Sunday, 4 January 2015

2014 - a year of more stones than diamonds ...

As I sat at a picnic table overlooking peaceful lakes in the early hours of 1st January 2015,  having just watched a beautiful sunrise, I began to reflect on the ‘year that was … 2014’.   A song popped into my head:
Some days are diamonds … some days are stones,
Sometimes the hard times … won’t leave me alone … 

Yes, 2014 for me was certainly a challenging year … a year of choices, decisions, chances and change.  Not saying it was disastrous, or a total wipe out … there were some exciting times, new opportunities, new connections made …  and some difficult, re-affirming momentous reality checks;  each experience providing valuable lessons.

The old saying is true; sometimes you don’t realise what you had until it’s gone … but the reality is - where we were and what we had, was not meant to be … not the right timing … and not allowing either of us to grow and progress.  I’ve said it before … neither my partner nor I like playing small; it sucks our creative juices and the passionate drive we both value.  We knew we needed to be somewhere else … where we could make a bigger difference and help drive change … we decided to throw it out there and see where it landed.

Thankfully, I love change … I truly get bored with the ‘same old’ approaches, traditional thinking and ‘normal’ or average expectations.  I decided a long time ago that life is far better if you choose to be flexible, focus on the positives or look for better options, grasp opportunities, and embrace the unexpected adventures … simply try to make the best of each day, each situation.  Being positive is a conscious choice … in how you think, behave and action things.

Sure …there is some stuff we can’t control and can’t change, but I have found that even when we think we have no choices, it’s simply a matter of looking broader … out-side the box … move away from limitations and go to where you DO have more options.   So many of us get ‘stuck in a rut’, looking down at where our feet stand … to the point that we don’t see the opportunities on the horizon. 

Having a strong sense of inner personal power and an ‘I can’ attitude, also helps to not only accept change; it drives me to look for it.  This is also a conscious choice …
“Do I feel strong and invincible every day?  … No, of course not”
I have my down times … my more vulnerable moments.  Life’s experiences have made me more aware of my vulnerabilities … the things that drag me down or pull me backwards, and what builds me up; energises and drives me forward.  

Being near water is one of my energy sources … the peaceful reflectiveness of watching the sunrise is another … combining the two, is absolute magic.  Every sunrise is different. Every dawn brings a new day.  Some days the sun glitters like diamonds on the water… some days the clouds make it look grey, blending with the stony edges.  Not every day is perfect …
Life’s like that … it is not a perfect fairy-tale … and I’m certainly not perfect.

Just like these outdoor picnic tables at Barham Lakes, where I sat and wrote this blog … lessons are found in the simplest of things…

 Some tables are splattered with bird shit! 
Of course, they are quite vulnerable to this … out in the open near trees full of birds.  We can’t control where these chirpy, feathered friends decide to do their business. … nor would we want to.  Think about it … if the tables were locked away in enclosures, they would not be useful or an inviting place for people to sit and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.  

Lesson – yep … SHIT HAPPENS!  Accept it, live with it, or move on.   Ask: “does it really matter?” Clearly not for me … I had brought a beach towel to sit on and chose one next to it that was somewhat 50% less splattered!

Some are in need of repair … looking a little tired and sagged in the middle … not easy to navigate, use, and work with … clearly not the best choice.  Not impossible, just more difficult than anticipated.  

Lesson – CHOICES people … there are always choices, often better options.  Ask “do I really have to put up with this?”  “Will it frustrate me and drain me of my positive energy?” “Would I be better off moving on?”  … OR perhaps it is simply a short term inconvenience, less than optimal but OK for now? As I wanted to write in my journal and pour a glass of Baileys & Milk … there were better options nearby.

Sometimes it takes more than one to do the job … more than YOU alone to make stuff happen.  Individuality, personal power, independent nature, ‘can do’ attitude … it’s all great stuff, BUT that may not always the best, most efficient way to make the biggest difference.  Sometimes we need to push our table next to others, collaborate, co-operate and join forces to achieve our goals.

Lesson – Finding and surrounding yourself with like-minded people is the key … those that lift you higher and support your journey.  I've learned that while networking and social media are all great tools ... nothing beats personal connections with those who 'get on board' with your journey.

Just like the birds around these lakes … we are meant to flock together, to chatter and sing, to help and mentor each other, to mate and make homes … wherever you find a suitable tree, a nice park, an environment that suits.   Yes, sometimes when you think you’ve found that, the winds will blow … trees fall or get cut down … it may rain or snow … maybe the food source even runs low. 

Please remember this: No matter what happens, a new sunrise comes up each day, another day of choices, chances and possible changes … another year of aspirations and goals … wherever you are in the world.

LIFE – wasn’t meant to be perfect
            wasn’t meant to be easy
            wasn’t meant to be spent standing still in the one spot
LIFE -  is a journey full of experiences and learnings. 

Your life’s journey is in your hands … your mind, your behaviour, your actions drive your direction.  Embrace that, take hold of it …
Not all days will be sparkling diamonds … shit may happen … the path may be stoney … you may even get gravel rash;  BUT, it’s how you respond to whatever is thrown at you, or the opportunities that pop up, that counts in the end.

So, as I said goodbye to 2014, I celebrated the courage it took for us to make major changes … and remembered the lessons learned along the way … and appreciated the time spent over the last few months in preparations for rolling out an awesome 2015. I’m ready for it … 2015’s new book of blank pages – all 365 of them to make my mark … going to make sure I leave no blank pages.

Make YOUR 2015 count.  This is your day, your month, your year to explore new choices, take some adventurous chances and embrace the opportunities and lessons that change brings.

Sparkle brightly.

Happy 2015.


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