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In this New Year

New Dawn or More of the Same?


As we take our first tentative steps into a New Year, hospitals are full, politicians are bickering and the weather here in the Berkshires has been doing a fine impersonation of damp and chilly England. While New Year’s Eve brings with it the sensation of starting anew, how effective are the usual resolutions and good intentions that go with flipping our yearly calendar page when things feel like more of the same?

The fascinating thing about these times is that, in truth, nothing is the same. But the evolutionary ground is shifting under our feet so fast that it’s hard for our cultural minds to keep up. The accelerating changes of the last couple of years have a purpose, I believe, because they have turned a spotlight on what, and who, we value. A contagious virus reminds us of our mortality and the value of a simple hug. Storming the Capital reminds us of the value of our democracy. Wildfires remind us that our crisp, clean Berkshire air can’t be taken for granted. Things are different now and new year’s resolutions to cut back the carbs and cocktails isn’t going to cut the mustard because we are different now. And this can be a good thing.

Many of our beliefs and subsequent behavior come from cultural programing. In industrialized parts of the world, we have been encouraged to fit neatly into the economic machinery, no questions asked; make money, buy stuff and conform. But the last couple of years have put a spanner in this works and people of all ages are now challenging the status quo. “The Great Resignation” continues to make headlines as workers demand more respect, better conditions and, in many cases, work that has meaning and purpose. With research showing that the biggest regret of the dying is not having had the courage to live a life true to themselves, it’s not a minute too soon to re-evaluate what we are all doing here.

Savvy corporations and brilliant business minds understand this shift in perception perfectly. To appeal to our evolving sensibilities and values, out are words and concepts such as, winning, competing, targeting and in are buzz words such as win/win, sustainability, purpose, balance and alignment.

As with everything in this world, an energetic shift creates opposing forces and the resulting turmoil brings with it this sense of being stuck in a glue trap. Feeling stuck in the age of speed, (a month today would have been years, decades, even centuries historically), is particularly disorientating, confusing and frustrating because we have a better understanding of what we value and a clearer picture of how to care for what we value.

And this is why, I believe, we will be continually nudged from a world driven by the accumulation of things and the concept of winners and losers towards a more heart-centered, connected and purposeful existence. That is not to say it will be an easy road because for this we are going to need more than will-power and intellect to give us the necessary stamina to navigate this new dawn effectively.

We will need to let go of what was then and place our trust in the things we have come to value most today, all of which have a common thread. This holds one divinely simple universal truth, we are all in this together and that sharing and caring for one another, and our earthly home, is what matters most.