This time 12 months ago we were about to enter a second major Covid lockdown in the UK, unable to see family and friends at Christmas, connecting mainly through the flawed magic of technology, missing out on our relationships both personally and professionally, and actually not emerging fully until July.
Year of Vaccine
This time last year we had hopes of the vaccine but no experience of it: looking back from November 2021 we can see that its impact has been transformational, if incomplete.
So what I’m taking from that is a huge new respect for human ingenuity; both in the invention and production of vaccines and in the scaling up of new approaches and treatments, all of which surely give us grounds for some optimism in face of what seems an increasingly difficult world.
It’s been hard to stay resilient and optimistic in the face of so much that is threatening. We’ve spent a lot of 2021 living with a low-level fear. We’ve worked out what helps us to stay present and healthy, what develops our resilience and energy, a list that includes exercise and being in nature, yoga and mindfulness, beautiful music, fascinating reading, ‘owning’ our attention and choosing exactly where we put it (which is a kind of mindfulness), sparking joy through our choices and habits, particularly through gratitude and appreciation.
Certainly that all belongs to a review of 2021.
Compassion and the Thinking Environment
And I would like to add a really beautiful and insightful podcast to this list. This is about “Compassion Practises”, an idea developed by Alister Scott and others and coming to fruition now in response to the deep exhaustion (and lack of compassion) felt by so many in the health services, particularly here in the UK. Alister has a deep knowledge of the Thinking Environment and its core principles: these are fundamental to the remarkable Compassion Practices that he discusses. you’ll find more about this here on this website.
The Game of Teams
(It’s a pleasing synchronicity to know that this podcast appears in a series called ‘The Game of Teams’, hosted in Dublin by Time to Think coach Tara Nolan: Tara is a truly perceptive and sensitive interviewer who gives beautiful attention to her guests, and I would highly recommend adding this series to your resources list for 2022!)
As a TTT practitioner, I’m touched and truly heartened by the deep humanity from which Alister applies all that he’s discovered about the Thinking Environment as a way of being that’s compassionate and kind, something I feel we have never needed more as we emerge, blinking, from a gruelling year. There is much to glean from what he says about Appreciation, about creating connection and then compassion in groups – this is inspirational listening.
And a Question?
So in reviewing the year I’m noticing just how much my own experiences of kindness, generosity and compassion have sustained me: as have a multitude of insights and ‘aha’ moments coming from reading or listening to the wisdom of others. Above all the hard Covid year has really made me ask myself ‘How can I live my life according to what matters most?’ and that’s the big question I’m taking into 2022.