A few years ago I decided to scrap the idea of having New Year's resolutions or a list of things to achieve, and instead have a theme for the year. A positive theme that would encourage positive behaviour and change. It started with ‘Year of the Social’ – this was my way of breaking through my overly introverted ways, and make more of an effort to participate in life’s social adventures.
Last year was ‘Year of the Good Vibes’ – This was such a positive year as I threw myself into activities and rituals that were spiritual and full of good vibes. I completed my training in Reiki, developed a full and new moon ritual practice, learnt tarot, palm reading and tea leaf reading. I attended workshops to enhance my intuitive psychic abilities. I went to Bali on an eight day spiritual and intuitive retreat where I worked on a different Chakra each day, delving deep into the shadows and exposing all the blocks to work through. It was pure magic. And, I published my artwork for all to see.
This year’s theme? I was tossing up a few ideas and then at a lunch with some girlfriends one of my beautiful friends was telling me about how she had been doing things that hadn’t been very supportive or sustainable for the long-term and was making a conscious effort to ensure that she now did things that were sustainable in all aspects of her life. This conversation inspired me and really made me think about my own life and behaviour. So, my theme for this year is ‘Year of Sustainable'. I love this theme because it isn’t just one area, it flows over all aspects of life and prompts the question ‘is this sustainable?’ Through the relationships I have, the food I eat, the money I spend, how many hours I work or the stress I feel, the things I waste that impact the environment… the list is endless. If it isn’t something that is positive or can be maintained in the long-term, it probably shouldn’t be engaged in the short-term. I’m looking forward to this ‘Year of Sustainable’ and the changes it will encourage.
The best part about having a theme for the year is the ripple effect it has. My year of being social developed amazing friendships and positive social behaviour that flowed into the following year and the next, and my year of good vibes has done the same. Each year bringing growth, development and positivity. Even though both of those years had the loss of a family member and various struggles… it was real. It was a real year with real challenges to overcome. The path might not always be straight and flat, but the obstacles are the things that create a varied and interesting landscape. A lovely and interesting life path, that leads to a view with a beautiful perspective.
It reminds me of the story 'The Lesson of the Butterfly', by Paulo Coelho - learning to navigate and push through the struggle will emerge a beautiful transformation.
The Lesson of the Butterfly
By Paulo Coelho
A man spent hours watching a butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon. It managed to make a small hole, but its body was too large to get through it. After a long struggle, it appeared to be exhausted and remained absolutely still.
The man decided to help the butterfly and, with a pair of scissors, he cut open the cocoon, thus releasing the butterfly. However, the butterfly’s body was very small and wrinkled and its wings were all crumpled.
The man continued to watch, hoping that, at any moment, the butterfly would open its wings and fly away. Nothing happened; in fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its brief life dragging around its shrunken body and shrivelled wings, incapable of flight.
What the man – out of kindness and his eagerness to help – had failed to understand was that the tight cocoon and the efforts that the butterfly had to make in order to squeeze out of that tiny hole were Nature’s way of training the butterfly and of strengthening its wings.
Sometimes, a little extra effort is precisely what prepares us for the next obstacle to be faced. Anyone who refuses to make that effort, or gets the wrong sort of help, is left unprepared to fight the next battle and never manages to fly off to their destiny.
(Adapted from a story sent in by Sonaira D’Avila)
Wishing you all a very happy and magical 2018!