"Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning, but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us." Hal Borland
Whatever has happened over the past year, you can curse it, or love it. With cursing, you suffer more grief. With love, you are free to create more of what you most want in your heart of hearts. With love, you get to celebrate the gift of your life, the gift of who you are.
Closing the door to one phase of life allows a door to open to the next. A phase of life could be your role as a parent when your last child leaves home; graduating from university; finishing a career to go on and do something different; concluding a relationship that no longer works for you; relocating to a new home, district or country; the end of a calendar year.
There is a simple but very effective exercise that will assist you in more easily making the transition to the next phase of life. You could find that it transforms your outlook so that whatever is ahead is much better than what has passed.
Here it is.
1. POSITIVE EVALUATION
In 2008, what have been your accomplishments, your triumphs and your successes - including, and perhaps especially the "small" ones, the ones that really warmed your heart?
In this past year, what value did you gain, receive, learn? However difficult the circumstances, what were the blessings in disguise? How did you value yourself through any issues or conditions you met? It is never to late to value yourself. In the words of Nike - Do it now.
"There exists only the present instant... a Now which always and without end is itself new. There is no yesterday nor any tomorrow, but only Now, as it was a thousand years ago and as it will be a thousand years hence." Meister Eckhart
Each experience you have adds to your enrichment, wisdom, understanding. I have a saying which I have been entertaining for some years now:
Everything that comes to me is for me.
What were some of the trials, the difficulties that you met and maybe are still meeting? What strengths did you develop? What qualities in yourself did you discover, that you did not know you had? How did you demonstrate courage, thoughtfulness, creativity, kindness or wisdom?
How can you best acknowledge yourself for your passage through 2008? How can you be open to receive acknowledgment from others?
Consider that always, you are doing the best you can with what you know and are dealing with at the time. When you know better, you will do better.
When you go to college, you do not walk in with your degree already achieved. You study towards it. So too with your life. Except with life, there is really no pass or fail. In life, there is always, without fail, a degree of of experience, of learning and expansion. You were born to win, to succeed.
Whatever you may feel bad about in 2008, forgive yourself now. To forgive in my experience is one of the most profound acts of loving we can ever take, either towards ourselves or others. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Forgiving will set you free to create the life of your dreams.
Experiment repeating this statement as often as you would like. It works also to write it down.
I forgive myself for....
"Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that crushed it."
4. APPRECIATION - Expressed towards yourself and others
What you appreciate grows in value for you. How is that? All too often, we are more aware of our shortcomings and failures. You may be someone who is more accustomed to punishing yourself for what you failed to do, than praising yourself for your successes.
When we punish ourselves, our energy becomes depleted and we experience stress in some form. We may punish, but better, why not nourish ourselves with love, humour and appreciation? Appreciate yourself - and grow in the sense of value you have for yourself.
Think for a moment about the people who made a difference to you in 2008. Who were they? What did they give to you, and how? You might like to let them know how they were important for you. Ideally, tell them in person; or if that is not possible, call them on the phone; and failing that, write to them.
One of the blessings in our current age is that we have more resources for communication than ever before. Something for which I feel very grateful.
"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams." Ashley Smith
Here is the fun part. How will you reward yourself for your part in 2008? You could gift yourself with time for a special walk, a treat you do not usually allow yourself, a small gift that symbolizes your unique goodness. You might like to declare a celebratory dinner with family and friends; a spontaneous Saturday with a loved one.
Every time we embark on a new venture, phase of life, or project of any kind, part of our unconscious energy gets engaged to bring about an outcome. Taking these 5 steps is a way of telling the unconscious: job well done and complete. It then releases more energy for new beginnings. The more positively you can view the past, the better you can create your future.