2020 was a funny ol’ year.
And while many of us are still kicking in high spirits from turning the page on our brand-new wall calendars, gifted in those secret Santa charades, perhaps a quiet distaste lingers. From the year that was – you owe us a fresh slate, a blank page, some magic “good luck” dust!
Please and thank you.
If you’re feeling anything like the majority, then yes, you may still be reverberating from the small remnants of shrapnel left behind. A bad smell, a recipe gone wrong. Perhaps a little meandering off-path from your walk around the block (some heavy sighs from recycling the air in that COVID mask you wish you didn't have to wear).
Enter stage left: I invited some Arts Therapy ‘thinking’ to this conundrum we find ourselves in.
Reflecting on our experiences is vital for pausing, unpacking and beginning to gain some sense of order among the chaos that our minds have been studiously carrying around.
Hitting pause also provides a moment for space to process our environment and see what might emerge. I’m not talking about the ‘snooze’ button and catching those extra 10 minutes. What I’m referring to is the opportunity to feel present in the here and now and that whatever that is, is ok.
We might ask: How did we get here? What does it look like now? Does it feel familiar or quite different from before? If 2020 had a defining colour, sound or gesture – what would that be?
And now we ask: What do I smell when I take in a deep breath? With that breath held, where in my body wants to release that breath? Can I count five different sounds that I am noticing? Now… what was it again that I know helps me to feel safe and secure? Can I incorporate this a little more into each day?
For me, creating room for awareness and to be embodied, is like taking a dip in the pool on a hot summer arvo after mowing the knee-high front lawn. It’s not particularly pretty. I’ve got dust in my ears. I smell a little worse for wear and I’m certainly not fit for any surprise visitors. But I do feel refreshed and a sense of calmness from letting the water lull around my cheeks.
Perhaps it is in these moments we can pause to notice. To consider what has shifted now for us and what we might like to do with that new-found knowledge?
If nothing else, at least neighbourhood watch will be pleased with my respectable front yard.
Be kind and go gently.
Words by Jasmine