Good riddance 2017… But wait!

This is the time of year when people start to talk about “making next year better”.

“This year really kicked my butt!” is a common chorus right around now.

In fact, I just went onto Facebook and here are some actual comments that immediately popped up into my newsfeed (I’m not even kidding):

“Have we tried putting 2017 in rice guys?”

“Tried unplugging 2017 at the wall and plugging in again…didn’t work.”

“Have we tried to do mouth to mouth with this deathly thing?”

“Can we just fast forward please?!!!”

“Let’s just throw the whole 2017 away.”

“I don’t even think you can keep it for spare parts.”

This is how a lot of us feel. But the thing is, I hear stuff like this at the end of every year. Everyone is anxious for the year to “just be over already” so they can start fresh next year.

As if January 1st has some actual Reset Button that gets pressed and the old year is flushed down the drain, and Time is rinsed all clean and fresh.

And it might actually feel that way. But the reality is, how you live your life boils down to how you live moment to moment.

Rather than watching the second hand count down to midnight so we can all just say goodbye to 2017 already, can I suggest another way to mark the end of this year that will feel pretty amazing?

You know how sometimes in movies someone is having a flashback of memories. A beautiful song plays and a sequence of scenes are strung together and unfolds in a wordless story within the story. It’s like a highlight reel.

Do that for 2017.

Choose a song or some music you love. Lay down on your bed or sit on a comfy chair with your eyes closed. Take a deep breath, start your music, and in your mind take yourself back to the beginning of the year. Then allow the year’s good memories – however few or insignificant they may seem – to unfold, one by one.

Picture the good times. There were some.

Picture the people you spent time with. Picture the birthdays shared, the candles blown out, the wishes whispered.

Picture your children laughing, the hugs you gave, the hugs you received, the milestones you witnessed.

Picture the friends you helped, the strangers you helped, the strangers who helped you. The smiles exchanged.

The friends who supported you. The friends who listened to you. The friends who never judged you.

The joy your pet gave you. The smile lines at the corner of your father’s eyes. The sound of your mother’s voice on the other end of the phone.

As the music plays, allow more and more characters, experiences, events, non-events, happenings, moments… unfold and replay themselves to the music… in this movie… in your mind.

Sweep through the year and allow whatever nice memories are there to crystallize. One more time. For old times’s sake.

And all the while feel gratitude for every good tiny micro-moment that was part of 2017.

However few, or plenty they may have been.

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  1. Maryan on December 15, 2017 at 6:12 am

    Hi Karen, what a lovely way to look at 2017, or any year for that matter. Just last night a couple of friends and myself had a chat about just this: What a busy year itwas and we just want it done and dusted. You certainly have given me more perspective by looking differently at the past.

    Thank you for always being such an inspiration to others.

    • Karen Powell on December 17, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Thank you Maryan! I love how a small shift in perspective can make such a huge difference in how we feel. These newly generated positive feelings are fuel for even more blessings. It so good to notice them and allow them to create more beauty and blessings. Wishing you joy 🙂 xkcp

  2. Jacquie Tarr on December 15, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Thanks so much Karen for the gifts that keep coming. Your knowledge and skill – not to mention your generosity – is highly appreciated. 2017 was, in some ways the mother of all bad years for me but, after following your advice I was able to hone in on some bright gems which had become buried under the general gloom and doom that existed. These, on closer inspection, were actually major highlights in my life ; so much so that I can now see how important they have been in my journey. Thank you so much!

    • Karen Powell on December 17, 2017 at 7:24 pm

      Thank you Jacquie. It’s amazing how we can find the gold that exists in everything. Life has gifts for us, if we will take the time to see. Wishing you a beautiful rest of your 2017 and all the best for an inspiring and blessed 2018!

  3. Michele Gregan on December 18, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Thank you for this! It resonates! And yes, I’ve heard it year after year in recent times. In 2016 the answer was 2017…now 2017 was uncomfy in some ways…so let’s discard it quickly and find something more pleasant. As if our life is DSTV and we can change channels! Or a computer where we press Ctrl+alt+del!!

    I learned…really learned it finally in my BODY this year…that THIS IS MY LIFE! The message had come to me through various messengers, but it was only when I was very ill for two months that I GOT it. This is my life. As it looks…there are no cute Instagram filters in it. As it feels, as it smells, with the pain and the uncertainty and the joy…the good, the bad, the highs, the lows. These are the experiences that ARE my life. As I lay in bed, frustrated, I thought ‘once I’m better I will…’….’if I was healthy I would’…like my life was on hold. Until the Alannis Morrisette song resonated in my head: that I would be good…’even if I got and stayed sick’. And then I GOT it….THIS IS MY LIFE. Just as it looks right now. This is living. And I saw how I’d lived a life where I merely EXISTED during tough times and LIVED during good times. I bubble wrapped life…I only wanted the sweets, not the vegetables! And I chose to change it then and there…

    So now, with the same lungs and the same pain in my heart I walk on the beach, I focus on each moment. And I feel lighter. Without that expextation that life is only worth LIVING when it’s sweet. I guess I need the bitter to recognise the sweet. Cliche, I know, but I only really GOT IT now…

    So yes, I love Karen’s idea of the reel of 2017….guiding one’s focus to beautiful things. It’s wonderful and beautiful and gives us perspective and insight into the messages we are living.

    AND I choose to further change my perspective. As Timber Hawkeye says: it’s just weather. It’s we who label it good or bad.

    So I’ll choose to change my perspective on 2017: a particularly painful, heartsore year filled with many dark moments. From those dark moments came great clarity which led to great release which resulted in great lightness and which, I trust, is building a foundation for phenomenal things in my future. Or not…but it’s still my life…

    2017 was exactly as 2017 was. Yes, it was tough. Yes, it was painful. Yes, it was fucking terrifying at times. Yes, it had moments of exquisite beauty and clarity and lightness and laughter.

    And you know, it was my life. And I’m happy and grateful to be alive and to have this human experience. So 2017 was 2017…and in 2018 I’ll continue from 2017…I’ll keep growing! I’ll keep learning. I’ll hurt and I’ll love and I’ll laugh and I’ll cry…just like in other years. As that is what being human is….

    • Karen Powell on December 18, 2017 at 7:52 am

      Beautifully, beautifully said Michele!

  4. Carol Millward on December 19, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Wow! I absolutely love the alternative given to looking at 2017 and even thought of a wonderful get together with my friends so that we could do it together as well and use the time after to express gratitude!

    Such an inspiration. Thank you.

    • Karen Powell on December 23, 2017 at 8:30 am

      Thanks Carol! And I love your idea of doing this with a group of your closest friends. You’ve just inspired me too 🙂

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