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When I was 21, it was a very good year…

Last week was my birthday and it provided an opportunity for me to look backwards and forwards and settle in the ‘now’ of my life. I take this ‘special’ day to spend a little time with myself, talk with myself and get some feedback from the inside out.

When I talk about ‘self’, I suppose I’m talking to all parts of the mind, with the subconscious being my main focus. So, for those of you who are having a birthday in the next year, here are a few ways to really enjoy the happy progression of age, and to look at and possibly get some insider advice for now and the years to come.

Congratulate yourself You’ve made it. To whatever year you’re in, you’ve made it so far – and from where I’m standing – so good. You are the culmination of years of experience, of successes, of failures (opportunities for feedback and revision), of people and places, relationships and situations that have molded and honed you and created the wonderful individual you are right now. This is a good thing. At LEAST once a year (and I’d suggest it monthly or weekly to keep you on the up and up) take some time to pat yourself on the back, acknowledge your accomplishments and skills and uniqueness. They are many and, I would guess, there are more yet undiscovered.

Whose report card is it? It seems that in the turning of another year, I get into the ‘ticking boxes’ task – what have I done this year? What have I got to show for myself? And it sometimes takes the wind out of my sails. Have I lived up to the expectations set by me in the past, of others around me, the media or various cultural norms? According to some of the Singapore taxi drivers, I’ve got some weak points in my life right now, but it really isn’t their ‘call’. Sometimes a birthday is an opportunity to revise the plan, to amend the outlook, to balance expectations with current situations, to redirect energies more widely or specifically wherever it’s needed. It’s my life, and I’m giving myself an “A” so far.

Keep the best parts of the ‘kid’ As we grow older, sometimes we feel we have to play the ‘grown-up’ ALL the time. Working with the subconscious, I realize that children often still possess some of the important skills that many of us need to relearn to reduce our stress, or stop getting bogged down by emotional baggage or repetitive negative patterns. Take the time to study a child – how many can let go more easily than adults, how they play and laugh for greater health on all levels, and how they give and receive love without fear or expectations. To grow ‘younger’ (and probably healthier), follow some of these steps and you’ll notice you feel better, too.

The Future starts with the ‘present’ So you’ve taken a look at yourself, righted some misperceptions and skewed ‘shoulds’, you’ve looked at your individuality and strengths, now what? Do you just sit around in a kind of time capsule, in the present, never changing or growing from now on – yes and no. When the mind only looks to the future to avoid the present, then it seems to make it harder to actually fulfill the aspirations and destinations we desire. However, when the mind is in a comfortable place with the present, – sure, everything might not be exactly as you want it to be (go back to the report card) – when you can start looking at the future from a position of strength and self-acceptance, that’s when future dreams tend to come true. Without present internal struggles, it is much easier to be clear for future growth. Knowing, feeling and living that way is the best birthday present around.

Happy birthday to all (so I’m a little early for most of you).

Have a wonderful month (and year),

Jennifer

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