We are one month into 20-shine-teen (thank you, Elizabeth Gilbert)!
According to US News, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. How’s it going for you? Are you experiencing what you want to experience so far? Do you feel like you’re on track, or like you’re running to catch up?
January in my world has been a mixed bag (ooh, welcome to Life!). Ups and downs and a few loopty-loops later, and here we are in February. Today I’m taking a few minutes to reflect and refresh, savoring this opportunity to begin again.
I’m reminded of the concept of beginner’s mind – in which we are called to meet every moment, every person, every experience, with a knowledge that this is the first and last time we will ever be right here. We can meet this moment as a novice, accepting all that we bring to it, all that has prepared us to meet it, and all that we have yet to learn.
As an example, currently Life is bringing me many parenting lessons. I feel and see the growth that has taken place in me and in my kids over the last year, and at the same time, I’m on the very cutting edge of my own evolution (as are they). I have never been the parent of a 17 year old daughter before…let alone the unique, specific daughter I have today. She has never been this daughter before today. This is our first time! Every day is my very first day parenting this version of my children…learning and adapting to what they need at this stage in their lives. This idea brings me such comfort and willingness to stay curious and keep trying. I’m not expected to know it all or get it perfect!
So on this first day of February, with my to-do list growing by the minute and my kids needing different things than they’ve ever needed before, I’m reminding myself – this is a new month. A fresh opportunity to meet the next 28 days and all they hold with the wonder and curiosity of a child who’s meeting the sand for the first time.
I’d like to share some reminders and questions that are helping me today. Feel free to borrow them for yourself, mix them around, stretch them out, live into them in the way only you can, and let me know how it goes!
- Begin again. Choose your own periods by which to measure time – 365 is a long stretch. Why not measure by each month, by the lunar cycle, or for very difficult periods of life: by each new day. What feels right to you for this phase of your life?
- Become a scientist. Get curious, always gathering data and making improvements. Life is not all or nothing, it is often tiny successes here and there that make up a larger shift. When the calendar changes over to a new month, it’s a fantastic time to ask:
- What worked?
- What didn’t work?
- Based on this information: What’s the next thing to do?
- Be persistent. The trick to achieving what you set out to achieve? Just don’t quit.
Now, dear one, it’s your turn:
What do you do to start a new day or a new month fresh?
What reminders help you inhabit “beginner’s mind”?