If you follow blogs, this is probably the eleventy billionth New Year post you have read. And yet, I still write this. That’s because I have decided, that my blog is for me. Weird. Selfish. Pointless. Maybe. Instead of targeting this to “readers”, I will simply allow any benefit for others to be unseen, unexpected and perfect.
So, I reflect on 2011. I sat down with pen and paper recently to reflect on my experience of 2011. This year was tougher on me that I thought I could cope with. There were moments when I sincerely had to sit with myself and decide whether it was best for me to give in, give up and let go …. or stand up, fight hard and let go. I chose the latter. That choice gave me a wealth of gifts.
The long list of gifts from 2011 to me included : Showing me that people are afraid to expose their truth (even if it’s freaking awesome) : A trusted group of peers is truly powerful : Nothing is at bad as it seems : I am incredibly strong : I can lead a tribe : The missing ingredient (for me) is belief : Exercise must be part of the mix : Small daily activities create massive shifts : Gratitude creates waves of abundance : Money does not create happiness : People are willing to ask, without judgement, without expecting anything in return.
How did I find these gifts? By a sincere and significant change of focus. From drama and trouble. To Gratitude.
This time last year I decided on my word for 2011 – Consistency – and created a daily challenge for myself. I thought if I could set myself a challenge to do something every single day that would help me to learn to be consistent. My challenge was to write a full page of things that I was grateful for in a Gratitude Journal every single day for 2011. For accountability, I decided to select one entry, and post it to Facebook.
This seriously, wasn’t easy. Firstly, I had bought a REALLY big book … and needed to come up with at least 25 things every day to fill in each page. Secondly, lots of things were really really crappy. Sometimes I was writing my journal, in tears, saying things like “I’m grateful that I will be allowed to try again tomorrow”. Thirdly, and unexpectedly, I really struggled to put out in public (Facebook) something that was good about my day without explaining something difficult. I was so used to following up something good with a comment to remind others that I was still working on it, that I didn’t always do a good job or whatever.
I kept thinking of my gratitudes sitting out there exposed and “without context”. Slowly, I realised that was exactly as they were meant to be. When I’m grateful because I had a safe trip to and from Brisbane. That’s it. I’m grateful for that. I shouldn’t be grateful for the safe trip, but annoyed that I couldn’t get a car park where I wanted. That’s not gratitude, that’s whinging.
Slowly, as the year unfolded, as I counted down the year in front of my Facebook friends, I started to get encouragement from them. Interestingly, I even spoke with someone who, tongue in cheek said to me, that they would vomit on their computer screen if they read one more freaking thing that I was happy about. And that person had never commented or liked any of my posts. People – be aware. We are all creating ripples as we move through this world, whether we are aware of it or not.
And now, the year is done. I have learned so much. I’ve had fun. And, I’ve started a ripple. I’m thrilled that a number of people have started their own gratitude practices. I have also committed to continuing mine. And, in 2011, I missed just one day. It was day 45. Nothing special. No dramas. I just forgot. So I say to you, if you have something that you need to tackle, don’t give it a week, a month or even two months. Set a big assed goal. Go for 6 months or more. Get the practice right in there under your skin, so that it really changes the way you think, feel and process the world around you. And you never know. You just might inspire someone else along the way.
So, 2011. You were a total bastard, and still wonderful, amazing and transformative. And I’m cool with that. I needed it, to break through. To choose to believe … and to step out and be me. Be seen. In all of my imperfect wonder.
2012 – I think I’m ready. I need to remember to stay out of the shadows, be who I am, and stay curious about how I can leave a dent in the universe. That’s what we’re all here for, aren’t we?