Make 2016 Unforgettable

Forget the past & remember the lesson

I don’t know about you, but I definitely feel like 2016 has a certain essence about it. Each person I come across seems to be having some kind of dramatic shift in circumstance whether it be physically in terms of their home or job, or instead a change within their being.

Change – that is the word I would use to describe 2016.

In ’12 Tips For A Magical Monday’, I touched upon the idea of daily gratitude as a positive approach to life, but with the middle day of the year fast approaching and the summer solstice rewarding us with a heart-felt explosion of nature’s true colours in the sky, it seems to me a good time to check in with how you’re feeling about 2016 so far.

What we learn becomes a part of who we are and I feel it to be essential to stop and acknowledge these new lessons that we overcome and absorb into our lives.   

Did you make any resolutions at the beginning of the year? Are you doing well so far with them? Perhaps you might need to re-address your hopes for this year and focus your energy once again? Don’t be hard on yourself.

Here is an insight in to what I have learnt so far in 2016.

1. Love Yourself

At some point last year, my eyes were opened to yoga. It’s a tough one to explain until you attend your first class, clad in the most colourful leggings you could find stuffed at the bottom of your wardrobe and anticipating an hour of what you might consider at this point to be a brave experience. I’ve got to admit that I was as sceptical as the next non-bendy person, sitting cross-legged on the floor for what suddenly felt like the first time since infant school, probably displaying a similarly childlike expression of fear on my face. Luckily, delving heart-first into the unknown paid off and I found myself folded into a painful, yet curiously meditative downward dog before you even had the chance to say Namaste. 

So, coming back to my point ‘Love Yourself.’ Do something that makes you both aware of and fall in love with yourself – that’s right. Fall in love! You were gifted with the greatest treasure that we call life and the best thing you can do in gratitude is to appreciate it. Learn together, laugh together, and sit in silence together – harmonise your body and your mind.

In 2016 I promised myself to commit to and attend at least one yoga class a week – an hour in every seven days that I could call purely my own. I can’t believe that we are now already half way through the year and I have managed to keep to this target. Nothing life changing has happened, but I’ve noticed small changes within myself and for that, I’ve fallen a little bit more in love with the person I am and the person I can be. 

2. Growing Something Can Be Really Rewarding

You might have read my recent article on ‘How To Grow Your Own Money Plant’, and if so you won’t be new to the fact that I am totally besotted with a little plant that I’m currently growing. The whole process of actually managing to sustain and keep plants alive is a new revelation to me. Who knew that plants could actually re-flower? This might sound pretty silly, but I was almost certain until this year that orchids were a one-hit wonder.

Growing something can be incredibly inspiring for the soul and you will be rewarded with the incomparable gift of nature and the silent beauty of progress.

3. Just Be Kind To One Another

This is probably one of the most important lessons to learn in life – the importance of kindness and selflessness. Within the space of a day I can be amazed by both the kindness of humans, and also by their totally selfish nature. Take a look around you and think about ways that you can go above and beyond what is expected of you today. An extra few minutes of your time, with no complaining, can transform someone else’s life – seriously.  Just do that little bit extra for nothing more than the satisfaction of knowing that you have made someone else’s day a little bit easier, and perhaps a little bit more fun.

 4. Being Married Can Sometimes Be Really Hard

I’ve got to admit that after a month or so had passed and a faint tan line had begun to set in beneath the wedding ring now sat proudly on my finger, I felt a little bit cheated by the other married people that I know.   

Why had nobody warned me about the post-wedding blues that set in before that last piece of wedding cake sat alone in your fridge has even had the chance to be eaten? When you’re having another tiff with your newly beloved husband, and everyone is suddenly telling you that ‘the first year is the hardest’, you wonder why nobody thought to warn you of this seemingly shared fact? It appeared pretty obvious to me that had somebody thought to share these little secrets with one another, it would be possible to at least prepare for what was to come.

First rule of married club, don’t talk about married club.

Well I’m breaking the rules and telling you that being married can sometimes be really hard. However, if your loved one (because I really do love the special guy I’ve chosen to share my life with) is doing your nut in, then I find re-reading this extract from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, that we had as a reading at our own wedding, can offer a lot of peace in mind.

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.”

5. Put Yourself Out There

I’ve learnt this year that sometimes it is important to both push yourself and put yourself out there. The prospect of taking that leap of faith can sometimes become so intimidating and unattainable that you just accept to feel okay with the position you are in right now.

I know it’s hard, like really, really hard. We all have a habit of playing these scenes out in our minds that normally result in some kind of mass humiliation or rejection and I’m not going to lie, this can sometimes happen.

However, the best thing about time is that it moves on, things are forgotten and you’ve learnt some seriously valuable stuff about the person that you are. You might get turned away, but you will never be criticised for trying. It is so easy for our meandering minds to become fixated on rejection – especially if you are unemployed like myself, or feeling like you have no idea what you are doing with your life… like myself. At the end of the day, it is just so fundamentally true that the biggest mistake you could ever make is being too afraid to make one.

So please, at some point before this year is up, make sure that you really put yourself out there at least once and become vulnerable to the possibility of your life.

6. Trust That An Ending Is Followed By A Beginning

Often when you think that you’re at the end of something, you’re just at the beginning of something else. In May, the business I owned and loved turned 3 years old – a massive achievement and what felt like a milestone, something I will never forget that’s for sure. However, amongst the insanely good times and happy memories that we got to experience and be a part of, my partner and myself knew it was time to turn our attention to a new path in life. The crazy thing is that it has been three weeks since the last day in what feels like our old life, and the path hasn’t even slightly started to reveal itself yet. But that is okay.  Sometimes you have just got to hold the vision, and trust the process.

I hope that your year so far has been full of love, beauty, kindness & adventure and that you have much more planned for the next half of the year. Remember to keep that heart and that mind wide open.

What are the most valuable lessons that you have learnt so far this year?