Words by Jacqui Lewis, The Broad Place
It has certainly been a challenging year for many of us, and it could be said that the aftershocks of 2020 will be felt for a long time yet to come. Yet, this year also presented much growth, an opportunity to pare back, to go within, and to explore not the world, but our inner worlds, our minds. The opportunity also lies in taking those learnings forward, in putting rubber to road and ensuring we don’t lapse back into old patterns that might not serve us any longer. We want to ensure we are empowered in our choices now, on how we live our lives and how we hold ourselves within them.
Personally, this year for me was enormous. And amongst my personal shifts and changes, I worked with students all over the world undergoing incredibly challenging situations in seemingly impossible situations, through our school The Broad Place. It has been a huge honour to hold space for so many. From mentoring people through to teaching Integrated Meditation to those in need of clarity and creativity and consciousness in moments of heart break and frustration. Common themes consistently presented themselves, I thought it a wonderful opportunity to put these into some intentions for 2021, some stones along the path that we can all tread this coming year.
1 | HIGH GRADE LIVING
We have just published a beautiful book with Thames and Hudson called High Grade Living, which is about living in alignment with your higher self. One of the key messages is, don’t save things for a rainy day, experience the best you can in your life right now. Appreciate everything, and live your most authentic and vibrant life each day. What can you do to live your highest grade life each day? How can you live more in alignment with your wiser, more loving self. Answer this question daily, and see your happiness and fulfilment rise!
2 | TRUST
When we panic, we lose our trust that everything is happening for a reason. We also sometimes demand answers immediately, beseeching of the universe to answer us now as to WHY this thing is happening. We know deep down life doesn’t work like that, but panic brings about a huge range of unpleasant emotions. The antidote to panic, is to trust. Go over things in your life that seemed ‘bad’ when it happened but also had moments of beauty, or in the end turned out for the best; remind yourself that it’s going to be okay and trust in the timing of things in your life.
The antidote to panic, is to trust. Go over things in your life that seemed ‘bad’ when it happened but also had moments of beauty, or in the end turned out for the best; remind yourself that it’s going to be okay and trust in the timing of things in your life.
3 | GRATITUDE IS KEY
Even when the world feels like it’s falling apart, gratitude is not just possible, but vital for keeping our hearts open and our freak out in check. Try gratitude as three simple things you experienced in the day noted at the end of each day. The smaller the better. Also try sharing 5 things you are grateful for with someone you love every day. Take turns and avoid saying ‘me too’ and come up with your own individual ones each time. Sometimes on a very hard day, I am checking in with my ability to see, to walk, to breathe clean air. Some days it's gratitude for a cuddle with my senior rescue dog, or a kiss from my daughter, or a perfect cup of coffee at our local cafe. What things can you be grateful for every single day.
4 | BANISH BUSY
Five years ago I wrote a book called the Mothers Mind Cleanse for The Broad Place, and Banish Busy was one of the chapters, and it was one of the most favourite of all of them within the book. This year, finally, I hope we all had to succumb to banishing busy whether we felt like it or not! I continually hear from people that they cannot believe the pace they were living at pre lockdown. And with a pandemic, we at times simply could not dash around as we always do, overcommitted, over socialised and overwhelmed. How did you feel about this? And if you really commit to banishing busy in 2021 what will it feel like? How will you create space, and grace in your days and weeks? How can you fill your weeks with more presence, with things you really want to actually do, not just obligations?
5 | LOSE THE EXPECTATIONS
Expectation leads to disappointment, every, single, time. We sow seeds of expectation into our future, because we really want something to turn out a certain way. Very rarely does that mind plan come into fruition though! Catch yourself with your expectations, and replace them with the intention that it would be great if things worked out this way, YET, be okay with that fact they may not. It’s not that we don’t plan, but we are not attached to the outcome of the plans.
We need to wire our thinking in a certain way, so that it is fluid and in the moment, not panicking or disappointed because expectations weren’t met.
6 | INVITE IN CREATIVITY
I am always teaching about creativity with The Broad Place, and everyone, and I mean you, is capable of being creative. Creative is thinking laterally, doing it different, not just painting and creating music. It means taking a different route home, trying new dishes, having different types of conversations. It’s not running on auto pilot but being curious and open in every situation. And if you feel your creativity needs a boost, then definitely enrol in a writing course, a painting course, or anything designed to unlock your brains right hemisphere. It can be powerful in introducing new ways of thinking into your life on every level.
All images credited to @thebroadplace