(I'm not sure whose cartoon this is, so if you know, let us know as we'd like to give them credit)
Some people thought: "2020 was pretty bad, 2021 has to be better". While we have been very fortunate in Australia, not so for everyone. Even so, this pandemic has shaken us up, encouraged us to audit our lives, helped us look at what is really important to us, reminded us to stop just running on the treadmill of life.
So, as we head into this year, here are some reflective questions/exercises. We suggest you put aside about 15 minutes, but of course you can take longer if you want to. It can help you be fully present by setting a timer. We invite you to sit with any joy & grief that comes up.
(We're planning to have some recorded guided reflections later this year, but if you know someone who needs to hear it rather than read it, maybe you could read it out for them, pausing when they need time to reflect.)
Find a comfortable place to sit quietly, OR somewhere to walk thoughtfully, both undisturbed. You might like to spend longer by also contemplating the quotes we have included, either as you come to them in the flow of things or at another time. Let the words and/or the image speak to you.
Take a minute to write/draw an interesting 2021 on your paper- use colour, shapes, patterns etc.
Looking back to this time last year, what was life like then?
Remember the ideas you had for 2021? If it was to be a movie or book, what would its title have been? Write this title down.
What did you lose over the last 12 months? Relationship? A job? A home? A ..........? Something held dear until then?
Sit with your losses- a few or one. Notice what feelings arise. Remember, whatever you feel is fine. If you can name these feelings, put them in your journal.
Consider what you might have gained or learnt from the person or thing you lost?
What stays with you from this experience? Even if it's just in your memory?
What from these experiences do you hope you'll never forget? Create symbols or write them.
Which experiences do you hope to leave behind? Create symbols or write them, then rip it out of the paper or journal. (Yes, it leaves a hole, do it when you are okay with that).
From Rachel Marie Martin from https://findingjoy.net/
Notice something, or some things, you are thankful for from 2021? Draw a symbol/s in your journal to represent this/these.
You have a story about the year just gone, good or bad- usually there's a mix. Consider the last year as a whole & be open to any memoires from the whole year that arise.
Looking back, if 2021 was a movie or book, what will its title be now? Write this title larger, over the one you thought it would be.
Looking back if 2021 was a movie or book, what will its title be now? Write this title larger, over the one you thought it would be.
Think about what you want to carry with you from 2021 into this year. What lessons did you learn from losses, your good moments? Consider how these lessons might be related to each other?
Look at the year stretching out before you, imagine it is a road, think about places ahead where there are new possibilities. How might you use the lessons from 2021 to invite you, with hope, into the new possibilities of the road ahead?
Is there someone you want to share this with? Someone who might be a companion on this road ahead? Someone you trust, (not a dream stealer).
We'd also just love to hear how you went with this reflection.
No matter what 2022 brings, we leave you with words from the poet, prophet, singer Leonard Cohen (whether you like his music or not).
And a blessing for this year ahead is on our fb page.
PLEASE NOTE: If this has brought up things you need help with, remember there are people who can help. There are a number of free services in Australia , as well as many paid professionals, including Max.
You can also contact us for help to find someone in your area, we'll do our best.
Email us firstname.lastname@example.org or phone
Max 04390 663 228 or Bronwyn 0439 500 909