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A few weeks ago the clock ticked over from Thursday to Friday. It’s a transition that is usually ordinary, but this one took us from 2020 to 2021; from 365 days gone to 365 days ahead, and from old to new.
As a collective, we’ve prescribed special meaning to the new year. It’s true, some things like the pandemic and news of our wild world linger, but rituals like marking a new year can help offer stability in uncertainty.
We’re at the beginning of something, even if it is just a calendar, and the beginning is where we get to decide our approach. Instead of starting with traditional resolutions, we’re tapping into New Year energy and aligning it with what will serve us best in 2021: ourselves, others, and our planet.
Energy is tricky to define because it relies a little on the eye of the beholder. If you’re open to new age beliefs, energy can be described as a life force that flows through all things. If you’re more pragmatic, energy is something’s potential for work and cannot be created or destroyed but instead gets passed from one thing to another. If you’re somewhere in between, you might see that there are parallels – energy is everywhere and it’s shared.
When it comes to refocusing our energy, trying to define it can complicate things, and really it’s an unimportant step. Our experience with energy is that it’s felt. We feel full of it, or lacking in it; we sense the ‘vibe’ of something; we recharge it with the power of our focused attention, and it’s the difference we feel between an ordinary day and the first day of the new year.
Our energy goes where we focus our attention, so it makes sense to try and move forward with our energy aligned with the person that we impact the most – ourselves.
In the words of Aldous Huxley, “There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”
There’s no getting around the fact that the state of the world is, well, negative. Most of us have a passive role to play in the forces shaping reality right now, but we have full control of how we react to it.
A good first step is slowing down and allowing ourselves to be more mindful. Whether that is through meditation or journaling, or practising mindful actions – the good that comes from mindfulness is just from being with yourself in the moment. By doing so you’ll get more familiar with your thoughts and emotions and can start paying attention to how news, experiences or people affect your energy.
Once we understand what puts us in a negative space versus a positive space, we can latch onto the positive and let go of the negative or avoid triggers altogether.
Our own thoughts are also a form of energy and if our thoughts are negative, we’ll be drawn to other negative energies. We’ll also be putting more bad juju out into the word which can affect our relationships.
Changing thoughts from negative to positive isn’t easy and will take time. A good place to start is by introducing a bit of flexibility. If you notice a negative thought and it feels fixed like, ‘I’m in lockdown and I can’t leave my house’, instead try and say ‘I’m locked down for the next week’. The second statement isn’t 100% positive, but it’s changeable. It’s telling you that whatever negative you’re feeling isn’t permanent. It can change, and there’s a lot of hope in that.
TIP: Mindfulness practice isn’t one size fits all. Give yourself time to find what works for you and start with things that already suit your habits. If you’re a writer, try a journal; if you like exercise, try yoga; if you have a green thumb, try mindful gardening. If you get creative with earthYARD oils (or anything hands-on hobby) focus on your craft and tools: try to really smell each scent, feel each texture and observe how the oil flows. It’s just about doing something in focus where you can be at one with yourself.
For some people, lockdowns solidified the need for nurturing relationships. Others may have felt a sense of freedom from the need to commit time and energy to relationships that didn’t serve them well. Reflecting on your relationships and how time away from them has impacted your energy will help you to prioritise people that have a positive impact on your life.
But before you distance yourself from anyone, take a moment to think about what role you play in a relationship. We may think that a person is having a negative impact on us, but we could be projecting our own insecurities into a person’s actions or comments.
For example, if you’re feeling insecure about work, you might be more sensitive to someone asking you about it. If they aren’t aware of how you feel, they probably have no idea that they’ve asked a question you aren’t ready to answer. It’s a classic case of miscommunication but if left unaddressed, it can harbour ill feelings.
If you can, work on improving communication so that there is no need to read between the lines. Relationships are much easier when both parties are open with one another – they’ll also be so much more rewarding.
If improving communication isn’t an option, then the next thing you can do is to act on empathy. If you’re more mindful of your thoughts and emotions use your own experience with introspection as a reminder of how complicated it is to be human. Remember, the reason why someone is putting out negative energy is unlikely to be because of you.
So much of what we do here at earthYARD relies on the fruits of mother nature. This is why we want to focus a big chunk on of our energy in 2021 to caring for the planet. It needs it.
There are many things we can do to lessen our negative impact on the environment, and these are largely personal choices that depend on individual circumstance. But something we can all do is to reconnect with the planet.
In an energetic sense, this can mean getting spiritual and grounding. This is the practice of literally reconnecting with the earth by spending more time on natural surfaces barefoot. The idea is that you reconnect your body with the earth’s supply of negatively charged ions (which many consider good for your body). This is anecdotal, but we think that spending time in nature (barefoot or not) is good for you. It’s time in fresh air and away from a screen for one.
Focusing our energy and attention on our planet will make us more aware of its wonders, and its plight. Do what you will with what you learn, but at least you’re taking that first step remembering that it’s there. Modern life can easily leave us feeling detached from the earth, but everything we do has an impact on it. It’s worth reconnecting to it and caring for it however we can. It’s the only one we’ve got and we need it.
Realigning or becoming aware of our energy is big, tricky and important stuff. It’s a process! But you can get really far, even if you need to go slow. And there’s no rush – you’ve got a whole new year.