Hands up if you’re sick of the “2018! New year, new me!” posts on Facebook yet?
Me, I think I was sick of them by about 12.30. Not because I don’t appreciate the desire for change, and the opportunity to set new intentions and devote yourself to reaching them – you know me, I’m all about deciding what you want and then taking action to create a life that you love.
What I’m sick of is that ridiculous idea that you should and must set out to create a “new you.” Why?! What the hell is wrong with the old one?!
I mean hey, I get it – I am in no way perfect and there are things I fully intend to work on and change this year… my recently discovered inability to rest and my tendency towards workaholism for starters (more on that in a sec). But creating a whole new me? No thanks, because I’m pretty proud of the old one thanks, less than perfect quirks and all.
A new calendar year is a great time to make changes – just as a birthday, a new lunar year, an equinox, a new religious year, a new week or even a new day is – but none of those are a good reason to, as the old saying goes, throw the baby out with the bath water.
Starting afresh is about taking you that has always been – faults, quirks, unpleasant experiences and all – and bringing her forward with you into that new beginning.
Maybe you’ll wish to shed or stop doing some things along the way, such as my workaholism, but that’s not a good reason to cast it aside and disown it completely like a toy you’re embarrassed to have played with.
Why? Because those things we’ve had enough of can be our greatest teachers. Why were those things such a big part of your life in the first place? What were you somehow gaining from them and how can you have that need satisfied in a healthier or happier way instead?
My tendency to work too hard served two purposes – helping to make me as “successful” as an adult as I had been as the straight A student at school; and making sure that my dad – someone who’s worked his butt off for years to avoid being considered “lazy” was proud of me. Is that to say my dad wouldn’t be proud of me if I left an office before 6pm every night, or that I’d be considered a failure if I spent an evening at home without my laptop switched on? Not at all, but by understanding the boxes that old behaviour ticked I can explore and find new ways to tick them instead.
Maybe in this new year you want to start some new things too; for me I’ve decided it’s time to care for and nourish my adrenals after years of too much stress, which means focusing on my diet, bringing in some more nourishing hobbies, and working on my ability to rest amongst other things. But that’s not to say I’ll be throwing out the other hobbies I love, the odd piece of chocolate cake or nights spent out and about doing stuff… nourishing my adrenals is no more or less important than nourishing the rest of me too!
Changes of any sort always work best when they’re grounded in truth. And when it comes to changing things about yourself and your life, that truth is the truth of who you really are.
That means carrying forward the lessons, the challenges and the loves of your life and using your entire journey so far to help create the road ahead that you’re longing for.
Of course that can involve a great deal of delving into yourself to understand the truth behind each of those things, and the deepest truths of yourself alongside, and that can be tough.
But when you find your own truths I encourage… no, I beg you to take some time – particularly during these darker months when all we want to do is snuggle into the warmth rather than leap into a fresh start – to get to know those truths. Heal the things that are holding you back from the good ones, listen to the lessons the ones you’re not fond of have to teach, and hear the wisdom she has to share; and then use all of that information as a foundation for the newness you want to grow.
And most importantly of all carry the amazing, strong and wise person you find in that darkness forward with you into the new beginning, using her knowledge and experience to create a new focus and intention and allowing the wonderful you that’s been there all along to shine in the way she truly deserves.
If all of that sounds a little too much don’t panic, this isn’t something you have to do alone. If you’d like some support then check out the different ways you can work with me one-to-one, including my individual coaching sessions, six week Get Unstuck or twelve week Power of One programme.