It has been a while since I have blogged. A couple of months actually. I have been very aware that it is something I really enjoy doing and I have missed it. Regardless of the number of people that read my blogs from week to week, if it resonates with one person and helps them to think about things a little differently or find that 2mm shift in perspective, then it is all worth it.
Today, as I sat back down to begin writing again, I was contemplating what it was that I wanted to write about and I realised this was a topic that we all talk about but sometimes don't do very well.
At this time of the year, with Christmas literally around the corner, life gets hectic and let's be honest, at times, downright chaotic! It feels like life picks up speed as we rush everywhere. Everyone is rushing. But this is the most important time to slow down a little and be present.
I spent the year in my grade 5 class, teaching my students, among many things, about gratitude. It is so easy to talk about gratitude but when the challenging parts of life are happening, gratitude is often replaced with frustration and sometimes anger. It took my students some practice of focusing on what they were truly grateful for. As adults, I think we make this assumption that practising gratitude is easy but it truly does take conscious effort.
2020 is only 11 days away. Often we get to this time of the year, and we hear people saying, "I can't wait for this year to end", "This year has been awful, bring on the new year". It is so easy to give energy to all of the challenging stuff that happens in our life throughout the year. But I am going to let you in on a little secret...
If you pay attention, you will actually notice all the good stuff that has happened.
I am not saying ignore all the pain and don't deal with it or feel it! That will just cause you more pain!
But what I AM saying is that there are just as many magic moments throughout our year as well as the challenging moments.
Yes - we can make plans and they can get completely messed up.
Yes - we can think all is going smoothly in life and something tragic happens
Yes - we can finally get ourselves back on track and we get distracted
Yes - life happens and sometimes it is downright painful and messy.
What do I mean?
If we spend our time, at this time of the year, focusing on all the bad crap that happened during the year, that is the energy we bring into every area of our lives and ultimately, what we will take with us into the new year.
What would happen if we actually changed our perspective?
What if we took our 2019 challenges and painful moments, acknowledged them, and then shifted our focus on what we learned or how the experience helped us to grow as a person or show more love or do things differently in some way?
We make up all these rules about how life is supposed to be and then we have experiences, give them meaning and then make up more rules about who we are as a person because of those experiences. The only challenge with that is, we make up rules that make it hard for us to be successful or joyful! We are making it way harder for ourselves than it actually needs to be!
So here is my pre-Christmas /end of 2019 challenge for you!
Grab a journal of some kind and take some time out of your day to reflect. I get that the days are busy and by the evening exhaustion kicks in. But I encourage you to find some time in your day to do this.
What did you enjoy the most about this year?
When did you feel truly alive? And what was happening at the time?
What is something you learned about yourself this year?
What was something you feel you did well this year?
Who were you positively impacted or influenced by this year? (Have you thanked them?)
Who have you positively impacted this year?
What brought you great joy this year?
What is something that happened regularly that brought you joy?
What was something that made you feel successful this year? (This can be any area of your life)
What is an area or something you feel like you have improved in this year?
In what ways do you feel you have grown as a person?
When did you show up as your best self this year?
What challenges are you grateful for this year?
What experiences are you grateful for? (even if they were painful experiences) And why?
Who might you need to thank? And why?
Some of these might be challenging to answer. It is okay to ask someone who knows you very well, like a partner, if you want. Sometimes it is harder to see the good stuff - and that is the very reason why doing this is so important. How do we expect our little humans to see the good stuff if we are not noticing it in our own lives? Practice and model and be kind to yourself! You are doing an incredible job!
Thank you for following my journey and for sharing this space. I truly appreciate your support!
Wishing you the Merriest of Christmases!
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