Another year come and gone, a new year to look forward to, and an old year to reflect on, but only a little bit. Reflection on our past is important for self improvement, but it can be easy to go down the rabbit hole on the past: regret, things undone, a feeling of weight, on your mind and on your person. The thoughts of the past can burden us going into a new year if we let them. Here are some of the things I do to refresh myself for the New Year.
I don’t think about the past with regret. Or at least I try very hard not to; I used to spend hours looking back, wishing I would have done things differently, and lingering on the thoughts, the feelings and the regret of the past. I have learned that the past cannot be changed, and that when we linger on it for too long, it can bring sadness, depression and it can keep us feeling stuck from moving forward. The so-called ‘bad’ of the past, through another perspective, can become good, it can be opportunity for learning. It’s a mental training that’s lifelong that helps you find the courage to not see obstacles as barriers but as things to overcome.
I let go of old things and embrace change and new things. An old friend of mine from New York once said the best way to let go of your problems is to imagine them as helium balloons, you let them go and they float away. She taught me this visual exercise and it works. Imagine your problems as floating balloons you’re holding onto, and you let them go, one by one, until they float away and disappear. It’s worth trying.
I have a vision that leads me. If we don’t dream, we die, inside and out. When we lose our vision for ourselves in the future, or our purpose in life, then we lose the excitement of the future. Think about why you have lost your vision, why you are feeling lost or stuck? What are you missing inside you that you need to heal or to focus on. Are you burnt out? Are you in a bad relationship or a bad job? As I coach my clients in career sessions, every part of your life affects another part. You need to have balance in your life to feel energized and positive. If you’ve lost your vision for yourself for whatever reason, it’s time to find it again for this next stage of your life.
I stay open hearted and open minded. Always be kind is a motto I’ve borrowed from Kurt Vonnegut, and it might be the simplest reminder and the hardest to do, on a day by day basis. It’s easier as we age to become narrower in our interests, but your own youthful longevity depends on being open to new things, to change, and to situations. Resilience, curiosity, imagination, energy are built on the things we love, and what we love is so much less than what there is. Being curious every day about new things will remind you how much there is to feel in the world, and how much you are the one to build your own experience of the world. I like to be curious and to stay open to the possibilities that come into my life; instead of saying ‘this is impossible’…I choose to to be open to it and treat it as a gift for consideration for my future direction. Neurologists will also tell you it’s good for you, which seems obvious to me.
I believe in people and my own future. Cynicism is our basic culture these days, to the point where we ourselves don’t realize how cynical we’ve become. Cynicism is a disbelief in people and potential, and if there’s anything I dislike the most it’s cynicism. It’s a low frequency emotion or intellectual stance, and it drains you and everyone of vital energy. Sure, some cynical humour can be funny, but are constantly cynical people funny? They are the hardest to be around because they drain you of thinking or feeling the potential in you for the joyful expression of your born talent.
While life can be tough, and we all experience this, I see only one option. That option is survival, thriving, overcoming obstacles, learning and never giving up. I believe we are in the place we are supposed to be whether it is challenging or not, so be thankful for the space you are holding, learn what you are supposed to and simply BELIEVE. Believe and trust…trust that you are being looked after and that you will be directed down the path that is best for you. My mantra….”Failure is not an option”.
Keep up with interesting videos and articles every week. Become a magazine subscriber.