I spent quite a bit of time this last year meditating, working on improving my mental health, and trying to be of service whenever possible. I participated in group meetings, book clubs, art lectures, philanthropic events, and within my local community. I attended a political rally, wrote letters to my senators and representatives, and donated time and money to causes that mattered to me. Looking back on the year, I realize it has been a year of growth and acceptance.
As the New Year approaches, many people are I know are ready for a new and improved version of themselves. They vow to exercise, get organized, set new goals (and achieve them), etc… Rather than finding a NEW YOU, I believe it is better to uncover the REAL YOU. Remember the authentic you? The you who ran barefoot through the grass without a care when summer started? The you who danced in your dorm room ? The you who knew right from wrong and didn’t consider what was politically correct or Instagram official? The you who had a favorite color, a favorite food, and a lucky hat?
The older you are, the harder it can be to find the REAL YOU, especially if you’ve become a “people pleaser.” (When you stop people pleasing, people aren’t pleased.” Courage To Change) I have found that the best way to begin a new year is to begin to uncover the REAL YOU. The next time you have a decision to make, start by asking yourself a series of questions:
- How does my body feel about this? (Check in with your gut, your jaw, your breathing)
- Would I recommend this to my 13-year-old self?
- Is this in line with my values? What value does it serve? What are my top 10 values?
- If I asked a relative who loves me dearly, would they tell me this was right for me?
- Am I better off postponing this decision until I can be less emotional about it?
- If I decide one way now, can I change my mind later?
As the year drew to an end, I found myself confronted with many difficult personal situations. Travel plans had to be canceled and I needed to take action in several areas. I needed the REAL ME to make some choices. Being able to listen to my gut, (I watched The Gut: Our Second Brain on Amazon Prime), and to respond in line with my values, allowed me to find solutions to my dilemmas in ways that were true to my inner self and reflected decisions that were the correct ones for me.
Wishing you all a year of the REAL YOU coming into the light.