2020 in Review

2020 … what a year … In February I was traveling and attending in-person conferences and events. In March, the world shut down. There have been a lot of opportunities for reflection this year. 2020 threw a curve ball at us, and as it draws to a close and the new year begins, it seems like an apt time to reflect on the year behind us, on silver linings, lessons learned and to look to the year ahead. Plus it seems to be a tradition … hah. To check out past “year in review/looking ahead” blogs go to: https://mindfulkalindi.com/2020-new-years-resolutions/ and https://mindfulkalindi.com/three-ways-not-to-set-new-years-resolutions/ and https://mindfulkalindi.com/lets-talk-new-years-resolutions-goals-vs-intentions/

1) Befriend your inner introvert. Whether we are self-proclaimed extraverts or introverts (or ambiverts somewhere in the middle like me), we are all on a spectrum neither 100% one way or another. Which means we can all benefit from tapping into periods of introversion. Slowing down. Savoring solitude. Reading. Writing. Doing art. Listening to music. Taking a candlelit bubble bath. Taking long walks in nature. No matter how much we might love socializing (we are social creatures after all), we also weren’t designed to be go-go-go all the time as modern society might have us believe. Because we do not listen to our bodies enough, don’t give our minds the chance to quiet down, we get stressed, overwhelmed, worn-out and often sick. We rush from point A to point B and forget about the path connecting the two. 

2) Savor time in nature. I moved to Maine at the beginning of the pandemic, so I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by nature. Mountains and oceans and forests galore. But I’m a city girl from Dallas, Texas, and always found my little pockets of nature (White Rock Lake in Dallas for one). So, whether you’re in the city or surrounded by nature, make the time to spend time outside. Even just a walk around the block. Sit under a tree. Feel the ground beneath your feet. We weren’t designed to be in front of screens inside all day long. Give yourself permission to take a break and go outside. 

3) Be intentional with your time and use of technology. Here’s the thing. Yes, we can spend too much time on our devices and mindlessly scroll through social media. However, technology can also be a powerful tool for connection. Video chats have been a key way I have stayed in touch with family and friends while not being able to see them in person. And while nothing really replaces in-person connection, it would be so much harder without phone calls and video chats! Not to mention virtual events. The key point is just to be intentional with your time. If you are to look for cool virtual events on social media, do it on purpose and for a set amount of time. Don’t just mindlessly scroll or check your email and grab your phone on autopilot (speaking to myself here!). 

4) Create distinctions in your day. This topic will probably be a blog post in and of itself in the future. Just like you want to be intentional with your technology use, you want to be intentional with most everything. That is the practice of mindfulness. Does that mean you can’t relax and “do nothing?” Absolutely not. It just means that you are intentional about it and savor that nothing time vs. “doing nothing” aimlessly perhaps because you are stressed and procrastinating. With work and home blended together now for many this idea is extra important. How easy is it to accidentally start your workday first thing in the morning because you checked an email on your phone on autopilot (guilty here) or end it right before bed with the same problem? Be intentional and create space and distinctions around the different aspects of your day. Work time. Play time. Food time. Sleep time. Meditation time. Nature time. Check in with yourself often. Am I awake? Was I aware of what I was doing? That kind of awareness is what we call mindfulness 🙂 

5) Surrender control. As little humans in a big universe, we like to think we have control. And we try to control a lot of things from little to big. However, the fact is most things are, I hate to break it to you, not in our control. Accept it. Sit with it. Embrace it. Maybe even befriend it. The only thing we really can control is our attitude, our reactions and responses and our choices with what to do with the cards at hand. Not easy but the more we practice, the easier it gets. And remember to be kind to yourself along the way 🙂 Control can be quite the loud relative coming for an unplanned visit after all! “Life is a balance between what we can control and what we can’t. You must learn to live comfortably between effort and surrender.”

What are your reflections about 2020 and perspectives you want to adopt in 2021? Share in the comments below. 

Life is a funny thing
Twists and turns
The world turned
Upside down
For we little specks
In this vast universe

Time is a funny thing
Fast and slow
It goes
Sometimes all at once
For we little specks
In this vast universe

Kindness is a funny thing
The littlest gesture
That can make
all the difference
in someone’s day
For we little specks
In this vast universe

Interconnected specks
Energy beings
Tendrils of light
Living apart
Yet always together
Always interconnected
Filled with love and kindness
Even when we forget
For we are just little specks
Infants
In this vast universe

Time is a funny thing
Fast and slow
It goes
Sometimes all at once
For we little specks
In this vast universe

Kindness is a funny thing
The littlest gesture
That can make
all the difference
in someone’s day
For we little specks
In this vast universe

Interconnected specks
Energy beings
Tendrils of light
Living apart
Yet always together
Always interconnected
Filled with love and kindness
Even when we forget
For we are just little specks
Infants
In this vast universe

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