This week as we approach the end of the calendar year and the beginning of a New 2016, we are granted with an amazing opportunity to connect, reflect and look forward.
This concept of connecting is in the sense of 'self connecting'-taking time between the Christmas period and before you go into the New Year and regular routine again to switch off your computer, switch off your phone and taking time to yourself. It might sound a little alien if you have a lot on or people to be around but even taking an hour can be extremely beneficial.
Between the hustle and bustle and comings and goings of family and friends or even if you have spent some time alone, you can now give yourself the gift of quality time, of consciously choosing to mark out some time for yourself. Being online or around others is great, sharing and discussing is definitely beneficial but there needs to be value in your 'me' time, in its importance.
Around this time of year as I mentioned you have a great opportunity to connect, recalibrate and align with your values, to set goals and targets and plans to reach them. (To be honest doing this many times a year is super important!) In this process, you can ask yourself what works, what is not working, you can be completely honest on what your strengths are and where you need to work a little more or need more skills or support.
What can be difficult at this time of year in particular are all the voices! There will be online and around you an onslaught of ideas/options/offers for the next greatest thing that will make you feel more amazing and love your life and achieve happiness. The rest of society and the people around you are all talking about goals and plans, and this can be helpful but when overloaded it can get confusing, overwhelming and you can end up feeling burnt out and lack the energy and enthusiasm to even plan tomorrow!
So over the next few days make an effort to sit, to switch off your devices, to reflect, to meditate and to tune in. Become aware of the concept that you have everything you already need. That you have the strength and courage and ability to be the best version of yourself daily. That you have the knowledge to serve your needs and those around you. That you know what to do and even though thoughts and ego may often tell you how hard it is or impossible a task-you know how to reach your true potential. You have all this in spades-it is just about checking in and remembering.
This is truly the spiritual journey-'How can I be the best version of myself and how can I best serve others?'
Forget all the hype, the fads, the opinions, the talk, that will always be there in different voices and volumes.
Once you check in, once you connect to yourself and get to know yourself, you will most definitely feel more open to listening to others too, you will realise skills that you can work on and traits that others have that you can benefit from.
Find an upright posture for your spine and where legs are crossed and comfortable. Set your timer for 15-20 minutes.
You can have your eyes open or closed. Begin with a body scan, from your toes all the way around the body, observe completely how everything is feeling. Then notice your thoughts, what is coming in and out. Then notice your emotions, what is present? Then turn your awareness to your breath, observing and feeling your inhale and exhale, not changing, not judging, just becoming observant.
As you notice thoughts or become distracted bring your awareness back to your breath. Let your breath be your anchor point for your awareness. Each time you notice a thought or become distracted, smile and bring lightness to your observation, remind yourself with ease to re focus back on your breath.
Remain like this for the entire duration of the Meditation. If it feels hard, persevere.
In your reflections this week you are really paying attention to your needs, wants, desires and goals. You are unique and you will have a unique set of needs to serve. It is up to you to pave the way towards your own happiness from inside first-ultimately you know best.
Thinking of new beginnings and the start of the New Year consider the following questions and write on each, set your timer for 5 minutes for each question so you can really reflect and take time to consider them.......
**Goals: Align yourself with the concept of your true values and purpose in life regardless of the outcomes what do you want to do?
**Goals do not have to be huge external achievements, you may have a goal to be more loving, or patient for example.
-When stripped down from 5 to 3 to 1, what are your main goals going forward with the last 1 being the most important to you.
-What are your reasons for choosing the goals above?
- What tendencies do you already have that will help you achieve your goals? What positive influences from your environment or those around you will support your goals?
-What tendencies do you have that may hinder your progress towards your goals?
-What influences from your environment or those around you may hinder your progress or may be of negative impact?
- In any of your goals and the considerations above, can you recognise how to enhance your beneficial qualities and let go of your 'un-beneficial' tendencies? What could work for you going forwards?
-What do you need from your environment, from yourself and those around you to keep you connected and on track to what you want most in life?
**Remember: Learning occurs in optimal discomfort-in anything you wish to achieve for the year ahead, embrace a sense of discomfort and rise to the challenge as you learn and grow and combat perceived limitations and barriers. If something doesn't work, adapt and change and repeat the process above.
On this journey you have undertaken you may have felt already or begin to feel a connection to something deeper within yourself. Beyond your body and your mind there is a space. In all our lives we must strike the balance of serving the needs of our bodies, of enjoying all our bodies can do and achieve, likewise with our thoughts and our minds-asking ourselves 'what do I need and what can I let go of?'. Once served, once in harmony, you can connect to this space, beyond body and mind, to a sense of flow, peace and true joy. It is certainly not easy, and we are all walking a tight rope keeping balance. The principles are simple however, and possible!