One of my favourite quotes is by Stephen Covey, “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are──or, as we are conditioned to see it.” The truth of this statement shows up in various ways; in what we focus on, project onto others, what we are blind to, ignore or what we can even fixate on.
The power of paying attention
January is traditionally the month of resolutions. These intentions often don’t last past the first few committed days. So I have a different suggestion. Perhaps instead of putting pressure on yourself to be a new improved you, why not use these early dark months of 2019 to ease into new healthy habits? How, you may ask? Just by noticing and jotting down what gets your attention. What were your thoughts, feelings, senses and experiences today? Nothing strenuous, just a pen and paper, no gym membership required. Just notice, pay attention.
I believe a few weeks of this routine will provide a powerful starting point for any change. So, when Spring comes knocking on your door, when the season shifts, with growth and longer, warmer days, you can use this energy and your reflections to spring clean your world. Some suggested questions might be:
1. What observations or habits are serving you well, which aren’t?
2. What activities give you energy, which ones drain you?
3. What friendships or relationships enrich your life, which one distract/upset/agitate you?
Rather than comparing your life to someone else’s, whether that’s your neighbour, friend, Facebook post, Instagram story – find the beauty and value in your own life. Just as artists looking at the same view will create unique drawings. We too have our own picture to draw. One that expresses who we are, what we hold dear and what our hopes and dreams are for ourselves and those we love.
Recognise the value of your perspective and your reflections and make considered choices in 2019 based on those values. I’m going to try to do the same.