With the baby crying insistently under the waterproof hood and her toddler brother sitting beneath her in the double decker pushchair, I hunched my shoulders tighter to my ears and pushed myself to walk faster through the rain.
It was the type of rain that only England in February is able to muster.
Icy cold, gusting and coming from all directions at once so there was no way to escape it.
I felt numb and empty but also overwhelmed with how hard it all seemed (that moment, but also parenting in general).
Then my phone pinged in my pocket.
A message from my husband:
"How do you fancy a few years in Australia?...Don't worry, I know you won't move again. I already said No!"
I looked up at the grey sky through the increasingly heavy rain.
"Tell them Yes!" I texted back.
Fast forward to June and we were on our way to a new life in Australia, just as the credit crunch hit in the UK.
You never know when the rain will lift
If that message had come through at another time, maybe I would have said no thanks; perfectly comfortable here.
But somehow, it caught me at the exact right moment. It cracked open the door to possibility and with a small shove we were able to hop through.
It's always intrigued me how life can change so suddenly. And gosh, we certainly experienced that in 2020!
It's always good to remember that it can go the other way just as quickly.
You can take your time
You don't need me to tell you, but I'll say it so that I can also hear it for myself!
There's no rush or urgency to feel fired up and ready with plans and resolutions just because the calendar says it's a new year .
We've all been through so much that it will, rightly, take some time to process.
But I also know that some people are ready to plant some seeds in this fallow ground, even if they're not sure exactly what they want to grow or what can thrive in these conditions.
Survival doesn't care about happiness
Have you ever noticed when you're feeling anxious or unsettled that it's really hard to dream and imagine for the future?
That when you try to think about what your hopes and wishes are there's a blank page and no pen to write with?
That's because when our body is in survival mode, with our most ancient and primitive reflexes in the driving seat, thriving isn't on the agenda.
If there's a tiger on the horizon, there's no point dreaming of the future.
Staying alive is all that counts.
It's easy (and natural) to feel a bit stuck
Of course, you'd rather not be knee deep in the messy, cloying mud of this situation. No matter how hard you struggle, you just get more stuck and sink further.
It can leave you wondering "what's the point in trying to plan?" and "why bother?".
And those reactions are all perfectly normal and natural.
So how can you plan for a better future?
There's three simple mindset shifts that can change how you feel about this New Year and more importantly how to move forward with ease:
1. Take Time to Process 2020
It's tempting to want to rush into this new year and leave all the turmoil of 2020 behind without a second glance.
Instead, can you allow yourself to look back at the year and acknowledge all that happened.
2. Let yourself celebrate the good and the bad
Hot on the heels of the "leave it behind" urge comes judging mode.
It's part of our wiring to judge and assess - it helps us to survive. But it's often not helpful and it means we can miss the subtle ways that our experiences, even the crappy ones, are changing us for the better.
That doesn't mean denying that they were difficult or shaming ourselves for struggling, it means noticing and acknowledging that but looking beyond it to what else it provided.
3. Be gentle as you create intentions not plans
Then it's time to look forward if you feel ready.
I've always hated the idea of "resolutions". The rebel in me hates being told what to do, even by myself. In fact, as soon as I think I "must" or "should" do something I'm much more likely to sabotage it.
See if you can instead think of the flavour you want your year to have. I like to think of a word that sums up how I want it to be - an intention. Not a goal or an action that you want to achieve, but the spirit of how you'll move forward.
Then, as I start to think about what action to take, I can put it through the filter of "does this fit with my intention?"
Let's do this together
Would you like to be guided through a way to create intentions that don't bite? So you can experience a calmer and more grounded start to the year?
Then you might like to join me and my community to be guided to do just that on January 11th at 8pm.
We'll make sure you feel truly ready for this year, whatever it may bring. You'll receive a recording of the session, including the meditations, so you can revisit it whenever you need to recalibrate and find your direction.
And the good news is, if you've already signed up for my 21 Day Ninja Mind Skills then this session is FREE! Just click the link above and you can reserve your spot.
Haven't signed up to the programme yet? Don't worry, there's still time. You can get your Ninja Moves here.
And it's so much more fun to do with a friend so why not forward this email to someone you know who would love to take this journey too?
Laura @ Be. x
"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens."
- Carl Jung