This year has been an interesting one. Not particularly peaceful, with war conflicts and natural disasters affecting many people around the world. One doesn’t have to be in the middle of the conflict to feel the aftershocks though. There were illnesses and friends departures to other countries. There were disappointments in the people who I considered good acquaintances, if not friends yet I can honestly say that I am ending this year on an energetic high and look happily into the future, feeling more appreciate of people as departures coincided with some wonderful & surprising arrivals.
As we become older some things that our grandparents or parents tried to teach us ( and at times I am sure they felt that their advice was falling on deaf ears ) resonate or start making perfect sense-finally!? Simple things like going to bed earlier, rather than later, being courteous to others, even when they push your limits of civil tolerance and appreciating every day and the people who stand behind you in good times and bad. Have you ever tried writing down five things at the end of the day, before you fall asleep, that made you feel happy or positive? Do it for a couple of weeks and see if any changes occur.
Well, if this year has taught me anything, it is that I want to be nice to those people who I care about or those who appreciate what I do for them, who offer gestures of unexpected kindness or just smile at you in the street. We too often blast others for their behaviour, yet forget to thank people for their kindness or help. I must admit, when it comes to me personally, I can be impulsive when it comes to doing good. I would offer advice when asked ( and sometimes when I wasn’t ) but when your efforts are taken for granted you need to pause and ask yourself how it makes you feel. If you are ok with it, then continue doing what feels natural to you. If not, change the situation, as no one can force you to do something that you don’t want to ( I am talking in general terms here ).
Change occurs when we want things to change but the process might be gradual. Take fifteen minutes at the end of the day to sit down comfortably, light a candle and meditate. This advice was given to me by someone wonderfully wise and even though I don’t practise it daily, I think about it every day and feel that even the thought of it, on its own, makes me better.
All of us are unique and we can all learn from each other, like the children do at school or playground. Don’t judge others and don’t be too hard on yourself. Smile more. Spend time with those who you care about. Savour every day like it is your last. Read books, see exhibitions and plays. Talk to someone if you disagree about something and try to see their point of view. Never say ‘I understand’ unless you have been in a situation like the person is going through. Find opportunities to do sports daily, even if it is just walking in the fresh air. De-clutter your home and give away things you don’t need to a charity shop. Think about what you eat and what skin/body care you use and if there is a connection in terms of how it makes you feel. Find the time to do what makes you truly happy. If someone upsets you, don’t lash out, ask yourself why is the person acting this way-they might be miserable and are trying to shift it on to you-getting involved isn’t worth it. Smile at yourself in the mirror and appreciate who you are. Don’t worry about what people think of you in general, but do listen to people whose opinion matters to you-they might be on to something. Stay true to yourself and don’t let anyone undermine your sense of self-worth. Don’t follow fashion but let the way you dress express who you are.
Life is truly what we make of it and I am grateful to those people who I meet on my life’s journey, as they make me grow and inspire my own creativity. Writing for my own website allows me to meet some truly amazing people with incredible stories, who help to enrich our lives and make the world a more meaningful place. For that my dear readers I am truly grateful and I thank you for your support and constructive criticism – both are always appreciated and never taken for granted.
Having heard the news about the accident of a true sporting hero Michael Schumacher, who was skiing off-piste with his son on a family holiday in France, made me feel not just sad but also appreciative of the life that we all have. No matter who you are, everything can change in an instant and if you don’t follow your own path, you might not have the strength and desire to survive, so while my thoughts are with Michael and his family ( I wish him a complete recovery and his family strength during this scarrily unsteady time in the hospital’s intensive care unit ), I hope that we all get united in our desire to lead full lives and making our world a better place in the way that each one of us can-this will help transform our life and lives of others. So this new year I will not be making new year resolutions, I will take the lessons of my life and move forward instead, taking advice from those people who matter to me.