As the end of the calendar year approaches it is hard not to get caught up into thinking everything is magically going to change because the clock ticks over into a new year.
It sounds wonderful, the thought of leaving behind the pain of this past year and moving on. This seems especially appealing given the state of our world with a global pandemic still on the rise, climate change impacting more than ever and social unrest with ongoing racial inequities, just to name a few.
Want to leave all this behind and start over again? Yep, count me in!
But without being a ‘dooms-dayer’, we need to acknowledge that leaving behind pain of any kind – be it personal or communal – just doesn’t happen because the clock strikes midnight on a chosen date.
We need to remember the messages from 2020 not just the mess, and we need to take this forward to create a much better world than it was before 2020.
What did you learn or do well in 2020?
There were many good things to emerge across the globe in 2020, such as a growing sense of community, gratitude for health, freedoms and connections. An amazing growth in creativity and inventions to benefit humankind.
Did you notice yourself and others:
- Reaching out to support and help others?
- Ensuring you connect with important people in your life?
- Watching children and adults adapt to new ways of learning and living?
- Bringing humour to brighten our darkest days?
- Creating new ways to connect?
- Appreciating the little things in life?
- Understanding the deep connections we feel as a whole community?
So how can you move into 2021 without the pessimism that was a big part of 2020? Without the doom and gloom….but….with the hope and optimism that kept us all going?
We need to learn from children and from mindfulness.
Children rarely know what day it is, let alone what time it is, until we, the adults, remind them. They don’t care if it is December 31st or May 10th. Children approach each moment as a fresh moment, with an open optimism of what might happen, what might be created, of opportunities.
How do they do this? Well they have, what is known in mindfulness as a Beginner’s Mind.
The concept of a Beginner’s Mind suggests that you become aware that you have never been at this point in your life before….and neither has the person in front of you….and neither has the world around you.
Beginner’s Mind = opportunities
In the Beginner’s Mind each moment is filled with opportunities to explore.
To see yourself differently and to see others differently; by truly being here to seek out opportunities of this moment, not being stuck in past moments like the year that was 2020.
Going into 2021, we don’t need to try to erase the year that was 2020. Thinking that as a new year begins the pain of 2020 will magically disappear or that somehow life will go back to how it was before 2020.
We need to take forward the things we learnt and did that encouraged a more positive world and continue to create a different way of being together.
“Life is what happens while we are busy making other plans”
If you look back to this time last year….what were your expectations of 2020? What did you hope this futuristic year would bring and what did it deliver?
No one expected what 2020 delivered – and we all needed to #pivot.
However, when we bring a Beginner’s Mind there is no pivoting or disappointment, just responding, because we are ready to be flexible and adaptive.
Responding, by bringing our best selves to each moment, regardless of the circumstances.
Bringing our best selves….regardless of our expectations of what this moment would bring.
Bringing our best selves….regardless of the demands on us.
Bringing our best selves to be there for each other and the planet.
A New Year Resolution of a Beginner’s Mind
Resolve to seek out the opportunities of what is here, right now.
Reclaim your life by being present in it, not in your expectations or your desires.
Relieve the destruction of the planet by seeing the ripples of each of your actions, beyond yourself, at each and every moment.
My hope for you for 2021
My hope is that 2020 has taught you that you are enough. That you have enough. That by being you, you are so much more for others who need you.
My hope for you in 2021 is that this New Year, you can let go of the list of how life can be ‘better’ or how to ‘build’ a better you.
That you can start the practice of bringing a Beginner’s Mind to this moment, and the next and the next, and make 2021 a year of opportunities.