An early Christmas present.

Christmas came early for me this year. And what a year it’s been.

I guess this is the time of year we all naturally start reflecting on the past twelve months, and wondering about/planning for the twelve ahead, and for me this past year has been epic, so there are mountains of stuff to process. I feel like quantum leaps have been made on all – or almost all – fronts, and decompressing from all that, and integrating everything that’s happened, has been big work for me.

Fortunately, as I said, Christmas came early this year…in the form of what has in effect ended up being a paid break from the workaday world, which has given me loads of space and time to make some massive shifts in intention, purpose and self, bringing those things into a much closer alignment with who I really am and where I want to go in life.

Sometimes you don’t really realise how much crap you’ve got going on, and how many old patterns you’re running in an endless, exhausting loop until you get off the treadmill for a while, and take some time to observe your life from a distance. And let’s face it, how many of us ever get the chance to do that? Life generally ends up being (for many of us at least) a repeat cycle of necessity which rarely allows for extended reflection – the imperatives of living expenses, unavoidable chores, and just getting from one damn day to the next is sometimes all we can manage…and the precious down times are reserved for catching up on sleep, generally blanking out and mentally preparing for the demands of the next work week, like a hamster on a wheel. It’s a very reactive way of living, and really doesn’t leave any space for considering the bigger picture, never mind the luxury of designing the life you really want to live.

I acknowledge i’ve been very, very lucky…the Universe has sent me the means by which I can take a breather from life for a while, and this has given me the chance to really consider who I am and what I want to be doing with the rest of my life, and I am exceedingly grateful for that. It’s a limited resource, I realise – the means to do this won’t last forever (and by that I mean cash) – and that’s probably a good thing for me. I need to have some boundaries on this ‘time out’ from life, otherwise I might drift into the tall weeds and never achieve anything concrete, as i’ve done so many times before.

It’s not that I haven’t been doing anything during this little life holiday – far from it. I’ve been working hard on setting up a new business, and breathing new life into an old one. I’ve been gardening like a mofo, and clearing shitloads of clutter out of my house (to the casual observer, the latter might not be immediately obvious…but believe me, the Brotherhood of St Laurence is living large courtesy of my donations).

I’ve been doing lots of relaxed reading, and plenty of unhurried cooking that isn’t all jammed into one Sunday afternoon a fortnight. I’ve shopped when i’ve wanted to, gone to cafes in the middle of the day, fossicked in op shops, and caught up on much needed sleep. I’ve spent quality time with my cat, my family, and my friends. And most of all, i’ve thought.

I’ve ruminated. I’ve considered, pondered, cogitated and brooded. I’ve evaluated and deliberated, i’ve reflected and i’ve appraised. I’ve been down, i’ve been up. I’ve been so tired I could barely move, and i’ve been so energised I could barely contain myself. I’ve been busy as hell, and i’ve been quiet and still for hours, days, on end. But most of all…i’ve just been.

I’ve turned everything over and let everything go, and just waited to see what floated up to the surface. I’ve allowed all the vestiges of my life, my lives, to wash away…all the masks and personas i’ve necessarily employed to live the life I was living, all the patterns ingrained by past hurts and beliefs, all the actions and habits attached to a life I no longer related to….my old, un-authentic life, the one where I was just playing a part, pretending I was something I wasn’t to keep other people happy, and where I not only felt afraid to be myselfI wasn’t even really sure who that was anymore.

This beautiful gift of time i’ve been unwittingly given has granted me the space to open up my mind to all the possibilities that were previously shuttered off, to unfurl the petals of my heart to not only hear my inner guidance, but to listen to it, and most of all the courage to move forward through this open door and never, ever look back.

Stepping out of the shadows and casting off my old life dovetails neatly with the end of one pretty amazing, exhausting year, and the start of a new one filled with promise and hope. And not just because it’s the new year, loaded with the expectation of being better simply by virtue of the fact that it’s new, but because it’s truly a blank sheet on which I expect to write a completely different and totally fulfilling narrative for myself – one where instead of getting back on the treadmill of life and daily silencing the screaming voice of my soul, i’m moving forward into a world where i’m being true to myself and to my beliefs, and living a life of authenticity and purpose.

Here’s to an extraordinary, amazing, ridiculously fulfilling 2016 everyone. Bring it on!

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