A New Year, A New Start

(photo by Free Walking Tour Salzburg on Unsplash.com)

Do you believe in the new year providing a fresh start? I do. Actually, any time is a good time to begin anew. With the calendar reflecting 1/1 to kick things off, it feels like a natural time to plan for new adventures.

My personal words to start the year are: Proactive, Energetic, Introspection.

To me, this means that I want to spend time uncovering what is most important, and then taking action steps to bring about positive, lasting change. I create my own path, one that is true to my needs and desires. I focus on my energy as I do tasks. Does this task bring about negative or positive energy?  I want to spend more time being in energy that frees me, energy that I enjoy, both my own and that which surrounds me. I am kind to myself.

In order to gain clarity on my inner voice, I need to do things each day that bring out this voice. To do this, I am implementing daily meditation, deep breathing exercises, journaling, yoga, nature hikes, and a (mostly) plant-based diet. Together, these practices will give my inner voice a passageway from my unconscious mind to my conscious mind.

In effect, my goal is to get in tune with my intuition. If I’m paying attention to my inner self, ideas may pop into my mind at any time. I need to be ready to write down these thoughts as they occur, and then take action.

I am excited to get started.

What are your personal words to start the year?

Top 5 Ways to Follow Your Bliss

(photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash)

Each of us is one amazing, unique individual, with limited energy and time. We can only fit so much into each day. It’s time to get clear on what is most important, and put into action those tasks that will lead us to our prime life objectives and goals. Many times, this may entail going against the grain of society, our friends, or our family. So, here are the Top Five Ways to Follow Your Bliss, in order to live the best life that you can.

ONE: It’s okay to say “No”. For most of my life, I have tried to please others, many times to the detriment of my own health. If I say yes, I’ll be accepted as part of the group and respected. During my senior year of college, I had four part time jobs, along with my final twelve college credit courses. It’s a good thing that I was young with a lot of energy, for I surely could not spread myself so thin today. I ran from one job or class to the other. No down time. No relaxation time. If one boss asked me to work on an additional project, I would say yes, and suffer trying to figure out how to fit it in to my schedule. And there have been other times when I was asked to be on the board of organizations. As you may know from your experience, many times the work of a volunteer organization gets pushed onto select few individuals,  while the majority of members do not participate. This gets old quick. Select the groups, events, or projects that you truly want to do. And practice saying “no” to the things that are not in alignment with your true life purpose.

TWO: Everyone has personality differences and similarities. For example, I am an introvert, meaning that I gain my energy through alone time. I enjoy going out and meeting people, but it does wear me out much quicker than an extrovert who relishes being around people all the time. My brother is an extrovert. Growing up as his younger brother, he was always very kind to include me in activities with his friends. Although I could tell that some of his friend’s did not want me around because I slowed down the games. And I understand their logic. I think my brother may have felt bad that I was home alone. But I actually enjoyed my alone time creating ideas and games in my head and acting them out with no one around. My brother had his favored way of living, being out with his friends, talking it up, and having a wild and crazy time. While I enjoyed this too, my bread and butter time was being home creating in a quiet environment. It’s okay to take time out for yourself in whatever ways you prefer. This is how we build up our energy so that we have enough stored energy to take on the many different dimensions of our daily life.

THREE: Take chances, even if they sound crazy to others. Back in 2016, I quit my job, rented out my home, and moved in with my parents. No that was not a dream or life goal that I had. That was a crazy idea. After working fourteen years at my corporate job, I was in a new position that was not working out for me. I did not feel welcome in the new workplace culture. I also recognized that my parents were older and having challenges living alone. One day at the front door, my dad asked me not to leave him alone. That was the on-switch that I needed to make a change. No I was not looking forward to moving in with my parents. After all, our parent’s had long-term care insurance. I ultimately got my parents professional help, but I became their primary caregiver because I felt a calling to do so. It was the most difficult job that I have ever had, but I am so glad that I went through this experience, even though others thought I was crazy, including my brother. I got to spend quality time with my parents during their last years of life, and I will always have these memories in my heart. Now I am able to start my life over from scratch, identify new dreams to follow, and move forward.

FOUR: Live your dreams! Last year I came up with a new dream that I am ready to take on. The pandemic has put a dent in the timing of living this dream, but in the meantime, I am formulating a plan to get ready. After completing my five years as full-time parental caregiver, and subsequent duties as executor, I am ready to go on an adventure. My goal is to purchase a van in order to travel around North America. The pandemic has created a shortage of vans and other vehicles, along with extremely high price tags. So for now, I am doing the best I can, going on local adventures in my car. I expected some push back when I told my brother about my plan to live in a van. He actually liked the idea, as long as it is a van that I can stand in, and includes all the amenities necessary for a comfortable living space. Ideally, I will create space in the van for an office, where I can work as a health coach and stock trader, able to work anywhere on the road. Yes, I have hit a mental roadblock in terms of finding a van to get started. However, I am getting in the habit each day of utilizing visualization, writing, and self-talk as if I am already living the van life. By doing this, my subconscious believes that it is happening now, which in turn will actually make it happen. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

FIVE: Health. Always keep your health in mind during your daily pursuits. As my Aunt Phyllis tells me, “Your health is your wealth”. Get in tune with your intuition. When making decisions, what “feels” right to you? Don’t be afraid to go with your gut feeling. As a matter of fact, learn ways to connect with your intuition more readily. Many people look for answers out in the world, such as from so called “experts”. In reality we each have the power to be the guiding light for ourselves if we take the time to look within, and make decisions that feel right. Analytics and our thinking brain have their place, and can certainly be very useful. But taking the time to turn off our thoughts, focusing on our breath, and paying attention to ideas that appear out of no where into our conscious mind can be very powerful in leading us towards our ultimate purpose and goals in this life.

So get out there and live your life to the fullest by shutting out the external noises and paying attention to the true north voice that is located within you.