The coming new year often brings with it reflections on the year that has been.

It is important to acknowledge what has been. Denying the past leads to incredibly dangerous places sometimes, so it is good to be mindful of it.

The other danger is living in the past. Because change can be so scary, there are many people who want what was. They want what they feel nostalgia for, they want that happier, more innocent time. Truth is, that time was never what we recall it as.

Life happens. The world around us changes. Some people go with it, some people resist it, some people try to make it happen. We can choose for ourselves how we want our lives to be, we have that power even when we don’t believe it.

It has now been four years since I began this project. Pathwalking has become for me a key to living the life I desire. Like any such approach there have been ups and downs, bumps along the way, successes and failures. However, since I started to live this way I have felt overall I am in a better place with my life.

There is always room for improvement. There are always new things to try and to learn and to experience. It is also possible that something tried before that did not work could be tried again, if I know what it was that did not work and have adjusted it accordingly.

For a lot of people I know this past year has been chock full of trials and tribulations. On a grand worldwide scale we have climate change and a refugee crisis and terrorists trying to overrun nations and economic woes and so on and so forth. I won’t even begin to get into the American political circus.

On a more personal level a lot of people I know have been dealing with illness, deaths of loved ones, employment and economic woes, and sometimes just issues with friends and loved ones that cause a ton of stress.

The interesting thing to consider about all of this is that it’s always this way. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have at least some knowledge of what is going on in the world today, or having matters personal that they are dealing with. No matter how you look at it, chances are the past year has been not so different from years before.

You have no idea. You don’t know what I’ve been dealing with. True. I don’t know what everyone else has on their plate, I certainly cannot see life through anyone else’s eyes but my own. What I can see, though, is what has passed by, and what I can learn from that.

I still have multiple paper journals from my past. Once in a great while I will crack one open and read what I was thinking at the time. This can be uncomfortable, because I get a look at how I was thinking and feeling back then, and some of the things I come across are disconcerting.

There are numerous journal entries about how my life was not what I wanted it to be. Dating woes and complications. Job stresses and money issues and flat-out depression. The thing about my past journal entries that I find most striking is how much I wanted to find someone to fix my problems.

Years later I developed this whole notion of Pathwalking. It has evolved as it has gone forward, which is part of the natural order of things. I have learned that certain approaches to walking this path as I would want do not work, while I have made unexpected discoveries along the way.

The core of Pathwalking, though, has never changed. Consciousness creates reality. I am the one who can determine how I feel. I am responsible for my own thoughts, my own feelings and my own actions. I have the power to make my way in this world as I would choose.

I believe that if we empower ourselves more, we empower the people around us more. The grand scale of our society is an interesting paradox. On the one hand there is a push to educate, to learn and grow and change. On the other hand there are forces at work to disempower, overrule and otherwise bend us to their will. Given that choice, I prefer to work to empower myself.

The largest takeaway from the past year for me, which is probably different than yours, has been seeing that I am capable of far more than I frequently acknowledge. I have chosen an unconventional path for my life. What I am doing may not be the “norm” and may not be measurable in a familiar sense, but it is overall making me happy. Yes of course there is room for improvement, there is space to make changes and there are things I desire to accomplish that I have not, but that is part of what makes life so worthwhile.

It is good to reflect on the year that was. Take it in, observe it, give it consideration. However, once you do that it is far more important that you move past it and consider your here-and-now, and what you want ahead. We can learn from the past, but we cannot go back to how it was. For some that’s kind of a scary notion. But that’s how the universe works. We live in a world of constant change, of evolution, and of more ability to empower our lives than we realize.

As this year closes I am enthusiastic for the potential of next year. Specifically, however, my own potential. I cannot fixate on the things I have no control over that I know are coming up, so I instead am going to work to focus on my own life, and the things over which I can and do exert control. Pathwalking will evolve, as I work on my self-discipline and create the goal log I wrote about last week. I know what paths I want to be on, and I will work to make them exceptional.

I hope that as you reflect on the year that has gone by for you that you will be able to see balance of good and bad, and that you will take what lessons you have had and empower yourself for the year that’s coming.

What was your year like? What do you want the New Year to hold for you?

 

This is the two-hundred ninth entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas and my personal experiences in walking along the path of life.  I share this journey as part of my personal desire to make a difference in this world along the way.

Thank you for joining me.  Feel free to re-blog and share.

The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available in print and for your Kindle.