Another year draws to a close, and I find myself reflecting on the year passing – this year more than any other. A large part of me, I must admit, is glad to be able to draw a line and close the chapter (or what has actually felt like a very long, Icelandic saga) on what has in reality been a tough year. A year filled with chronic pain, illness and operating at a level way below one that I have been used to living at. Another part of me is extremely grateful: without all of this, would I ever have learnt to slow down; to treat myself with the kindness that I extend to others; and to live my (all to short!) life to the fullest without putting limits on myself? It is a sweet feeling to think that there is a fresh year spreading out in front of me, like newly minted, fresh snow that we woke up to yesterday. What tracks do I wish to make in it?
This year, I intend to celebrate myself and all that I am and already have. I intend ‘to be’ more rather than ‘to do’ more. I will remember the strength and resilience that I have discovered this year, when life was far from how I wished it to be. I will continue with the tools that I have discovered that support me in living better, such as daily nature walks, plant based eating and my meditation practice: starting first thing in the morning, before I even get out of bed (and hopefully before my son jumps on me!). I find that I have it ‘in the bag’ already, helping to cultivate the habit that I know sets up my day in the best way I can. I will take each day as it comes, some days life will seem particularly hard and I may be taking each moment as it comes. This is how I got through the most intense point of my illness, rather than thinking about the whole seemingly insurmountable thing. So, all I need to do is to be kind to the next person I meet, eat mindfully at my next meal, not have that glass of wine today and so on.
I have started prepping the ground, like a gardener working towards the next growing season, and I have been adding to a ‘vision board’ (in reality a big colourful bit of card above my desk!) adding stickers, pictures and sayings as I think of them, or come across them, which will inspire me and keep me on track as 2018 gathers pace. I know from previously that I need all the help I can get! The latest saying that I have written up is ‘the story in your head is always the answer to perseverance’ which reminds me of the oft quoted line from Henry Ford “If you think you can or can’t, you’re right.”
It’s not just about mindset, I have heard repeatedly by people who have transformed their lives, that the best way to achieve anything is to set up the environment around you to make it far more likely you’ll succeed. I have had this beautifully demonstrated over Christmas, the importance of having people around you that support your dreams and value who you are. I heard someone recently say on a podcast that if you live with thieves you are far more likely to end up a thief, so I am building a supportive, accountability team, letting other people in on my plans and the potential pitfalls that I have learnt about myself. I want to know about other people’s goals and aspirations so that I can support others too, so comment below or email me I’d love you on the team.
So as the bells chime out at midnight on the 31st I will be aspiring to achieving a dynamic flow in my life; to become increasingly comfortable with the things that give me discomfort (I have just read that this is called your ‘edge’ in yin yoga so I shall be walking my coast path!). I want to search out joy and fulfilment as well as employing kindness on the journey but, I will also treat the journey as the destination. It is an incredible thought that just by taking a 1 degree change in the direction we can end up at an entirely different place. We can ask ourselves, where do we want to get to? What tiny change can I make today? On a meditation this week on Insight Timer, Tony Brady talks about how you can turn over a new leaf every hour if you wish to and that you cannot waste time in advance – imagine that, we don’t even need to wait for a New Year! Good luck and wishing you well for 2018.
“Look well to this day, for it is life, the very life of life. In it lie all the realities and verities of our existence: the bliss of growth, the glory of action, the splendour of beauty. For yesterday is but a dream. Tomorrow is only a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day. Such is the salutation to the ever new dawn.” Kalidasa
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