HAPPY NEW YEAR! Yayyyy! YAAA! Sorry for the M.I.A over the last couple weeks. Naturally, the holidays kept me very busy, as well as my girlfriend and I were officially moving in together. So it was a busy, but perfect December 🙂 And now it’s January, all the craziness has settled, it’s grey and icy outside, and I am happy to be spending a Sunday morning inside, cozy, writing on the couch once again.
Welcome to 2017. A new year, and with it whatever that means. Naturally, my first post of the year had to be something reflective. Something about the things I’ve learned over the last 300 some odd days of my life. Looking back, 2016 was filled with plenty of good things, and some not so good things. Plenty of lessons, and plenty of RE-LEARNING old lessons. But at the end of the day, I’m not sure that there’s anything I could write about those things that seemed relevant today. It is the past after all, and as much as they were things that helped me to grow- I’d rather think FORWARD.
I’m seeing a lot of both the ‘New Years Resolution’ and ‘ANTI New Years Resolution’ posts on my Facebook feed recently. I’m reading a lot about the lessons these people have learned, and seeing their ‘best moments’ of 2016 being revisited in those cute Facebook video slideshow things. These are all great things, but what I wish I got a sense of, is how they are REALLY FEELING standing at the precipice of this new year.
Social media is bad for that, no? Getting such generalized, edited ideals typed out and retyped and re posted – BUT ONLY at the best angle, or in the perfect number of characters. However, that’s also kind of a cynical look at this. I also like the idea of people sharing their positive ideals for the future, or the things they’ve learned that they believe have made them a better, stronger individual. 100 % this is a good thing.
I guess, at the end of the day, what it has kind of made me think about is a few things to keep in mind as we move into this new year and start making resolutions for ourselves, and feeling the need to share and feed into our egos a little bit. Cause let’s be honest, we all do that at least a little bit. I do it! You do it! It’s part of our culture, and it’s no ones fault. Nor is it entirely negative. I just think that one of the biggest things we can all practice in this coming year, is a little bit of mindfulness. Mindfulness of ourselves, our choices, our desires…. and mindful of those things in others.
Mindfulness is a practice of constantly checking in with ourselves throughout every moment of every day. Looking internally and acknowledging our emotions, reactions, beliefs, desires, etc. This amplifies our true voice inside, and let’s us learn how to speak with more honesty and truth. It is a difficult practice- there have been times in my life where it has come with more ease, and times like now for example, where it is a constant struggle. But naturally, it’s through struggles like these that we eventually find ease again, don’t we?!
ANYWAY, I DIGRESS. Moving in to this new year, why don’t we all try to be more mindful of ourselves, who we REALLY are, and what we REALLY want? Why don’t we ask more inquisitive questions when listening to others, and try to understand their side of things instead of thinking of what we want to say next? Why don’t we see a new year as only an opportunity for more learning and growth, and remember that a year is only a man made concept? Let’s remember that we’re allowed to be quietly (AND loudly) proud of every tiny thing we accomplish this year, and that the culture of comparison isn’t actually in control of the things we feel we need in our lives.
Here are some things I’ve been meditating on these first couple of days of 2017!
- If 2016 taught us (or me anyway) anything, it’s that just because that year is over and done with, doesn’t mean we now know EVERYTHING. It doesn’t mean we have all the answers because it’s a fresh start. It doesn’t mean that 365 more days made us wise enough that every thought, idea and feeling we have is greater than that of our neighbour.. It’s easy to feel this way. It’s easy to feel like our lives changed, whether for better or worse, and so therefor we are miles ahead. “NOTHING CAN STOP ME NOW, THIS IS MY YEAR. I AM WISE BEYOND MY YEARS NOW FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS…..”. That’s cool- i mean, if a year goes by without any lessons learned, hardships over come or exciting changes made then what kind of year was it really? But if there’s anything we should be mindful of, it’s that yes we should take those lessons to heart, and YES we should celebrate those changes…. But we should not stand on the precipice of a new year, barely knowing if we have the right equipment to plunge ahead with such narrow vision. We should see this as another opportunity to continue learning and be open minded. A new year should be exciting not only as a chance to ‘prove your worth’ – as you are here, you ARE worthy of whatever it is you seek. It should be exciting because it’s a chance to learn and grow and admit that we don’t have all the answers.
- Be gentle with our resolutions and goals for the new year. One of the things i know I often forget is how much time we actually have. Time does fly, but there’s never any need to put unnecessary pressure or timelines on ourselves. A year is a man made concept. I believe comparing things we’ve done year to year CAN be a helpful tool to measure growth, but often people don’t see it that way. I feel in our society today, we are often looking back at how many things we didn’t get around to yet, or the shitty things that happened- thinking this will drive more success/improvement in the coming year. What if this year, we move forward knowing that the concept of a year is ample time, and that we will achieve all the things that we are meant to in this time frame to be the person we need to be at this time? That being said, I think we should always keep this in mind when addressing others as well. We all have different limits, goals, and habits. We all learn differently. If no one is getting hurt, we should keep our judgements of other peoples progress to ourselves.
- Don’t use social media as a platform on which to base your desire for change; Use it responsibly. It’s so easy now days to log on to platforms like Instagram or Facebook simply as a means to ‘see what friends are up to’, and come out of it feeling like you haven’t accomplished anything. So and so is traveling the world, and I haven’t. So and so just got their dream job, and I haven’t. So and so just got engaged, and i’m single. So and so has such a nice body, I’m so far behind. Etc. Etc. Etc. It’s all bullshit my friends. I use social media, and I enjoy it as much as the next person… but the key is to not use it irresponsibly. We have to know our limits for gambling and drinking, we have to know the rules of the road to be able to drive. To use social media responsibly, I believe we need to tune into ourselves before we start scrolling away, and remember that the majority of what you will see posted today will be the best moments of everyones lives. Rarely are people posting about the unfortunate events of what it’s like to be them and be on their journey. Maybe sometimes. But I’d say 98% of the time, we post our best selves. And that’s okay! But we have to remember that. If you’re feeling down on yourself and your life, it’s probably not wise to ‘get behind the wheel’ of scrolling social media. The ideals it creates in your mind are completely fabricated, and not true to who you are. Much like the way marketing in ads can affect us to want things we don’t need. I think as long as we remember this, the comparing culture of social media will begin to affect us less in our search for the ‘perfect new year’.
So lovely readers, that is my two sense on my beginnings of forging ahead in to the new year. I have a handful of things in mind that I want to work on this year, things I want to save for, etc. etc. I’ve just realized that I need to take a different approach, and have a little bit more trust in both myself and the universe that the timing is always perfect, and I have everything I need. I want to practice more gratitude, and more silence. More spending time inward, and less forcing energy I don’t have outward, just to keep up appearances. Your journey might look very different, and if so that is a beautiful thing. I’d love to hear all about what thoughts you have on the upcoming year!
Thanks for reading friends! Happy new year to you. I know it’s going to be a good one for all of us, no matter what we are dreaming up!
Have an inspired day,
-Spirit Sister, Nicolle –