It’s the time of year where many of us start reflecting—almost automatically—on the year that has been, and the year ahead. In other words, focusing on endings and beginnings.
Many artists through time have commented on the coupled nature of beginnings and endings. It’s impossible to have one without another. Start, stop. Begin, end. Birth, death. Alpha, Omega. And so on.
That vintage late-90’s tune Closing Time even features the line:
“Every new beginning / Comes from some other beginning’s end”
For some reason I woke with this line, and this idea, on my mind. Perhaps it’s the start of the work week, as we move to the completion of the work year in a few days. Perhaps it was the chocolate I ate yesterday. Who knows. I’m learning not to argue with my intuition, and to instead simply go along with it.
So as I sat with Beginnings and Endings I was struck by how many we’ve seen this year. Here are a few, from where I sit, as I write this:
The beginning of a global pandemic.
The end of (largely) unrestricted domestic and international travel.
The beginning of heightened hygiene awareness/paranoia.
The end of audacious hugging of friends and strangers.
The beginning of obvious, extreme, climate-change-driven weather events.
The end of global political ignorance and inaction.
The beginning of the true work-from-home revolution.
The end of compulsory workplace commutes.
The beginning of hesitance, fear, and overt caution between people.
The end of unrestricted physical social connection.
Throughout 2020 I’ve been doubling-down on my own personal growth and development. Never before have I been both cracked so wide open and vulnerably exposed, and at the same time so lovingly held and joyfully healed. I’ve shed more tears this year than any in recent/living memory. I’ve moved more energy through me, released more limiting beliefs, and shifted more stories and interpretations than ever before.
And it’s teaching me a few very important things.
First and foremost, we are beings of energy. And with that comes two important responsibilities: One, to be fully responsible for our OWN energy, as this directly impacts our experience of life and our ability to be our best selves, for our own sake. Two, to be fully responsible for the energy we SHARE with the world, as it has a ripple effect onto our loved ones, friends, family, community, society.
Secondly, we always have choice. Choice in how we react/respond. Choice in how we view/interpret events. Choice in how we care for ourselves. Choice in how we express ourselves. Choice in how we think, how we feel, how we move, how we eat… Everything is choice.
Thirdly, peace and wellbeing are two of my highest values, and these can be present at any time, regardless of what else is going on. I’ve learned that I can be sitting at the centre of an absolute clusterfuck of circumstances, and yet still be at peace, and feeling an enormous sense of gratitude and wellbeing. This idea is so simple—not always easy, but simple—and so liberating. That we can BE PEACEFUL no matter what.
Finally (for now), I’ve truly learned that nothing means anything except the meaning I give it. Things happen, or don’t. We are meaning-making machines, and will inherently, automatically create meaning out of whatever happens to us/for us/with us. But here’s the exciting thing: we can CHOOSE the meaning we give circumstances and events. We don’t have to go with whatever our brain inserts as its default.
And so we go full circle to Beginnings and Endings.
From my list above, it’s clearly very easy to find examples of both positive and negative outcomes of the raft of beginnings and endings 2020 has precipitated. It’s also easy to get hung-up on the significance and meaning of these events, especially at this time. But it’s important to hold a healthy sense of perspective at this time of year, and especially hold close the idea that nothing has any meaning except for the meaning we create.
Did something begin? Let it mean an exciting new start, along with all the new energy and opportunity and possibility encapsulated by beginnings.
Did something end? Let it mean that it no longer served you or your highest good, and the ending was actually a sort of Universal spring-clean that created space for something even more amazing to enter your life.
(Note: These are simply two quick examples of new meanings you can ascribe to beginnings or endings. I’m sure you can come up with plenty more. Maybe try it as a journalling exercise?)
Because here’s what I now KNOW to be true:
Everything always works out the way it is meant to.
This may sound trite, or cliché, or like it belongs on some garish or heartless greeting card or inspirational poster.
But—and I want you to really ponder this—does that mean it is un-true?
Note: I could easily spend 3 or 4 hours with you detailing a non-exhaustive recount of the vast evidence I have personally experienced of this truth.
Everything always works out the way it is meant to.
As we move through this season of endings and beginnings, be aware of the meanings you are making about your own circumstances and experiences, and how significant you may be being around things stopping or starting.
Let this closing of 2020 be easy. Let the opening of 2021 be peaceful.
Don’t saddle anything with weight and expectation and challenge and hard work and intensity and creased-brow-significance.
I’m adopting this new position for myself this year and I gotta tell you, even though it’s a fresh concept for me, it already feels bloody delicious.
So please always remember that beginnings and endings come in pairs. And that you get to choose what—if anything—they mean.
With love and gratitude,
If you’d like to create amazing new beginnings in your life for 2021, I’m available for personalised 1:1 coaching. I can help you bring about your own personal transformation and growth, and guide you back to what’s most important in your life.
Read more here, and book me for a session. Introductory rates are available until 31 December 2020, with new pricing taking effect from 1 January 2021.