To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation – Yan Martel, Life of Pi
So it’s the start of a whole new year, are we all ready with our bright and sparkly good intentions .. or not! Are we all feeling fat, skint, hungover and still trying to shake off the Christmas lurgy?
I used to dread January, there was the anti-climax from the Christmas build up, the desperate need to re-fill the coffers from getting carried away on present buying for the kids and the awakening buds and sunshine of spring and the open road riding my motorcycle felt so far away.
I now have a whole new relationship with January, this is now my wrap up and immerse myself in creativity month, it is a time for long baths (until we moved to France and now no longer have a bath 🙂 ) but you get the idea – light candles, play music, read books, read poetry, play music .. did I say that already?
As I write this, myself and Andy are heading south back to our place in France and the visibility on the auto-route is pretty minimal owing to the rain lashing down so hard it is creating a spray that sometimes hits the window with a thud as there is so much of it. It has rained all the way down here, there is surface water on some of the low lying fields and lots of surface water on the road creating an aquaplane experience second to none.
In my curiosity I notice that some vehicles continue to speed past us, some doing at least 160 km/h. These people seem to have set a course and time limit for themselves for this journey and intend to keep to that deadline, ignoring the old saying .. ‘it is better to arrive late than dead on time’! I also note in my curiosity that five of the previously mentioned vehicles have skidded out of control and we have passed them in a ‘crunkled’ state at the scene of their accident (luckily there seemed to be no serious injuries from any of the crashes).
As ever this pondering leads me into other meandering thoughts .. How many of us stick to a course of action caught up in the momentum even when it may slowly but surely be sucking the life-force from us? I did it in lots of areas of my own life for years and I am now trying to stay awake and pay attention to the ‘feelings’ of any course of action.
I have worked to support many clients over the years who have continued on a course of action that was clearly not right or healthful for them – stayed in the unhealthy relationship, employed many avoidance behaviours such as over-eating, alcohol misuse, drug misuse, lack of self care, the disease to please others, working long hours, living in poverty but too fearful to make changes.
Grief, this is a tricky slippery sucker – the grief can arrive from a variety of avenues, death of a precious partner, death of another loved one, end of relationship, loss of health or physical disability, diagnosis of terminal illness, ill timed redundancy or the loss of other significant relationships in your life, among other causes.
Some people fall into despair, this is normal, this is an individual journey of finding our way through the complex web of emotions such as guilt, regret, envy, sadness – despair, irritation – anger and a million other emotions coming in waves. Some people however, will refuse to think, to feel, to grieve .. they will instead get busy, they will decide all is going to be good, that they are going to smile and make other people feel happy because they don’t want to bring other people down with their sadness.
In my 25 plus years as a therapist I would say these ‘busy’ people are the hardest to reach, to support .. transformation, empowerment and return of vital life force are difficult to get to when all the true feelings, emotions and thoughts have been locked down and replaced by a superficial smile. I think an official period of mourning to allow people to ‘get to the bottom of it’, to BE in grief to BE still, to listen to their still small voice and follow their inner muppet and all that really good stuff would be a wonderful and welcome change.
Busy people keep their speed up even when they may be heading on a course for disaster, because they will take no time to re-evaluate life’s journey, head down and keep going without looking, without paying attention to what is happening all around.
So! back to January – I say let January be your friend, let it be a time of gathering in, really listening to your inner voice and making some new plans that fill you with the light of passion. I’m not a big believer in loads of New Years goals that just make us feel terrible when inevitably we don’t follow through on them. I believe in setting your intentions for the year – How do you want to BE? What do you want to feel? What do you want to feel fulfilled about? How abundant do you choose to be? How do you want to play? How do you want to contribute to the lives of others? What kind of person will you be in 2018?
What do you want to bring forward into 2018?
Is it about a job / income / relationships / dealing with a fear or challenge / dealing with addiction / clearing debt & becoming financially independent / physical health & Well being / forgiving yourself or others / self empowerment / leadership / public speaking / become free of fear or phobia – procrastination – dis-empowering habits – depression – living in lack – loneliness or simply a need for new adventures.
Whatever it is, just BE still, take 15 minutes and light a candle, no music and no giving yourself a hard time for the bonkers thoughts that will inevitably come up. Set a timer for the 15 minutes and the intention that you would like to know what is the next right thing for you to do/ be or focus on. At the beginning of this time simply ask a question such as, ‘what am I passionate about?’ or ‘What do I need to know to make life better?’ or How do I change this situation for the better? or whatever question springs to mind for you.
The key is to truly trust yourself and know that you have all the answers within you to any question you pose, it is all there lurking beneath the surface make it a habit and ritual that you give yourself the ‘time of day’ allow yourself 15 minutes each day to tune into your own inner wisdom, you will be amazed at how clear your next steps become when you are open to receiving your own guidance, really hearing your truth.
As I embrace January and wrap myself in a woolly blanket, sitting at my laptop preparing lesson material, I just want to send a big shout out to all of you wherever you are that you too can use this magical month to its fullest potential.