Have you ever seen in a film the scene set looking down on a busy highway or city at night…red dots following like ants in one direction, white dots in the other. Everything looks so ordered and controlled. Yet inside each vehicle the people have different reasons for being there – returning home from work, vacation, running an errand, going out for food or entertainment.
As humans we are fantastic at creating routines for ourselves, maintaining friendships…much like a hamster wheel we keep turning, not always happy and not always sad. In many aspects of our collective existence we seem to have order, on the surface at least. Cars pause when pedestrians stand near Zebra crossings, people wait in queues for a variety of things from coffees to theme park rides, slowly shuffling forward until it’s our turn to be served. Systems often keep the collective safe and prevent anarchy, like most things there is also the other side (let’s all recollect the 2020 toilet roll saga when grown ups proved they couldn’t share)
Within our daily routines we often feel so safe in the comfort of ‘what we do’ we can often forget to question why we do it. Even at weekends my body clock wakes me at the same time my alarm goes off in the week. Most weeks pass similar to the ones before and that’s completely ok if you’re happy and content with life. I often think holidays are powerful when they throw you out of your routine; time zones confuse the body clocks sleep pattern, a new diet is offered, a new environment is there to be explored or perhaps a sun lounger calls you to be still, unlike your usual hectic working week.
For my own well-being I have several ‘New year’ opportunities each year. Times of year where I take time to reassess what’s serving me, what do I need to prioritise and what do I want to achieve. They often occur during ‘new beginnings’ such as the start of Spring, a new academic year (always celebrated with a new luxurious paper diary) and the classic NYE. Of course, we can decided that today is a new beginning and don’t need to wait on changing seasons to make adjustments. Time to let go of what no longer serves us (too many take aways, not enough exercise, too much work and not enough play) allows us to each fill our cup up so that we can be the best version of ourselves. Sometimes it can be small adjustments; adding a few more greens to our plate, sometimes it can be larger pivots as we seek new careers, move home to a new area or leave relationships that no longer serve us.
What often holds us back is ‘change’ as it’s never comfortable and letting go of what we know, even when we know it no longer serves us is terrifying. However, as I watch older generations I’ve noticed that it’s much scarier to not reach for the stars and to let the night sky pass you by, that relationships that don’t serve you eat you alive. That outside factors that we can let go of become physical disease and illness that we often recognise when it’s too late.
Take a moment, grab a pen and write down a list of things you’d like to achieve. It could be over the next few weeks, months or by the end of the year. There might be a big birthday coming up and you might have a larger challenge up your sleeve, but whatever you do – do something, otherwise if you don’t let go you might just find the physical body is dragged down as a result. Apart from keeping up with daily yoga, my next challenge is to declutter. I’m going to start a room at a time and as small steps work for me, probably a draw or cabinet at a time. What do you need to let go of?