For most of us, last year was challenging, almost terrifying—like being on a roller coaster without being strapped in and holding on with white knuckles for dear life.
The ups and the many, many downs in the stock market, the bank failures, the housing crisis, the job losses and the credit crunch all hit us hard. Life as we had known it got ugly, messy, yucky and changed forever.
But guess what? You survived it. Somehow you kept going, you held on, you made do, you managed and you figured it out in one of the most difficult years in history.
You have to stop and pat yourself on the back. I mean it. Stop reading for one second and say to yourself: "I did it. I made it." Congratulate yourself and give yourself credit where credit is due. Give some credit to you!
We learned a lot last year, and many of us were forced to look hard at what really matters in our lives.
As paychecks shrunk and savings evaporated, we learned that although the world may turn upside down (over and over again), we each have a huge resource that cannot be taken away from us: our powerful survival instinct.
We've had to make changes that helped to make things work out. Some of us found ourselves purchasing less at the grocery store and planting more in our gardens. We ate out less and spent more time with our families, making meals at home. We had game nights at friends' houses instead of nights out on the town. We made gifts and cards for the people in our lives, and it showed them what gifts they really are. And friends and families opened their houses to their friends and families who needed a home.
And you know what else? Although none of us wanted to go through all the changes and upheaval, this new time may just have given us a golden chance to reflect on what we are truly grateful for and to stop to reevaluate our choices and our lives. Perhaps for you, like me, this time offers an opportunity to renew your intention to be more mindful and conscious as you make the life you imagine every day.
Our choices make us who we are. Making the life we want requires taking a look at where we are and where we want to go.
We make our lives every moment of every day through the actions we take and the decisions we make.
Every day, we start anew with making our lives and I encourage you to think about every day and challenge yourself to make it your own.