*or looking back and moving forward

A year ago, I sat in an office, many many miles away, and tried to picture what 2014 had in store for me, where I would be in a year’s time.  Let me tell you, it has been nothing like I imagined.  I knew it would be a year of change and of new starts; I had already submitted my resignation from the Royal Air Force and had some grand travelling plans but the master plan pretty much stopped in June!

As I sit here now, it’s too easy to feel overwhelmed by all the changes, to feel as though I have failed because I haven’t found the right job, or because that relationship didn’t work out, or that I’m still living at home months after I had planned to move out.  I have been scared, I have been hurt and sad.  There have been tears.  But I know that does not do my year justice…not by a long shot.

It doesn’t tell you that I took a huge leap of faith.  I recognised that I wasn’t living the life that I wanted to and I decided to change it; the fact that I haven’t landed yet does not mean it wasn’t 100% the right thing to do.  It doesn’t tell you that I have had several job offers, that I’ve been published not once but three times and got to do an interview live on national news because I am an expert in my field.  It doesn’t tell you that I have made some wonderful new friends, that I have opened my heart to new people and new experiences and am all the richer for it.  It doesn’t tell you that I have laughed, been happy and excited, and have lived.

And I am still here, still fighting.  As I look back, the only thing for which I am sorry is that I haven’t always acknowledged those positive things about myself along the way.  Everything I have been through, the highs and the lows, have all brought me this point and this is exactly where I am supposed to be.  I know I still have so much to work out but you know what?  Bring it on!

this will be my year

There aren’t going to be any sweeping resolutions or ridiculous goals – life is just far too unpredictable for that.  What I want to kindle this year is a kinder, more relaxed, more mindful approach to all that life has to throw at me.  So here it goes, my intentions for a soulful 2015.

Be kind

Enough with the mean words and the harsh judgements.  I will look after my physical, mental and spiritual well-being, one day at a time, just doing a little more of what feels good.  After all, I am worthy; I am deserving of my own love.  So are you, each and every one of you.  It is when we show ourselves compassion and love that we are able to share love with the people around us.

Be balanced

Yoga often talks about striking a balance between Effort and Ease in a practice, of applying yourself and working hard in each posture whilst finding a sense of ease and comfort in the process.  It requires you to listen to your body, to notice what’s going on, to push yourself a little deeper into the posture, to recognise your own limits.  It strikes me as a pretty good concept for living too!

Be brave

Nobody ever achieved anything by staying in their comfort zone.  Bravery isn’t about the absence of fear; it’s about doing those things even if you’re scared, because they scare you.

Be authentic

Above all, stay true to yourself – your values, beliefs and feelings are the best guide you have to life (why, oh why, does life not come with a manual?!).  But that means you have to listen, to quiet the worries about yesterday and tomorrow, to say goodbye to the negativity and the doubt, to really pay attention to what your gut is telling you.  Because then, I can truly be me, every imperfect, awesome, incredible part of me.

a blank book

2015 shows no signs of letting up.  In two weeks time, I will be on my way to Bangladesh, to spend four months living in a rural community and leading a team of volunteers.  And who knows what the rest of the year will have in store but I am confident that I have the attitude to thrive, whatever comes my way.

So come on, how was your 2014?  And how are you going to live 2015?  If you need a bit more inspiration to answer that, check out Some Inspiration and Plot, Plan, Review, then let me know how you’re getting on.

happy new year

Here’s to owning next year – let’s make it the best one yet.