DEAR READERS: I want to wish you a happy 2019! May this year be filled with blessings of love, prosperity and comfort for each of you. I truly do wish for all of us that we can engage each other with respect and dignity, that we will make the choice to see the good in ourselves and in each other, and that we will take conscious, measured steps on a daily basis to make this dream come true.
Does that sound like pie in the sky? I hope not. I actually do believe that each of us has a tremendous responsibility to help support the movement of our society. Sometimes we think of our political landscape or the fluctuations of the economy or natural disasters or some other major issue and consider ourselves powerless. The thought often goes something like this: There’s so much going on in our world that we have little impact on it. Have you ever had a similar thought?
When you consider how many people do not vote who say that they don’t think their vote counts, you can start imagining better where many of us are. And yet, so many elections have been won by the tiniest number of votes, from a few hundred voters down to single digits. What if you had voted in that close election?
It's the same in the land of what-ifs, if you witness an injustice and say nothing. Who does that benefit? Who does it hurt? How are you affected by it? What if you stood up for the underdog at work? In the neighborhood? At school?
What if you decided to tend to yourself -- meaning your physical health, your state of mind, your home, your family -- BEFORE you stepped outside your door? What if you devoted time to nurturing yourself and your loved ones? What if you put yourself first?
What if you cultivated your own dreams? Imagine taking the time to listen to the voice inside and nurturing what it tells you. How would your life change?
People ask themselves these kinds of what-if questions at the beginning of the year. The challenge is how long do they stick to it? I want to challenge each of you to spend at least one hour each day tending to YOU. What would that look like? You can wake up an hour early and sit quietly for meditation. Take as little as five minutes and as long as an hour to be still and get anchored for the day. If thoughts arise that linger, write them down and consider whether they should be carried forward.
After your moment of meditation or stillness, stretch your body. Engage your physical self so that you fully awaken and are ready to begin your day. Make a list of what you need to accomplish, and check off the list as you move through your day. Stay focused. Notice the people around you. Be kind and mindful as you interact with others. Notice what happens when you are fully present, especially during tense moments.
At the end of each day, jot down a few highlights -- the good things and the challenges. Follow this discipline daily. After a month, review your progress. If you keep this up, you will be able to enlighten yourself about your life. You can guide your steps each day and, at the very least, make YOUR world better. Try it!
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)