Hello, January, we meet again.
I have so many wonderful things planned out for the next 12 months. Guess what? I’m going to be a totally different person this year. I’m going to be healthier, and leaner. In fact, not only am I going to be healthier and leaner, I’m going to meditate every day, eat my vegetables, fix all my bad habits and forgo wine for the next 6 months – at least. I’m going to save all my money, pay off my debt, get that kick ass job and take one step closer to having it all.
Any of this sound familiar?
As the new year rolls in, that’s exactly what we do. We give ourselves goals. To-do lists. We start off the year making grand gestures to 'fix' everything we're not happy with. We may have ticked off some goals along the way — and don’t get me wrong, goals are great to have — but do you tend to repeat the same to-do list every year? Or worse, fail to take a step back and genuinely notice the wonderful things you already have?
Allow me to blow your mind with this simple notion by Wayne Dyer:
When you change the things you look at, the things you look at change.
You are the same person you were 24 hours ago, the same person you were last week and heck, the same person you were last year. What’s changed is the way you look at things. Your perception is shaped by those around you, where you live and the way you were brought up, along with a myriad of external factors. But there’s a whole other realm of yourself that you haven’t even tapped into yet. And it’s right there, waiting. All you need to do, is empty your cup.
Not your cup of coffee, because god knows you need that, and not your cup of champagne (although you could probably use a detox by now) but your internal, mental cup of knowledge. That coffee sized mug that sits in your brain with everything you’ve always known and assumed about yourself, and everyone around you. It’s time to pour it out and make a fresh brew.
In other words, I’m asking you to unlearn. Approach everything you’re used to with a fresh set of eyes, and be curious about it all over again.
Like when you step onto your yoga mat. Approaching every class, whether it be your 4th, 10th, or 200th, with that same sense of wonder as your very first practice, with beginner's eyes. The more we open ourselves to learning and observing, the more we let opportunity present itself. This can be as simple as tweaking a pose to really feel the stretch, or asking yourself why you reacted that way in a certain situation.
It’s all about being open to the possibilities surrounding you, because trust me, there are many. They’re like little bubbles, waiting to float by and land on you. You’ve just got to remove the road blocks, the pre-conceived notions of yourself. Remember when you were a kid and proudly claimed you didn’t like something, only for your mom or dad to ask you point blank if you’d ever even tried it? Say, broccoli? Well, consider this the broccoli of your adulthood.
When you think “I can’t do this because I…”, you’re inserting your ego into a situation that is out of your control. Maybe you tell yourself you can’t apply for that dream job because you don’t have what it takes, or that you won’t run that marathon because you consider yourself an average runner. Maybe you avoid yoga because you think you’re just not that flexible. In simple terms, you’re resting on what you think you already know about yourself.
Your story is yours, and it’s one you fabricate in your head. Sometimes all it takes is emptying out the contents of your mind, letting go of your thought patterns, what you think you know or believe, to really allow a new, fresh perspective on something you’ve been staring at for a long time.
So, instead of walking into the different rooms of your life and trying to figure out what needs improvement, inspecting what needs renovations, judging the cracks and the faults… look at the quality of the finishing touches, or the beauty of the structure as a whole, and take it from there.
It’s beautiful to know you already have this capacity to change, internally. To keep on growing, acquiring, evolving on this exponential learning curve. You just have to make space for it and get out of your own way. And when you do, when you let all that knowledge pour out (and then back in), something magic will happen: the Universe will set out the way exactly as it was intended for you.
So here’s to a new year, and the same you. Only better.