I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to take a moment at the end of the year to consider the lessons that have come at me in 2017. I want to make note of the lessons I have learned, and contemplate the ones I will carry with me into the new year.
Those of you who have read my book The Heart of Esthetics know that I (like a lot of other estheticians) have embraced the concept of wellness and the importance of energy in our work. I believe the synergy between us and our clients can determine the level of success in our esthetics career. And that synergy starts with us.
Lessons I Leave Behind
2017 Lesson 1: If you want your life and career to improve, then you’ve got to begin by thinking differently. Constantly taking score of where your business is, your relationship is, your body is (etc.) will keep everything exactly where it is right now. Here’s an analogy:
Imagine that life is like a freeway. It’s always moving, and there are other cars you must share the road with and obstacles you must navigate around. You are driving your car at 60 miles an hour on this freeway; and in your car, there is a front windshield which allows you to see where you are going and what’s ahead of you. There is a rear-view mirror which lets you see where you have been and what is behind you. And also in this imaginary car, there is a glass floor that lets you see where you currently are.
In which direction should you be looking as you drive down this fast-moving freeway: What is behind you? (Heck, no!) What is beneath you? (Absolutely not!) You’ve got to be looking forward, of course! Look forward, think forward, speak forward. Unless, of course, you want to live in the past, or remain stuck where you are. You may not realize it, but it is a choice.
2017 Lesson 2: Carrying with us every wound, injustice, or burden that we have experienced throughout our life not only gives the pain power but it keeps us stuck in that pain. Each time we point to those old scars in order to explain where we currently are in our lives, or who we are today, in that moment we are giving that person or that situation power over us — even after so many years have passed. They don’t deserve any space in future chapters of our life.
2017 Lesson 3: It is not my job to have an opinion about what others think and believe. In the School of Life, people will learn whatever they need to know. They will choose various subjects, teachers and classmates; just as it should be. I only wish I would have learned this lesson sooner because I have wasted a lot of time pushing against perspectives and philosophies that I didn’t agree with or didn’t understand. What a monumental waste of time and energy. I would rather be happy than right.
Lessons of the New Year
2018 Lesson 1: Even if I can’t control each situation I encounter, I can definitely control how I handle it, how much attention I give to it, and how much space in my brain I allow it to take. I’ve gotten pretty good at staying in the Zen Zone even when things are not going my way. For example, while prepping my Christmas Eve dinner, my kitchen sink got clogged and because I started to stress out about that, I got distracted while cutting potatoes with a mandolin and sliced the heck outta my finger. It was a nightmare, and there was no immediate remedy. I could easily have let it ruin my evening as well as my guests’ experience, but instead I adjusted my thinking and figured out how to best work around it. I adamantly refused to let any of it dull my Christmas sparkle… and it didn’t.
2018 Lesson 2: I will continue to guide the direction of my life rather than let it guide me. This means I will spend my time with people, places and things that make me happy. To me, that means turning off the TV and turning on the music. It means spending less time on Facebook and more time with books and nature. It means cultivating friendships with people I find interesting, who love to laugh, and share at least some of my interests. In the new year, I want to keep evolving, learning and appreciating the good people and experiences of my life. And I know the others will naturally evolve away.
Because I have embraced the mistakes and learned lessons of 2017, I know there is no need to repeat them or even think about them again. I am going forward into 2018 with certainty that it will be a fabulous year!
She who argues her limitations gets to keep them.