betterment of those around us; it touches the lives of others in meaningful ways. It’s not about what the world needs, but what makes you come alive and be happy. It’s also important to realise that our purpose may change from time to time, and it’s okay if you don’t know what yours is because it takes time and effort to find where your true passions lie. To help me define my personal mission statement, I’ve found answering the following helps, perhaps you can start with them too:

• Your calling: What inspires you the most and makes you feel you were born to accomplish in this world? Doing this feeds your soul and brings you utmost joy in this world.

• Your values: What are the principles you live by and do not compromise on? Having them direct every aspect of your life, even in the toughest times, defines how you live and what you stand for.

• Your character: What forms the basis of your personality and moral fibre? What makes you, you? Define your character, it is what remains after the charisma fades away.

   Once you have defined your purpose and what you want to achieve, I highly recommend that you plan for it, and make conscious educated choices and decisions that support and further your purpose. Break your journey down in multiple milestones, this will help ensure you stay on your path and gain a sense of achievement in what you’re working towards.

To keep track of the bigger picture, it is essential that your daily decisions are consistently taken in alignment with your life’s purpose. I think that in order to leave our imprint on the world — whilst still living — we need to embody our purpose and allow it to give meaning to our lives. I truly believe that our purpose is an extension of who we are, what we care about — and it starts with how we live today.

   So do what you love, find your calling, uphold your principles, truly live your life with the purpose that defines you — and believe me when I say this: you are making your mark in this enormous world with the lives you touch, every single day!

   Let’s welcome 2019 with a plan for our life’s purpose and live our legacy. We’re always here to support you and wish lots of success, happiness and health this new year!

Elisa

Self-esteem is said to be crucial in leading successful lives. Yet, self-worth—a much more important aspect—is often left out of the conversation. It is this, the feeling of being worthy of love and belonging, which is vital to leading contented lives.

Success stories in the media paint pictures of ideal ways to live. Over time, we have started measuring our self-worth by how far we meet the expectations of society, family, friends and colleagues. When unable, our natural response is to feel shame; this painful feeling of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy—as explained by Dr. Brené Brown, a well-known researcher—is the no. 1 obstacle to living wholeheartedly.

In her book, Daring Greatly, she writes, “Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. […] It’s going to bed at night thinking: yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.”

We are all imperfect, and accepting this will help us lead more gratifying and happy lives. Following are 10 guidelines that can help overcome the need for perfection, develop the courage to let go of fear and shame, and foster compassion for ourselves.

  1. Practice Authenticity:

Let’s not dwell upon what people think and stay true to ourselves.

  1. Find Self-Compassion:

Let’s relieve ourselves of perfectionism, it is the first step to feeling we are enough the way we are.

  1. Cultivate Resilience:

We are stronger than we think. So let’s learn to cultivate a hopeful attitude and believe in our ability to overcome the challenges in life.

  1. Build Gratitude and Joy:

Even in challenging times, we have the ability to feel joy. So practice being grateful, and let this change in perspective bring happiness into our lives.

  1. Trust Your Intuition and Faith:

We live in an uncertain world with very few things under our control. Let’s focus on doing them right and not let negativity cloud our actions.

  1. Foster Creativity:

We all possess unique talents. So let’s nurture them and feed our souls. Let’s not compare, because that will leave us feeling not enough.

  1. Protect Your Play and Rest:

Our net worth does not define our worthiness. Society puts productivity on a pedestal, but we need to remember that we need rest and play to rejuvenate.

  1. Don’t Fear Calm and Stillness:

Being calm means being aware of our anxieties. It is hard to do away with them completely; however, with yoga and meditation we can learn to take control of our emotions to deal better with complicated situations.

  1. Pursue Meaningful Work:

We may not all be able to practice our passions in our careers, but with a little bit of time management, we can still do things that satisfy our souls and bring value to society.

  1. Laugh, Sing, and Dance:

Let’s remember to laugh, not take ourselves too seriously, and let go of being in control. It can make a world of difference.

I wholeheartedly believe that we all are worthy of being loved and feeling a sense of belonging. Each of the above guidelines is an on-going practice to live wholeheartedly. They have been developed by Brown to help us let go of our desire to conform to the expectations of society and our ideals of perfectionism; so that we can accept ourselves as being self-sufficient.

I hope you feel like you belong when you come to Inspire, as we work towards building an ever-loving, safe and supportive community. What do you think about wholehearted living and is there a particular point above that resonates most with you? I’d love to know! Please feel free to share, I’ll be looking forward to your story.

Elisa