I was contemplating this question as I sat this New Years early morning in one of my most favourite places in the world, the Whian forest - a magical place - full of so much diversity. When I am in Nature it is always a reminder to me about the complexity of Life and the wholeness of Life. Sitting in amongst the decay, the broken branches and uprooted trees and yet all about me is new growth, new life coexisting with death. This could be a metaphor for 2017. Many people faced challenges and difficulties 2016 (and previous years!) so perhaps our outlook for 2017 can be one of inclusion. Including that there are challenges and difficulties - we can't deny them anyway!
That would be like saying: “hey, that big uprooted tree is not there” when in fact it is! Sometimes we just need to make our way regardless, to find our own path realising that sometimes we may need to cut our path through the challenges, difficulties and obstacles that life presents us with. What has often been a support for me is to focus on where the new Life is. I have always had a curious nature and that has supported and helped me to look for what else is 'here' even when challenges and difficulties arise.
If you have trouble finding the new growth in your own life then perhaps take some time in Nature. Take some time to sit quietly; close your eyes take a few deep breaths before softly opening your eyes in a gently receptive way. Be open to see what you may not ordinarily let yourself see, allowing yourself to be surprised. Allowing ourselves to be surprised, giving space for what we really truly don't know; what may be unexpected in nice ways. And when something does cross our path to take that extra moment, even if your mind has decided it's not good or it is something unpleasant or a too hard – to gently remind yourself and say, “I don't know”. Maybe, just maybe, there is something more in this situation than I thought, maybe there's something that I can't see because I don't know just yet. Giving space for not knowing can open doorways into opportunities and certainly can help release tensions that we hold when we are invested and supporting our fear. If you look at a little child - say five or six years old - just playing, giving themselves permission to laugh and get it wrong - when they drop something, they simply pick it up again. That innocent twinkle in their eyes not judging that dropping the ball is wrong, it’s fun, it’s a game, drop it again and again!
How would it be if we were like that with ourselves, investing in that childlike innocence and sweetness? I think we can touch that innocence but we need to remember. Remembering to support ourselves and also to be supportive of each other. Sometimes we can get caught up in our daily life - it is very easy for our mind that is conditioned to look for problems to focus then on problems, fear and anxiety. Yet if we can remember to smile and chuckle to ourselves, to play a bit, then perhaps we might see more in that moment about the situation that can help us navigate with more ease, grace and with more space in our heart.
Coming back to 2017 as the year of inclusion - I don't know what that means! Perhaps I can tell you at the end of this year ???? Each of us will have an individual journey and your message on this first day of 2017 will be uniquely yours. Perhaps we may have some resonances such as unexpected nice surprises or being delighted in many small ways throughout this year by the gifts that life will present to us on our path.
I look forward to crossing paths with some of you over the next year and for some of you who I may not physically get to see, please know that often feel in touch with many of my friends and people who I have met in different contexts – I experience a sense of wider community and with all of us (who are to the best of our ability!) consciously exploring and looking for our own potential and that of humanity.
I end with a heartfelt wish on this New Year of 2017, a year that is exactly right for you ????