(and it’s probably not what you think)
Is your expectation or assumption that the start of the year is a time to feel energised and to start afresh? Yet, are you tired and feeling a bit whooped from 2018, or let’s be honest— a bit life-whooped? The only ‘bang’ the new year started with was that of fireworks? If this is you, then read on, my friend.
The expectation of life
When I look forward or observe in the present time, I often divide the year into segments such as seasonal energy. Knowing Winter will be a more introspective time (and for some, sedentary) can help you to honour the environmental energy that reflects your internal state. You may feel drawn to more silence or snuggles. Segmenting the year can help you to prepare for how you might be feeling and what your mind, body and spirit might need during these particular seasonal or annual phases. One simple example is eating seasonally available fruits and vegetables which support your body’s needs throughout the different phases of the year.
You may also view a particular month of the year in a certain light. Local cultural celebrations like new years or more personal times such as an anniversary of losing a loved one are quite common and shape the way we think we may think, feel or function.
When expectation becomes a hindrance
This year I have been questioning what I had previously viewed as the supposed fresh start that January and February are. Yup, years and years of pushing myself to leap into the new year and summer vibes. (If you’d like to read how that unfolded for me last year, then have a look at When Your Body Is Speaking To You, Try This)
Do you look forward to January (especially those of us in the Southern Hemisphere) and it’s extrovert flare of being outdoors and drinking fresh juice (or margaritas)? For those in the Northern Hemisphere — I’m referring to the middle of your summer and summer school holidays!
January energy is a fresh start, right? The Earth begins a new revolution around the sun. Around February marks the new Chinese Year, beginning on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Surely that’s a recipe for good stuff to happen?
Well, it is.
But first, many of us need to recover and recuperate from the previous cycle.
2019 already feels like a much different year to the previous one and for that, many of us are grateful. But if you’re not feeling revitalised by the new year then take comfort in the knowledge that you’re not alone. Often we enter into a phase of recovery before we begin to lift in energy, mental focus and emotional stability. I’m sure you’ve experienced this yourself. Just like recovering from a cold or flu.
So don’t despair that you’re not bouncing and leaping through the year quite yet. Don’t be hard on yourself or down and out with where things are for you. If you didn’t take the time and space for some TLC then do it now. It’s never too late.
What then, is the first step to allow and encourage the ability to let go of what you no longer need from the previous cycle and to carry with you the gems that are worthy of their ferry?
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK.
Giving yourself a break is two-fold:
1. Take a break, take some time-out and I don’t just mean a holiday! Switch off from social media, from being ‘plugged-in’ and switch-off your nervous system by allowing yourself to surrender from all the ‘doing’ that you do. Especially mental. The type of holiday needed when recuperation is on the cards is not a holiday that requires smashing yourself and planning every minute of the day. It’s one that’s slow, gentle and in many ways— unplanned. I’m sure control freaks are reading this and yelling “no way!”. However, it’s what you NEED which can be very different from what we think we SHOULD do. Ah, ‘should’; such a crappy word in most instances.
Best of all, switching off or, as one of my clients said “winding down”, will help you to be more effective and efficient with your energy once you step back into it all. This is a time for you to receive nourishment.
What do you find nourishing (think more than food and drinks)?
2. Be gentle on yourself. So you didn’t achieve all you wanted to or it didn’t go to plan? It’s OK. Perhaps you’re looking in the wrong direction, at the wrong part of the pie chart. What DID go well? What did you LEARN from these supposed failures or mistakes? Take note; these are vital to and complementary to success! This simple reflection can enable you to let go, move forward and perhaps, not repeat lessons from the past.
This year I chose Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map, a guide to creating goals with soul Workbook. It has a gentle process of letting go and shifting into the new.
So start by switching off the pressures of expectation and assumption you place on yourself or which comes from others. This is an act of healthy boundaries.
Give yourself a break.
When you’re ready to step back into it all, watch and listen to this beautiful song by Rising Appalachia. It will help get you going again. #iamresilient
Remember, sometimes the way we perceive things is not as they truly are. What part of the pie are you focussing on? Are you looking at what others appear to do well? Are you pressuring yourself to leap into the new year? Perhaps you need to enter it with permission to just BE. To BE with a little more joy.
Start with you. Come back to yourself. It’s the best place to be.
And remember my friends, you don’t have to do it alone xkp