Apparently New Year’s resolutions don’t work for Meghan Markle. Looks like she’s doing OK. Has a pretty good life, starred in one of the most popular TV shows of the decade and has found her prince.

I’m with Meghan. On New Year’s Day I turned on the TV to find a happy shiny smiling life coach type person telling me that New Year’s resolutions don’t work for most people (not just Meghan Markle) because we aren’t doing it right. He then proceeded to bombard me with 10 things I should be doing in 2018, 15 things I must not do, and numerous strategies and ideas for goal setting, vision creating and dream following. And social media was bursting at the seams, even more so than usual, with tips and hints and webinars and seminars and masterclasses that were guaranteed to transform our 2018 selves.

Sometimes less is more.

On the same day the lady with the beautiful name (see previous blog ‘A kindred spirit’) sent me a piece by Paulo Coelho. I had stumbled upon it around this time last year and loved it. I read it again. It was a timely reminder, a perfect refresher, it was just what I needed to read at just the right time. You may well be familiar with it. Here are a few extracts:-

‘Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.

Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood.’

‘Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.’

‘Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.’

It’s all good stuff but the emotional television part resonates particularly strongly with me. I’m trying to resist the temptation I sometimes get to turn it back on, even briefly. Sometimes I have a sneak peek, I get sucked in to some old and tired plot line that fascinates nonetheless. It never does me any good. So thank you once again to my new but already very dear friend, the lady with the beautiful name, for your timely and thoughtful reminder.

At the dawn of this new year, I offer you a short poem from my book Transformation, inspired by Paulo Coelho’s piece and with echoes of the Elbow song One Day like this, The Call’s Let the day begin, and WH Auden. Originally called Spring Clean, I’ve changed the title, given the time of year. We don’t need to wait for spring to arrive to clear and declutter, whether physically, emotionally or spiritually.

Let the day begin

Clear out the pantry, shake off the dust

Polish the silver and scrape off the rust

Throw away what you don’t need, take clutter to the tip

Empty out the dustbin, put rubbish in the skip

Throw the heavy curtains wide and let the sunlight in

Open all the windows and let the day begin


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