5 more days until we close the chapter titled 2021. I wonder what I’ve learned.
I use a calendar to keep track of events, appointments, important dates, etc. and around this time, I always go back to the previous January and look at each subsequent month to see what happened throughout the year. Each year I am more amazed at how much I have forgotten.
Part of the reason I do this is to gain perspective. It’s so easy to look in the mirror and see the flaws and not notice what makes you gorgeous. And it’s so easy to reflect on last year and only see the time you wasted, the things you said you’d do but never did, the things you did and stuffed up royally, and the events that nearly broke you.
Reflection is powerful and it’s important and valuable to look at the whole picture – the positives and the negatives – with an open mind. A word of advice when reflecting on the negatives, stay a moment, but don’t unpack and move in there! It helps no one and doesn’t change anything.
Any good guided meditation will tell you, ‘… and when your mind starts to wander, which it probably will, pause, notice where it’s gone, and then without judgement, gently bring it back to the present moment ‘.
So I had this great post written on planning and growing and all that positive and motivational stuff and the more I thought about it on my morning walk, the more I decided it was mostly a lot of rubbish.
Let’s face it, not everyone is ready to hear, ‘Happy New Year!! Create the new you!‘
There are a million ‘plan a great year!’ posts for you to read and to be honest this is not going to be one of them.
I have sometimes described my mother as a gypsy. ‘You know, the kind that moves around a lot…’ It’s mainly to put a frame of reference so people get a picture. In reality whilst we did move a lot, she probably wasn’t a gypsy at all. Age, experience, and reflection have afforded me perspective. I think she was just doing the best she could, at any given moment, with the tools she believed she had available.
I am sure she would not have been reading any ‘make next year your best year yet!’ posts.
And that’s how it is for some people. Maybe for all of us during different parts of our life.
Sometimes chapters are just about survival. But these chapters are not the whole story.
If you were to look at my mum’s whole book, the 52 years in its entirety, you would see different people in different times. Early on, a very talented woman, driven, ambitious, charismatic, compassionate, resilient, stubborn, and born to do anything she put her mind to. Other chapters show her running all over the world trying to find happiness or just trying to put distance between her and her demons.
Like everyone, along the way, she learns the painful lesson that she cannot control the music life plays for her, only how to dance to it!
We all have a story and I don’t know a single person who hasn’t navigated a dark place, terrified, overwhelmed, and often paralysed not seeing a way out. And when they have emerged, we label them as inspiring, brave, strong, and resilient and assure ourselves we could never do what they did!
We need to look at the whole book to understand the reality and to see the whole story.
So, sometimes it’s just not the right time to plan and it doesn’t matter if it is December! Sometimes it’s time to sit and survive and get through the next minute with the tools you have available.
One day, you will be ready to take a step forward, or even sideways, it just might not be today.
Maybe today you are ready. Have you ever experienced looking at your life or any big project and been completely overwhelmed not having the slightest clue where to start? Yep, me too, and include tears! Many times. This dis-ease has a name. It’s called paralysis by analysis.
In my experience, the only way to manage this, is to start. Pick a spot and start. It’s a weird phenomenon, somehow you figure it out along the way. I will say that like most people I prefer some sort of structure and guidelines, so maybe this will be helpful for you too.
Where am I right now? What is right now?
Sometimes what you want and what you are ready to commit to are two very different things. And that’s okay!
Having an awareness, and owning it, will help you determine if you are going to take another step right now… or another time.
Reflection can be enlightening. Looking in the past gives clarity to the present. It puts into focus what’s important to us. The past provides great insights and looking back allows us to decide if we need to do things differently now to create a better future.
Every scenario has a flip side. A positive and a negative. Are you seeing the whole picture?
We were all born with a very powerful tool that has the ability to destroy or create. This tool runs on two sources of power, love and fear. This tool is choice.
How do I want my life to look 3 months from now? 6 months? on 31 December 2022?
Where do I need to make change(s)?
Don’t try running up the whole mountain this second. It’s too big. Observe it (create a vision), size it up, and decide if you are ready to take one step forward. You will feel it more than know it.
Maybe you need to look at it from inside your bubble for a bit longer. Tomorrow you might see something different, something manageable. Or the next day. Or the next. Or not.
I think I’m ready.
What knowledge or resources do I currently have?
What do I need to get where I want to go?
How do I need to BE? What do I need to do to implement that BEing?
How will I get back on track when I fall over?
Start. One step. Breathe.
Whatever you decide to do, or not do, booby trap yourself into success and own your decision. This might include avoiding triggers and addressing likely obstacles. Better that you accept they will come rather than being shocked and unprepared when they do.
And finally, life is largely about taking risks.
At the end of the day, it takes courage to try something new, to take that next step, or to stay where you are for another moment.
Everything happens at exactly the right time it is supposed.
You are exactly where you are supposed to be at this moment.
Remember though, whatever you decide, You’ve got this! You are capable of the most amazing things, things you never thought you could do!
And to go through your entire life or just another year and not even try something, because you didn’t believe you could, would be the biggest tragedy of all.
Dalya xx 💙