The dreaded post on year end. The one that reveals how well we did or we could have done. The post that usually offers unsolicited advise on how to push harder and walk even faster. We write about what we achieved or missed and read motivational blogs packed with tips and ideas. All in the hope that the new year will see us go a little further down our path to success and happiness.

A few months back, as I talked to my husband over breakfast about the volatile nature of 2023, one thing suddenly came to my attention: we are all rushing up to the top of this mountain called life. Even when we seemingly live quietly and away from the overwhelming business of the world, we are walking fast. Real fast.

“When was last we stopped and enjoyed the view, my love?” I asked my husband between a bit of toast and a sip of tea. “When did we pause and feel it was about time to have a little picnic. Get the nice bread out, with the cheese and wine and just stop for a moment?”

Here is the one thing I have come to realize during this soon to end year: the top of that mountain will always be there. It ain’t going anywhere. The way up is often so steep, the only chance we have to arrive in one piece is to put our big rucksack down, sit and just enjoy the view from time to time. And when we do that, we come to appreciate the incredible space opening up in front of us. Suddenly we can deeply  breathe all that fresh air without any hesitation, feeling alive again. Or maybe for the first time ever.

2023 has been many things.

Right at the start of it, I expressed the wish to grow. I mean, seriously grow. “Whatever is holding me back from living big, has to go this year.” I quietly and firmly stated to myself one cold day in January. I went all in and never hesitated from a moment:  published my first book, released layers and layers of ancient trauma, got a bit unwell in the process, sourced new ways to heal & support my body, revisited the way I show up in all my closest relationships. All whilst still trying to enjoy some sort of normality and the goodness my life is so full with.

I never stopped.

Not even when “The Day I Found God In A Pub” was first released. Or when my body begged me to take breath and a little rest. There never was a moment when I thought I could just live. Simply be in life. It was only later on in the year that I realized how climbing that mountain so relentlessly was taking my joy away. Truth is, unbeknownst to me, I had crashed into a huge rock. But I kept on marching on, totally unaware.

It was only with the guidance of a wise “growth facilitator”  that I realised I wasn’t gonna go anywhere, any time soon. I decided to reach out for help because I genuinely could not take one more step as I was just running on empty.

“You need stillness!” she warned me.

“What’s that?” I painfully blurted out.

I always associated stillness or the absence of movement, with death.

It genuinely scared the shit out of me; the idea of being in one place for more than one breath, felt like a waste of life. All those experiences I’d be missing out just to have a bit of inner peace…nahhh, not for me , thank you very much!!!

So why did I feel empty anyway, as if I could never live enough life?

This year I had to learn how to stop. And take a breath. And I have not died! I am here, and I suddenly see how stopping means “giving to myself.”

Giving life to myself!

I see now how stillness is beautifully rich and holds me safe in her warm embrace. I have been so tired. So very tired, especially these last few years. While I allow the integration of such a monumental shift, I make this moment “enough” for now. When we come close to something so precious, we don’t want to spoil it. We want to hold it close, stay with it, breathe it all in until it becomes second nature. As I gently fill myself up again, I am so glad I reached out for help and stopped being proud. When we let those we trust hold our hand, the way ahead no longer feels uphill and we can finally enjoy the journey.

May you cross the threshold into the new year gently and respectfully. May you pause and take a wide view of your surroundings. And if not much is in sight, may you trust that there is always so much life our eyes cannot see & our mind cannot grasp.

With deep gratitude,

Antonia Lyons

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