Reflections for the New Year

Earlier this morning I was doing some inner reflections for the New Year on this 3rd day of January. In the process, I read the lines of a song which I have posted on my office wall. They were sent out by a friend to all her friends as a reminder that life is short. She died over a year ago.

Tim McGRaw singing Live Like You Were Dying

The song is “Live Like You Were Dying” sung by Tim McGraw. It was written by Craig Wiseman and Tim Nichols. The lyrics came to them as they chatted about a friend’s doctor visit when he received news about a “thing appearing on his x-ray”. That led to a conversation about one of their uncles who had leukemia but was currently in remission. We all know someone who is dealing with or has died from a serious life-threatening disease. This song makes you think, “what if it happens to me”? The singer’s response is….

“I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying,
And he said, Someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dying.”

Then I checked my email and saw a news article about someone I personally knew when I lived in San Diego. Bill Trumpfheller, the CEO of Nuffer, Smith Tucker, one of the top PR agencies in town, died of a heart attack over the weekend – at the age of 53! OMG!!

Some of the words from this song now seem especially pertinent as I continued my reflections for the new year; not just with what’s happening in the world, but even more so after reading about Bill’s death. It makes me realize how important it is to think positive thoughts, be generous at heart, eat healthily, and just live our lives to the fullest. We need to enjoy our families and friends because we never know when something can happen as it did to Bill. I’m still in shock as I write these words. He was only 53, 12 years younger than me. Yes, I’ll be eligible for Medicare this year. That in itself is a life adjustment.

I can hear the song in my head since it’s a popular country tune played frequently on Pandora and country music stations (it was the 2004 Grammy winner for best country song). It makes me think about how important it is to tell those we care about that we love them. And it’s also important that we forgive ourselves first, and then forgive others for any wrongs they may have done to us, whether intentional or not.

Forgiveness is important.

Forgiveness is a big one … especially forgiving yourself, not just for any actions you did or didn’t take, but for what you think about yourself. It’s important to focus on your talents, your accomplishments, your own uniqueness, not on your short comings. We all have areas where we can improve. But we also have talents that are uniquely ours. Those are where we need to focus our attention.

I frequently say the words as I go through my reflections and affirmations, but I know it’s important to also feel them. If we don’t feel them, how can we cement the reality in our subconscious? It’s part of training our brains to start believing. Over time as we repeat the words, our brains finally decide we actually mean what we’re saying, and we start to believe.

Affirmations work the same way as these positive reflections, at least for me. When I have pain in my body or I can’t sleep, I repeat certain affirmations. Then I’ll also ask my body to cooperate and let me sleep until a certain time. The next time I wake up, it’s usually within a few minutes of that time. And I find I slept deeply, even dreamed, and I wake up relaxed and rested. Amazing!

Perhaps starting a new year causes these kinds of reflections. I don’t know. But when I think about where I am in my life now and the things I still want to accomplish, the words from the song seem like good ones to keep in mind.

So I’m not making the traditional New Year’s resolutions. The blogosphere will be filled with advice about making and keeping resolutions. And most of the time, we don’t keep them anyway. We get distracted by life and work, and forget what we promised ourselves. Good intentions and all that. J

I’ve resolved instead to keep this song stanza top of mind and to “live like I was dying”. I’ve created a 2017 Vision Board that hangs on my wall so I can see it every day. These are pictures that reflect what I want to accomplish this year, knowing they may not all come to fruition, but at least I’ll have them as goals to shoot for.

Having a Vision Board is important.

There is something magical that happens when you write down your goals, add images, and put them up in a visible spot where you can see them every day. Read the words daily. Reflect on the pictures. These actions cement the goals in your subconscious so you naturally take the actions necessary to achieve them.

Circumstances may crop up that prevent you from accomplishing all your goals, but when you look back at the end of the year, you’ll see you’ve accomplished at least a few. That has worked for me anyway.

What’s worked for you?