Category: Sarah-Jane Grace Written by Sarah-Jane Grace
Message for January 2021
I think many of us will be relieved to see the back of 2020, it was a year that pushed the boundaries of the normalcy of life that we’ve come to take for granted. Whilst life rarely pans out as we might hope or expect it to, there is a sense that the bumps, bends, curves, cul-de-sacs, dead ends and potholes in the road made it a difficult year for many of us to navigate. In many ways, it felt as though we were taken ‘off road’ and into unchartered terrain.
As is often the case in life, it’s in this wild unchartered terrain where the true gems of wisdom and grace reside and it’s often only when we’re pushed beyond the boundaries of our everyday lives where we find ourselves. We learn and evolve by life not running smoothly, and those bumps, potholes and cul-de-sacs are also part of the learning process. Yet, life isn’t just about thriving during challenges, it’s also about seeking peace and joy, happiness and graceful acceptance. Whilst the air of angst at the current time is palpable, there is also a rising sense of peace growing within our hearts and souls.
It’s a bit like the quiet in the eye of the storm and although there is chaos around, at the core is stillness. Of course, it takes courage to stand firm in the eye of the storm, to trust the process and to not get sucked into the swirling winds of chaotic fury, but courage is something we all have when we have the belief to acknowledge this.
Whist we might want life to go back to ‘normal’, it’s important that we take the time to consider what normal is. 2020 taught many of us that living in the fast-paced 21st century, where constant movement and stimulation are essential, is perhaps not best suited to our well-being. We’ve realised that living a good life is perhaps more important than running on the treadmill constantly trying to do more, achieve more, earn more and be more. Surely the quality of our lives matters more than having the latest tech, a bigger car or more money in the bank? Of course, we all have bills to pay, but isn’t spending time with loved ones or nurturing our inner sense of peace more important? Yet, it’s hard to step back from the angst when we’re under pressure in life, it’s difficult to be open to the concept of peace when we feel the pressure of putting food on the table. It can be tricky to step back enough to see the bigger picture, but the more deeply we can breathe into life we allow life to breathe deeply into us.
A great many of us have spent a long time on the periphery of life, waiting for the right moment to step off the treadmill in order to follow our dreams or embrace our destiny, yet how can we know what tomorrow brings? If we continue to postpone our dreams in case tomorrow is a better day, we might lose that opportunity completely. We take so much in life for granted, but it’s important that we connect with our true priorities and open up to wholeheartedly living in each and every moment.
Many of the goals we set for ourselves (new job, Mr/Ms Right, weight loss etc) aren’t the keys to happiness as happiness is something we cultivate from deep within. At the same time, happiness doesn’t emerge from the eradication of unhappiness as this simply isn’t possible in life. We might strive to fix or eliminate everything (or everyone) that brings us stress and unhappiness, but the reality is that we have to find ways to learn to live with at least some level of stress as we cannot fix everything. Happiness doesn’t suddenly appear when we’re sitting in the corner office or when the bathroom scales reach that longed-for weight. Of course, these things can help us live a more fulfilled life, but there’s a need to realise that happiness comes from the core of our being, it can only be cultivated and developed from within. Admittedly part of this involves looking deeply at ourselves, and acknowledging the scars, pain and life experiences we’ve had.
It seems time to stop creating ‘to do’ lists of all the things we need to achieve in order to be happy and instead start to find ways of being happy now. It’s time to love ourselves exactly as we are and to realise the gift of being ‘off road’ as it’s giving so many of us a chance to think more deeply about living a more spiritual and enriching life. Happiness emerges when we become willing to love ourselves wholeheartedly, to stop seeing ourselves or our lives as ‘broken’ or in need of fixing, and instead love those scars and imperfections. After all, in order to be whole and complete, we need to honour every single part of ourselves. We become less when we push it away, and whilst we may not like parts of ourselves, ignoring them can leave us discombobulated; it’s only by acknowledging them that we can begin to untangle the inner knots and find a true sense of balance in life.
So, maybe this year, instead of making some New Year’s Resolutions, each of us can take some time to look within, to love more and to wholeheartedly and tenderly open up to happiness. Life isn’t easy, but if we stop the constant pressure we place upon ourselves and instead be fully conscious in the present moment, we can slowly start to re-shape and re-define the essence of our lives…
For now, I wish you all kinds of wonderful.
As you continue to seek out more breathing space in your life, you are beginning to realise that when you pause for a while, clarity and understanding are far more likely to surface. You spend a great deal of time keeping on keeping on, trying to be everything to everyone and trying to live up to the very demanding expectations you have for yourself. You placed the pedestal (of where you think you need to be in order to be happy) up so high, intuitively you know it would take ‘perfection’ to scale the summit in order to sit there. Yet, you still measure yourself against this although you intuitively know it’s neither practical nor realistic. No one ever said it was easy being you! At the same time, you also know that if you ever did reach the pedestal, you won’t suddenly feel like you’ve reached a state of true contentment with life as you thrive on new learning and new experiences, so the pedestal would need to be re-sited much higher up the mountain.
This isn’t about not having dreams or goals, it’s more about learning to love what you have and what you do and leaning more gracefully towards acceptance and self-compassion. In other words, stop being so hard on yourself! January looks set to bring you an opportunity to gain a much deeper awareness of your true essence which will give you a stronger sense of your path ahead. It seems that the more immersed you become in the essence of what you truly want in life, the more inspired you will be. It’s time to step back a little to see the bigger picture, to let go of the ‘to do’ list for a while and to reconnect to the fires within in order to allow them to flow freely in all aspects of your life…
The theme of honouring yourself looks set to stay with you as you move into January bringing you an opportunity to look at the bigger picture of your life. The need to prioritise your true needs seems more important than ever now as there’s a sense of powerful shift occurring on multiple levels of your life. This feels less ‘New Year’s Resolution’, more ‘New Year’s Revolution’! You have spent so much of your life trying to be everything to everyone and to striving to juggle the needs of others before your own that it might feel quite alien to even think about what you truly want and need in your life. However, unless you work this out, how can you live the best life possible? This isn’t about being selfish or self-focused, it’s about honouring yourself and showing yourself some much-needed self-compassion. You are a naturally giving, loving and generous soul and it’s time to extend this towards yourself now.
So, inner balance really is the name of the game for you as the more you gain a stronger sense of purpose and self, the more you will begin to gain a clearer sense of direction when it comes to how the next chapter of your life unfolds. You have been acutely aware as to how out of kilter you have felt over recent months, but this hasn’t stopped you from keeping on keeping on, however you now seem ready to find new ways to reconnect to your heart and soul in order to live a more wholehearted life. Living wholeheartedly is a willingness to live more fully in each and every moment, to embrace life consciously and to allow your compassion and courage to flow freely. It’s only by allowing this two-way flow (to others and towards yourself) that will bring you the opportunity to truly get to know yourself once again…
Your journey of self-discovery looks set to continue throughout January and into 2021 as you begin to see the inherent value in the vastness of your mind and boundaryless edges to your consciousness. You have long been exploring unchartered terrain and striding towards pastures new, but there is more of a spring in your step now as the winds of change gather momentum. Your awareness of the shifts occurring is acute, but it’s still hard to give shape or form to your experiences; it’s as though your conscious thoughts are way ahead of the reality you find yourself in and you can struggle to work out exactly where you are at any one point in time. You can find yourself feeling overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time; excited, confused, but full of hope. Life is rarely clear cut, it is usually a kaleidoscope of different shades, colours, tones and textures, so try not to let your usually high expectations shape your experiences of what’s to come as there is a need for you to be more conscious in the moment rather than thinking about what that moment should or shouldn’t be.
In other words, let go of your expectations for the agenda and let the agenda take care of itself for a while; go with the ebb and flow of the currents and give yourself some much-needed time to breathe deeply into life. You have been on quite a rollercoaster of a journey over recent months and years, and whilst it has been challenging, painful and discombobulating at times, you have also discovered your creativity, your spirituality, your courage and your strength. Stop feeling like you don’t have ‘what it takes’ to live a full life, stop doubting your talent and stop pushing yourself so hard. Take a breath and realise just how perfect you truly are…
As you continue to focus your attention on the present moment rather than on the gap between where you want to be or where you feel you ought to be, there is a sense of a deep ‘easing’ as you begin to breathe more deeply and wholeheartedly once again. In many ways, the most important aspect of life is not where you’ve been or where you’re heading, but it’s where you are now, and the more you’ve realised this, the more you have been able to cultivate a deeper sense of contentment and peace. You are beginning to let go of seeing life as a ‘to do’ list and instead started to think more deeply in terms of what makes your heart sing and what brings you joy. Whilst the critical realist in you holds back from this, preferring to hover on the periphery, the more intuitive and creative side of your being is longing for the space and freedom to boogie, sing and shimmy across the dancefloor of life. Yet why does the critical realist hold back? Is it an aversion to getting things wrong or is it a concern about taking a chance on joy?
Obviously life carries no guarantees, so no one can know what lies around the next corner, but is avoiding an opportunity for joy in case it doesn’t quite work out the best way to thrive? Surely the potential for joy can only come when you open the door to it and it’s cultivated and nurtured, acknowledging the risk that sometimes it might work out and other times it might not. Even when it doesn’t work out, there is usually still much to learn from the experience. Sometimes, opting for an ‘easier life’ is actually denying you the opportunity to live a richer life. Take a breath, believe in yourself and set yourself free…
As you continue to contemplate the concept of living more wholeheartedly, there is a sense that you are beginning to think about the way in which you live your life in terms of the things that nourish you and the things that deplete you. ‘Things’ in this instance covers a multitude of different areas of your life including the things you do, the people you see and the places you go. You have been stuck on something of a hamster wheel for rather too long and you have switched into a kind of ‘auto pilot’ mode where your focus is on keeping on keeping on rather than on thriving, evolving and pushing the boundaries of your life. You are a creative, effervescent and passionate soul, and on so many levels, auto pilot feels as dull as dishwater, as it’s allowing your effervescent fizz and sparkle to vanish down the plug hole in a swirl of normalcy that feels very out of kilter with your soul.
There is a sense that you have been struggling to muster up the energy and enthusiasm to fizz or sparkle as life feels heavy and cumbersome, and yet your soul longs to breathe freely and to go back to exploring the edges of your life in order to grow, evolve and thrive. Whilst it’s perfectly possible to do this without pushing the boundaries, intuitively you know you’re more than ready to upend the apple cart of your life as you need something new to focus on now. You’ve spent so long giving so much of yourself to others and being the one who ‘sorts stuff out’ that you’ve had little room for sparkle or opening up to new pathways. January looks set to change this as you begin to reconnect to a deeper sense of balance in your life, allowing your vibrant, passionate spirit to fly free once again…
As you continue to re-prioritise your life, there is a sense that you are beginning to connect more deeply to the concept of ‘letting go’. It’s not an easy thing for you as you’ve always liked things to be ‘just so’ in your life; it’s not that you’re a perfectionist, it’s just that you’re…a perfectionist! You put in a great deal of time, energy and effort towards trying to get your life ‘right’ and whilst this has seen you achieve a great deal, it’s also meant you have often placed yourself under immense pressure to do more, be more and achieve more. It can then make it hard for you to know when enough is enough or to realise that what you have now, albeit not perfect, is actually rather splendid.
In essence, January is a time for you to think about everything you do have in your life rather than focusing on what you don’t; it’s a time to step away from the pressure you place on yourself as you tentatively approach the idea of what ‘letting go’ actually means for you. It’s less about throwing caution to the wind, but more about finding joy with what you have and all that you are instead of allowing your fierce inner critic to keep pushing you to do better. This isn’t about giving up on dreams or forgetting about striving to evolve or grow, this is about finding the wisdom in acceptance of where you are now and realising that true growth comes from present moment awareness and a willingness to wholeheartedly acknowledge the idea that life can be wonderful despite its obvious imperfections. There is a lightness to your step now as you are becoming less restrained by the drive that only perfection will do. This isn’t accepting second best, it’s embracing life with an open heart and an open mind…
Loving your vibrant, chaotic uniqueness has always represented something of a struggle for you as your soul lights up at the idea of being free, individual and living your dream, but your head errs on the side of caution, preferring to fit in and be ‘normal’. It’s a powerful dichotomy for you and it’s ruled aspects of your life for a great deal of time. There are times when you feel lost, but those deep roots of yours keep you steady and the maelstrom within your heart and soul always guides you home. ‘Home’ looks set to be your main focus in January as it’s time for you to think about what home actually means to you. This is less about where you live, but more about the places, spaces, activities, people and feelings that bring you a sense of peace, warmth and inspiration. In many ways, ‘home’ is a state of being, a sense where everything, in that moment, feels right in your world.
You have spent a long time trying to live the best life possible and trying to find the courage to let your individuality shine, yet you have often become lost in focusing on the things you feel you need to achieve in order to be a joyful individual rather than accepting that you already are unique and special. In essence, it’s time to realise that you don’t have to do, or achieve, anything to feel joy in your life, you simply have to turn towards it within your heart and soul, allowing it to flow freely through your consciousness. This takes courage and belief, but also a willingness to acknowledge the dichotomy between your head and your heart. It’s not a battle of wills as both are a part of you, it’s time to love all aspects of yourself and to realise that home is in your heart and soul…
As you continue to cultivate a stronger sense of self, you are beginning to gain a deeper awareness of your true nature. January looks set to be a month for some inspired thought as you gaze beyond the boundaries of your life in order to see the bigger picture and gain some perspective and clarity for your journey ahead. There is a part of you longing for a new adventure, but there is another part of you openly sighing at the idea of even being on a journey and wanting to curl up on the sofa with a hot chocolate and a good book. These two facets of your nature often pull you in different directions making it hard at times to gather together enough momentum to bring about change. As a result, you’re harder on yourself and judge yourself for the things you haven’t done, you haven’t achieved or haven’t become rather than acknowledging all the things you have, and this needs to change now.
The time has come for you to stop trying so hard to be the person you think you ought to be and instead start to love the person you are. Everyone has foibles, quirks and imperfections, and everyone has aspects of their life they wish could be better, but it’s important to acknowledge the life you are living and to make the most of it rather than judging yourself so harshly as this keeps you from living in the moment. You are not ‘less than’ in any way; no one is perfect and what is ‘right’ for one isn’t right for another. So, instead of comparing yourself to that pedestalled version of yourself you hold so dear, start to appreciate and value all that you are now. You are a wise, creative, magical and inspirational soul, so why would you even want to be anything else…
As you enter January, there is a sense you are leaving something of importance behind you in 2020. It may not be immediately obvious, just a sense that you’ve mislaid something, but you know something’s changed as you feel lighter, altered and different. Initially you may feel drawn to dig and poke about, trying to find out what’s missing, but you will quickly realise the benefits of simply enjoying the lightness and connecting to it more deeply as it looks set to shape the tone and pace for your year ahead. At heart, you are a free spirit, and life has felt heavy and cumbersome over recent weeks and months, so this lightness feels like a breath of fresh air. There is a part of you hesitant to go with this new flow as it almost feels too good to be true that this new shape of your life feels so delicious and full of possibility.
Trying to work out what’s changed is understandable, but maybe this shift is actually more to do with the fact that you’ve simply evolved, and you are no longer the person you were last year? The ebb and flow of experiences in your life have made you wiser, stronger and more courageous than ever before. You have a strong sense of purpose and vision emerging as you prepare to grab hold of life with both hands. So, in many ways, the more you try to work out what’s changed, the less of an impact this shift may have as this is about an energetic, emotional and spiritual shift, rather than an obvious physical shift in your life. Try to step consciously into the moment in order to feel the lightness in your heart and soul, enabling you to dance with the freedom it bestows upon you; expand your lungs as you breathe deeply into life whilst allowing life to breathe deeply into you…
The concept of happiness looks set to continue in earnest into January as you start asking yourself some important questions. What makes you truly happy? What are your true priorities? What lights up your soul? These may feel like indulgent questions, particularly given you are so busy keeping on keeping on, but these questions have the capacity to shape and define your life for years to come. How you live now and the choices you make now echo throughout time and space, so surely knowing what makes you truly happy and what your soul desires are essential if you are genuinely keen to embrace wholehearted happiness in your life? It seems you have reached a pivotal threshold, a turning point where the path you’ve been walking feels out of sync with the path you intuitively know you could be walking.
Whilst there are inevitably a plethora of ought’s, must’s and should’s that shape your choices in life, try not to let these take over completely as your soul is longing for some breathing space and a chance to let go a little (or a lot!). Acknowledging the fact that the path you’re walking is no longer right for you isn’t a sign of failure, it’s a sign of wisdom and strength. The quest for happiness isn’t an indulgence, surely it’s the cornerstone of living a full life? If being happy isn’t a goal in itself, then have you lost sight of the bigger picture? This isn’t about the finer details, it’s about the essence of being happy and content, and living your life well. Keeping on keeping on may get things done, but isn’t life about more than ticking off a ‘to do’ list? This is a powerful opportunity for you to re-shape and re-define your life from the inside, out. Take a deep breath and feel the warmth of your soul rising up to guide you…
January looks set to be a month of consolidation for you as you continue to contemplate just how much you try to be everything to everyone in your life. The more you have explored this, the more you have realised just how much you bend and flex accommodating the needs, wishes and desires of others. In many ways this isn’t a ‘bad’ thing as it can help you navigate through life with less resistance, but it can also leave you feeling a sense of lack that you often bend yourself so far out of shape you are left wondering who you truly are. In essence, it seems that you have got to a point where your soul is ready to acknowledge the need for change. Intuitively you have been aware of this for quite some time, but it has been easier to keep your head down and keep on keeping on as it’s created less disturbance in the flow of things. However, the more you’ve stepped back to see the bigger picture, the more you have realised that although you are a great success in being everything to everyone, inevitably you have forgotten to include yourself in this dynamic.
You have started a process of change that has left you looking at your life from a brand-new perspective. Things that were once a priority for you have started to fall away as you’ve started to acknowledge the need to honour yourself and your own needs more; whilst it might upset the equilibrium in terms of your willingness to bend and flex quite so much for others, a new you is emerging that seems stronger, brighter and wiser than ever before. You are finally acknowledging your true priorities and letting go of the need to scatter yourself quite so much to people please. In short, you seem ready to embrace this new you with passion, vibrancy and joy…
With the winds of change continuing to gather momentum in your life there is a sense that January is a time for you to set some new intentions for the year ahead. This isn’t the same as New Year’s Resolutions which are often a list of things to do or achieve, this is about setting an intention for a new way of living and being, a new mindset or energetic state of being. So, less about the finer details, more about how you want to feel, live and be over the coming weeks, months and years. In a way, this is a kind of bigger picture goal setting exercise where you begin to explore your true priorities from a state of being perspective rather than a more linear frame of mind. The pursuit of happiness, the quest for inner peace, embracing a state of joy are all examples of this. So, this isn’t something to add to a ‘to do’ list or to turn into a resolution, it’s about setting an intention to create a richer and more fulfilling way of living and being.
Looking back over the last twelve months, there is a sense you have shifted and changed almost beyond recognition. When you look back to the version of you at the end of 2019, you now see a very different version of yourself entering 2021 as the last year has brought about a tremendous shift in your life. Of course, change is a naturally occurring part of the cycle of life so, no matter what you do, or do not do, you will change. Yet, you have gone beyond this cycle and you’ve faced the depths of your soul with courage, passion and vigour. It’s not been easy, but you have grown emotionally, spiritually and energetically. The time has now come for you to love, honour and prioritise yourself far, far more..
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