Time to Reflect
As we close another year, it is always beneficial to step back from the busy-ness of our lives and reflect upon what has happened this year. In my case, I like to begin by taking a look at both the positive aspects, and challenging experiences I had this past year and reflect upon how I handled them. If you choose to do the same, ask yourself what challenges you feel you moved through successfully, and where you feel you are still stuck? Are you going through a challenging time now, and reminiscing about elusive good times?
Finding a Deeper Appreciation
By retrospectively looking at our year, we can more easily gauge where we have grown and changed, and see clearly where we have stayed the same. Instead of celebrating our growth and changes, we tend to focus on where we did not succeed (according to our judgments) and remained “stuck in our muck.”
However, it’s important to remember that in those moments when you felt stuck or repeated old conditioned patterns, is the very time it took a lot of strength to persist in moving forward. Those moments are where the greatest work was being done. Give yourself credit! It takes courage to keep taking one step forward even when you feel like you are making no progress. It is natural to desire growth and change, but remember, life is also filled with moments when taking no action, or a pause is important.
Moments to Pause
These pauses in life are important because it gives you space and time to shift your perceptions and mold a new awareness. The watering of a plant is a good analogy. If we never pause to stop watering the plant, the soil would never have time to dry, and the plant would eventually die. That is why meditation, taking walks from time to time, or even etching out some time to just “be” throughout the year is beneficial. Unplugging from the constant hamster wheel of life, gives you the opportunity to check in to see if you are on track or if you are going off on some tangent. Tangents can offer us valuable experiences, but if at some point we don’t come back to our center, we may have to address other undesirable conditioned patterns in the future.
Moments of clarity are more easily achieved when you create the time to just “be,” and take care of yourself. It’s not about living in the past, but instead, using the past to see what worked for us and what didn’t, and make proper adjustments from there. We’ve all heard the saying, “Insanity is doing the same things over and over again expecting a different result.” Well, take this time as we close the year to ask yourself what elements of your life you want to keep, and which ones you will let go of. Changes could take the form of relationships, social interactions, perceived familial obligations, or job opportunities.
It’s the perfect time to ask yourself what it is that you want, and decide if you are ready and willing to hold steadfast by your inner knowing. Remember, it’s not about what you think you should “be” or have in your life, but about who you are, and what brings you the most fulfillment.