Skate skiing on the first day of the new year is a wonderful reminder of patience, practice and presence. For a novice skier, as my self, I find that in my fifth season I am still working towards mastering the basics. This takes full presence - being in my body, being aware of every movement as well as my surroundings, the condition of the snow and the weather. Patience with myself and this process is essential. I love the challenge of learning something new, of stretching my physical and mental abilities. The start of a new year presents great opportunities for goal setting and growth - and remembering that there will be inevitable setbacks towards these goals. The idea of getting to ‘hit the reset button’, not just at the beginning of the year, but anytime we want, can continue to help move us in the direction of our desires. The process turns out to be the reward. How will you reset for the new year? Will you allow yourself the option to hit the reset button at anytime?
Every moment of everyday we have the opportunity to look at things from a growth or fixed mindset perspective. Dr. Carol S. Dweck, in her book Mindset, explains that a growth mindset is about "believing people can develop their abilities". In the fixed mindset, we tend to focus on praise and fixed ideas - not on process and development. So are we fixed mindset or growth mindset individuals or can these two mindsets be interchangeable? Like any muscle that needs to contract to grow, we can learn to use the growth mindset over and over until it becomes the predominant mindset that we implore. For me, the growth mindset is about being open to the process - of learning, of not taking things personally, of knowing that if I put the effort in then the outcome will reflect that effort. It's not always easy, but anytime I can flex the muscle of growth mindset I feel myself developing and evolving. And the proof always lies in the process! How will you choose to look at your life today? Does it feel full of fixed ideas or can you feel the opportunities for growth?
How often do we fret over 'not knowing' - not having the right answers at the right moment, not knowing which direction to go at certain times in our lives, feeling confused or conflicted in our decision making processes? A dear friend shared some simple wisdom with me recently. She said 'When I feel like I really want to know the answer to something but I can't seem to get there, I tell myself to just give it 4 days'. It's easy to want to rush to conclusions, to define our lives every second but I think there is something important and frankly, wonderful, in the 'not knowing'. We are surrounded by instant gratification at every turn in our modern, digital age. How do you sit with your 'not knowing'? Do you allow time to feel uncomfortable and to be okay with that feeling? Self care shows up in many ways in our lives, not just when things are going exactly as planned. Allowing time to not know, to feel uncomfortable and to just be are equally essential in living a full and well rounded life.
Today I celebrate the best gift of all - another birthday, another year on this wonderful planet to contribute, to serve, to love, to show compassion and understanding and empathy. I am reminded on this day how fortunate I am to get another birthday and to celebrate that gift. I also see this day as an opportunity to grow, to reach for stretch goals and get out of my comfort zone. The start of a New Year is always full of potential and excitement. Let's see if we can keep that going all year long! One simple place to start is to ask yourself - what will you make of today?