There's something about this time of the year that has me thinking about new life.
Could it be the Easter eggs? Could it be that we select a day to celebrate our mothers, and their gift of life to us? And is that important, or just another commercial opportunity?
I have a beloved aunt who visited me in Sydney some years ago to attend a live-in week-long conference entitled ‘New Life'.
Aunty Rose was 83 years old at the time. I boldly teased her about the apparent incongruence of learning about ‘new life' at her level of maturity. More fool me!
She is a particularly strong-minded, feisty, intelligent woman, who has always inspired me with her sharp mind, bold spirit and unceasing dedication to her life of service. She has been formally recognised nationally and internationally for her work as a teacher, counsellor and caregiver with the Maori people in New Zealand.
“I have one word for you,” she said to me in response. “Koru!”
“Yes?” I answered. I know the koru is a beautiful curled Maori symbol for new life, new beginnings; a well known example is the logo of Air New Zealand.
“Koru!” she repeated. “The unfurling fern frond. The punga (tree fern) puts out new shoots, no matter how old it is. Every few weeks, another new beginning. Age has nothing to do with it.”
It was an important lesson.
Every day, we begin again. No matter what we have missed, forgotten, blown, or destroyed. We get to re-grow, learning and improving, forgiving and releasing.
It's now a few months since we made our New Year's resolutions, and a few of mine are not quite on track. Today, and tomorrow, I can review. I can revise my plans and my behaviours. Most importantly, I can revise my self-image and my resulting beliefs. I can make new resolutions if I choose.
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to see Aunty Rose again. This time at the retirement home where she now lives aged 94. I kidnapped her from her caregivers and kept her to myself for a day to be re-inspired. I had a few more of my assumptions challenged, saw a number of things a little differently through her wise eyes, appreciated a few things I had taken for granted and most definitely expanded my intended life-span.
So if there are any Easter eggs left in the shops, grab them and think about how you could breathe new life into your environment, and into your life as a whole.
There are few barriers that we do not impose upon ourselves. We have unlimited choices and extraordinary freedom, as we well know.
Is there anything you have put off? Could that be clinging to old life?
I enjoy a good ritual, and I have experienced how ceremony programs the mind. Perhaps when we are giving out eggs this Easter time, we could develop the habit of clinking them with our friends and family (as we do glasses) with the toast “New Life!”
Enjoy the chocolate, and say thank you to your mother.
Catherine Palin-Brinkworth (M.AppSci Social Ecology) is a business consultant, professional speaker and mentor on leadership and business development.