Kayaking in the Tsitsikamma

The lessons from 2021

2020 and 2021 have been epically surreal years for ALL of us.

I don’t think there is a single person on this planet who hasn’t been affected. I am grateful that I haven’t felt a sense of impending doom, as many others have. In fact, I have had my faith in humanity restored again and again.

People are pretty freakin’ amazing, as individuals and as a collective.

So, here are my musings as I reflect on 2021 and what I learned:

1. Community overrides tyranny.

In the KZN Midlands (and in other parts of SA) we experienced rioting and looting on a warlike scale. Some say it was an attempted coup. Some say it was a sign of absolute anarchy. Some say it was a war. However, you want to label it, it was awful in the sense that businesses and buildings were burnt down, looted and people were hurt, and even killed.  In moments like these, you often see the worst come out in people.  But, in moments like these, you also see the best of people. Neighbours, strangers, people from different cultures and classes came together to protect one another and to rebuild and restore. Even now, tears come to my eyes as I think of how the community came together, stood together, and not only installed peace but maintained it. Farmers and businesses helped to distribute food and other vital goods and services. And I can’t speak for other communities but in our little one, this sense of comradery has grown from strength to strength.  We have a new mayor, from the opposing party, and he is making us proud to have chosen him. He communicates. We can see change, and this only adds to our sense of community.

I have always known, deep down, that humans are amazing but to witness this, so close to home, has been a gift.

2. Some doors need to close for new ones to open.

On some level, we all know this, but closing certain doors can often be hard. On a biological level, our nervous system feels safe because leaving this door open is a known, and closing it, is an unknown and our nervous system doesn’t like change!

Sometimes we will close a door, only to reopen it for a sneak peek. And I don’t know about you, but I regret it pretty soon after.

And so, this year, I have trusted my gut, and the Universe, and just left those closed doors be. I won’t lie, many have been unexpected but when I give myself the space to grieve, it’s easier to keep the door closed.

The result? I have had so many wonderful opportunities to meet some truly amazing people!

A few years ago, I could have counted the members of my tribe on one hand and now, I am blessed to know some of the most beautiful and divine people, all of whom, lift me up and support me on a level I could only have imagined in my wildest dreams.

3. Go places, do things.

In the years since I have been working for myself, I have had to do A LOT of work on my money mindset. I went from a cushy corporate job where I never had to worry about money to having to rely on hubby for some months. I won’t lie, this eroded my self-confidence and self-esteem on an epic level. But I have done the work and keep at it.

The point I’m getting to is that yes, money can buy things and often we get caught up in wanting things. But do you know what is better than things? Going to new places and having adventures with your loved ones. And do you know what? They don’t have to be exotic destinations. We have been making a concerted effort to do more things with our kids, expose them to experiences we never had, or that you will only have once in a lifetime.

This and the memories are more valuable than things.

4. Meditation is underrated as a form of healing.

After suffering and recovering from adrenal fatigue, the one lingering side effect has been high blood pressure. I have adjusted my diet, am physically active, and tweaked the dose of my medication but I was still not able to get manage it successfully. 

In the last two years, I have really dedicated time to my meditation practice and one of the happy side effects is that my blood pressure has stabilised and is consistent. I hadn’t even considered meditation as part of this healing hence my choice of words ‘happy side effect’.

In addition to this, I slipped and injured my ankle two months ago. I spent a week using healing meditations and my ankle is almost fully recovered with no medical intervention at all. I was truly surprised by how effective and quickly, my body was able to heal itself with this focused, consistent intention.

I have often read of accounts of people healing themselves through meditation but to actually experience it is mind-blowing! Needless to say, my love of meditation has expanded and next year, optimal health will be one of my meditation intentions.

5. Understanding my nervous system.

This is still something I am learning and actively studying and so I won’t go into too much detail here. Understanding our nervous systems, how they work, how trauma affects us, how trauma is stored in our bodies, how bodywork can help release trauma, how triggers work, unpacking and understanding all of this and working through this myself and with my clients has helped me in leaps in bounds. I have less anxiety, I am happier and I am better able to be of service to my clients. If you follow me, this is a subject you will be hearing more about in the next year.

I could go on and on but I think these are the big ones, the ones that I have also been guided to share with you.

I hope that you will make time to reflect on your year gone past, the highs, the lows, and the learnings. I hope that you celebrate your highs, forgive yourself your lows and take the lessons home.