Reflecting On a Milestone Year
I get the feeling that I’m not the only one who had a massive year in 2016. Reflecting back on the events that have transpired over the past 12 months, the word ‘epic’ comes to mind. Pure, unadulterated epic-ness. There have been many ups and downs and, quite frankly, my vision for the year looked nothing like the reality that I am currently living. I’m constantly amazed by what the universe has in store for me and I feel that I have cultivated a profound gratitude for and appreciation of life more in this year than any other. It hasn’t been easy but during the hard times it’s even more important to step forward in trust and with gratitude for just being alive. One breath at a time was my sole capacity for not collapsing under the pressure I felt. The main purpose of this blog post is to share some of the insights I’ve picked up this year, hopefully there are some gems in there for you!
Give Yourself the Credit You Deserve
It has recently become apparent to me that I can often act needy and have projected that outwards onto other people, things or experiences. I realised when sitting by myself in meditation that the neediness that I feel is just a desire to be acknowledged, to be fully seen in my imperfect human nature. The epiphany I had is that the person that I most need to acknowledge is myself. I need to acknowledge my strength for overcoming the challenges that I’ve had in my life. I need to acknowledge passion for life, my will to grow as a person and find fulfilment, peace and love. I need to acknowledge my desire to be in service to the world and create a better world. I could go on for hours about this but the lesson to be learned is that a lot of the time we want something from other people that we can achieve ourselves.
Go the Way of the Warrior
I recently watched the movie ‘The Way of the Peaceful Warrior’ and realised that there are so many invaluable life lessons to be taken from that movie that it could form an entire blog post. One of the quotes that stuck with me the most is “There are no ordinary moments”. When we bring our full presence to any situation and apply our undivided attention it becomes very much profound: we can see the beauty, love and peace that is possible in literally every single moment. It has been a huge challenge because to be fully present we need to deal with our past that we carry with us and our future expectations which limit our freedom. The more I practice, the more I realise that living in the present moment can provide never ending rewards. I’m ready to let go of the baggage of my past and any apprehension toward the future so I can live here and now.
After listening to a podcast by Hal Elrod, the writer of the book ‘Miracle Morning’, I recall a quote that provided me with a lot of clarity on how I want to spend most of the time in my life. The quote is: “My self-actualisation is more important than my entertainment”. The way I have applied this to my life has been cutting out things that I felt weren’t contributing to my fulfilment. If I look back on my life from my deathbed will I be grateful that I spent time doing these things? We have so many distractions in everyday life and these distractions are often fantastic. I too love to watch a ton of movies and shows, go out drinking with friends late at night, browse social media aimlessly or just mess around killing time. However, I started feeling discontent after “wasting” time so I decided to exclude this from my way of life. I’m not perfect and I haven’t stopped completely but I have cut down a lot and feel better for it and in turn have dramatically increased my productivity.
Expression and communication are my Achilles Heel. I have been working on improving myself consciously since I was 18 and I recognised early on that I often held back from expressing myself. I always had some sort of reason or excuse for doing so but I see that it has stopped me truly connecting with people. This year I realised that I’m done with that way of being. I’m done letting fear stop me from communicating, I’m done not telling people what I really think, I’m done not expressing what I want to express, I’m done feeling like a burden, I’m done second guessing myself and I’m done holding back from living every aspect of my life to the fullest!
This year I moved to a house surrounded by nature and the bush and my connection to the Earth has never been stronger. I have so much gratitude for the life on this planet; animals, plants, all the elements and much more. I’m constantly amazed by life cycles and the natural ebbs and flows that exist. Just the other day I was walking along a bush track when I saw a small tree growing out of the middle of a huge tree stump that had been chopped down. It reminded me that death leaves space for new life to emerge. There are parts of myself that I don’t want, habits and practices that don’t serve me well anymore thus they are dying. In their wake, there will be open space for me to fill with beliefs, habits and practices that serve the purpose that I choose for my life. It is up to me to decide what to fill that space with.
These have been my most important lessons for the year. I will be sharing more next year through blogs, videos, in my speeches and coaching/mentoring. I’m proud of myself and all of you for everything we have collectively accomplished in 2016. I hope you all acknowledge yourselves for the beautiful, strong and imperfectly perfect human beings that you are and I look forward to sharing more stories, lessons and passions with you in 2017.