Looking ahead, at the potential of a fresh new year.
The potential is there every year of course but this year it really does feel like it could all be very different.
My 50th birthday last year helped me focus, more than other birthdays as you might imagine, on what is really important to me and on the bigger questions. What am I doing here? What am I for? What am I giving my time, energy and attention to?
Half an hour with a cup of tea and a notebook wasn’t going to do it this year.
I’m calling 2013 the year of the deep. And sometimes dark. I’ve plumbed psychotherapeutic depth that I didn’t know was there to be plumbed.
What I found has been illuminating, liberating and would have been a little scandalous in its day… the details of which I’m happy to tell but are lengthy and likely boring in a ‘you had to be there’ kind of way. Do ask if you want to know though, it’s not a secret. That’s actually been an important part of the whole thing – the impact of shame and suppression on body chemistry and health from the tension of carrying a secret. It’s not usually pretty. And often all to preserve an absurd distribution of power and money that doesn’t serve us well at all in the end.
But most tragically last year I mourned the death of a young ex-colleague from a heart attack. There were others in the same company who also died unexpectedly last year.
So health and wellbeing for all are featuring high up my important list this year along with humanity, compassion and equality. What are we here for anyway? So this year more than ever, a Happy New Year is truly what I intend. For me, for you, for everyone.
A deep down,
no boundaries breached
happy new year to you.
I wish for us all, deeply, deeply pleasurable stuff and only that.
In practise, this means
the righting of the out of kilter.
Or to start with, at least, the desire for the righting of the out of kilter, even if I have no idea how.
And the tapping into a wisdom that is ours to tap but that speaks quietly and is so rarely heard.
The righting of things that skew and wonk body chemistry through the natural human response to inequality, inhumanity, suppression, oppression or downright abuse that means my stomach never really fully relaxes and that I carry around a low level anxiety much of the time, barely perceptible, but body chemistry affecting all the same.
Out of kilter in the world. Homelessness, not enough for heat AND food, dramatic increase in food bank usage, nurses choosing between going to the loo during the day or making rounds and still not managing all their lists and blame being heaped on them when the problem is there’s not enough of them to go round because they’ve been turned into a profit centre. The stimulating intellectual challenge of setting up a payday loan equation just right so that people won’t make payments in full and end up tied to crippling debt at ‘0000% APR. Marketing managers for a mainstream credit card company designing aggressive marketing campaigns that they themselves find shocking but feel powerless to influence. Drones bringing us to a real Big Brother state. Cheap clothes coming at a cost many were unaware of and many were.
Ay ay ay….and the list goes on, and on…what already felt like an endless stream seemed last year to grow into a torrent of things that lack humanity.
It can feel totally overwhelming and unbearable. Or. Or not.
A few things stood out for me last year, examples of hope and possibility. Some people doing things that made my bedraggled, stunned in the torrent of inhumanity self, perk up.
Seriously. have you seen what he’s doing. He is a human the likes of which I’ve not seen in a Catholic religious leader.
Running for Congress in America. My favourite quote from her so far ” Thank you. We’ll take it from here”
Oh now. Please. Let that be.
And closer to home, a mentoring client who ruthlessly culled, beyond anything I could have imagined or advised, everything that wasn’t aligned with what she stands for. My goodness that was radical, shocking, but leaving no inconvenient truths and nothing to cause body chemistry skew.
This time last year, an ex fire brigade emergency call handler ‘A girl called Jack’ struggling to feed her son, no money for heating, was too close to being not of this world and her young son an orphan. She’s just triggered a debate in parliament on food poverty, writes a column for The Guardian and The Mirror, has a low cost recipe book coming out, and is, I think as I write , about to move into a home that is not temporary and that she and her son won’t have to move out of for a good while. Oh and she doesn’t have a computer. She’s done all that from her phone!.
Just today I read about the US state of Utah who have a simple plan to eradicate homelessness by 2015 and their plan is looking likely to spread to many other states.
There’s others……lots of them, they’re inspiring. Plenty of regular, not Eton educated, some seemingly powerless people seeing situations of desperate need, their own or others need, and taking steps to make matters right in their world.
Happy New Year!
Marianne’s words stuck with me.
‘We’ll take it from here’.
We’ll take it from here. Shall we?
And then immediately I feel a hesitancy in rising to that challenge.
A mountain of imagined obstacles, and fears.
Flippin heck I’m only human in the face of government and multinational conglomerates that really rule the roost…that’s a frankly ridiculous invitation …what the devil do you think you’re suggesting, you deluded fantasy monger.
I’ve been at least two years, more likely much longer, swirling about, hokey kokeying with this…in out, in out, is anything really do-able.
The hesitancy, the obstacles, the fears…all real, none to be ignored or dismissed lightly, but none that can’t be faced with enough support, encouragement, community, practical help and shared examples of ‘this is what we did and how we did it’. I can take care of what’s out of kilter in my world. And I can support others who want to take care of what’s out of kilter in theirs.
I’m sitting now, not alone I know in feeling horrified, looking at the torrent of things that must, surely we pray, be righted, having not the first clue, right this minute, what on earth might be done about them, nor what our part in that might be.
But completely sure that more humanity, equality and compassion need to be brought to bear in the addressing of them.
And hopeful that starting with the intent to bring humanity, equality and compasssion to troubling matters will generate solutions that are entirely fresh and creative, by contrast with solutions generated from a purely bottom line intent.
Solutions that will be profoundly satisfying to the parts of us that are deeply troubled, and profoundly transformative for the dangerous body chemistry that we likely carry around with us while deeply troubled.
I believe it can all be quite manageable *big smile of faith in the face of the enormity of things*
Intent: the wellbeing of the world, one troubling matter at a time + faith in the possibility = good body chemistry
Happy New Year!
In consideration of what would make the new year happy for me, I’m starting with these gentle simple prompts, beautifully presented in video from Nic Askew. (Video link below).
I love his name…Askew…I hear it as ‘ask you’. And he asks
What is it that you want? What is it that you’ve always longed for?
That we’ve always longed for? Might we find it together?
I want to make a significant contribution, to fully and wholeheartedly be of service. And of huge importance, simplicity in how I go about it. My working days set up to allow good quality of attention, no rush, no-one shortchanged.
I long for, someone who’s got my back, someone who believes in me and what I’m doing in the world. I know this to be largely a spiritual matter and I would still like an earthly, human someone too.
For the world …
mostly what I want is humanity in our lives. In our personal lives, in business and in politics.
I long for simplicity here too, the transparency that might be possible if there’s no need to hide things in the small print, no need to construct contracts so complicated you can’t ever know what tariff you’re really getting.
And Nic’s invitation…might we find it together?
Oh yes please. I don’t think anyone can do this alone.
I can write about it, gather and share examples that feel inspiring and hopeful and practically helpful with details of how the humanity AND bottom line were taken care of. A place to come for a sense of community in a shared aim and faith that it’s possible
And I can offer coaching to support, encourage and make space for raising issues and generating fresh, human solutions.
– Personal coaching programmes, designed for personal peace from the righting of that which is troubling.
– Corporate coaching programmes, designed for holistic wellbeing for people and corporate healing of customer trust, finding ways of meeting the greater good as well as the bottom line
Wow! …by writing it all out here, I just found the simplicity I wanted.
For 2014…write, coach, love.
Cheers! I raise a glass to toast your deep wellbeing.
Twitter version. Sort the out of kilter for good body chemistry and a happy new year
What do you want? Write it in the comments if you’d like, I’d love to hear