Embrace the new year and take the time to be renewed and reborn

Embrace the new year and take the time to be renewed and reborn.

—Calm app Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Lukas Szmigiel

It is very common this time of year for many of us to review and reflect on the past year. TV shows and all types of media provide us with the top stories, photographs, and events that impacted and shaped us. How have you changed? What have you learned? What wisdom have you gained?

Instead of looking within, we may wish to look outside at nature’s mirror for guidance on living.  What can you observe regarding how our natural world reveals clear examples of ongoing growth, renewal, and transformation?

EXERCISE:

Sometime this week, get out of your home and your vehicle and step more fully into the natural world.

Take a walk, visit a body of water, look up at the sky and even try a forest bath.

What lessons are being offered to help you more fully embrace the year ahead?

“Notice if you are watching what is happening or if you are a part of it.”

“Notice if you are watching what is happening or if you are a part of it.”

—Mark Nepo, Author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Bruce Lee

When my children were young, we took them to a local farm and adopted two cats. We named them Oreo and Cookie due to their black and white fur patterns. Their primary residence in our home was our spacious sun room where they could watch the birds, squirrels, and other creatures from their beds or favorite cushioned chairs.

The only time they left our home was to visit the vet, which involved placing them reluctantly in carriers, which they hated. Just the sight of these prisons caused them all kinds of distress and to lose clumps of fur.

The decision to have indoor cats was for our convenience, and we did our best to provide lots of attention and kitty toys to entertain them. Having each other for company helped us also feel better about this decision.

EXERCISE:

To what degree are you engaged in an indoor life of watching? How and in what ways can you move out from the windows and screens of your world to be more “out and about” with others in your various communities?

If you don’t read people well

“If you don’t read people well, you’re climbing up a wobbly career ladder, blindfolded.”

⏤Dan Rust, author of Workplace Poker

Image of "Workplace Poker" book cover

When you hear the phrase, “office politics,” what comes to mind? If you are like many, this idea draws strong reactions, including hate, disgust, annoyance, or for some, a bit of curiosity. Regardless of your feelings, office politics are a fact of life. In Workplace Poker, Dan Rust suggests we either learn to play it or we are likely to be played.

His advise on learning to read people includes:

  • Minimize your own emotional reactions, and set aside preconceived notions, judgements, and expectations. You can’t get inside someone else’s head until you get out of your own.
  • Learn to be a third-party observer. Notice how people speak, dress, act, and interact with others. You will gain a baseline of their behavior, which can be revealing and useful.

EXERCISE:

Consider picking up a copy of Workplace Poker if you have ever experienced bumps or dips in your career trajectory. This resource can also prove useful in many community and non-profit organizations.

You see but you do not observe The distinction is clear

“You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.”

⏤Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal in Bohemia

Image of Sherlock Holmes and Mr. Watson

image from BBC

Do you enjoy a good mystery? You know, tales of intrigue with twists and turns, and a wise individual who uses the power of perception and deduction to discern who done it from all sorts of information?

Most of us fall a bit short of identifying all the clues we need to solve the mysteries of life.

Take, for instance, the mysteries of our most significant relationships with a spouse or life partner. On may occasions we really do seem to be from different planets!

EXERCISE:

How can you expand your capacity to observe your world like Sherlock Holmes, to see the people and events around you far more clearly?