Start responding to your life instead of projecting it. ~ Caroline Myss
All life is knowing, being, becoming. ~ Alan Watts
Mensch tracht, un Gott lacht (Man plans, and God laughs) ~ Yiddish saying
It’s easy to be consumed with all that’s happening in the world these days, and with social media, it’s ever-present and can feel quite visceral. And unfortunately, the truth is often distorted, hidden or framed in certain ways to evoke certain responses. But we need to be realistic about what we can and can’t control; we need to be knowledgeable and aware but not be drawn into a drama that is not ours or be distracted from our own lives. We must be discern when to take action and when to be an informed observer. I’m not saying this is easy; it takes practice and constant reminders, lest you get sucked in to the vortex!
It has always been my philosophy and mantra that “personal transformation is the key to social transformation.” Because ultimately, if we all focus on ourselves and cleaning up our own environments and spheres of influences, both internal and external, we will actually be doing our part to contribute to the collective versions as well.
When thinking about what I wanted to say as we enter a new year and new decade, I found the above silly Instagram story pic from a couple of months ago, and it seemed like a logical one to use. But the truth is, I don’t really set New Year’s goals or make resolutions. Every year my process is a little different — it’s more like intentions, themes and a general direction to move in with some specifics. But come Dec 31, I always review the previous 12 months to see what transpired. And if I didn’t achieve my “goals,” I can see very clearly what happened — and there is always growth, so I’m OK with that as long as I know I’m doing the best I can and at least progressing on some level, trusting that all is evolving as it should, as I like to say, “in time and on time.” (By the way, it’s not too late for you to do this exercise if you haven’t already!)
With this approach, you don’t have to start the year feeling bad or beating yourself up as long as you’re getting closer to rather than further from your desired aspirations and life trajectory. Some years are built for bigger moves than others — and remember that any change first happens on an internal level — so maybe that’s been the focus for you as it’s been for me. And the fact is that the outer stuff won’t happen if we’re blocked with inner stuff, so it’s just as productive, if not more so, to work on that. It can be less tangible, but no less significant or essential.
Or perhaps your “goals” have changed along the way. Because we may think we know what we want at some point — and may actually get it — but it isn’t always what we expected, or there may be some detours, decluttering, detoxing and/or healing along the way that prevent you from getting over the finish line when a calendar and culture says you should, but instead that sojourn is exactly on track with your own organic process of unfoldment.
In other words, when you’re in tune with your own rhythms and pay attention to what’s happening around you, you can respond minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day accordingly. That way, you can shape the outcomes in collaboration with something greater than yourself that is moving you along in a direction you might not yet perceive or understand, but is ultimately for your highest good.
This is why it’s so important to be intentional about an overarching goal for your life, which really is just to know and become the best, most expressed version of who you are. And then everything else takes care of itself more effortlessly and clearly from there.
So be compassionate with yourself if your 2019 goals didn’t quite manifest. As long as you were taking action in the direction of your own becoming, trust you are exactly where you need to be and do what you can to continue that journey in 2020, which as we can see, is going to be a wild one.
And as I say in all my talks, you need to strengthen the security within yourself in order to adapt and adjust to the many changes taking place at this point in our history. Being in harmony and at peace with yourself and your own world would be a huge accomplishment to aim for this year and beyond as we make this transformation from microcosm to macrocosm — so remember to exercise those muscles as well as the ones at the gym!
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Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final ten minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.
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