Stop, look, listen…and carry on

stop look listenI’m writing on the Sunday before the New Year, one more week of my holiday time still to go; it is still 2019…but 2020 is within touching distance. For the past 8 years I have spent “twixmas” spending some time to pause and reflect on the year that has been, and how I might live the year to come based on my experiences, insight, and learning.

All in all, 2019 was a “good year”. When I cast an eye over my review of the year at the end of 2018, I see how I have, on the whole, stayed true to my wishes for 2019. I wanted to settle and consolidate; I wanted to trim back and relinquish some commitments and not take on new things. The “only” thing counter to that intention was becoming a Vajrayana student – but with a tried and tested faith on my Buddhist path (which I started in 2010), I have come to realise that some opportunities are presented to be taken with timing that is often not on our agenda.


I am (slowly) learning to slow down. To trust that I am already “there” (in Buddhist language, “awake” and whole) and there is no-where to get. This is my main intention for 2020, to keep remembering there is no need to strive for anything above and beyond what I already have, who I already am. I am already enough, and when my experience points to anything different, the practice is simply to see what story I am believing and challenging “is that true?”.

I have been in therapy long enough to know where my story comes from and how it came about. I am far enough down the path to see how believing that story doesn’t serve me anymore – in fact it gets in the damn way quite a lot! But, it is habit – and like Portia Nelson describes in her poem, I see the hole and still I can find myself falling in: “it is my fault” that I do so. I hope in 2020 that I can see the hole coming and choose to walk around it more often.

Integral to that is feeling the echo of my story and holding it in gentle awareness. Letting the shock waves of what I am (in the moment) believing, giving it space to be there, and giving myself time to recover and come back to “what is” (actually) in the moment. The Buddhist path gives me a scaffolding – I can feel the echos AND remain held by a faith that I am already okay.

The “Year in Review” process that I do each year invites reflection across several domains: including personal, relational, professional (and for me, I include a spiritual). One of my main professional intentions for 2020 is to finish a first draft of my book. And, as part of that, commit to the process of blogging sections as I complete them. So, this blog is my way of making that commitment in the public domain! In the coming few days I am finishing the set-up of the blogging platform and I will then start releasing some of the material of have started to write.

I very much hope that you, the kind people that read my blog each week, jump in to this process with me. I would very much appreciate hearing your thoughts on what I write for this book – this is part of the “blog to book” process that I am subscribing to. I will explain how you can participate in the coming weeks.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who read each week; just seeing the page view and “hits” data humbles me, and I am excited to write more for you in 2020.

Happy New Year!

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