We are at that magical time, when one year is about to end and the next is about to begin. A clean slate, open before us, to fill as we will. A time for reflection, for celebration, for reminiscing, for mourning, for resolutions (that may or may not be kept) but most of all there is hope in the tomorrows.
This morning hubby (BB) and I reflected on the outgoing year and tried to come up with 3 words each that we thought best described our experience. After some thought BB said: Intrepid, Togetherness, Doing. I said: Stress, Relaxation, Minimising.
It struck me how quickly the word ‘stress’ jumped to the forefront of my mind. It overpowered the memories of the blessings of this year. The people we were fortunate to spend time with (especially family and friends we don’t see too often due to distance), the places we visited, the good times, the laughs, the love (so much love!). I had to force myself to remember these, as well as the huge changes that we made in our lives this year. Resigning from our jobs, travelling the world for 4 months, minimising our usual lifestyle dramatically, and choosing to live on a small boat. Life changes that have had a massive impact on our beings. It has taught me to relax and gradually let go of the stress and my constant pursuit of perfection (I’m still an avid though sometimes reluctant learner!).
So what are my 3 words for 2017? Connect. Calm. Release. Hubby’s are Connect. Present. Mindful.
Over the last few years I have been unable to connect genuinely with other people as I’ve allowed myself to live in a state of busy-ness and stress. That constant fight or flight impulse does not allow one the luxury of time or the quietness within to truly connect. For the whole of oneself to be really present. It doesn’t allow us to listen with empathy, to give of our time, our emotions, our love. It doesn’t allow us to ‘sacrifice’. Stress holds us captive to self. Other people become the ‘other’, something that disrupts and takes up our time and ever flagging energy. The idea of giving of ourself becomes alien. Selfishness takes prime position.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Although hindsight can also bring with it a regret of wasted years. … wasted moments. But what better day than today, on the eve of a fresh new year, to reflect and redirect our course!
Today I see that I need to anchor to calm and let go of all the burdens that causes me to tip over into the depths of self doubt; to steer away from the rocky reefs of unforgiveness that will shipwreck me; I need to stop sitting around wasting time in the lull that is caused by a lack of human connection, and realise that it is strong, loving relationships with positive people that helps us to grow and learn and move forwards, and puts the wind in our sails and reignites the passion in our hearts!
So in 2017 I want to say YES! Yes to human connection, to put aside the anxiety I get with predicting the outcome of a meeting with family or friends or new people. Put aside the false bravado, the ingenuine interest and feigned smiles and nervous conversation and actually be there, in the moment, with a caring heart, giving the time needed to get to know someone in a real way, to help someone who needs it, to really listen to someone. I know this will be a huge challenge for me to put aside my ‘social persona’ after having honed it to such perfection over the years.
I want to always choose CALM. I want to be still, be prayerful, be in the moment and BREATHE!
And above all I want to let go – this in itself will bring the calm and connectedness I’m chasing this new year. To let go of the ‘old negative story’ and embrace new relationships and changes relationships, let go of any hurt, any anger, the slights, the doubts, the low self esteem. Just let go and be a better me. To allow negative words to wash over me, maybe consider them, learn from them and then breathe it out and let it go …
I am excited for the year that lies ahead – I like to imagine it like a pristine beach in the early morning, not yet marred by footprints. A clean slate. I’m terrified of messing it up! But I know that if am purposed to live this year with these 3 words before me then I may actually be able to do this. So onwards and upwards – to purpose and perseverance.
Here’s wishing you a new year of immense possibilities!