"The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment: You create a good future by creating a good present." ~ Eckhart Tolle
Heading back to work after the Christmas break, how did you feel? Rejuvenated? Feisty? Tired? Broke? All of the above? Oh the great holiday hangover that often clouds how we view ourselves and what we set as our intention into the New Year. A friend of mine is adamant that January is the worst possible time of year for setting goals, especially “life” goals; it’s cold, dark and everything is asleep outside. Not exactly inspirational, I agree. And yet, what is happening under that blanket of snow in nature is nothing short of rejuvenation. This is the time of year when nature is at rest, enjoying the fruits of her labour from the long summer growing season and the fall’s command to store energy. By resting she is readying herself for the frenzy that is spring, when everything wakes up and emerges, fresh and new.
Much like nature, we too may know there are demands coming that we want to meet. These demands express themselves as gentle yearnings for that which is fresh and new (tricking us into thinking we need *new* goals). Rather than give in to the sappy sentimental miasma of New Year goal setting take a page out of nature’s playbook and use this time instead to rest in what you already are. This does not mean doing nothing or standing still. Under that blanket of snow many subtle and transformative changes are happening to ensure that spring will be met with readiness, and so you too can do something that is healthier than “goal setting” to put you in a position to meet your year with energy and intention.
What nature is silently doing right now is taking stock of what is present. What you have in place for yourself today informs what is possible tomorrow, but at this time of year it is easy to become caught up in creating a vision of your tomorrow (absent of today) that sets yourself up for heartache and failure because we (the beautiful flawed beings that we are) tend to set goals that are based on what is missing, rather than what is present, in our lives. Nature does not gather herself around what she thinks she should be, she gathers herself around what she is, because what she is points to what is possible, and because it holds possibility it is enough. Do you feel you are enough? Make a list of all that you are and all that you bring to the table. Are you a child, a parent, an employee, a leader, a caregiver? You have gifts in all of these areas (and more) of your life. What are they? How are they viewed and valued by you? By others? What possibilities do you have at your fingertips by virtue of who you are? Take an objective look at what you have to give others (and yourself), reach out to others to ensure you have a complete and accurate picture of yourself (we are so very good at self-judgment and distortion, don’t allow that to limit you). Go into this work with an open heart, self-compassion and an understanding that only by seeing and knowing what is present in you and in your life today can you move into what is possible for you tomorrow (and know you are already enough, rest in that).
This is what January is all about; compassionately taking stock, being grateful for who you are and what you have; connecting with your deepest self. January is a quiet month in nature on purpose, for it is this remarkable silence that allows you to hear possibility calling, and know that it will call for you based on who and what you are today, not some imagined, perfected future state. January can feel like a long month, the longest in all the year, yet it is a month that is about anything but waiting for your future self to emerge. It is about courage and loving yourself, caring for yourself and honouring who you are so you can bring yourself more fully into the world.
It takes courage to look deeply and listen to yourself. Can you find that courage and listen to learn who you really are? If you do, you’ll see all that is possible for you.