|A stairway to... somewhere?|
This, from Terry Pratchett's Hogfather, a twisted take on a Christmas story that I faithfully watch every year.
Discworld is no Planet Earth, but BBC brings this other world into clear focus, and while entertaining, it also offers keen insights and intriguing perspective we can apply here, too, on our spinning round ball.
A heartwarming tale, though the villain is truly villainous and not for the faint of heart, Death gets some of the best lines in the three-plus hours—worth considering as we close out both a year and a decade.
"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"
Some of the major themes I wrote about this year: create your future, the role of mindset, and the power of beliefs (conscious or not).
We must believe: 1) in ourselves, 2) in our capabilities) 3) that we create based on what we want and not what we've done or what's necessarily true, 4) that we deserve our good, and 5) that the universe, or life force, or divine energy—whatever you want to call it—conspires for our highest and greatest good.
It's important to note that we often get in our own way, usually without knowing it. It's those underlying beliefs that hold us back, the self-talk we don't notice or don't give credence to, and persistent patterns and habits that no longer support us.
We can create the life we want. Sometimes we have to #dohardthings first, though, which usually includes a thorough self-audit, and there is this thing, I believe, called Divine Right Timing. Self-awareness is critical to growth and change. It requires deep reflection, soul-trembling honesty, and a willingness to let go of who we are for who we can be.
"Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom?"
Life is precious, and while I don't believe we should always be busy, always striving, nor always productive, I do believe curiosity is a superpower—one that consistently helps us grow and moves us forward. It's one of mine, and one I'm deeply grateful for.
What do you wonder about? Are you curious about why you've made the choices you have? Are you curious enough to realize you've made choices your entire life, and the results of those choices are why you do what you do, live how you do, and determine who you have around you? What about the world-at-large fascinates or befuddles you?
As far as we know, or at least as far as we can conceive consciously, we have this one life, and it's up to us to make it what we want it to be. We can live in ignorance and blame the world for our situations and be victims of our circumstances, but we'll perpetuate the life we're already living. It won't get better. We can 'create better problems', as author and blogger Mark Manson writes about.
There are endless places and ideas to explore, things to try, entire libraries to delve into, new people who cross your path every day who have a different story than your own, and now, in our digital world, podcasts and new music to listen to, and encyclopedic volumes of information at our fingertips. I've mentioned my sociology professor before, who often said: See everyone as your guru of the moment. In other words, everyone has something to teach us, even when it isn't immediately apparent.
What do you want to know more about?
"There is always time for another last minute... there's no better present than a future... "
My birthday, the winter solstice, Christmas, and year-end all arrive within two weeks of each other. I take this convergence to mean it's a powerful time for me—a time to go deeper than usual, to reflect, assess what I've learned and what about the last year had meaning, and set intentions for creation and change in the, or my, new year. A Christmas birthday can be hard—I've had a lot of stories around it that aren't supportive... but shifting my thinking to one of convergence is how I've not just finally made peace with it—my initial thinking—but how it truly works in my favor.
We can all do this, whether at year-end, around your birthday, or whenever it makes sense. But now, as we close out a decade, it can be helpful to take a look back as you think ahead.
Could you have ever imagined, 10 years ago, where you'd be now? Whether you observe it / judge it to be good or bad, is this what you had in mind for your life?
Ten years ago, I could barely see beyond what was immediately in front of me. Forrest and I had separated and didn't know if we'd be back together. I started a new job, and my first six months were rocky. I had a balloon payment due on my mortgage and had been out of work following a layoff when the 2008 recession hit, so even my home was at risk.
While I had plenty of self-awareness and had been doing a lot of this work for a lot of my life, suddenly, nearly everything was in question.
And, I was intentional. I got very clear when this all seemed to happen at once that something still wasn't working. I recognized I had beliefs and patterns and habits that kept me stuck, including that life was hard, I didn't believe I belonged here, and that I couldn't have what I wanted.
So, with help, hard work, a lot of soul-searching and solitude, I changed all that. And here we are, at the end of one and the start of another decade. There are some outward similarities, but on the inside, I'm a different person. Just as much of our bodies regenerate every seven or so years, so too, have I regenerated my beliefs, my thinking, and my actions.
That's a lot to celebrate. And it's important to acknowledge what we consider success. I can build on this as I look ahead to 2020, and the decade in front of me.
No matter our condition, that we are living, breathing, evolving individuals all connected through an energetic system invisible to the eye, is nothing short of miraculous, considering the complexity of our very existence.
What do you want in these last minutes of this, our second decade of the 21st century? As Death so wisely stated, there's no better present than a future. How can you set the stage for an awesome 2020, and the next decade?
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