Balancing the Scale for 2022 – Looking Beyond Good or Bad

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As we leave 2022 behind and welcome 2023, I am left reflecting on the past while visioning the future while standing on the crack that we call the present. I am taking stock and if I have been able to balance the scales between the challenges and successes and have I emerged triumphant? Like everyone else, there are challenges and obstacles we encounter and often, we might say, “Good riddance to 2022 as it was not a good year.” It is easy to focus on the things that brought us down, but there are positive things that emerge out of our daily lives that remain shadows because of the difficult situations we faced. All one can hope is that the scale balances out more on the side of positivity and optimism.

This year has been a challenging one and I am not going to lie. I have held back sharing on a public forum, the situations that could have held me back or tipped the scale towards the challenges and me along with it. My mother had a fall in late November and it has been a very slow recovery where there were times we would hope for the best and prepare for the worst. She is still in hospital and we know that she will not be the same. Layered in is my brother who is at the advanced stages of Alzheimer and no longer acknowledges me and that is truly difficult but what can I do? Finally, a father who is a paraplegic from an industrial accident when I was 9 years old who relies on me to keep things together for the family. While people looking in may think that my life is cotton candy clouded with unicorns and rainbows…well, hell NO! So how do I keep it together? Let me share shortly.

Equally, the year has been amazing at the same time with many projects and things that I embrace because they resonate with me. I have worked with Anne to make my memoir, ‘Lost and Found: Seeking the Past and Finding Myself’, into a screenplay. 2023 will be a year to see if we can get this into someone’s path and it becomes a film. I am building out a retreat with some dynamic women on mindfulness, self-care and personal development in beautiful Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. There is a chance I will be speaking at a conference in Bahrain. Teaching is ongoing and I am always in the presence of some amazing and dynamic students who remind me that there is hope out there. The friends, relatives, students and alumni who stand by you and shelter you from the challenges because of their presence and very nature of care for me creates an impenetrable armor. So how do I keep it together? Let me share now…

It is something I am reminded all the time. I can not control what happens around me but I can control how I will react to the situations while being supported by your care and friendship. It is simple as that. I have released that I can only control myself in a world that is uncontrollable. Is it easy? Not always but I find comfort in the things I get to do, the people I know and the stories I build. Am I super human? Absolutely not! Do I care? Absolutely yes! But I can not dwell on things I can not change. Is it easy? Absolutely not! There are times I have to catch myself and try to bring myself to a place of calmness. Do I have a choice? Not really as I have to be present and ready to help the family when needed.

I want to leave this year with a thought I have shared throughout the year. I want you to CARE as you move forward. CARE has helped me through the year. Care stands for:
• Collaboration – We all have something to contribute but we also can not do it all by our self. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or share when needed.
• Adaptability – Don’t fear change. Be adaptable as that is where the magic lies. Things around you will always blindside you but respond with how you want to handle the situation
• Resilience – There will be good times and challenges. Appreciate the achievements but remain humble. Don’t dwell on the challenges as it can pull you into a vortex of negativity.
• Empathy – Let’s show more care and compassion for each other because the world needs a lot of healing and we all have a part to play. It can be as simple as a smile.

All I ask is for you to look after yourself and CARE about how you go through life. Take a moment and reflect. Understand the things that happened that were not pleasant but don’t dwell there. Search out and find those things that brought a smile to your face and go deeper there. If you are reading this, know you are appreciated and you matter (and may that put a smile on your face). Reflect on how 2022 went for you and what are your hopes and dreams for 2023. Either way, you can not rely on looking at the scale and see how it balances out. It is more than just adding up what was good and bad and make it balance. Start to add weights to the side of positivity with appreciation and gratitude because if you think about how you can take control of how you will move forward, the scale tips towards the positive side. It is not easy and you may need to call in those to help you. Reflect on the past, vision the future while you stand on the crack that is the present. I wish you all the best for 2023. Shanti aur pyaar (Hindi for peace and gratitude)

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