It is ok to not always be in control… Easing into 2022...
Happy New Year readers and subscribers!! Thanks to each of you for reading the posts, subscribing, sending emails and direct messages. I am honoured and beyond content when I receive an email from you stating how much a post resonated so deeply with you. I am proud of the small community we’re building which has allowed us to have deep heartfelt conversations. May this year be your best one yet!
I wanted to ring in 2022 in St. Elizabeth. Something about Treasure beach always captivates me, the clean air, ocean, stillness keeps me grounded. Alas, Dames thought it was not the safest staycation as we are going through wave # 4 of the pandemic. While he was right, I was disappointed, because I already envisioned the entire weekend leading up to my birthday there. Deep breaths and all the techniques from couples therapy on how to relate your feelings and emotions to your partner - failed, they really did, I crumbled. We fall to get up and try another day.
All’s not lost, we spent the first Sunday of the year in Ocho Rios, totally spontaneous yet it was one of the best times we had there.
We started with some drinks and chicken soup at Ultimate Jerk Center not before stopping at the roadside for some hot potato pudding. We then headed across the road to do the Green Grotto Cave Tour. Interestingly I’d never heard of it much before, but it was magical, a must do. The cave itself pales in comparison to the likes of Harrison’s Cave in Barbados, however, the history behind it, the Jamaican flair added by the tour guide and the mini ‘lake’ makes this tour fun and spectacular. As fate would have it there was a wishing well and tell me if there is anything better than a wishing well on the eve of your birthday! I laid all my wishes for this year at that well.
Up till that day I had not settled on my words and phrases for 2022. I knew for sure, More JOY - as this has become my favourite saying and go to line for everything, but what else did I want to be intentional about in 2022? As I stood on the white sand at the beach on that Sunday afternoon after the tour, I swooned over the glorious show the sun displayed that evening as it was about to set. I swayed my hips, while sipping on Coco Mania with pineapple juice and a memory of kindness, on that very day one year ago consumed my mind.
One year prior my family and friends drove down to Ochi to celebrate my birthday. Lo and behold there was an error with the day for the booking, our villa was booked for the following day but there we all were ready to celebrate. A stranger to me, a friend of an acquaintance opened up his home, (with a pool) to us, an act of unconditional kindness and we had a blast. I affirmed then and there, on the white sand beach in Ochi, swaying my hips and sipping my liquor, watching the sunset in all its glory, Kindness will be my theme throughout this year.
It felt destined to be my word for the year, Kindness. It takes nothing away from us to be kind to each other during this heavy season. I am not saying we should be yes people and give and do even when we don’t want to. Kindness can mean different things to different people but now more than ever we need it and we need to show it. Kindness to me looks like, genuinely asking my friends, how are you and listening beyond convenience, listening to their listening and knowing when they are not ok. Knowing when my input is needed or just a listening ear. It means respecting boundaries even when it doesn’t make sense to me. It means paying it forward as much as I can, without being asked, without publicizing it, without anything in return. It means, speaking highly of each other, being honest with each other even when the truth might sting. It means open and honest conversations about the things that affect us. It means apologizing when you are wrong, without being defensive or providing justification for your action.
Kindness to me, means empathy in action. How can I ensure your day is not worst off because we crossed paths?
I think we can safely say, we’re all going through something these last two years. Illness, death of a loved one, loss of income sources, loss of our normal way of life. We have as much as we can compartmentalized all of this and forged our way in search of a new normal, but it gets heavy. So, join me this year, practice being kinder to yourself, be kind with the way you speak over your life and to yourself. Be kind with your family and friends, be kind to strangers. A smile, offering assistance, showing empathy, apologizing, giving genuine compliments cost nothing. Let’s put it into practice.
I took the first week of the new year to ease into it, to be present and think and laugh loudly. To plan and to listen to my intuition. There is no medal to be won for starting the new year off on the right foot, ticking all the boxes. We can change the narrative and celebrate easing into the new year. Taking time to be quiet and reflect, plan and adjust accordingly with incremental changes we can commit to.
I read the book, Atomic Habits by James Clear at the start of the year, and this read has been such an eye opener in being consistent and creating processes that serve me. While reading, the thought that constantly crossed my mind is nothing changes if nothing changes. If I don’t take any action to where I want to be, then nothing will change! My weight is a reflection of my eating and exercising habit, my finances are a reflection of my investing and spending habit, my relationships are a reflection of my caring and prioritizing habits. Small meaningful changes at a time if we stick to them and get better every day, will not just add up but will compound and change our lives.
So, here’s to 2022 and being kind to ourselves and each other. To ease into 2022, taking full audit of our lives and slowly amending our process and consistently sticking to habits which serve us better.