New Year Reflections – Community, Gratitude, Philosophy, No Guilt, Fun, Listening to your Body and Reading to Learn
As 2019 has drawn to a close and 2020 has begun I felt inspired to jot some reflections in our parked car whilst the boys took a nap!
The Power of Community– I can’t start my reflections by not acknowledging the terrible fires that have been raging throughout Australia this summer. Seeing and hearing stories break your heart but also remind you of the power of community when hearing wonderful tales of individuals supporting each other, for example one lady coming back early from her holidays to open her dog shelter for all the affected dogs in a local area.
Our annual pilgrimage to Jindabyne was cancelled with fires in the area and our thoughts go to all the residents and animals affected. The Energylink group of coaches and athletes got together on the day it was decided to cancel the triathlon camp and it was nice to feel part of a community and have conversations on how to help support the crisis. For ways to support some tips can be found here collated by SMH: https://www.smh.com.au/national/here-s-how-you-can-help-australia-s-bushfire-victims-20200104-p53ot2.html
Celeste Barber has also instigated a Facebook fundraiser and is getting close to her awesome $25 million target. Every little helps.
Gratitude – In 2019 I discovered the five minute journal which has been a wonderful way to start and finish the day. Each page starts with an insightful quote and then you scribe:
- Three things you’re grateful for
- Three things that would make today great
- Two daily affirmations
- Three amazing things that happened today
- How could I have made today better
There’s lots of science now supporting the benefits of regular gratitude practice and I find revisiting moments of gratitude throughout the day really help when things can seem overwhelming and look forward to continuing the ritual in 2020.
Power of Philosophy – I was referred to the Daily Stoic in 2019, 365 meditations on wisdom, perseverance and the art of living by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman and have found the daily wisdom snippets very thought provoking. It opened me up further to philosophical principles as a useful way to frame life including three of the most essential parts of Stoic philosophy shared a couple of days ago:
⁃ Control your perceptions
⁃ Direct your actions properly
⁃ Willingly accept what is outside your control
Guilt as a wasted emotion – As a mum of two young boys it’s easy to fall into the guilt trap, feeling guilty for working/training, giving in to that extra treat demand, having that third glass of wine! As I wrote about previously (5 years ago now!) in ‘Choosing Not to Feel Guilty’ I try to consciously flip out of guilt, as see it as a pointless emotion. This was discussed in this recent Oprah SuperSoul episode. We can either accept the situation / action or look to redeem / change it. Feeling guilty and not being present to what we’re doing doesn’t really do anyone any favours. Easier said than done but something to keep striving for in 2020!
The power of having fun and seeking joy One of my intentions for 2019 was to laugh more – as Gabrielle Bernstein talks about we achieve more when we have fun too! I find being around young children is a great way to add more fun into life and for the last two weeks on our summer holiday my four year old and I made a pact to do something fun everyday which has given us a purpose for the holidays. This has included trips to the zoo, theme park, inside play centre and pool plays at Aunty Julie’s. A simple goal a day which has created lasting memories.
Listen to your body – Last year, I tried to listen to my body more and rest when I felt I needed it and have found regular meditation helps cultivate this. After training for a half ironman last November I felt that I needed recovery and enjoyed some yoga sessions, meditations and naps over more intense training for a good few weeks! Think listening to our body can easily be applied to food too. Whilst at the Billabong Health Retreat for a couple of days of R&R recently, our lovely chef Tash asked us to close our eyes and listen to what food we were craving and then to research that food. For me sweet potato came up which I researched is a root vegetable being a great source of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants good for gut and potentially immune health. Fortuitously, lunch that day contained sweet potato 🙂
Reading as one of the cheapest forms of personal development – In 2019 a friend and I decided to adopt a book a week challenge to encourage us to read more. I really enjoyed reading and learning more and would get an endorphin kick whenever a new book arrived from amazon prime in the post, although my husband would say “not another book!” – with our bookshelf and my bedside table overflowing. Note to self in 2020 to join the library! I’m currently switching between three books which are keeping my mind buzzing:
⁃ Winging it – by Emma Isaacs
⁃ The Alchemist by Paula Coelho
⁃ The Opposite of Me – Sarah Pekkanen – our book club book of the month
Now looking forward to 2020, I’m excited for some of our UK friends to visit in April for a week on Bondi Beach (#aus2020) coffees whilst the boys have karate and nippers, learning more about the world of talent and Executive Search and husband and wife team Triathlon goals with the Taupo world age group champs at the end of the year.
Also to learning, failing and succeeding in this life journey we have been granted!
Sending love and prayers to all those affected by the bush fires and a reminder to be grateful and seize the day, in the words of my dad and one of his favourite sayings, Carpe Diem!
I wish you a year of health, happiness, presence and all the best with your goals