Happy Belated New Year!
While the rest of the world was celebrating, making resolutions and launching themselves full steam ahead into 2014, I was sick in bed with a chest cold and an injured back. It was a painful 1-2 punch combo in that every time I coughed, my back would go into spasm! Not fun. And it lingered on and on for nearly three weeks.
But it was interesting to observe this annual, fresh-start, resolution-making-ritual play out before me and see it from such a different perspective of being unable to participate. My Facebook feed was taunting me with inspirational, starting-anew-quotes and partying pics of friends and family ringing in the New Year. In that moment I had a choice – I could whine, lament and push against it – or – I could let go and accept it as simply my time to just be. (My husband would probably tell you that I whined quite a bit!!)
So often, our greatest source of stress and anxiety is not the circumstance, but rather our reaction to it and our inability to accept life on life’s terms. So instead of grumbling, envying and being annoyed, I turned inward and practiced being gentle and compassionate with myself – which isn’t always easy. I’ve got this mean voice inside of me that takes advantage of any weakness and uses it to convince me that I’m not good enough, or tells me that I can’t afford to slow down.
I had to force myself to quiet that voice and listen instead to the voice that assured me that “this to shall pass.” And you know what? I got better. AND… that time of pulling back and practicing extreme self-care has catapulted me into this new year with so many new ideas, insights and opportunities that I never would’ve come to if I was the one who was trying to desperately control the outcome and steer the ship.
If you got off to a not-so-great start to your New Year, the good news is that you get to start again – any damn time you want! How cool is that?
Here are some of the lessons I learned while laying low and watching the world go on without me…
FOMO is exacerbated by social media! FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a form of social anxiety or concern that one might miss an opportunity or be left out. Social media feeds this by providing constant opportunities for comparison of one’s status as it relates to the fabulous life everyone else is posting about! It’s best to avoid this comparison trap when we’re not feeling well or we are setting ourselves up to feel even worse! I had to put down my new iPad that I got for Christmas and avoid the temptation to see what I was missing.
New Year’s resolutions set us up for failure! I had three weeks to mull over this one. Every time we make a proclamation to change something about ourselves, the energy that surrounds that desire is actually heavily tilted more towards the opposite of it. Underneath all of our striving to achieve, lose weight, find love, get stuff is this deep and profound sense of being incomplete just the way we are. There is nothing wrong with having dreams and goals, but we will always attract the exact opposite of what we want if the energy that surrounds those desires is a deep sense of lack. Or we may get that stuff, but we will be so utterly exhausted from trying so hard that we will make ourselves sick! So instead of making resolutions, focus on what you want to bring more of into your life and into the lives of others; more joy, more fun, more adventure, more opportunities to use all of your gifts and talents to bless others. If the energy is on service and blessing others, there is no lack and it opens us up to effortless flow.
A set back is a set up for a come back! If this is true, then look out 2014… I’m back! But seriously, there was something so hopeful about this quote and it helped me stop resisting being sick and just let go and rest. We simply cannot be in high gear all the time and as much as I try to have some kind of balance in my life, sometimes it is necessary to pull back and just stop for awhile. This isn’t a race and you didn’t miss the starting gun. It’s safe to slow down and it’s OK to stop and do nothing from time to time.
An attitude of gratitude puts everything into perspective! I kept up with my daily gratitude list even while I was sick and it helped me to realize that for the most part, 99% of the time I am really, really healthy. It helped me to be mindful and to notice and give thanks for how much better I felt every single day. I marveled at the way my body heals itself. Being sick also helped me appreciate all the little things I take for granted like getting in and out of the car without pain, getting a solid night’s sleep without coughing, getting dressed up, accessorizing, and putting on make-up to go out and do something fun!
We don’t need a holiday, birthday or any other so-called “special day” to start again! We get to start our day, year and life over again any time we want because all that we have is this very moment. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.
Be. Here. Now. That’s where all our power lies.
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” ~ Carl Bard
Wishing you good health and so much joy this year and always!