As we enter a New Year and the calendar pages turn, we gain renewed motivation to focus on health and that’s pretty fantastic. For many, January brings a new kind of enthusiasm for wellness, fitness, goals & passions.
That being said, 2017 was a tough one for a lot of us. We pushed through some pretty tough times: some accidents, some separations, some health struggles, some death. And so, for some, we welcome 2018 with a kind of desperation, not quite excitement, for the new year, but an anxious desire to be done with this year past.
Sometimes, that’s how life goes.
Here’s an idea. How about instead of focusing on the wellness of the physical body: pushing its limits, losing weight, or detoxing holiday indulgences, we focus on the emotional being: the wellness of the soul, the mending of the heart, the clarity of the mind?
I recently read this Facebook post that had all these great instructions on how to leave 2017 behind. It spoke to wrong doings and struggles with others; well-wishing and forgiveness. I thought to myself: “well that’s all good, but where are the instructions HOW TO?” It’s great to give advice like: move forward or move on or leave it behind, but without actual instructions how-to, we sort of get stuck in the middle somewhere, where we are carrying around our old stuff, saying we’ve left it behind, when really, we’re just not dealing with it. So where’s the healing in that?
Dealing With The Hard Stuff
Moving forward into the New Year, I challenge you to turn and face your tough stuff. If there is a tightness in your heart or a struggle weighing in your mind; if there are unfinished words, past or present; if there is a pandora’s box locked up tight in your belly begging for a gentle opening… Let 2018 be the year to truly bust it wide open.
Healing does not happen in one day. It doesn’t finish in one 12-step program or through one healer or therapist. It is ongoing and requires courage and dedication, patience and honesty. Healing lasts a lifetime. Take it from someone who is healing all the time, sometimes in big leaps, sometimes in baby steps, and sometimes going backwards, the journey teaches so much and the rewards are endless.
- Be Willing to Listen: Without trying to sound too “hippie”, there are moments in our lives when we get little lights or signals; indications that direct us on where to go next. We either listen or we ignore. It all starts with the willingness to follow these little arrows. Whether you come across a specialized therapist, or are offered to attend a retreat; your friend asks for your advice on an issue that mimics your struggle, or you are offered a new job…Listen.
- Educate Yourself: The world of research has evolved exponentially over the last decade and never before has researching something been easier. Make some time to read about how others have overcome whatever you are dealing with: the causes, its development, and find guidance in education. There is so much strength in research and understanding, which can shed much needed light on individual situations.
- Find the Right Help: THE most important part of healing is making sure that you have the right support. As every scenario is different, this could look different to every individual. There is SO much help out there, we need only the willingness to find it. Remember that this is not a one-stop-shop and that therapy of all kinds asks for time and dedication. It could take months or years and several practitioners. It should take as long as it takes.
Your TO-DO List:
- Start Journaling: And I mean now. As in right now. Journalling is an accessible way to safely place your thoughts somewhere outside your body. Writing is an amazing therapy and the journal can be as sacred as you need it to be, but it gets things moving. Here are some suggestive entries for you: My renewed outlook for 2018 will be… In 2018, I will address my struggles with… What I would like to leave behind in 2017 is… The untold words and thoughts that I would like to express in the New Year are….
- Book an Appointment: Even if you are not sure who your best match will be, as far as a Practitioner goes, start with someone who makes sense to you. Maybe you start with someone who is close by in proximity, or someone who has had an impact on a friend, or maybe you do a very specific search for someone with a specialty. Start your search now and book an appointment. Today.
- Invest in a Great Book: In the ebb and flow of healing, I have often found solace in a good book when I am feeling as though I have lost momentum. A book is a great (and affordable) way to bring new light to your ways of thinking, of inspiring you to stick it out, and of reminding yourself that you are not alone in your struggles. Some of my favourites: “Daring Greatly”, by Brene Brown (any of her books for that matter), “Love Warrior”, by Glennon Doyle Melton, “The Power of Now”, by Eckhart Tolle, and “The War of Art”, by Steven Pressfield.