“What have you done today to make you feel proud?
It’s never too late to try.
What have you done today to make you feel proud?”
These are the opening lines to the chorus of Proud, written by Heather Small and Peter John Vettese and sung by Heather Small.
I love this song on many levels, not least of which is the amazing voice of Heather Small and I often use it in workshops to add an uplifting mood or reinforce a message.
We are often discouraged from feeling pride for fear of it being seen as arrogance and yes there might be some occasions, when some people seem to fit that description. How many of us have had teachers, parents or others say “don’t get too big for your boots”
However, I believe that for many of us, feeling proud is not something we allow ourselves to feel enough; we often dismiss, diminish or move on quickly from a success or achievement.
Proud, for me though, is a song with much more to share with us than to simply be proud.
It starts with the words,
“I look into the window of my mind
Reflections of the fears I know I’ve left behind.
I step out of the ordinary
I can feel my soul ascending
I am on my way
Can’t stop me now
And you can do the same.”
Through struggles, day to day challenges, specific life experiences and heartbreak we can get into patterns of thinking, feeling and being that keep us stuck; stuck in ways which feel yuk!
Much of how we feel is determined by those “reflections of the fears” we have lived and might still be living; in other words we haven’t left them behind.
In times like these it can be really hard to look beyond today, beyond our immediate feelings and environment and feel we have no future and nothing will change. Yet when we can emerge, take a moment or simply lift our heads and refocus on what an amazing life we can have, even the beauty of a sunny day, a funny movie or a kind act from a stranger or friend can make our soul ascend and everything changes.
Once we recognise that a new future or possibility is out there and we can shift our thoughts towards that – we are on our way and nothing can stop us.
Now of course it’s often not as easy or simple as that and setbacks happen which leads us nicely into words from the second verse.
“Still so many answers I don’t know
Realise that to question is how we grow
So I step out of the ordinary”
My interpretation of that is that it’s OK to not know everything and in continuing to search and be curious we are able to take one step and another and yet another – that’s how we grow, learn and find new opportunities in life. Nothing is fixed and change is possible at any time.
“We need a change
Do it today
I can feel my spirit rising
We need a change
So do it today
Cause I can see a clear horizon”
When we are stuck, heads and spirits down in our mess, grief, confusion or pain if we can find something to change, to help us shift how we are feeling and do it in that moment it can quickly help get a clear view of a new direction.
I actually put this into practice during days when my back, over the last few months of recuperation from the fracture I incurred in January, was causing me real discomfort to the extent that it was hard to focus on anything else.
I decided to look at one new of different thing, do one thing or think one thing that was not about my back. It might be make a cup of coffee, get up and go for a short walk, phone my Mum or go for a drive. Most times even that shift in focus did help; it didn’t necessarily decrease the pain dramatically but it did distract me from focusing on the pain and it seemed to help – I was on my way.
How we feel is directly linked to how we think and this in turn governs our actions or lack of action.
So if we can find ways to raise our spirits causing our soul to ascend and do it today how amazing could that be?
By stepping out of the ordinary and going one step further than we might normally choose to go, I wonder if we might se that new horizon. And of course you don’t have to be stuck, in pain or down to do this. When we are brave and look for things to question, we have the opportunity to grow.
- What will you do today to raise your spirits?
- What would make your soul ascend?
- How can you feel proud of YOU today?