With the New Year like a mouse, peering round an open door, just waiting for the cat to fall asleep so he can get his prized food, I wonder what your thoughts are 2011/2012?
Has the year been full of every emotion possible? Do you find yourself saying '2012 will be the best yet'?
If we had not experienced all these emotions: sadness, joy, loneliness, excitement, what would the year have been filled with?
Do we not learn from every situation we encounter?
So what have I learned in 2011 that will make me a stronger indivdual?
I've learnt to:
Dream - I had always dreamt that I would run my own business and 2011 has seen that first step up that metaphorical ladder. It's become a reality as I reduced my hours with my regular job to concentrate on building up my own business. Madness, some may say in this current climate. I know that with hard work I can achieve anything I want to. I just need to be honest to myself, and absorb all that comes my way.
Opportunity - We make opportunities by learning to say 'why not'. At the start of this year I would never have dreamed that I would be featured in a magazine and then offered the chance to write for that magazine on a regular basis. I get to write about something I am passionate about 'Health and its psychological and physiological effects'. Who'd have thought the person who left school not understanding the meaning of a full stop would be doing this.
Inspiration - I have been inspired by many people throughout this year. My family of course are my heart and soul. My parents, sister and close family never judging, always supoorting and protecting me. My four legged friends who listen unconditionally, who know when to comfort, and guarantee to make me smile, even on the gloomiest of days.
My friends whether virtual (e.g. facebook) or those all around me, all inspiring me with their stories, strengths and experiences. Without each and every one, I would not have learnt a valuable lesson. You're wondering if I mean you personally? Yes I do! (and if you wonder how, just ask me).
Time - Always having time to listen, always having time to make a difference to someone. Even if it's only to have a 5 minute chat with them, or something as simple as a smile or kind word to a stranger that passes you or who can't reach that tin on the shelf in a supermarket.
It may feel like a small gesture to you but to them , it lets them know someone is thinking of them.
How many times have you thought 'I wish I'd'...?, I challenge you from this moment forward to be able to say 'I'm glad I did....'
So with this D.O. I.T. attitude I don't resolve to make 2012 the best year ever. I resolve to thrive on the challenges that are set by and for me. I resolve to say 'Why not!' at every opportunity. I resolve that if I can make life that little bit better by just being there, then I will.
But most of all I resolve to be ME and to let every new experience enhance who I already am.
Happy New Year to you, your friends and family.
How many times have you looked in a mirror and the person staring back at you seems like a complete stranger? Or that person who walks behind you as you gaze into a shop window; you think you know them, but you turn around and realise it is someone completely different.
We judge people on first appearances. How many times have we read something in a local paper or national magazine and instantly judged someone without knowing the facts? Most of us are guilty at some point of doing this and we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. The difference is some then choose to find out the facts then draw their own conclusions, others simply presume.
In our everyday lives we judge people by how they look, how they dress or how they act. We are all born as individuals, yet we are taught as we become older to conform to particular standards.
Respecting those around you is a common courtesy. We are taught to hold the door open for someone, and say please and thank you.
What do you see when you see that elderly person in the street, or that person who has abilities that are impaired?
I see individuals with unlimited potential to grow. As a Personal Trainer, who works with referrals from medical professionals, I am challenged everyday to open my eyes up and see past a person’s reflection looking back at me, even if they are looking back themselves in that metaphorical mirror thinking 'I cannot change'.
To me, the person crippled with osteo-arthritis is the person I can take into a pool and maybe for the first time in years, allow them to feel weightless. Due to the nature of water their range of motion may be increased, as their joints glide freely under the water’s hydrostatic pressure.
To see someone walking easily in water after years of walking in pain is more rewarding than any salary I could be paid.
I am also fortunate to have the chance to work with various individuals with mental health issues, from schizophrenia to anxiety. The reward of watching that person flourish and continue on their individual positively affected journey makes coming to work a privilege rather than a chore.
Next time you look into that mirror or reflection in the shop window, why not stop and take a closer look, look beyond what you see.
I have chosen to always look beyond what stands in front of me and see right to the heart and soul of each individual person I meet on my journey.
So whether it is something they’ve said, done or their appearance, are you willing to take the time to judge what’s behind the mask? For some of us we will choose not to, at the fear of what we might find. But as an unknown author once wrote, 'Never be afraid to try something new. Remember amateurs built the Ark, professional built the Titanic.’