The past seven months have been a time of deep reflection for me. I have always taken time to reflect on things but this year in particular I have really searched deep within myself. It has been a kind of spring clean of the mind and emotions for me. I have purposefully chosen to stop doing many of the things I used to do out of habit and started to question my reasons for doing the things I did.
I now ask myself a few questions as a kind of check in to make sure that whatever I am about to embark on is something that resonates with who I am.
I choose things far more carefully now. I am far slower to say yes to things. I value experiences far more than tangible goods. I have come to learn that some of my greatest pleasures come from activities that require nothing more than good company or a time of solitude. I have learnt that money does not dictate the amount of pleasure I get out of life. Tania and I often joke about the financial winter that I have been experiencing this year and we have both come to realize that it has been a blessing. Financial stress is challenging, yet it has put our lives into perspective. Every night we give gratitude at the dinner table for the blessings we have, each one of us has to have at least three things we are grateful for. It is a family tradition in our house now. By focusing on the things that we have, we have managed to weather the winter and to stay positive in the midst of trying times. Seasons pass, and this season has lasted long enough. I have taken away valuable lessons and found far more joy in my life than I have had experienced for many years.
People pass in and out of one’s life. I have learnt that some people value your presence more than others. I have also learnt that some people may appear to be very well meaning only to gather information to use against you or to do you in. I have also come to realize that there are far more people that are honest and walk with integrity, however these people are not often the ones you find in the crowd. Sometimes the quiet outsider sits on the outside as they cannot bear to be caught in the gossip and slander of the loud ones. We have been blessed with caring and thoughtful friends who have had the presence of mind to show their support and friendship in a quiet personal way that is aligned with who we are. This year has taught me the value of friendship, the power of trust and the ability of love to overcome all obstacles that I have had to face.
I am slowly learning to trust myself again. It is a slow journey and one that has required work. I have had to learn to stop being my biggest critic and once again become my best friend. I recall being about 5 or 6 years old and choosing to go sleep out on our farm by myself for the first time ever. I was really comfortable alone, in fact I would rather sleep outdoors all alone than at a friend’s house. When I was young I believed in myself and my ability. Somewhere along the road, little by little, this belief was eroded. I let people steal my power, the school bully, the snide remarks, the belief that I had to fit into the crowd when all I wanted to do was be myself, the belief that the only way to get anywhere was to get a job and work really hard at it. I was careless with myself and not aware of the damage I was letting the world do to me. I stifled my dreams and focused on what I thought the world expected of me. I tried to be a model citizen and at the same time pieces of me were searching for the essence of who I was. I did things to fit in, I dressed to be part of a tribe that I was not sure I really wanted to belong to. It has taken me a long time to reawaken myself. The new journey is now even more exciting, I have no need to rush off and become anything, I have no set direction or concept of who I have to become. I have the ability to balance my responsibilities with my dreams in such a way that neither is neglected. I have found comfort in being who I am and realizing that I am not perfect but I have the ability to be better today than I was yesterday. Every morning I wake up I have a chance to just do my best, nothing less. That has become a mantra for me, “Do your best Dylan.” It does not matter if I am at work, playing with our children, spending time with Tania or cooking dinner, I try to be conscious and do my best. Often I will be lying in bed reflecting on my day and realize that I did not do my best that day and still I rest knowing that when I wake up I get another chance to do my best.
This year has been a year of being conscious. I do my best to guard my mind, I have practiced patience, I have practiced harnessing the power of anger energy and directing it to get results where needed. This year I have challenged myself, unlearned many bad destructive though processes, I have faced my fears. This year I have been slowly redesigning my life. It has been similar to writing a business plan, there are many hours of work that have gone in yet the results are not yet showing. From the outside it might look like a time of regression and a period of drought, yet when I look at it from inside everything is going to plan. I know that I will be extremely successful because I know exactly what successful looks like and feels like and tastes like to me.
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I can relate on so many levels, Dylan. But the most powerful scene was when you shared about being grateful at the dinner table. Money comes and goes. People come and go. Hurt and Joy comes and goes in our life. Love is steady. Family is steady (not saying their isn’t rough spots with family). Our life is steady when it is built on the foundations of love and family. If we ever get the chance to cross paths in this life, I’ll have seat for you at our dinner table.