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2024: What are you bringing back?

Updated: Jan 12

I left a voicenote for my friend a few days ago telling her that I simply was not ready for all the new year chat that was about to hit me. I was not feeling peppy at all. Nope. Not having it. I think this was the result of sensory overwhelm from the kids and the holidays and all that.


And yet, here I find myself... Writing about the new year. A feckin optimistic one and everything. I don't even know whether to feel proud of this change of heart. I was quite enjoying being a bit moody and goth. 


Luckily for all you curmudgeons out there, I'm still taking a little bit of an underworld approach... I'm thinking about digging a little into the dark side and using the year to regain something that has been lost, forgotten, hidden, or rejected. 


Which one resonates? 


Have you lost your heart? 


Who has had to toughen up in the last few years? Who has felt increasingly disconnected? You probably aren't admitting it to anyone because it makes you sound like you're in a Jane Austen novel - and you are tough! - but maybe deep down you are craving more love, play, and general lightness? More heart, basically. 


Unfortunately, most of us will go looking to others for this - we want someone to play and love with! But people can't REALLY scratch that itch - not completely anyway. Worse still if people have been letting us down, stressing us out and the like. So what can we do instead? There are a million ways to 'love yourself' (sorry about saying that, I know it's one of the most annoying personal development concepts, albeit a necessary one!) but here is my favourite - go absolutely crazy with pleasure, sensuality, beauty, and filling yourself up with things that delight you. I truly believe that pleasure is healing. Something has gone very wrong when we stop trusting it. So enjoy being in the world, in your body, and in life! 



I think I left quite a bit of pleasure back in 2017 - with the exception of unhealthy pleasures like eating too much chocolate at 9pm. Apart from, you know, the massive joy of having two children over that time, blah blah blah. The big things like spas and kareoke bars I am getting better at - the thing I need to focus on is getting more pleasure into the mundane. Or even into the downright horrendous like the school run. School run aside (or maybe not?), it may well involve dusting off the kareoke mics at home just for me! (And my very lucky neighbours). 


Have you lost your freedom? 


How often, these days, are you running with the wolves? How often are you invigorated and embodied? How often do you feel powerful and a little bit dangerous? Freedom isn't just about having a bunch of choices and being unrestricted in which one you go for. It's about feeling alive, with your blood pumping, and feeling fully powerful, with nothing draining your spirit. Not a feeling that is readily available to us in the Free From aisle at Tesco, let's be honest. 


The answer? Doing more things that scare you - and preferably a few of those things being physically challenging too. More adventure. And - perhaps surprisingly - also more surrender, more letting go. When you are doing stuff with wild abandon you can't really be holding onto stuff can you??! 


One thing I need to let go of is about six hundred billion resentments I an holding onto for the last year. And one thing that scares me, oooooffff I don't even know! Surfing used to be my go to for 'wild' stuff... But you can't surf the Thames, sigh. It might have to be something more like an overhaul in how I approach my work. Watch out for a wilder me, I guess...! 


Have you lost your head? 


Some of you were getting a bit smug there weren't you? Were you thinking something like 'Oh yeah, check me out so wild and free and in my pleasure and senses! I'm all good here.'. 


Bad news. 


Sometimes you do actually need that brain of yours too! 


In Greek mythology, it is no coincidence that the goddess of strategy and intellect  (Athena) is also about progress and innovation. She represents our contribution and sense of purpose in society. As well as our ability to think well and problem solve. If you can't see the value in good thinking then I invite you right now to remember the last time you encountered really bad, illogical or unreasonable thinking. Not fun was it?! 


Your purpose is something you need to fight for. So if your head has taken a backseat - maybe because there has been no space for actual deep thinking and contemplation - then it's time to re-engage your inner strategic warrior. 


What this looks like in practice is NOT about buying a planner and paying someone to tell you what to do. Nope. It's about getting your head sorted at a deeper level. It's about spending 2024 investing in your beliefs and in being fully yourself (that's how good strategy actually works). Maybe it is reading books to inspire you, maybe it is working with a coach or other mindsetty person. Whatever it is, aim for stuff that is going to help you clear out all the noise in your head and rewrite your limiting beliefs and stories that you tell yourself. It's about transforming your thinking to make great things more possible. 


For example, I love to sabotage myself by getting a little performy in my content (I can barely even read this email back in case I don't really recognise myself) - my task this year is to try and be even more myself, which I think actually involves less trying. I want to focus on really clearing the stuff that drives me away from that. 


Have you lost your inner parent? 



If you are a 'sleep when your dead' type then this is for you. Or indeed, if you are a 'look after everyone, their dog, their plants, and their rare stamp collection but totally ignore myself' type of person then this is also for you. In other words, if you think that caring and nurturing is basically weakness - or something for everyone else but not for you - then it's time to pull up a chair for your inner loving parent. S/he is here to tell you to go to bed on time, eat some greens, stop being so hard on yourself, take it easy, and to admire your creative endeavours (did you forget about those?!). 



If you have lost your ability to nurture yourself, then it's time to focus on your basic needs so that you can regain your energy for your projects and for other people. Have a lie down! 



I'm about to revisit 'The Artist' a Way' with one of my good friends who recently interviewed Julia Cameron, its creator. Have you heard of it? It's all about reconnecting to your creativity. Life can pull us so easily away from creative energy because creative energy needs space, nurturing, and love. It's the opposite of the grind. So this is what my inner parent is going to give me - some room for creativity. I will probably stick things on my fridge and everything. 




Have you lost your stability? 



Have you been feeling a little, well, discombulated? Are too many things unpredictable? Are you taking more of a 'throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks' approach to life, work, or relationships?... Guess what you need??! You need to put a frickin crown on your head and start taking charge of things. 



There are two types of people in the world those who run towards and those who run away from the following: community, responsibility, and keeping everything running smoothly. For some, this feels all a bit boring and tedious. Yet without our strong foundations and clear expectations of ourselves and others, we can end up frustrated and disappointed. So what are your top lines (absolute must dos) and bottom lines (absolute must NOT dos) right now? Get clear on these but also be honest... Your standards should feel right for you, not for everyone else. 



I struggle with top lines and bottom lines because I know that I'll let myself get away with anything. I know I won't put consequences in place. I know I will quibble with the standards and make exceptions. So as I think about the standards I set for the year ahead, it's really important to me that I make them work for me properly - not just wishful thinking. This means getting clear on the needs and values I attach to them. I would share this with you but I haven't done the thinking on it yet haha! I'll keep you posted. 




Have you lost your spirit? 



If you have a lot to process then 2024 may be the year for going under and bravely walking through the stuff that has been holding you back or weighing you down - the perhaps ignored and forgotten emotions that are swimming around somewhere inside. Because these things derail us from being fully connected to ourselves - and that affects how we show up to life, draining us of our magic. 



Time to channel a bit of Persephone - Greek Goddess of the Underworld - and forge a path for yourself through darkness. What might this look like for you? Facing your fears and facing up to yourself – both the good and the bad. Beginning a process of letting go of anything that doesn't truly serve you, even if this means loss. Getting really uncomfortably intimate with ourselves, our relationships, and our lifestyles. Let 2024 be all about clearing out your internal (metaphorical) closet. 



For me, I've already begun this process by being more careful about what I consume and who I connect with. I've struggled a lot with some of the realities of the online space but I don't want to abandon it. It would be easy for me to get lost in pointing the finger - the narcissists, bullies, and hypocrites who, I've discovered are absolutely running wild in this industry - but I also need to look within at what is triggering me so much and what's holding me back from making my own purpose a reality - from creating a strong and powerful alternative to the BS. There are some wounds I need to heal for sure. 


.... 


So which will you be reclaiming? 


These are three BIG areas I can help you with in my one to one sessions - involving  coaching/EFT/other really good stuff - which are designed to shift unwanted habits of thought, feeling, and behaviour. If you want to boost the heart, freedom, and really good thinking in your life then get in touch to find out more!

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