Happy New Year
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland. Photo of my daughter looking out over the Atlantic Ocean.
Many years ago in the Spring of 1996 in a small gift store in Louisville, Tennessee I saw a beautiful photo taken just after sunset of a silhouetted person on top of a mountain looking out. The caption read:
“Never look back except to gain perspective.”
I wrote about this particular plaque a couple of years ago, but it still resonates with me and I think about it every time a new year comes around. Not only did it capture my attention on a very deep level, but I wish I had bought it and put it in my office as a daily reminder. How often do we focus and dwell on the past and beat ourselves up for what might have been if only we had…? We can spend a lot of wasted time wishing our past was different but the cold hard truth is that we will never be able to go back and change what has already happened.
We are who we are today because of our past, so our best option is to accept what is, embrace and love ourselves as we are, and be grateful to our past experiences for the lessons they have provided. Then it is time to move on.
2014 is complete and now is a great time to review the year and gain perspective on the things that happened and the progress that has been made in life. As I’ve shared in my past two newsletters 2014 was a year of loss, grief, learning, release, and forgiveness for me. 2014 brought me a real sense of recognition that it’s time to move beyond the constricting nature of my past. Looking back at all of this objectively gives me the opportunity to learn from every small detail.
And now the dawning of a new year is upon us. The calendar change into 2015 brings new challenges and opportunities should we be bold enough to claim them and set ourselves up to take action. If you’re not sure what it is that you want, simply pay attention to the reoccurring thoughts that enter your mind. Those thoughts are the answer to what you are yearning to release or to create.
For me, the loss of my mother last year changed so much for me. Although we didn’t have the warm, close, or loving relationship that I always wanted, she did occupy a lot of my brain space for so many years. Now that she has passed on and is a free spirit I feel lighter and able to move on with my life in new ways. After releasing a lot of emotion around my family in 2014 and dealing with some health issues, I now feel driven to get myself organized inside and out. I think this is enough to focus on for 2015. If I take the steps that I envision for this year, I will have made great strides in setting myself up for the rest of my life.
Set yourself some goals. Here are a few questions to get you thinking:
What is it that you’d like to accomplish in 2015?
What do you want more of?
What do you want to be better at?
What do you need to change in order to experience greater health or fulfillment in life?
An easy way to think about what you want to accomplish is to look at the model in my online program: Your Freedom Experience: 10 Steps to Becoming Your Best in Mind, Body and Spirit. This program goes through eight areas of health that need to be in better balance in order to obtain vibrant health and experience greater success in life.
If you make a goal for yourself in each area, your life can improve in so many ways. For example, these are my intentions for myself in 2015:
Physical Health: I will become more limber, stretch my physical limitations, and learn to play golf better. I will improve my flexibility with yoga and barre classes and will hit the green even on cold and rainy days!
Mental Health: I will withhold judging circumstances and events that at first glimpse seem negative. You never know what greatness can come from a little open mindedness.
Emotional Health: I will understand love on a whole new dimension. We think we know what love is but honestly, do we really?
Intellectual Health: I am still trying to decide between learning a foreign language or learning to play another instrument.
Environmental Health: I will get rid of the stuff that I don’t really need and re-create my home as serene and peaceful. This will allow me more open space for what I truly want.
Financial Health: I will seriously start looking at my finances in a way that will support me in my retirement years. Neglecting this aspect of life in my earlier years now forces me to be bold, daring, creative and to stretch my comfort zone.
Social Health: I will spend more time in community. There is such richness that comes from meeting new people and from the gathering of friends and family.
Spiritual Health: I will meditate more! Even if I have to strap myself to the chair, a few minutes is better than none. Once I get myself there, I actually quite enjoy it.
Once you’ve decided what you want for 2015, then you can make it your objective to live in the present moment. Take it minute by minute, day by day and enjoy the gift of the present. This is a skill that takes practice, but it makes living truly worthwhile.
I wish you a fabulous 2015 with many blessings and lots of love and adventures!
Tips for Gaining Perspective, Planning your Future and Living in the Present Moment
Take some time for yourself on a regular basis and review your past objectively, looking at it as events without getting caught up in the emotions.
While examining your past think about how you would have liked those events to be different. If life events could have been whatever you think you wanted, what would that have looked like and how would you have felt?
Look for the learning in everything that comes to you in life. Lessons are dressed in different outfits all the time. For example, having to deal with someone who communicates poorly will give you the opportunity to learn how to communicate better yourself.
Determine what will make your life more rich and rewarding. Look for clues that are both obvious and not so obvious. For example, sometimes what we deem negative can actually have a positive aspect in our lives.
Set goals regularly. Goals give us something to work towards and accomplishing them brings us great satisfaction.
Set your goals so that they stretch you beyond your comfort zone. Be realistic though, for nothing is worse than setting your goals so high that it is not possible to attain them. Defeat is the opposite of what you want!
Your goals must be meaningful to you. Determine the ‘why’ of your goals because if something does not hold great value to you, you’ll be less inclined to take action and keep at it.
Be well-rounded with your goals. There is no sense in only getting stronger in one area.
Leave some space in your life for the unexpected to surprise you. Despite thinking that we know what is best for us, the most amazing gifts often show up out of nowhere taking us on a serendipitous adventure.
Practice being in the present moment. Continue to bring yourself back to the right here right now all day. Living in the here and now is one of the most challenging things to do because most of us have a run-away mind. Believe it or not, we do have the ability to control our mind and it is our job to learn how.
Find a way to be playful in bringing your mind back to the present. For example, I love horseback riding and I used to envision that I was riding a horse and lassoing my thoughts back to my mind to be in the present moment. To this day when I am teaching my clients to live in the present moment, this is the image that immediately comes to my mind.
Be consistent and persistent in your endeavors to live in the now. You will also need to be loving and patient with yourself as you learn how to do this. In time even the most resistant mind will give up its need to be in control.