There are only a few more days left of 2015 and with those few days comes the opportunity to reflect on the year that has been, and the one that is about to dawn.
Most of us are probably still reeling from the accelerated pace that December invariably brings - working through a variety of to do lists, wrapping up work projects, accommodating the school holidays, getting ready to celebrate Christmas in the style that everyone expects, and desperately trying to make time to catch up with friends and family.
Invariably reflective 'me time' is the first thing that we let go of in the rush to meet December's commitments. But I always find that these few precious days between Christmas and the New Year afford the ideal time to not only sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labors, but to also take some time back for ourselves to reflect.
Making the time to reflect on the year that has been is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give yourself. It allows you to acknowledge what has been, and use that knowledge to better understand what you want of the future.
Reflection is a loving act of self-observance. It requires you to step outside of your self punishing mode and instead, assume the part of the impartial observer as you ask yourself some fundamental questions about the past, present and future.
Take this journey with me now, still your mind and allow your body to become present.
Sit back, breathe and become aware of your body's weight in your chair, the feel of the floor beneath your feet, and the sounds of nature coming through your window.
Take a few moments to simply be, centering yourself and listening within.
Notice your feelings and your emotions - how are you feeling in this very moment? Note any needs, desires, fears, tensions or frustrations that float into your mind as you ask yourself:
What were your most significant milestones this year?
What defined them?
What brought you the most joy and equally, what was the cause of your sorrow?
What changed you this year and why?
What did you learn?
What was missing in 2015?
By pausing and being present you automatically create some space between your thoughts. That space expands your awareness and opens up a moment of choice to embrace new beginnings:
What do you want for yourself and your family in 2016?
What learning opportunities await you?
What will you embrace more of?
What will you let go of?
What do you want to be different in 2016?
Embracing new beginnings opens the door for a greater awareness of your own potential. By stepping into the future, fully at peace with the past, you create the space for further self-discovery and growth:
How do you want to be show up in your personal, family and professional lives?
How do you want to be perceived?
What is that asking of you?
Pausing, breathing, and coming to the present allows you to see and embrace the moments of choice.
My wish for all of you is that you make the decision now to remain present, and notice the moments of choice as they present themselves to you in 2016, embrace them, live them, and share them with those that are important to you.
With all my best wishes for the remainder of this holiday season and an amazing 2016!