Mindful transition into the New Year

A new year is about to approach and the current year is about to end. The time between ending and beginning can be welcomed as a conscious and mindful transition time. Acknowledging and being aware of transition is an opportunity to stop, pause, reflect, review as an act of mindful self-inquiry.  And this post provides some guidance for your mindful self-inquiry.

Mindful self-inquiry can be done in a formal practice of meditation focusing on a particular theme or questions. When you are doing this inquiry bring some playfulness to this practice, no force, no pushing, no pulling – simply be curious to the unfolding.

And here are a few guiding questions for your reflection:

  • What comes to mind when reviewing the passing year?
  • Is there a particular pre-dominant theme, thoughts or emotions surfacing right now?
  • What is it exactly that I am noticing and how can this be felt in the body?
  • What is the instant feeling tone whilst doing this self-inquiry?

And a few more questions might pop up for you:

  • What stood out for me this year?
  • Anything that felt very challenging and how was I able to cope with it?
  • Is it still around or does it feel resolved?
  • What felt pleasant and how did I relate to experienced pleasant events?
  • Is there a person that comes to mind when thinking of the last year?
  • Was there anything that felt demanding and forceful? And how did I relate to it?
  • How did I take care of myself and was has helped to do so?
  • If I struggled with putting myself first, what was in the way, what hindered me to allow myself?

Or if too many questions simply check-in and notice what is coming up for you when concluding this year?  What are you noticing right now?

Again, bring an attitude of kindness, compassion and friendliness to whatever is coming to mind when doing this end of year reflections.

When deliberately and intentionally reviewing this year, a few things might pop up. Maybe the new year’s resolution of this passing year is showing up. Memories of good intentions, determination and good will including the enthusiasm encouraging you to do everything or a few things differently this year. Maybe you managed to follow your promises and intentions, maybe not.

There might also be some judgment coming up in case you didn’t succeed with your good intentions. Expectations of others, work, society could have been in the way of following the set intentions at the beginning of this year. Because of our underlying need to be accepted, recognised, appreciated, approved and be seen. And if our good intentions to do things differently differ too much with what is expected of us, we may give up and get hooked again in what others want us to do. This could be the result of avoiding being seen as not good enough and not being successful enough. A vicious cycle keeping us trapped and making it harder to step out. Has this happened to you? Please know that this happens to all of us. We all this common humanity.

Nevertheless, recognising this underlying pattern and motivation helps to gain greater confidence and to do whatever you feel is the right thing to do. This is your one life and you are good enough no matter what the EGO tells you, or what others have to say.

Say YES to putting yourself first as part of self-care and as an act of self-love. What are you passionate about? Is it different to what others are passionate about and could your passion possibly be seen as a waste of time? So what, who cares? Do whatever feels right for you.

And this takes us to the coming year.

Consider what is it that you wish to continue in the next year? Perhaps bringing an attitude of openness and friendliness to your experiences and encounters? Continuing with the practice of mindful movement, yoga, Pilates, relaxation and meditation? See whether it is possible to expand on this list and be open for new experiences. Add to this list right now: what other nourishing activities you want to expand on? …

In summary: use this transition time to reflect on what you are grateful for, what you can let go off, what nourishing activities you want to increase and if possible, consider what is it that you would like to try.

You don’t have to do this mindful reflection all at ones, revisit whenever it feels right. Do the self-inquiry whilst as part of your meditation practice (sitting, walking, moving). And use mindfulness of breathing as a tool for anchoring, settling, calming and new beginning.

If it feels right for you frequently check-in with the above questions and change or add whatever matters to you. Doing something different or new can take us straight into overwhelm.

Remember, if you do experience overwhelm or if you feel pushed out of your comfort zone be kind, practice calming strategies, e.g. mindfulness of the breath, soles of the feet, compassionate touch.

May you be well.

End of year preparations

Every year Christmas (oh miracle) is on again. And although this is actually well-known, you may be surprised how quickly the year has passed, and automatically you may fall into the annual hustle and bustle at the end of the year … Sounds familiar?

Somehow you be running out of time, or getting a sense that you are running out of time, so you may have to make all the preparation urgent. And in addition, the house has to be decorated, biscuits to be baked, the ham to be organized, gifts to be shopped and wrapped and various Christmas functions to be attended. Phew …

How can mindfulness help you to stay calm and peaceful? Below are some tips for you:

  1. Be aware of what is really important to you at Christmas. What do you like, what do you appreciate and how much “do you care” about these things. Think about how you can live more fully in your daily life with mindfulness.
  2. Who is particularly important to you? With whom do you want to spend time, or have a nice glass of wine, or do some shopping … perhaps sitting under the Christmas tree, or celebrating joyfully with your loved ones?
  3. With all the gifts and delights, deliberately consider: who would you like to give a present to, and what kind of gift? And why, what is the intention: heartjoy, love, gratitude?
  4. Practice mindfulness: allow yourself time to step out to be present, i.e., a walk, a cup of tea, a glass of wine, a breathing exercise. Main thing is, you do it with intention.
  5. Take a moment to think about what you are grateful for. This can really be anything: people, tasks, and the many “little things” that make life lifeable and so often overlooked … Feel this feeling of gratitude, perhaps the joy that comes from it.

In general, less is often more! Not the quantity but the quality counts. Only one thing cannot be done often enough: always be aware of what you are really grateful for!

24 Days Meditation Challenge

It is the time of the year where we might feel exhausted, tired, and stressed. It causes some pressure regarding the end of year preparing. The holiday season can even cause some anxiety and that certainly doesn’t help to the nervous system to relax. The more you feel running out of time, and certainly not being able to shuffle 10 minutes aside for yourself, the more you need the time out.

You may remember that you came up with a great new years solution and plan for 2018. Mainly to do with your well-being and health. What happened there? Did you manage to carve out time for making yourself number one priority? If yes, congratulations. If the answer is No then don’t get too upset; simply start now. In the end it is your choice what you are going to do with your time. Just keep in mind pushing yourself to the limit without any down time might not be sustainable.

This 24 day meditation calendar is a gift for you from me and an invitation to catch up on your good intentions, to conclude this year with dignity, calm and peace.


You can make it. Good luck.

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