Reflecting mindfully on a year is generally a mixed bag. An entire year is never all good or all bad. Some years can bring great events of sorrow and change. Others can be general, run-of-the-mill years with a collection of ecclectic experiences all jumbled together. Invariably, they are, thankfully, a mixture of experiences.
I’ve certainly had many challenges last year and it has guided me to reflect on my internal attitudes and, in part, unravel and de-clutter my own internal chatter, beliefs and attitudes.
I began 2017 with clear determination to limit my budget to non-essential items, a.k.a. as clothes for me, be mindful of what I purchased and how often I bought things. As the year unfolded, my focus changed to more internal de-cluttering. I benefitted from a lot of regular yoga and meditation, as well as increased connections with friends and family. Although my spending on clothing increased, I tried to keep mindful of what I bought and what purpose it would play.
One of the best methods of managing expenditure for me was creating a separate ‘discretionary’ account where a small percentage of my salary was deposited monthly to spend on whatever I chose. Not only did it allow me to spend guilt-free, it freed up my mind to focus on myself and explore other aspects that I needed to concentrate on. Supporting family and focusing on my own health and wellbeing. What was important to me was brought into stark alignment and by the end of 2017, I started to re-align where I was, and, perhaps, where I hoped to be.
My focus in 2018 will be on the experiential side of de-cluttered living. Travelling will hopefully form a big part of that and will provide opportunities to unshackle some of the material things we surround ourselves with for security. These things often own us and weigh us down. Oftentimes, it is only when we travel that we realise just how weighed down we are with our routines and products. Travelling affords us the opportunity to be more with less.
One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things • Henry Miller
Here’s to a new year.
Reflective reading: The Little Book of Mindfulness (ed. by Tiddy Rowan) (2013)