“The transformation of the world is brought about the transformation of oneself”Jiddu Krishnamurti
Last year was for many, a year of upheaval, disruption and a realisation that things would never again be the same. Not to be all spiritual about it but it seemed there was some shift in global consciousness that made us sit up and take note. We all reacted differently to it.
Some experienced little change in their lives and simply saw this as a blip that will pass with time so it didn’t make any impact to their lives merely an annoyance like a little insect that flies about your face that you swat away. Others were pained and angered by it as it threw their plans and life of routine into chaos and constant anxiety; others used it as an opportunity to learn new skills, hobbies, reconnect with friends, family and partners now that time was given back to them; others used it as an opportunity to reflect and contemplate what is important in their lives and do a bit of a metaphorical “cleaning of the garage” and to throw out things that didn’t serve them anymore and use it as a means to start anew.
For me, I’m not going to lie. I found it one of the hardest years to endure especially in lockdown for most of it. I lost physical contact with my family which I found difficult however, in the grand scheme of things, I was one of the lucky ones. I used the opportunity to use the lockdowns to reflect on a lot of things about my life in particular, why I am the way I am; why I think the way I do. In other words, I came out of 2020 with a different mindset.
I guess you could say, I “took a long hard look at myself”.
The biggest lesson for me was learning French. You see, the way I think is that I observe myself.
It may sound weird however, I go through my life “observing myself”. That is, every situation, I have a mental picture of myself in that moment, undertaking the task. I hover over the situation.
For example, I’m doing a French class, I’m getting frustrated because I feel that I’m not progressing or I’m coming across huge obstacles in my head but at the same time, I am standing behind myself observing myself in that situation. I’m feeding back real time information and data to my physical self.
Maybe it’s a sign of madness?
I don’t think so however. If anything, I’m constantly monitoring my behaviour as I’m doing it.
Sometimes I miss things – big things – but I always reflect on the situation during quiet times and it comes to me later. Or, when talking to someone on an unrelated matter, they may say something that triggers a memory of that behaviour that I missed in that situation and all of a sudden, it feels like a jigsaw puzzle has been put in its right place and completed a whole picture that I see in front of me.
2020 was culmination of that realisation. For years, that piece of the puzzle represented mindset and realisation of the value I provide and I held it in my hand but was never ready to set it in its rightful place because I feared the answers to questions such as:
How will I be perceived?
What if I lose my friends?
What will others think?
I have decided that 2021 for me is the time to set down that jigsaw piece in its place, sit back and take in the bigger picture and then walk away from this old thinking.
The jigsaw puzzle represents my entire life and now it’s time for me to transform my thinking. New world, new thinking, new me.
To not sweat the small stuff
To remove or disengage from pretenders
To build new friendships that nourish and nurture me
To not feel pressure to compete, worry or argue about petty matters
To surround myself with beauty and creative pursuits (and to put these first)
To let go of should and should not
To not worry what others think of me or what they do
And most of all, to never be harsh on myself.