I’ve never been a big fan of making New Year’s resolutions. The mere mention of setting them generally led to a sense of pressure to come up with some grand, life changing plan that would alter my life by magic, simply by making a drunken promise to myself at the stroke of midnight! So in recent years I’d welcomed in the New Year with nothing more than a glass of bubbles and a sense that life the following year would carry on pretty much the same as before.
But as 2013 came to a close my headspace was quite different. I found myself staying at a beautiful and peaceful beach house after making one of the biggest transitions of my whole life and I knew that 2014 marked the start of a brand new chapter for me. As a result, the whole period leading up to the New Year was so much more significant, as for the first time it felt like I was truly in control of shaping my destiny and how I wanted my life to look.
What could I do to make 2014 my best year yet? How could I continue to move forward in a positive direction and live life to my fullest potential? And most importantly, what were the most crucial pieces of advice that I would need to keep on hand for whenever I hit a low point and needed help to stay in a positive head space?
After some deep meditation and soul searching, I decided to set the intention to select 5 simple words and 2 key affirmations that I’d use as my framework for the next 12 months and keep posted in a prominent place at home. Now I’m not an overly structured person by nature, but my thought process was that by making a more conscious effort to incorporate some defined tools and concepts into my life in a more formal manner, it would help keep me in a strong place and act a bit like a daily exercise regime for my spiritual muscles!
The 5 I selected were:-Awareness – Gratitude - Compassion - Non-judgment - Live without fear.
And the affirmations were:-“Whatever’s for my highest good across all levels and dimensions, I now allow it into my life” and “I allow my intuition to lead my path”.
Naturally there were days when I’d forget to look at my list, or days when I was so overcome with emotion or fear that it was hard to trust that these tools would do me any good. However, as I reflect back on the last 12 months, it’s clear that I’m in a much stronger place through being disciplined with these techniques than I was before, and the impact they’ve had has been massive.
Awareness – Reminding myself to “be aware” has meant that I’ve been able to stay tuned in to how I’m feeling on a regular basis and to seek to understand the ‘why’ behind the feelings as opposed to reacting to external events and stimulus in an overly emotional manner. This has improved my level of clarity, helped me to stay on top of my critical inner voice and to quickly identify and address any inner blockages that need to be released, allowing me the space and peace of mind to heal and then move on.
Gratitude – Taking the time every day to write down the aspects of life I’m grateful for has honestly changed my life and been the single biggest factor affecting my happiness levels. As the year progressed, the lists got longer and longer and my sensitivity and appreciation of what brought me joy and happiness kept multiplying. It’s like the more I noticed, the more the universe gave me to notice and be grateful for! I can’t recommend this practice enough, and if you want to increase the impact, find yourself a gorgeous container to keep your lists in and to refer back to whenever you hit a bit of a low. It also helps to create a really nice flow of energy in a home to have beautiful vessels of gratitude scattered around the place. (Thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert for this wonderful idea!).
Compassion and Non-judgment – Having these words in a visible space has been a really important daily reminder for me of the need to be kind, both to myself and to others. It can be so hard to stay in a centered and calm place when life throws us challenging people and experiences, but just being aware of how easy it can be to slip into a judging or critical mindset has helped minimise the frequency of that negative energy. Being more mindful of how I view others, and also how I judge myself has taught me a huge amount about how to take a step back from any negative reactions and see the human behind the behaviour. It’s opened my eyes to the realization that everyone you meet is going through some sort of personal struggle that you know nothing about, and that any negative behaviours are merely a symptom of the inner pain and fear another soul is experiencing. Seeking to genuinely understand others and placing myself in their shoes has helped me to choose compassion, kindness and grace more often than judgment and enabled my heart to grow with more love and forgiveness than I’ve experienced before
Live without fear – this promise to myself has led me to embark on the most amazing and unbelievable adventures this year. Pushing myself to step out of my comfort zone and adopting a “what the hell” attitude has allowed me to take advantage of the most wonderful opportunities that have come my way and live a life way beyond my wildest dreams. All of the great stuff that’s happened could never have been predicted in advance, but by facing my fears and taking a leap, I’ve grown massively as a person and the universe has rewarded me with experiences that have enriched my life beyond belief. And isn’t that what life is all about?!
So as the year comes to a close it’s been amazing to see just how much this strategy of key words and powerful affirmations has impacted my life and allowed me to grow. I definitely feel stronger and happier as a person, as though I’m finally “getting it” and my ability to be tuned into my heart and intuition has meant I’ve been able to live a much more authentic life this year. Theres no question that this strategy has also served as a compass to get me back on track anytime I’ve allowed fear and doubt to creep in, and thus achieve a more consistent state of flow.
And as we know, flow brings the synchronicity, manifestations and overall juiciness back into life.
If 2014 has been the most mind-blowing, abundant and heart expanding year I’ve ever had, bring on 2015!