New Year, New You?
Do you embrace 'New Year’s resolutions' or the setting of 'intentions' for the year ahead?
There is no denying, that the welcoming in of a New Year, tends to be a time of reflection...inviting a review of the year that has gone before, and planning, with anticipation, for the twelve months that lay ahead. At this time of year, we can find ourselves thinking about how we can improve ourselves and our lives.
Whilst it can feel as if it will be useful, to review what has gone, it is helpful to engage in the process with an air of caution, knowing that our ‘version’ of the past, is created by us, from the memories we have stored. A glance to the past may provide us with insight that we can learn from; in considering what could have been different, we may see what change we would like to invite into our lives. However, there is no need for us to stop and stare…to linger in the past, unpicking the facts, can hold us back from accepting what has been, keeping us from letting go and moving forwards.
To plan for the future, can feel like a positive thing to do, as long as we do so lightly. If we are attached to fixed goals and outcomes, then we can fall into the trap of holding ourselves, and others, accountable to the expectations we innocently create and hold on to, which could lead us to a bitter sense of disappointment.
When we look to the past or to the future, we are simply taking ourselves away from the present - the present being the only thing that we ever really have - each moment moving seamlessly into the next. The more we can go with the flow of the natural momentum of life, the more we can relinquish control and respond intuitively as life unfolds before us. Living in this way, enables us to show ourselves, and others, greater kindness and compassion, as we become more accepting of what is, rather than what we want things to be.
Aiming to improve ourselves, to combat the ways in which we believe we are lacking, puts unnecessary pressure on us to become an idealised 'perfect version' of ourselves. When we are trying to create the life we think we ‘should’ be living, rather than the life we want, we are doing ourselves a disservice, and we forget to notice we are absolutely wonderful just the way we are right now. Perhaps, we could instead, accept who we are in this moment, focus on what makes us happy, and simply do more of that?
In moving forward into the New Year with an open heart, and an open mind, we can seek out the things that fill us up with joy. More often than not, it is when we stop seeking to improve ourselves, that we create the space and calm within us, to recognise that we are already all that we need to be. With this recognition, comes a sense of freedom, fulfilment and contentment.
What greater achievement could there be than this?
Happy New Year everyone xxx
Co-authored by Dr Caroline Walker (Founder of The Joyful Doctor), and Julie Mitchell (Joyful Doctor Coach), 2018