“If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.” ~Unknown
“Sigh…and just like that, another year comes to an end.”
I find myself saying this every time a year comes to a close. But, I’ve never really reflected on the emotions behind this sentence. For me, this is a loaded one!
And the fact is that I’ve never really reflected on the years gone by. I just transition from one year to another—sometimes smoothly and sometimes with a lot of struggle.
I guess something has come over me and I genuinely want to reflect on how the past year has been and think of how I’d like the coming one to be.
For me, this year has been about unlearning and learning so many things about myself and people. So, the New Year will be about applying these learnings with more mindfulness.
2022 taught me that:
1. The person who needs your attention the most is you.
You need to make yourself a priority in every aspect so that you can take care of others and everything that is a part of and an extension of you. When you are not mindful toward your own self, you suffer, and while you may be doing a great job of managing everything else on the outside, you feel dead from within. What’s the point of going through life feeling grumpy all the time? Live more, laugh more, and love yourself even more!
“Dare to love yourself as if you were the rainbow with gold at both ends.” ~ Aberjhani
2. Rest and recovery are essential for self-growth.
Too many of us just rush through life. We are just going through the motions of things—crashing, burning out, breaking down, and losing the very essence of life. Things will get done one way or another. But life is more than just getting things done! It’s about slowing down, resting, allowing yourself to recover so that you have more internal resources to handle whatever life throws your way.
“Rest is not a luxury that you earn when you are finished with creative work. It’s a discipline you cultivate to make you more creative.” ~ John Spencer
3. When you learn to value yourself, people learn to do that as well.
Whatever we give out, we receive. If we give out a sense of lack of self-care, self-importance, disrespect for our own self, people will give that back to us in exactly the same way or even more! Life is not about people—it’s about you. It’s your journey. In Shakespeare’s words, “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and entrances.”
We’re all the main characters in our own story. We’re the actor and the narrator. Everyone is simply responding to our act. Therefore, it’s up to us whether we want to be at the center of our own lives or just behave like a side character while someone else narrates our story and occupies the main frame!
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into place.” ~ Lucille Ball
4. Relationships need to be nurtured.
Just the label of a relationship doesn’t work—be it that of a parent-child or husband-wife or partners or friends. A tag means nothing. Every relationship needs to be understood for its uniqueness and needs to be nurtured through time, patience, effort, letting go, and holding on. If we want better relationships, we need to show up consistently for ourselves and others.
“A relationship is not built on the length of time you’ve spent together. It is based on the foundation you’ve built together.” ~ Anonymous
5. We are surrounded by uncertainty.
We need to be better at letting go of the need to control everything. We want answers to everything, we want to predict and control outcomes, and in the process we just stay on the edge. We play safe and become disconnected with our own playfulness and creativity. Yes, sh*t happens all the time—but the way to live life is not to keep focusing on sh*t! It’s about creating your own small little garden filled with flowers, greenery, and so much more, because that’s truly what you can do. Be present. Savor the good things. Hold on to the good people and let whatever is destroying your peace go. Life is too short to hold onto sh*t…isn’t it?
“We’re all in the gutter. But some of us are looking at the stars.” ~ Oscar Wilde
6. We need to be more resilient.
It’s not about making any kind of discomfort go away. It’s about building more mental, emotional, and physical capacity to handle more, learn from it, and grow. It’s about continuous growth, development, and evolution by stepping out of our cocoons. It’s about being open to new perspectives, experiences, and embracing what’s good for us, and it’s also about looking at what’s not been good from the perspective of: “What can I extract from it that would help me grow?”
“The only way to make sense of change is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance.” ~ Alan B. Watts
7. We all could do with a lot more love.
Love does make the world go around! We are at our best when we are surrounded by love, kindness, patience, empathy, compassion, and warmth. Sadly, most of us are too disconnected with our own selves and roam around with unhealed wounds that make us guarded and keep us at a distance from our own self and others. We don’t know how to give or receive love. But we are at our best when we are loved and are able to give love. Love is all we need, and for some of us, that’s the only thing we don’t have. But that doesn’t mean we can never have it. Does it? We just need to choose to love and let it find its way back to us.
“Life is very simple. What I give out comes back to me. Today, I choose to give love. ” ~ Louise Hay
8. We need to be more grateful.
Even when we think we are all alone in the midst of adversity, we are not alone. There is always someone or something that shows up just when we feel we’re drowning. While we’re too busy looking at what’s not happening or not working, we need to be more grateful for whatever is working for us, whoever is helping us in any possible way. We may not get the exact kind of support we need, but we do get support.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. ~ Melodie Beattie
If we need our life to be different, then we need to be different, and only we get to define what that difference will be. It needs to come from a place of thoughtful reflection and introspection.
As I look back on the year that is going by, I realise that I am older (although I don’t look old! hah!), wiser, and more grounded.
I feel like a part of me has come home and is feeling cozy under the warm blanket.
Yet, there are other parts of me that need to come home too, and the New Year will be about bringing them home and integrating.
2023 for me will be about resilience, coming home, and integration.
What would you like it to be for you?
What are your words for the coming year?
Remember, intention defines action.
My intention for you is for you to accept yourself, be comfortable with who you are, and love and nurture yourself more and more.
What’s your intention for yourself?
“Intention is the most powerful force there is. What you mean when you do a thing will always determine the outcome.” ~ Brenna Yovanoff