Happy New Year! Goodbye to 2016 – a very, ahem, “interesting” year for Britain and the world… How was it for you?
Hello 2017! Here’s to a calm and soulful year of reconnection. Let’s make 2017 a wonderful year of kindness, self-care and compassion.
Would you like to feel more joyful? More present? At peace, calm and contented?
Then start this new year as you mean to go on: choose an attitude of gratitude and notice the joyful moments that occur each and every day in your life. You just need open eyes and a willing heart and you will see them.
No matter the measure of health and wellbeing you have. No matter the challenges you are facing. There is always something which can spark joy.
Maybe it’s the robin jumping around in the garden. The blue-green sheen on a Mallard’s head. The pattern of raindrops as they roll down the window. The rustle of leaves in the breeze. The pattern of frost on a leaf. The smile of a loved one. The feeling of understanding as you chat with a friend. Quiet-time alone to recharge your batteries.
Everyday there will be something in your life which connects you to your heart, to joy, to the present moment.
See it as a mindfulness practice. Being open to this moment and whatever it brings you.
Gift this present moment your full attention and you will be rewarded with food for the soul.
Create a jar of joy
Last year I created a Joy Jar on 1 January 2016 and whenever the fancy took me I wrote down on a little slip of paper something which had brought me joy that day.
So if I had a crappy day or my inner critic was getting particularly shouty I would dip in to be reminded of the good in my life and simple pleasures.
Here are the first three I pulled out as I changed over to begin my 2017 jar:
- Sipping wine on a terrace overlooking the Alhambra in Granada;
- Cherry blossom against the evening sunlight glow;
- Tree roots in Avebury.
It made me smile and feel so joyful to read them.
Looking back through all of them – it was all about experiences with my husband, or walks in nature, or noticing a sunset or lovely comments from my yoga students. There was nothing materialistic in there. There was no “ooh I increased my revenue by 10% this month” or “woah, I’ve got 100 more Facebook likes than this time last year”.
No, it was about mindfulness of simple things which brought me true joy.
I’ve started a new jar for 2017 as well as a soul wisdom jar where I put any leftover wisdom quotes which I give out at the end of each one of my weekly yoga classes.
So much better than new year’s resolutions!
So, instead of berating myself for having a glass of wine when I’m supposed to be having a dry January or feeling guilty for eating some chocolate when I’d resolved to give up sugar for January, I focus on what is good in my life.
I notice, value and savour simple pleasures and revel in natural beauty. I’ll notice little things which make my heart sing. And write them down and pop them in my joy jar.
And do you know what? I’ve noticed that when I’m present and joyful and content I am always so much more creative and efficient. I get stuff done.
Choose joy and gratitude and notice how your life flows so much more easily.