Looking back over the past year, it seems that whatever lens you look through – global, political, environmental, financial, social – it was a pretty shit year. And looking ahead to 2023, it is hard to see how matters can improve enough to turn things around. Collectively we have been hurtling down a cul-de-sac with a gung-ho ‘it’ll be fine’ attitude for far too long and now we are finally waking up to the reality of the wall at the end.
I was convinced the upside of the covid pandemic would be that the errors of our ways would become so obvious it would be impossible to return to ‘normality’. If they did, it was a short-lived awakening that hasn’t translated into political policy-making. Then again, maybe we are in more of a transition phase than we know. Maybe the upheavals and misery we are witnessing in the widespread strikes, the fuel and food crises, in Iran and so many other places are all part of a necessary disintegration of the old. Like the breaking up of soil for new shoots to emerge and bear different fruits.
Talking with people, it is evident that our outlooks on life and values have been subtly, if not dramatically impacted by the disruption across the planet. Change takes time and attracts resistance. Those who cling to the status quo will have a harder or more frustrating time in the long term, because ultimately the old models were built on dodgy foundations of exploitation and waste of natural and human resources; on greed and a psychological fear of lack; on delusions of superiority or entitlement; on widespread lies, incompetency, unresolved trauma and an epidemic of (often anonymous) nastiness…
When, however, you turn away from the incessant rumble of worrying news, hardship and suffering that infiltrate our lives and look at the tiny pockets of society we as individuals inhabit, there is still a huge amount of kindness, generosity of spirit, vision, action, personal awakening and growth. So maybe we are all being invited to think differently? My strategy for 2023 is therefore to at least try to see the unrest everywhere as an essential part of a positive and necessary process of change in the world for the good of humanity. An osteopathic realignment of our shared spine. We have a long way to go. There will be casualties and loss. But I do believe in the power of little steps.
I think that is the biggest lesson writing my book has taught me. Getting to publication in July was a long, long climb, a bumpy road, at times a dark and lonely tunnel, at others a heart-expanding series of intimate encounters. Always focusing on the next step rather than the far-off goal, and taking that step were what eventually got me to the other side. 2023 offers a new chapter, a different landscape with expansive new horizons and possibilities. I wish that sense of possibility and hope for change for you and everyone in some small or big way.
Have a happy, healthy, peace-filled and kind 2023!
Links relating to the past year:
Read about my book, In My Grandfather’s Shadow, here
Listen to radio interviews and podcasts about it here
View paintings in my Studio Sale here
Read more blogs here