On the 1st of January this year I posted a scenic photograph taken in the Silvermine Nature Reserve during a walk enjoyed with my husband and our gorgeous Rhodesian Ridgebacks earlier that morning; along with the caption: ‘Visualise – Plan – Create’ and the by-line ‘Make 2021 the year of your dreams’.
A Burns-Hoffman Coaching Facebook follower made the comment that 2020 was meant to have been the year of his dreams, but then Covid-19 happened and put an abrupt end to his plans.
No doubt this sentiment describes a universally common experience of the year just passed and many may feel similarly. There were certainly moments during which I can relate, particularly before becoming more adept at learning how best to roll with the punches.
Setting aside the devastation wreaked by Covid-19 and the tragic losses suffered by a great number across the globe; there seems to have been a concerted effort made in trying to appreciate the ‘good’ that has come out of this peculiar time in history. Articles sharing insights, ideas, experiences and more have flooded the internet and social media in the hope of offering encouragement, motivation and support. And they continue to do so. To some extent this is a similar piece of writing, although it is more in line with a life philosophy to which I have increasingly attempted to adhere for the past 20 years, rather than something new emerging from the cinders of plans burned up by the pandemic.
The philosophy to which I refer is simple and can be summed up in two words: Live Fully! An expansion on these words include: to live consciously; to tap into the positive energy of feeling fully alive and to be mindful of embracing the offerings of each day.
In other words, to celebrate all of life.
There was a time some years back, when I had moved far away from this innately positive part of myself, when life’s challenges had managed to dampen my enthusiasm and in so doing, had threatened me with a somewhat unconscious and mediocre existence. Good on the surface, comfortable and so-called successful, but predictable and rather boring.
But then there was a day when I ‘awoke’ with the realisation that, unless action was taken to proactively drive change, no matter how tough it was going to be, each year that lay ahead would simply be a repeat of the one before. It was both terrifying and liberating at the same time.
Many changes were put into action, some of which were brutal. Their worth however, far outweighed the effort as the reality of living life to its fullest started to feel like an old dressing gown, fitting so snugly that it enabled a sense of familiarity and genuine contentment, alongside feelings of renewed confidence, warmth, satisfaction and safety.
It all started with the decision to take small, consistent steps of rediscovery; each step leading closer to the forgotten dream.
Shifting back into the natural mould of recognising the good; embracing the new; celebrating the small and big highs; accepting the (sometimes painful) work required in dealing with the lows; creating unique and personal traditions; bringing gratitude into awareness – and more – are illustrative of some of the steps taken towards re-engaging with living fully.
Each step built on the one before in order to acquire the desired outcome or experience.
Making 2021 the year of your dreams in the omnipresence and pervasiveness of the pandemic is entirely possible when we focus on living with the mindset of celebrating all of life.
That first cup of morning coffee; a conversation with a loved one; immersing oneself in time spent with children; meeting a work related deadline; learning a new skill; reading a good book; showering after a satisfying run; walking in the mountains; sharing a meal by candlelight …. these are the kinds of daily celebrations that turn the ordinary into extra-ordinary and the mediocre into magnificent – provided we choose to celebrate the joy they provide.
Dreams come true when we choose to live them a little bit more every day.