A new year ahead, what will it bring?

What will 2023 bring?

After almost 3 years of Covid-19 pandemic and its trail of losses, fears and realizations, we may be wondering about what 2023 will bring.
This was a long and winding road we took, and many of us sufferred loss in so many ways.

Although we are a lot less directly affected by it today, this worldwide challenge still has lingering effects on how we feel, how we interact and how we embrace Life… our attention span shrank (you are not the only one!), planning on the long term seems to have lost some of its luster, hussling and forging forward looks less important than personal fulfillment and, in general, there seem to be some weariness under the general hope.

Who knows what the year will bring?

Of course we can’t control these tremendous times where enormous and consequential events occur.
Challenging times are intrinsecally part of life, pandemic or not.

Though it may be tempting to feel powerless and defeated in front of major catastrophes, climate change, wars and obliterating greed, as well as personal disasters, we need to remind ourselves that we have a lot of tools to influence how good a year of life can be!

Rather than dreading, or ignoring (both very human reactions to traumatic situations) the uncontrolable, we always have the power to practice and cultivate a certain way to meet Life in all its surprising turns, a day at a time.

We actually have the ability to PREPARE FOR THE BEST.

By learning and practicing optimism, resilience, flexibility and confidence, we plant the seeds that will make a difference no matter what comes our way.
Instead of focusing on what may go wrong, we acknowledge the fact that some things will probably go wrong but that we will make the best of it; and we prepare for it.

In lieu of big resolutions, I’d rather favor frequent tiny actions that affect consistently how I feel, how I show up, and how I interact.
I choose to lean toward happiness, contentment and wonder. I choose to cultivate what I want more of.

I have the firm belief that everything happening has a gift in it.

This particular mindset was not always my natural inclination, far from it… but thanks to some precious mentors and teachers, I discovered that my mindset is not WHO I am.
My mindset is only a mental habit.
As any habit, it can be replaced by a better one.
Choosing to look at things, events, people, circumstances, with great curiosity, and expecting a gift somewhere, somehow, is in itself a life changer.
I went over time, and through practice from “Why me?” “Why this?” to “What is the gold in this?” (most of the time).

Instead of thinking often that Life was wrong I chose to believe that the unfathomable intelligence at work throughout the cosmos and my own cells has a kind of order, and that I can abide by it, and be part of it, creatively, actively, rather than resisting it.

With time it became obvious that planting flowers cost me less effort and pain than mourning the possible lack of them.

Something in me has shifted for ever, and allowed me to this day to meet harrowing circumstances with a consistant ability to not be engulfed by despair, hatred, or helplessness… (most of the time).
As I let go of the pain to not control the flow of Life, I started having control over the way I wanted to BE alive, and the way I felt as it unfolded.

Being alive is a cultivable; we can learn and refine our skills at it until we die.

The cool part is that (at least in my experience and my observations), when we focus more on what we can create and what we can be grateful for, there is a kind of happy sigh, inside, a relief, and an uplift.
We become lighter.
Happiness trickles in… And sometimes even outer circumstances seem to tune in and contribute.
Serendipity gives a helping hand and miracles pop up.

So as we quickly approach the beginning of a new year, I am planning to plant a lot of seeds, and to water them as they grow… because it is yet the best way to create a year filled with blooming fields…

May the little kernel of Joy inside of you (the one at the core, that you were born with… that made you giggle when you played with your toes as a baby), grow and thrive under your loving care.

Much love and happy new year…

Art by J.M.Nieto, cartoonist.

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