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May 2017 Be The Year...

It has been a fruitful 2016! With it drawing to a close, I, like many others, try to reflect on the events that have transpired in the past twelve months and the valuable lessons they have taught me. And while I normally talk about my travel experiences with enthusiastic nostalgia, I have decided to do something different this time and write about my wishes for the coming year...

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May 2017 be the year that you finally give yourself credit. The greatest restraint to becoming a better version of you usually comes from a single source – yourself. Take a moment to consider the number of times you have gotten back up after getting knocked down by the realities of life. Instead of lamenting over your downfalls and beating yourself for your flaws and shortcomings, pat yourself on the back for having gone after what you wanted. Think of how you have managed to remain headstrong throughout the storms that life has sent your way.

May 2017 be the year that you learn how to disconnect, sit still and breathe. It is very easy to get burnt out when you follow a very busy schedule. Whenever you feel like you are hitting a brick wall despite your best efforts, try to slow down and move at a gentler pace... or perhaps, take a pause; laze around a little bit. Idly lie on a field as you let yourself enjoy the genuine and complete pleasure of doing absolutely nothing.

May 2017 be the year that you allow yourself to move on. Grief is an inevitable experience and it can sometimes be overwhelming and all-consuming. It takes emotional maturity to strike a balance between acknowledging the throes of a loss and appreciating the opportunity to be renewed. Much like any emotion, grief will come and leave. It's okay to let yourself have a hard time – recognizing despair and sorrow is the first step to letting go.

Let go of the regret: focus on the good that has led you to the decisions you have made with the fullness of your heart. More importantly, let go of the pain: for it is only when you stop clinging to the clutter of negative emotions - of fear, anger, and disappointment - that your heart frees up space for love, happiness, and content.

May 2017 be the year that you let yourself forgive. Some cuts go in too deep, and sometimes it is easier to just hold on to those thoughts of revenge, grievances and judgments. But healing can be a gradual process - take as much time as you need. What matters is at the end of it all, you accept the reality of what has happened and somehow find a way to live with it.

This is not to say that you do not feel anything anymore about the situation. Nor does this mean that you have to welcome the persons who have wronged you back into your life - you do not even have to tell them that they have been forgiven. Let this forgiveness be that which you do for yourself and in your own terms.

May 2017 be the year that you get the courage to take chances. While most potential and opportunities that life has to offer involve conscious analysis and planning, some require taking bold risks. You will not be the first one to admit that entering into a situation without knowing what the outcome might be can be frightening. Find consolation in the idea that since the ending is unknown, it will always be a surprise.

As with any risks, what you put at stake are the very same things you stand to gain, and perhaps more. Taking your chances on matters of value can help you re-define what you really want and re-establish the limits you have set in your mind. You cannot live your whole life being cautious and in fear of what lies ahead.

I am certain that 2017 will have just as much surprises as the previous years just as I am certain that it will have its highs and lows.

May you indulge yourself in the fleeting joys from the short-lived moments and the constant happiness from the things that can perpetually stay.

May it be the year that you conquer the world.

May 2017 be the year...

May 2017 be your year.

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