What I learnt from 2020
A year that isolated us in many ways, from our families, from our colleagues, from our friends, from travelling, from our social life (restaurants, concerts, theatre, sporting events…). It has affected people across the globe, impacted the economy and the steams of income of many families and so much more.
However, in the middle of all this, connection felt more important than ever, helping others felt more important than ever. Amongst all the fear, of the victimhood, all the chaos and the unknown, many people awaken to what I call their core essence - what matters most for them, their key values and purpose. For some, it was in the shape of offering free meditations, free yoga or fitness classes online, for others was getting closer to their families in whatever ways they could, for others taking care of their own health or that of their families health.
What 2020 meant for me and what did I learn from it? I take away 10 lessons from 2020:
1. Health& Energy are key
I started my year with a 3 days event in London with Mahima, Own Your SuperStar, that touched me hugely through the humanity that I saw in all the 200+ participants and the desire of each of them to improve their life, to become better humans, so touching. I have also realised during that event that in order to bring to life all the beautiful dreams I have I need ENERGY, more energy. I realised that staying in the comfort zone, not showing up as I wished to, in my personal and professional life, was because I was not having enough energy my energy levels were sluggish. Such a revelation! Only to be reconfirmed a couple of months later by the spread of corona that health is so precious. Health is the number 1 matter - being healthy is the foundation for everything else to happen, for life to unfold, love to bloom and dreams to be lived. During this year I have made so many discoveries in the domain of health and natural health that I am grateful for. I am already since very young passionated by health, being vegetarian since 2002, however this year I went even deeper. So thankful for the wonderful books & podcasts of Dr Morse, for the books and precious information of Anthony Williams (Medical Medium), for the food & health advices of Sadhguru and of course of Omraam Aivanhov. I was so much more conscious about my food and health choices this year and ate so much healthy, raw and amazing fruits and veggies.
2. Family & connection
I live far away from my family and the covid spread has impacted me and my family directly. I could not visit my parents or celebrate with them the events we wanted to celebrate, like the 70 years of my father, my mom’s birthday and retirement, Christmas or any other occasions that we wanted to be together for. Nevertheless, the need for connection, for checking up on their health, felt more powerful than ever. We managed to connect differently, via WhatsApp group calls and actually we have connected quite often and marked all occasions we could. Previously I was going and visit them or vice-versa on a specific occasion and this year I feel that we have connected more intentionally for all the occasions and celebrations in our family.
3. First start with yourself
The image that comes most to my mind when I think of 2020 is the image of a plane that losses altitude and oxygen masks fall out to help passengers breath. What happens during such a situation is that each passenger is advised to put the oxygen mask on him/herself first before helping others (children, elderly, etc). This is a golden rule that does not get applied in the day to day life. We tend to help others even if we are deprived of what we try to give to the other person, until our own forces run out. It is important to help and sacrifice is a beautiful act, however we can give more and help others at a higher level and more intensely if we first take care of ourselves. We cannot give what we do not have. It is important that we build our own mental and emotional resilience if we want to be able to give and contribute to others.
4. Stop fighting - start accepting & let it be
With the covid onset and the huge change that raised from this, I realised the resistance that started to show up in all places, not only at individual level but also at societal level (from not believing the impact of the virus, to conspiracy theories, to blaming of the governments & measures in place, etc etc…).
This was a big mirror for me, as I realised how much resistance I was having in my own life towards all kind of changes. I realised that I was kind of in resistance since we moved from US & Mexico back to Belgium, back to the corporate world and in a more static life. I realised how much energy this was taking me, constantly resisting what is, like pushing a huge stone up a hill.
With this awareness I felt like I could just be and breath and dedicate this energy to actually start from where I am and build based on this, instead of pushing this imaginary heavy stone up that hill of resistance.
I also understood that behind resistance there was a fear of being defined by what we go through, by the events in which we are and which we resists, by not being ourselves anymore.
When I realised this fear, I also realised that my essence will be there no matter what, that events and external circumstances yes they shape us in a way but our core remains true to its own essence & values. It is like scars, they just show what you went through, but who you are is defined by what you do and what you believe in.
So, let’s stop fighting and start accepting what is and act based on who we are instead of reacting from fear to what life gives us.
5. Power of focus : Where focus goes, energy goes! Good is all around us
With the covid and all the events during this year, focus could so easily be directed to all that was not well and, oh yes, there was a lot. However, with focus comes energy and being conscious of this is extremely important.
Our time and energy are so precious. Focusing o what doesn’t go as we want will just stripe us of energy in the long term, puts us in a reactive mode. I’m not saying that we should ignore what goes wrong around us, instead being aware of that and choosing to put our focus on what goes well as well, on what we can have an impact on.
Mastering our focus will help us master our energy, our balance and our mindset.
6. Core values - Contribute to people around & the society, be of Service
One of the pillars of my 2020 learnings was that 2020 put me face to face, like never before, with my values, to what is important for me, my purpose and contribution. One evidence for me this year is that I want to be of service, to contribute with something good to the people around, to put my skills and abilities as work for the good. There is so much suffering, so much need for people that help and contribute that for me was striking.
Knowing our core values and purpose becomes extremely important these days. As we go through these uncertain times, full of change and chaos, knowing our values and our core believes is like a lighthouse in the dark, helping us to navigate better any turbulent waters, take decisions from a place of integrity and knowing who we are and what we stand for.
7. Cherish your moments
So many people were going through situations when they lost family members, dear ones, or just been isolated and having to go through it. What this made me understand is that at the end of our life we will not remember everything, we will not remember all our achievements or professional glories, or how much we were paid etc.
What we will remember will be the moments when we felt our heart full of love, the moments of laughter, the moments of beauty we shared with people that we appreciate, the moments when our heart was touched by someone or by something (an act of kindness or courage…).
So, cherishing our moments, creating that kind of inner library of moments that highlight the beauty of our life, allows us to reconnect in the moments we need it most. it’s part of our inner resilience.
8. Nature is our healer
With everything closed (shops, sport places, music, theatre, meeting friends…), nature became the place to go. This was already the case for me, as I love to be in the nature, and 2020 just accentuated even more. I felt that all the treks and bike rides and walks in the forests, mountains, sea, at any moment of time (rain, sunny, windy, etc) relaxed me and centred me, in the middle of all this.
Also, with work and all the contacts suddenly switching to virtual as of March 2020, nature offered a good way to balance the virtual world and restore my energies in a colourful and real way. Definitely a healer!
9. Invest in yourself - your soul will thank you
This year was a year when I invested in me and my personal development more than ever. With the unpredictable economy and shift of skills and pace of change that we live in, it is more important than ever to invest in ourselves before anything else.
I followed a 3 days course in London with Mahima, I got my ICF ACC certification, I did a 7 days course in Inner Engineering with Sadhguru, I did a 7 weeks Positive Intelligence course with Shirzad Chamine and ended the year with a virtual event with Tony Robbins.
Looking back these were the best decisions I took and I learned and grew so much personally thanks to each of them.
10. Gratitude vs fear
All the events this year brought a lot of fear, fear for own own health, fear for our dear ones, fear of unknown, fear of losing jobs for some or their income, fear of what will happen on the political stage with the elections, and so on…
When fear was the “mot d’ordre” this year, we start living being directed by the survival brain. This puts us in a fight, flight or freeze mode and we could see a lot of behaviours this year coming from that place. This is not the place that allows us to show up fully, to act with humanity and vision.
The best way to shift from that state of mind, from fear and survival mode, is to start being grateful. Shifting my mind to all that I was grateful for this year and in my life, allowed me to feel all the beauty of life, all the good that is around me and start from that place, look at the world from that view point.
Choosing gratitude over fear was the best choice I could make in 2020 and a beautiful lesson.
So, thank you 2020 for the precious gifts and lessons you brought!