Before rolling your eyes at the title of this post, hear me out.
Many of us right now are being bombarded with promotions for news shows and memes that focus on getting rid of 2020 as if it were a curse we must break before entering 2021.
Yet, this past year, as I watched my loved ones struggle with despair, anger, hopelessness, and anxiety, I was okay.
I have always considered myself among the fortunate to be highly adaptable and comfortable with change. I see it as the way in which the universe tells me that things need to be different in my life. So, while I was shuttered in my home with my son and two cats, I took the opportunity to take stock of my life.
Dreams and Visions
Although I didn’t ignore what was occurring with the pandemic, I didn’t let the disturbing social and political landscape and the economy’s erratic nature overtake my thoughts or emotions. I focused on the things I could control, and through it all this past year, I have remained positive.
So, what made 2020 a great year for me?
Like many of us, I have aspirations for my personal and professional life. Dreams I wanted to pursue and a vision of that magical place I wanted to be at the twilight of my career. So while being home more, I took the opportunity to spend time setting my intentions, allowing myself to let go of what I couldn’t control in my life, and opening my mind to what my life could be in the current time and in the future.
As I overcame the noise of the challenges facing our world, I would step back, quiet my mind, and refocus my thoughts so I could manifest my dreams. In these times, I exercised gratitude by thanking God for the many gifts that I have rather than getting caught up in the negativity about what is wrong with the world.
I was changing my mindset—laying the foundation for some important work that lay ahead.
Manifesting my Dreams
Full disclosure: I wasn’t always the cockeyed optimist when it came to facing personal difficulties. Several years ago, during an extremely difficult time in my life, a friend and colleague, Toby Neal, taught me about the power of mental imagery and affirmation as a way to produce positive changes in my life.
A light bulb came on for me as I realized that, by setting intentions and visualizing a positive outcome, endless opportunities could be presented to me. As many of us have discovered, our subconscious has a magical way to ensure that our intentions come to fruition, and we know that a positive intention and a clear vision lead to a positive attitude.
This can unblock mental barriers and increase our happiness. I learned that by visualizing what I wanted my life to be like, I could manifest that vision into something real.
So earlier this year, I became more disciplined in the practices of mental imagery and affirmation, as I set my positive intentions:
>> My son is enrolled at a university and is exploring his passion
>> I am financially healthy
>> I am engaged in meaningful work that brings me joy
>> I live in my “happy place,” Cape May, New Jersey
I wrote these in my journal and meditated on them each night. I talked about them with my friends and family. As I daydreamed, I envisioned them as being real.
With the exception of the first intention—because my son is awesome, anyway—the other three seemed quite unlikely. Although I have had a successful career, I was unemployed for two years, which wreaked long-term havoc on my finances. I enjoyed my work, but I was tapped out and drained.
However, at 55, a career shift during a pandemic seemed unlikely. Just as unlikely as trying to sell a 110-year-old home so I could move to a beach resort town.
But our minds are powerful. Aren’t they?
All of these were all realized this past year. Yes, all in 2020—one of the best years I have ever had. And I credit it all to a positive mindset that I gained from intention-setting and the visualization of my dreams.
I truly believe that a positive mindset, coupled with the practices of mental imagery and affirmation, allowed me to keep perspective on the many changes we all faced this past year and to also manifest my dreams.
My son had an extremely successful first semester at Ohio University and is passionate about learning. Through a series of thoughtful decisions, my financial house is in order, allowing me to live the life I envisioned. Beginning January 1st, I will no longer have a full-time job but will instead be a part of the gig economy doing the things I enjoy the most and that bring me joy.
I don’t share this with you to boast about my good fortunes in the past year, but rather as a lesson. The lesson being that despite the noise of the world, we all have control over our thoughts and destiny if we choose to have a positive mindset.
I would love to hear about how your mindset has helped you in the past year. Please leave a comment below.