Welcome to 2022! Hope you had a safe, fun and love-filled transition from 2021.
'A Clean Slate', 'A Virgin Canvas', 'A Fresh Start'. Some of the terms we use to say we are starting over fresh. 'Clean Slate', is the term many of us are using for 2022 as we kiss or curse 2021 goodbye.
The phrase, ‘Clean Slate’ really means that we have wiped the slate clean, leaving no evidence of the past work, as in the days when we used chalk and slate boards. Who remembers ‘Little House on the Prairie’? Oh Nostalgia, I loved that TV Show growing up (just dated myself there). When we use the phrase, we are meaning that we are starting fresh with no evidence of past mistakes or failures. Nothing owing on credit. Basically, we are not really expecting to carry any bad stuff, dirty laundry? Or emotional baggage into this new start… so in this case, we want to close the door on 2021 and move on fresh and new. Right? Sure… let that simmer there a bit.
Often, as coaches and parents and okay, gurus, will say "each day is a new beginning", and I won’t argue that. But how many people take on that attitude of the 'Clean Slate'
because it is the easy option? It is comfortable and it is tidy? Does this really serve us well though?
Maybe it’s my years dependent on evaluations, reports and logs to ensure that mistakes are not repeated or that clients requirements and requests are remembered so they get the expected ‘exceeding your expectations’ service? Okay, so admittedly, I am a stickler for reflecting and logging and reviewing. ‘Rinse & Repeat’ Perfectionism (urgh, I said it)… Is it weird as a creative to also love tables and spreadsheets?
Just here me out, what if we opt for more fun terms like exploring, experimenting and tweaking, could we approach the concept of a clean break differently? I believe in the importance of reflection, exploring options and celebrating so that we can start a new project or in this case, 2022, on what artists would call a ‘Virgin Canvas’. What's the difference? As an artist, one would ‘KNOW’, to achieve the ideal state of that ''virgin canvas' (if you make your own; stretchers, stretch the canvas and then prime multiple coats), it is the preparation it takes to get to the stage of starting fresh that is most important. Then we can be free to release all inhibitions to allow our free unique creative expression to be released on that 'Virgin Canvas'.
Any of my clients can tell you, my favourite saying is 85% of any exercise is the set-up, the prep, and this applies even more to life. We cannot go through life wiping away all the lessons and expect to succeed, life after all, is a sequence of experiences to be fully lived, learn and grow from. So I say, let us embrace 2021, let us celebrate what we came through, what we learnt from and what we can choose to leave behind. I am sure we will find many things we can take with us to tweak, evolve, pivot from and find true courage from.
After all, we are wired with a ‘Fear Bias’, the negatives are always amplified in our memories and knotted in our bodies, so that we can stay alert to threats and respond in freeze, fight or flight. SI invite us all to befriend ourselves, lovingly learn to reframe the losses, release the regrets so we can regulate our bodies’ reaction mode, rewiring our minds with a new default into rest, recovery and resilience. That’s a way to prime our canvas to consciously create our masterpieces day by day. Each and every one of us, a unique Masterpiece.
So here's wishing you a truly blessed 2022, your year to decide to 'Just DO YOU!