It’s a new year, a new page, chapter, book or canvas is here. Many of us feel drawn to beginning something new, fresh and blank. We begin to focus on our ‘new you’ goals. Me too.
Then reality bites us like a hibernating bear woken from slumber.
Our partner still treats us disrespectfully. Our teenager still smokes pot. Our mother still calls us fat (and worse). Our boss still loads us with an impossible workload and we don’t speak up. Anxiety flirts with us daily.
Our ‘new you’ resolutions crumble and we abandon our plans for transformation and feel the all too familiar feelings of self disgust and anger of a failure. Change is a lifetimes work.
Changing our life is an inside job and it’s a process. Transformation is a succession of small steps; often a tango, feet moving forwards and backwards, spins and leaps. It involves dirt, snot, sweat and tears, and usually all four. There is nothing pretty about change, but the results are beautiful. Strength is beautiful. Courage is beautiful. Freedom is beautiful. A person whose yes means yes and whose no means no is a beautiful thing. Scars can be beautiful when viewed from a safe distance; when they are a reminder only of who you have become despite all difficulties. The dance of transformation is intricate and requires persistence of the soul. It requires us to dig deep.
I am an art therapist because deep at my core, in my innermost being I am totally convinced that there isn’t an obstacle or dark place that isn’t able to be overcome. So in 2018 let’s stack the odds in our favour: 1) connect with others authentically (especially those on a similar journey) 2) get equipped by reading, going to seminars and support groups and find a therapist we trust fully 3) consider a higher power/spiritual aspect 4) be willing to start our journey of transformation new everyday despite yesterdays failures (and there will be lots of failure). Expect failure. Anticipate it. We need to see ourselves moving on with grace regardless. As we get up every morning may we look in the mirror with kindness and self compassion.
And if all you could manage in 2017 was survive, give yourself a cheer! Well done awesome person! You did it. Surviving is part of the transformation dance.