Like many people, 2020 was a challenging year for me. In the space of four months I had a long-term relationship end, I lost my grannie, left a 9 year career, home, friends, and support network to move home to the UK (with a cat), and started a company – all in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic.
It was many months of the deepest heartbreak I’ve ever experienced, on top of fear and anxiety about what I would do, where I would work, and how I could support myself. Everything in my life that I thought safe and sacred had been thrown up in the air.
There were four things that helped me move with grace through the chaos, which I think we can all use as we start a new 2021:
1. I choose radical self-love
“Self care” has been talked about alot this year. This year showed me that selfcare is not about the bubble baths or the facemasks or the pedicures. It’s about mental, emotional, and physical habits that had one purpose: to love myself. It’s about noticing when you are making choices that harm you, and putting up boundaries to reduce your ability to make those choices (like social media bans, TV time limits, or personal rules about who or what you will not engage with). It’s about building incremental habits that make you feel powerful, having patience with yourself as you grow, and most of all at the end of the day, holding yourself and showering yourself in appreciation and love for all you achieved that day.
2. Just take the next step
Early on in the year I felt a huge pressure to use this life-changing time to figure myself out completely and make the absolute perfect decision for myself, my life and my career. It was paralysing. Everything shifted when I got coaching to “just take the next step”. I took one small step, made one small decision at a time, and it helped me regain control and build momentum in the right direction. I also gave myself the space to change my mind or even make a wrong decision by understanding each step was not “forever”, it was just next. This agility helped me roll with the punches, and change direction when things didn’t go my way.
3. You don’t need to do it alone
Humans are social creatures for a reason – whether introverted or extroverted we thrive in community; we need the support of others to navigate challenges. My friends and family supported me in so many ways this year – and they could do that because I let them. So many of us keep our troubles to ourselves and suffer in silence. It’s hard, but find the right people and the little ways in which you can reach out – a coffee, a chat. I reached out, I asked for help, and I got it. This year, my friends and family saved my life.
4. Trust the process
The universe is a funny thing. This year, it felt like I could not catch a break. It was one thing after another, slowly but surely falling apart. I had a choice: I could wallow in the darkness of everything that was happening and let it crush me, or I could trust that this was exactly what needed to happen to me to make way for something new. Sometimes what feels like falling apart is actually the universe clearing things out of your way. This grace helped me to reframe all the loss, struggle, fear, and suffering into something positive. The universe was sending me a message, helping me grow, catalysing a major transformation.
When everything in your life is thrown up in the air, it’s an opportunity to decide exactly how it falls. Despite the hardship this year, with resilience, self-care, support, and grace, I was able to shape a life that is falling into place beautifully.