When I wrote
12 months ago about a more thoughtful approach to a New Year’s Resolution I didn’t understand how much I would grow and change. A year ago I chose a positive one-word theme to draw on for inspiration in 2011. I want to share with you how my journey this year has been.
My word in 2011
For this year I chose ‘ease’.
I was brought up in a culture that focused intensely on a hard-work ethic. I expected every goal I aimed for to be difficult to achieve and perhaps even lacking in pleasure. I might feel happy on achieving something, but then it was quickly onto the next goal. I’m fortunate that I’ve enjoyed the work I’ve done throughout my life, particularly now. However, the emphasis on things having to be a challenge drained the joy out of what I did. Things became a chore and that's not the energy I wanted to continue to find in my work.
I knew I wanted to continue with my work - for me ease doesn't mean just lazing around doing nothing. However, I wanted the experience to feel effortless so that I could take playful inspired action.
I was also planning my wedding for this summer. I decided I wanted to be a truly relaxed bride so that I could savour the preparations in the run up and the day itself.
Gotta be perfect by January . . .
First off, I didn’t get into my ‘ease mindset’ perfectly from the beginning. I had to get used to the idea of tasks being easy. This took a while.
Early on I had my fears that if I didn’t keep on top of projects with focus then nothing would get done. So whenever I hit a road block, I would step back and start looking at the situation through spectacles of ease. Sometimes this meant forgetting the problem for a while and turning my attention to something that felt easier to handle.
For example, when I was trying to find a cake-maker for the wedding I was struggling to find someone whose cupcakes tasted as yummy as they were pretty. We tried different suppliers, but nothing came up to the quality we wanted, or the baker wasn’t personable. For me it's important to hire suppliers who express happiness in their work, as I felt they would be adding to the joy of my day. I let go of finding someone as it was proving a struggle. I trusted it would work out. A month later whilst doing my supermarket shopping, I met a business friend who suddenly started telling me about a great local cake-maker. She didn't know I was still looking for one, and yet it was the first thing she spoke of. And what do you know? When we went for the tasting they were as good as we’d been told. This was how my experience of ease grew as the year progressed.
Alternatively, if I needed to resolve the problem immediately, I’d use one of the mindset tools I have at hand to feel ease – EFT is one of my favourites for its speed - and then return to dealing with the problem. So when a wedding dress ‘emergency’ come up 2 days before my big day - I needed an additional decorative cloth to cover my head for the religious ceremony - I just tapped myself into feeling a bit of ease. Within minutes the shop I was in found an answer that was not only the matching colour to my unique outfit, but also offered me a sizeable discount. It was beautiful and I was in ecstacy at how easy the whole experience had been.
The fruits of the 'labour'
This journey of ease filtered into my work. Due to demand I organised a fully booked training a fortnight before my wedding date, and also had a heavy client load in the weeks before. As I'd gotten into my ease groove so much everything fell into place without much planning. Most importantly the work was fun for the clients, students and me! I was loving my work so much that it added to my feel-good mood heading towards the celebrations.
Most importantly, this whole new attitude meant I soaked up every beautiful moment from my big day. Friends had warned me that it would go by in a whirl. However, it was such a different experience. I was mentally relaxed and so got to savour the love and conversations around me. The day felt deliciously long.
To end the year I had an ease party in December - I appreciated through the month everything that felt easy. This amplified how life has changed for the better.
Continuing personal growth
My word for the coming year is ‘Presence’. I want to be more mindfully present in whatever I’m doing, rather than having to juggle 10 thoughts at once. I’m looking forward to the journey of growth I’m going to experience this coming year!
Wishing you a blessed New Year!
Healthy in Mind viewpoint: There is such clarity and power to using a single word as a guiding theme in the chaos of daily life. This approach becomes a touchstone to immense inner change. Your outer world has to reflect this.