As the New Year approaches, now is the perfect time to think about how you want your 2023 to feel and how you can make looking after yourself a high(er) priority.
Here are 5 ways you can take better care of yourself next year – and not one of them mentions having more bubble baths (although I very much support your choice to do that also).
Date yourself. When was the last time you had some quality 1-2-1 time with yourself? How often do you get to close the door on the world and sink into just being with yourself? Many of us lead busy lives with never-ending to-do lists and responsibilities for other humans, and it’s easy to get stuck in the story that 1) you don’t have time for the things you want just for you or 2) it would be selfish to do that when you have so many other folks to take care of first.
But what about your needs – aren’t they important too? You matter and so do your needs and wants, so where is the space for them?
What would it feel like to commit to reconnecting and rediscovering yourself in 2023? Imagine if you were dating yourself – treating yourself with sumptuous care and attention. Getting to know yourself in new ways, and remembering some of the things that have been lost along the way like things that bring you joy, or spark your creativity.
Can you commit to protecting a pocket of time that is just for you in 2023? Ideally daily, perhaps weekly, even if you can only stretch to monthly – committing to making time just for yourself is a beautiful way of showing yourself some love before you get to the point of feeling frazzled and in need of it.
And if you struggle for ideas, then the Dark Moon Club could offer the perfect solution – curated self-connection practices delivered straight to your inbox each month for you to explore. All you need to do is find 30 minutes of time to make it happen.
Watch your language. Do you pay attention to the language you use to talk about yourself and to yourself? If not, it’s worth starting.
Because you may find you’re telling stories that simply aren’t true. For example, are you using phrases that include the words never and always when talking about things you do or don’t do? Are you using words and phrases that you would not use when talking to or about a friend? Is what you say kind, true and lifting you up or is it mean, false and holding you back?
Committing to becoming more aware of self-talk and then changing what doesn’t feel good can be the key to getting unstuck and moving past old stories.
For example, if you frequently tell yourself (and others) “I’m so useless, I always get stuff like this wrong and it’s never as good as it should be” then you are perpetuating that story and it becomes self-fulfilling.
Watching your language; being more intentional, kind and supportive (even when things are not going to plan) is a real power move. “I’m stupid and always muck things up” gets a rewrite as “I’m still learning and that’s ok, getting things wrong is part of the process”. This can then become your new truth.
Take a walk on the wild side. There is a version of you that you know – the one you show to the world – and then there is the one that hides just underneath the surface.
The part of you that sometimes has thoughts, feelings, ideas and wants that pop up unbidden into your mind before the niceties of polite social constructs come rushing into to tuck them away out of sight.
But what if you gave those thoughts, ideas and feelings a bit of intentional attention? What if you spent some time exploring where they come from and imagining what would really happen if you acted on them?
That part of you that tries to make itself known the more you try to hide it is your shadow and the practice of exploring rather than trying to ignore those parts of you is Shadow Work.
Far from being a spooky tool of the dark arts, Shadow Work is about showing yourself – your whole self – deep compassion and understanding as you seek to explore and integrate those parts of you.
The beauty of this work is that once you get bold enough to look at your shadow, you find hidden in there all the true parts of you that have been labelled unworthy or unwanted – and that includes your unique strength and power.
Committing to spending some time with your wild and dark side is a commitment to coming home to your true self, tapping into hidden depths and finding peace with who you are.
This work will open your eyes to how truly exhausting it is to keep up that mask and how empowering it is to live a life free from it. You can find out more about befriending your shadow and shadow work with this 90 min workshop and this mini 5-day course.
Develop a passion for compassion. 2022 has taught me over and over again that when you meet yourself and others with compassion, then you open up opportunities for understanding and connection.
If we all showed ourselves and each other a little more compassion each day – the cumulative approach could be life-changing (even world-changing).
Imagine not getting angry at the person who cuts you up in traffic and instead meeting them with compassion. Or when you spot a typo in an email you’ve sent – what if you met yourself with compassion instead of judgement?
Could you commit to just being 5% more compassionate with yourself and the world in 2023? And it doesn’t even need much effort. You could, for example, choose one day a week (or just a morning if a day feels too much!) to intentionally notice when you judge and commit to instead choose compassion. Give it a try and see what happens.
Let’s get cyclical. The world is perhaps the busiest it has ever been in the history of humanity, and only getting busier and more hectic.
The calls for attention on your time, focus, attention and energy are almost constant and it’s easy to forget that just a few hundred years ago our lives would have looked very different.
With no electric or gas-powered light sources, we would have very little option other than to rest when it was dark. We would have lived our lives in tune with nature and its cycles.
The seasons, the moon, night and day – all would have been patterns that ruled our day-to-day lives and the shape of our year too.
Living with more intention and being in tune with the cycles is a really beautiful way to slow down whilst also getting stuff done. Connecting with the ebb and flow of life; realising that you can have restful practices woven in with getting shit done – so many possibilities for a new way of being open up when you choose to live.
Committing to living life more in tune with the cycles of nature creates space for slowing down and really appreciating life. There is more space for what matters, less autopilot churn and more opportunity for connection.
There you have it – 5 simple but powerful commitments you could make for next year to bring more connection, space, compassion and acceptance into your life without having to join a cult or move to a commune.
Reconnect doors are open 08.12.22 - 19.22.22 for the Winter round where we will be exploring many of these themes and collectively weaving more of them through our fays together, Come and join us and start your 2023 with a reconnection back to you.