Today is my birthday. I feel fortunate that my birthday comes along with the fresh start of every New Year. As an adult, I have come to appreciate this and take advantage of that opportunity to check in with myself and look at how far I’ve come, not only in the scope of a new year, but also in the greater scope of my own life.
Our lives stack up so quickly and so densely that it’s necessary for us to look back at intervals after time has made sense of our experiences and removed us from the emotion and fog of it all. Every year we take on new responsibility and obligations. We meet new people and have new relationships; we also mourn the loss of people and relationships, and alternately welcome and resist change. As beings in constant motion, experiencing things on both physical and emotional levels, it’s rare that we take time to sit still and reflect and recognize our process and acknowledge our progress. When we do take time to do this at the beginning of each year, it’s important to look at these experiences objectively and not to judge anything we did as a mistake or a misstep. Everything positive and negative we go through leads to a bigger bank of knowledge about ourselves and the world and helps us evolve and make better and better choices moving forward.
It helps to consider that we often don’t notice the little changes a thing takes to grow, be it a child, or a pet, or a plant. But to an outsider looking in who only sees that progress intermittently, the small changes along the way contribute to a great body of change over a period of months or years. Our lives and our personal progress work like that too. When I think about all the little changes I made over the course of this year that stacked up to put me here in this time and place under an entirely different set of circumstances than the year before, the progress I made, though it didn’t feel like it along the way, was quite significant.
Like most people, I think, I tend to get wrapped up in the discomfort of a moment or a series of moments and it’s hard to see the big picture and see that the moments of discomfort I’m feeling during this period of great change are actually baby steps in the right direction; a direction that will take me to my end goal, a life where I get to live my dreams and my passions. So instead of looking at the discomfort in these moments as obstacles or challenges and dwelling on the sense of unease they create, I need to start looking at them as growing pains. Instead of feeling down or sad or impatient that I’m not exactly where I want to be right now, I need to appreciate that these moments are exactly what I need to be going through in order to experience expansion.
So now, I set my intentions for a year full of surprises and gifts, challenges and knowledge. I will leave behind my fear, anxiety, stress, and worry over the unknown and choose to embrace it instead. I will leave behind my unhealthy attachments and create a life of freedom, choices, and adventure.Happy New Year!