By Caroline on the December 11, 2017 reflections

Reflections at the end of a year can be both insightful and encouraging. How often have you truly stopped this year, paused in your scheduling, rather than moving onto the next and the next? Just like on the mat when your mind and body are already anticipating the next pose?

A time of contemplation as one year closes can be so beneficial but can leave us feeling our cup is half empty, not half full. Disappointment, anguish. The nature of our mind and our attitude to ourSelf as we approach this time is vital.

The past few years I personally have changed my approach from an annual list and review of achievements, as this left me feeling dissatisfied and identifying my self-worth from a list.

A kinder way to reflect

Choose the environment
Become aware of your personal response to places where your mind feels clear and your heart softens. Note these places, whether near or far, so you have a personal ‘retreat’ list! Take time to go there, or extend your imagination there. Breathe into this place deeply and completely, acknowledge your year, in the context of all your years! 2017 may not have been as carefree as your 20’s, however, I bet there are pearls of wisdom worth savouring. Write a few words, draw them, do something to etch them in your memory banks. Or perhaps create a ritual to let them go…

Start a gratitude bowl
Delving into my gratitude bowl, re-reading my insights from recommended texts, reviewing my journal, allows me to notice how my mind and inner resilience have strengthened in the space of a year. Keeping a handwritten note from a friend, a thoughtful email, a gift box, is a wonderful way to treasure moments of my year. It sounds corny I know, however also truly beneficial to dip into on those ‘dark’ days. So find ways to nurture your well-being and self-esteem from little memories of your year. Commit to a way to practise this in 2018.

Be mindful of your gifts
It’s good to stop measuring your gifts and self-worth by the size of your annual salary or your contribution to a worthy cause. At this time of gift giving, consider how a skill learned this year could become a gift – to yourself or someone else. A profound sense of satisfaction comes from witnessing and sharing your gifts. Can this be your way of offering ‘service’ to the world, to create more meaning in your years/life?

Step out of your comfort zone in 2018
Is there a deeper ‘voice’ nudging you to create something fresh in your life, since what are you truly on this Earth to do? Whom do you admire that offers their skills, gifts, time in a way which resonates with you. Is there an element of their approach you can bring into your home, friendships, workplace, business in 2018?

How will your reflections look in a year’s time? In 10 years?

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