First and foremost, let’s pause for a moment to celebrate: You’re here, reading this blog! And I don't type that lightly. 2020 felt like a decade passed inside of one year. And as we know, unfortunately, many of our beloved who were alive at this time last year, thinking of their hopes for 2020 aren’t here anymore. It’s a sobering reality. Yet, one that I hope has you feeling more grateful than grieved.
Even still, you likely did lose a lot in 2020. Loved ones. Money. Businesses. Dreams. Or, maybe you’re someone who had a banner year in spite of what’s happening in the world. No matter which way the tables turned for you, 2020 was a roller coaster ride. I’ve never heard so many people say they couldn’t wait for a year to be over. I was kind of wondering what would magically happen when the clock struck Midnight into 2021, but I also understood the sentiment because we all have our ways of coping.
One of those ways is to just turn the page; to start fresh. Whether our year has been good or gut wrenching, it’s common to make resolutions for the next and set goals. This year though, it doesn't feel like we’re searching for new goals and things to do (we already have plenty!). What we’re really aching for is a redo. We want and need a reset. We want to hit the refresh button and make it all feel new.
But, what if I shared with you that the key to what you’re hoping for in every area of your life in 2021 and beyond isn’t in the new you—it’s in the old you.
That’s not a typo.
I know, I know. That idea goes totally against the grain. We’ve heard it a thousand times: “Out with the old, in with the new.” As a matter of fact, our society is obsessed with the “new.” The shiniest, latest phones, possessions and people.
But there’s another saying that’s the subject of a bestselling book by Jon Kabat-Zinn, which states: “Wherever you go, there you are.” Let that sink in for a moment. Because so often it’s not about what we’re moving toward, and trying to envision; it’s what we’re running from and resisting. And believe me, from experience, I’ve learned that running leads to years in revolution—going around and around—instead of evolution.
It’s understandable why we think the “new” is the way to go. There’s a whole prefix dedicated to the idea of the new. Anytime we re-new, re-fresh or re-invigorate something we’re essentially saying we want it to be or be done “anew” or again and again. For my music lovers, think of your favorite re-mix (☺️).
But, you might be surprised to find that “re” is a prefix and word-forming element that means: back to the original place; again; anew; once more.
Like so many things in life, it’s all about how we see it. Most of the time when we want something new, we’re thinking within the confines of a box we’ve defined as what new looks like. More simply put, we’re often thinking brand new. The reality is, the most radical, beautiful change doesn’t come from the brand new, it comes from the new taking shape and forming from the old.
I am fascinated by and love butterflies. At first I loved them only for the unique beauty of each one and how gracefully they fly through the air. They intrigued me so much, I began to learn about them. As we know, caterpillars go through an incredible metamorphosis to become butterflies. I was intrigued by this fact: the average caterpillar sheds its skin 4-5 times before it becomes a butterfly. They start off, crawling around in the dirt, and end up, flying into the clouds. Not because they became brand new, but because they shed their old skin and transformed from the old into the new.
The foundation for everything the butterfly needs to remake itself during its time in the chrysalis is in the caterpillar—and so it is within you.
You don’t need to be a new you in 2021. You need to take the stuff you’re made of; the stuff that makes you uniquely you; the stuff you may have to shake some dirt off of, and learn how to use it to help you transform and fly.
The Word Chef Recipes is the place where I offer words of inspiration and special “ingredients” to enlighten, encourage and engage you—no matter what vision you hold of or for yourself—