I believe I’ve managed to get back on track this year. After all 2015 was grim by anyone’s standards.
For some of the background to that, if you are interested, try my Advent Blog – a small contribution to the ‘Heights, Hearts & Hollows’ series curated marvellously once more by Kate Griffiths-Lambeth: Defining moments
I swore to myself that I would try to design my 2016 in a way which would offer greater balance, respect for boundaries in work & life, well-being and happiness.
There is a great deal of thinking out there on mindfulness, consciousness, positive psychology & happiness. As a result I am pondering whether I can add too much that is original however for me it’s, at least in part, about the positive choices we consciously make.
I have blogged more than once, including this year, on the detox retreats I visit at least once a year. Wellbeing in action. Here’s what I said this time: Equilibrium, Energy & Intuition “A special place again – special emotionally, spiritually and physically”.
I have found something which, for me, is remarkable, renewing and deeply developmental. And January 2017 will bring a winter return visit to the retreat in the Alpujarras – a visit which I have set up in a way which ensures that I won’t merely be repeating a habit.
It really is a unique place. Once you are through that gate it’s idyllic. Created to facilitate discovery:
I ask others where their special place might be, are they looking for it, have they found it? There are even those cynics who ‘don’t believe in’ detox retreats – as if they are part of a religion. And I notice that being cynical, choosing to be that way, can be linked with a lack of openness to new experiences, to personal discovery, which is possibly a barrier to happiness.
One of my better CPD ideas this year was to read ‘The Happiness Track’ by the quite wonderful Emma Seppälä. I was looking for ideas to enrich my coaching practice but there was, of course, a personal angle. It provoked thoughts – the acid test for any business/development book. I can’t do it justice here but it includes all manner of ideas on living in the present (a challenge at times for me given the way I am wired), building resilience, focusing on energy, being kind and finding those places away from home & work which refresh and renew.
One of mine, as you might be able to tell, is photography. In fact watch out for a new development on this in 2017.
As for those boundaries – failure to manage & respect them lies behind personal and business issues for so many people with whom I work as a coach. And the same applies to me – each time I allow a boundary to be ignored it leads to a less happy outcome for me and, what’s worse, I am therefore not quite at my best. So I’ve tried hard on this point this year. I commend it to you. Let me know if you’d like to discuss what this might mean for you.
And finally, crucially, I promised myself I would focus on the people who are most important to me and I think I have achieved this.
I am a fortunate man in having such a great partner, some relatives who are extremely special and a small number of real friends. You know – those real ones. At one point early in 2016 I also discovered that asking for support from my social media network led to support being offered and received. Thank you. Remembering things like that, or counting blessings, is all part of this happiness shebang I think.
Life isn’t perfect. Can it ever be? The world has become a hugely uncertain place this year. But I think I leave 2016 in a better place than I did 2015. That can’t be bad, can it?
And much of the time I even actually dare to think I’m quite happy, certainly quite content.
I’ll leave you with Tracey. May your Christmas, or any other festival which is important to you, be a happy one and may 2017 be kind to you.