Pre-warning this post isn’t so interior related…well kind of, in a roundabout way (it’s part of my journey and how I got here).
Why is it that with every new year there are a thousand articles about how to lose weight, train harder, go on this diet, set new goals?
One thing they all have in common is that they promote the idea that you have to change. That you didn’t do a good enough job the previous year and that you must improve.
To me this is a negative attitude and sends all the wrong messages. Instead you should be celebrating your successes and who you are rather than worrying about what might have been. Why not let 2019 be the year of acceptance?
It only took me 31 years, throwing up 5 times a day for 9 months, including during labour (I was pregnant for the 9 months obviously), visits to the hospital, seeing a psychologist, psychotherapist and lots of internal hard work to finally accept my body, who I am and who I was becoming – namely a mother in her thirties. And now I am proud of it! Yes, I have stretch marks, a flabby tum and boobs that are now tending towards the shriveled rather than the perky, but I don’t care. What else are granny pants and high-rise jeans for but to suck it all in anyway?
Australian women (or maybe just all women), as a general rule don't like to promote themselves, as it can be viewed as being unladylike and arrogant with this feeling often ingrained in us from childhood (it was in mine at least). Then there is the great Aussie tradition of the Tall Poppy Syndrome whereby anyone successful and proud of it should immediately be cut back down to size to make the collective feel better about themselves. Just google "what is another word for being proud" and what comes up is entirely negative (arrogant, haughty, supercilious, vain, self-important).
However this needs to stop. We should make this the year that we start to take pride in our achievements and not be shy about it. One of the main things I have learned through setting up my own business is to appreciate my own achievements. I took that leap of faith that so many people think about but rarely take. I don't know what the future holds, I don't even know if I'll survive the next month never mind the next year, but one thing is for certain is that I've worked my arse off and I can look back and say .... I gave it a go and I gave it my all.
Fair enough, you might not want to suddenly be all over social media saying how great you are and what an amazing year you’ve had as friends will be lost pretty quickly. You may not want to write a blog promoting yourself and put that on social media :) You can, however start by looking yourself in the mirror, acknowledging your successes and giving yourself a pat on the back. Then this new year if someone asks how 2018 went don’t just say “well okay I suppose, I wish I’d done…..”; instead tell them what went well as I bet there is a lot to be proud of.
My journey of self-acceptance started on our mini-moon/friend’s wedding in Thailand and Singapore reading ‘How to Master your Mean Girl’ by Melissa Ambrosini. Those that know me know I love a bit of hippy dippy. When I was pregnant I even convinced my husband to go on a yoga retreat even though he can’t touch his toes without pulling a hamstring. There was lots of chanting, hugging and on NYE itself we were required to stand in a circle and throw our negative emotions into a fire (really); it was at this point that my husband appeared to be directing a fair few negative emotions at me and me whispering to him "throw that anger into the fire" did not help. Even I did draw the line at joining our fellow yoga enthused hippies to a cemetery for a midnight meditation session!
Melissa Ambrosini put a post of questions regarding reflecting back and looking forward which really resonated with me and spurred me on. Below are her questions about looking back on the year that was and here's the link. Some of the things are a little out there, even a bit woo woo for me, but I really recommend everyone should reflect on the year that was and celebrate.
Most people focus on the negatives and what they failed to achieve this year and need to achieve for the year ahead but really, I hope like me, by going through this process you’ll realise you’ve already accomplished so much more than you thought.
· What were the 3 best things that happened over this past year?
· What have you achieved/what are you most proud of?
· What have you learned?
· What have been your top 3 biggest realisations/lessons?
· How have you grown?
· What do you want to let go of? For example, an old limiting belief, a job, a person, a situation, a pattern, a painful memory, resentment, hurt or a behaviour you are still holding onto?
· What would you like to stop doing from last year?
· Describe the past year in 3 words?
· What are you most grateful for from this year?