This article was a contribution to the Huffington Post on December 31st 2017. Read it here.
If I had to describe 2017 in just three words I would use: cathartic, fulfilling and ‘magical’.
Thankfully due to my interactions, introspection and personality, I am able to learn from almost each person and situation I encounter. The nature of my work allows for even more epiphanies about our human condition.
I have come to the realization that we do not live in a capsule, as many times our challenges are universal, regardless of how successful or happy we appear on the surface.
As I navigate through life, it becomes clearer that everyone has their fair share of ‘demons’ to ‘exorcise’ in life. To each person, their own situation may seem catastrophic at times, until they had the opportunity to get up close and personal with another human being and realize that their own struggles may be a microcosm of someone else’s.
When we step outside of our own reality, it is only then that we are able to see our glass half-filled, instead of half-empty.
We are able to greater appreciate our blessings (no matter how humble); adjust our mindset and behavior to accept what is, so as to make the most of our opportunities and gifts, exercise patience and put in the effort and work to realize our fullest potential.
Case in point
The single or divorced parent who managed to raise their kids well, while working full time – multiple or menial jobs, with long hours and/or little pay.
The kid who has made a success of their life in spite of growing up with perceived limited opportunities for advancement, due to their socio-economic background: poverty, abusive/broken home.
The person who has learnt to cope and make progress in life; in spite of physical or emotional challenges, due to accident, illness or environmental factors.
I have had the opportunity to either speak to many of these people, or experience some of these things first hand and this is what fuels my knowledge on the content I produce.
Yes, in some cases I would have had the theoretical background to bolster the practical knowledge, but most of it can now be applied because of my ‘intimate’ interactions with people from all walks of life, religions and cultures.
As 2017 comes to a crescendo so to speak, I’ll share my 3 a-ha moments:
1)When I learnt to ‘love myself more’ and let go of toxic people and situations
I recall saying this at my Book Talk & Jazz event in May of this year. At the time I may have let go physically, but did I really let go mentally and emotionally? I remember taking with me the burdens of the last two years in particular, well into 2017.
My closest friends extended advice and I knew what my brain and intuition was telling me to do, but my mind and heart was still running the show. Only when I ventured on that internal journey; was I able to clear the emotional clutter through mindfulness, soul searching, reflection, prayer and meditation.
I was then led to situations and people that acted as the catalyst for me to evaluate who and what was right for me at the moment, maintain healthy boundaries and let go of the baggage that was inhibiting my true growth, healing, evolution and progress in all spheres of life.
2) When I stopped listening to the external ‘noise’ and trusted my own judgement
For a long time, I struggled with making some difficult personal and business decisions. Again, I was only able to get the courage to act on those decisions, when I took that journey within and trusted my own values and intuition.
I stopped listening to everyone else and made my own choices, based on my evaluation of the details of those situations, that only I can know and understand.
Sometimes in life we get consumed with honoring others more than ourselves. We may feel obligated to follow the masses and conform to familial or societal expectations, or standards of success or happiness.
We may lack the courage to stand up for our rights or feel indebted to others, since people present themselves in so many subtle ‘disguises’.
We may get brainwashed or consumed by mainstream and social media with regard to what success and happiness is supposed to look like.
As a result; our own values, goals, confidence and sense of worth, may get swept away or compromised, as we are made to feel insecure and pressured into conforming to the status quo.
3) When I realized my worth and acted the part
Due to a heinous act committed to bring myself and my family into disrepute in January of this year, I had lost my ‘mojo’ due to waning energy levels, resulting from the rage ignited due to this grievous injustice.
Though I could have taken legal action; my mother, priest and friends counselled me to be patient and trust my Creator to serve justice in His Divine timing. It was not an easy twelve months, but I am better for it today because of the chain reaction of experiences and emotions this act elicited and triggered.
On this final day of December, the epiphanies realized due to the spiritual and internal journey I found myself on, has led to my catharsis, healing and evolution. In the third quarter of this year, during my myopic interpretation of ‘hitting rock bottom’, my zeal, passion and purpose returned when I least expected.
I was able to redefine my focus and vision for business sustainability; a deeper sense of self (foibles included) and by extension self-worth, both in business and personal matters.
As such, I have now finally come full circle to allow for my actualization and equilibrium, so as to more readily apply the tools, knowledge and lessons acquired throughout my life.
Here’s to 2017…I bid you adieu and thank you, as I wait with bated breath for the new adventures and lessons of 2018.
Carolyn Kristy Correiais the author of Thinking out Loud, How To Find Yourself & Claim What’s Yours and She missed the boat on love. She is also a communications consultant, freelance writer, blogger and motivational speaker. Learn more, stayed updated on social media and connect via her website: www.carolyncorreia.com