2020…a year like no other. Living through the Covid-19 pandemic, with the constant sense of uncertainty and lack of physical connection with our friends and family, has made the year extremely challenging for so many. Once you add in other difficulties, whether that be illness, bereavement, unemployment, or anything else life throws our way, I doubt many people are ending this year on a high.
I always choose a word or theme at the beginning of each year, something to give a focus and direction without the restrictive nature of resolutions. An intention for how I would like to be in the year ahead. In 2020 my year was overwhelmingly shaped by personal challenges made all the more difficult by the pandemic. And my theme for 2020 was Show Up.
Now, I know, in some ways there wasn’t much to show up for – no adventures to go on or events to go to, holidays cancelled, weddings postponed, and little point in making plans. But showing up in 2020 meant many things for me.
In my yoga:
- Developing consistency in my meditation practice
- Making more time for my yoga practice and tuning in to what I need on any given day to help me process my emotions and shift my energy
- Continuing to teach my wonderful one-to-one yoga clients, both online and face to face (when possible) and having the privilege to support their wellbeing
- Completing inspiring yoga teacher training courses online
- Doing more yoga (or “yoda”) with my daughter
In my life in general:
- Getting out of bed every day and just keeping the show on the road
- Appreciating the changes in season, and the simple things that make my toddler happy or curious
- Ensuring I saw my family when the virus was under control in the summer
- Making difficult decisions
- Giving my best in my office job, and supporting my colleagues with new wellbeing initiatives
- “Hibernating” when I needed to
- Reaching out to my friends and family to give and receive support (even if I needed prompting sometimes)
- Driving to west Wales by myself with my toddler in the back (having only passed my driving test last year)
- Buying many more houseplants!!
- Forgiving myself when it all got too much to cope with
As 2020 comes to a close there is a strange sensation that time has disappeared into a black hole, without those events and gatherings that usually punctuate the year. And yet, perhaps for many of us, a lot has happened in our inner worlds. There is so much value in this. We’re just not used to spending quite so much of our time there. Many people I know are experiencing a deep sadness and grief about what we have all lost this year, and we should allow space for those feelings. And if you’ve kept the show on the road this year against all odds, that’s worth celebrating.
Ultimately, my theme helped me focus on keeping going, one day at a time, or sometimes even one hour at a time. Stoking a small but determined fire in my belly. I’ll be honest, it’s been exhausting. But it’s been necessary.
As we began 2020 I took a deep breath to steel myself for the year ahead. As we begin 2021 I take a deep breath as I prepare to soften, let go, and let things flow. I think I’ll keep that steeliness there in the background though too – it has served me well.
Here’s to a happier year ahead for us all, hopefully with many, many, more hugs than we’ve experienced this year.
With love from my heart to yours,
P.S. For more inspiration and ideas for choosing a theme and the impact it can have, here are my previous New Year blog posts: