What IS an Anderful Life? (Part 1)
Updated: Mar 10, 2020
This is the first post in a series about living an "Anderful Life." My thoughts are developing, and your input is welcome. I look forward to others shaping my thinking through their comments here and on social media. My life and ideas are works in progress. It only makes sense that my notions of what it means to live an Anderful life would be too. As you read this blog series, I encourage you to think about what it means for you to live a Lopezful, O'haraful, or Williamsful life.
Anderful Life: An origin story When the name of my coaching business came to mind, I was riffing on the way my family of origin, the Andersons, often refer to ourselves. We're the AnderFam, a name coined by an honorary family member, Steph. Over time, AnderFam has morphed into AnderSibs and AnderGreats (great grandkids). Unsurprisingly, I was staying with an AnderSis when the name Anderful popped into my head. (It was better than "Coaching-R-Us" and "No, Really, I'm a Coach," which, you'll appreciate, were never under consideration.) In short, the name is a grateful and lighthearted nod to my family, particularly my parents, who modeled much of what it means to me to live an Anderful life.
Six Kinds of Full-ness In thinking about what it might mean for you to live fully as yourself, I collected a variety of adjectives that end with the "ful" suffix. I ruled some of them out right away as descriptors of a life I invite others to live. Let's skip the vengeful, fistful, and basketful descriptors! Instead, I invite us to consider the following:
A Meaningful and Purposeful Life
A Faithful and Soulful Life
A Truthful and Peaceful Life
A Thankful, Grateful, and Graceful Life
A Playful, Joyful, and Beautiful Life
A Fruitful, Hopeful, and Plentiful Life
In the weeks to come, I'll spend time describing each of these in more depth. Here's a preview of my thinking.
A Meaningful and Purposeful Life. We seek lives that matter, with connections to others and a sense of direction. We're invested in work, service, and people for the greater good of those in our circles and those we will never meet personally.
A Faithful and Soulful Life. We honor the human need to attend to our inner lives and make sense of ultimate realities. Moreover, we choose to live in ways that are consistent with what we believe in our deepest parts, and in response to our beliefs about ultimate realities.
A Truthful and Peaceful Life. Cultivating lives that are committed to learning and remaining curious is a key aspect of personal well-being and human flourishing. Being open to the truth about ourselves, and being at peace with it, can be very difficult work, but is essential to personal growth.
A Thankful, Grateful, and Graceful Life. Expressing appreciation for others and noticing what we have can open us to new ways of moving into our lives and increase our resilience in the face of hardship. When we look at life through grateful hearts, we cultivate an ability to offer grace to others and ourselves.
A Playful, Joyful, and Beautiful Life. Sometimes, hidden in the corner of our lives, we find opportunities to play and laugh, experience joy, and savor beauty in the midst of difficulty. Other times, life overflows with such goodness. In whatever form we find them, playfulness, joy, and beauty feed us and sustain us through the mundane and the difficult parts of life.
A Fruitful, Hopeful, and Plentiful Life. When we see that our efforts to live meaningful, purposeful, faithful lives is having an impact on others, we come full circle: our growth feeds those around us, which in turn allows us to flourish even more. Together, they inspire and fuel hope for change. In a world where we are encouraged to jockey for position, power, and financial abundance, it can be helpful to recognize the variety of ways in which we already have plenty--and from a place of plenty, we are free to give.
I'm excited to hear your thoughts on my thoughts throughout this series. I hope that these posts give you a sense of who I am as a person and coach, and also invite you to reflect on the ways your life can and does reflect the "fullnesses" that matter to you.