Let your inner light shine
PS: This blog was written for Holiday season! But can be applied to the rest of 2023!!
To one and all reading this blog,
We are back again at that time of the year.
Chestnuts roast on an open fire,
Jack frost nipping at your nose.
Data awaiting to be analyzed,
manuscripts need to be written,
model parameters wanting optimization
and infinite other tasks
I just ruined it didn’t I??
Despite all this, this time of the year, we need to unplug from our work routine and decompress.
How you might ask, it is essential to understand that you are but human. Moving and experiencing all the emotions and feelings a human being does. Amidst all this, lets address the urgent need to find the stillness, composure and peace that exists within us. I reckon it is never a wrong time to contemplate on what really matters to us.
These pointers are not only for the Holiday season, but something to come back to throughout the year.
For you and me
- Reorienting our goals and objectives: More often than not, the goals we set out for ourselves in the last year have witnessed rapid adaptation and changes, it is excellent to revisit each one of them to fine tune them to our improved selves this new year.
- Initiating new habits/ hobbies/ activities: The new year is an excellent time to initiate new hobbies and goals. Yes! I speak about the dreaded resolutions. However, resolutions without consistency yield nothing. Scientists say, it takes 21 days to solidify a habit and 70 days to create a physical neural connection in your brain (Neural plasticity is a thing – Shors et.al 2012) .
Tip: don’t tell your close friends about this new habit until the 21 or 70 days are up (you’re more likely to end up quitting the habit)
- Being present for every moment: It is when we are not lost in thought, that we focus in the now. The current moment is the biggest gift and hence, it is called the present. So, celebrate it. A cool way to do it is here, the moment you go out of focus and realise it and want to pull yourself to the present moment, try. Looking and naming 5 things in front of you, 4 things you can touch or feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste in your mouth now!
- Listening to the signs and signals of our bodies: Our body is the biggest indicator of our overall well-being. Everything we do to and for it results in the body responding equitably. So, quieten yourself and pay attention to where it has started aching recently, what symptoms you are showing currently, for example your lips are always dry means you need to hydrate yourself. Every sign has a corresponding effect, so listen and react to it equitably.
For the ones around us
- Reconnecting with people who have dropped out of contact: This is better said than done. My cue to reconnecting with someone is, whenever they come to my mind, I drop them a text (WhatsApp, SMS or email) to follow up a thought with action. It has seemed to work 80% of the time. For the remainder of times, you might need to take extra steps which may or may not be warranted. But the first task is out of the way.
- Listening to understand and not respond: During these holidays and common interactions it is common for individuals to listen to key themes while talking to someone, and to think about their responses in parallel to what is being spoken. More often than not, it is a case of allowing key words to pull your attention and run away on another tangent. However, try to avoid this as there is maybe something you miss out when you listen to respond, rather than being an active listener.
For something a little beyond us –
- Acknowledging our roots: Personally, placing myself in the shoes of my ancestors give me a sense of perspective. Imagining how they would have acted, examining the decisions they took which led to my conditioning, behavior, and prosperity. Our ancestors possessed a rich blend of wisdom, which has been disregarded and discarded over the generations. However, retracing them this season lets us revel in this wisdom, being proud and accepting its products gracefully.
- Smiling a little more: Even if you think you seem stupid, honestly everyone needs a person who lights up the room, but rarely obtains such individuals, so be that person. Keep holding that cheeky grin on your face.
- Exercising compassion and kindness: Both to others and mostly yourself, approach both with infinite compassion. In a nutshell, cut yourself some slack. It is the season of giving after all isn’t it.
Give these tips a try and I am sure your inner light will shine through.
When the going gets tough, the tough NEEDs to get going. I hope these small tips and insights from my perspective may help you shine your light just a little bit brighter or maybe now you know an alternative way to do it.
Warm compliments of the seasons
Have a happy prosperous new year 2023!
Ref: Shors T.J., Anderson M.L., Curlik D.M. 2nd, Nokia M.S.. (2012) Use it or lose it: how neurogenesis keeps the brain fit for learning. Behav Brain Res.;227(2):450-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2011.04.023. Epub 2011 Apr 22. PMID: 21536076; PMCID: PMC3191246.