In this article we (Pete Dalton and Stewart Blackburn) provide a few ideas for thinking about the year ahead and reflecting on the year just gone.
Whether you experience the start of the new year in a cold winter environment (e.g. Pete in the UK) or a delightfully tropical setting (e.g. Stewart in Hawaii), this time of year can be a point of transition which often prompts us to reflect on the past year and think about the year to come. And yes, we know all systems – including calendars, are arbitrary, and yet it’s a form of ritual many choose to do and have found useful.
Based on Huna and specifically in this instance the wonderful Aloha Spirit philosophy and we would like to offer a few ideas on this topic.
At this time of year, we often think about the past and plan for the future, so here are a few thoughts from a Huna perspective.
Reflecting on the Previous Year
We naturally think about the past and doing so has its uses although we need to be aware to avoid becoming stuck on solely focussing on the past as that can adversely affect our energy and vibration.
Avoid the Deductive Thinking Trap.
If the past year has been less pleasurable than you would have liked, then it’s useful to remember the caveat that is often associated with judging the future potential of financial investments: ‘past performance may not necessarily reflect future performance’. It can be tempting to deduce that as the last year worked out one way then it is likely the new year will be the same.
However, we live in a vast universe of unlimited possibility with everything in a constant state of flux, so nothing stays the same and perhaps this new year will give you the opportunity to make some positive changes and provide things that you may not even expect. Staying open to that possibility increases the likelihood of good stuff happening.
Thinking about the past can be useful in order to reflect and learn lessons. Perhaps there are things that didn’t go as planned and now they have happened you can learn how to avoid similar situations in the future. Perhaps adverse circumstances provided an opportunity for you to discover things about yourself that you would not otherwise have known. Maybe there are things and people that you need to make peace with, forgive yourself or others and move on. Remember also that there may be lessons to be learned from things that went well.
As you notice something of value in the past, connections made, lessons learned etc. be thankful for what that has given you as the person you are right now.
Savour the Good Bits
As you think about the past year, ask your ku to search through your memory and present to you the memories of the past year that really bring you pleasure and take some time to use your wonderful imagination to really feel into these experiences and enjoy savouring those memories in the here and now. This type of process is sometimes referred to as ‘treasure hunting’ and is a wonderful use of remembering the past. You can find out more about this process here https://www.urbanhuna.org/were-going-on-a-huna-treasure-hunt/
The Year Ahead
Thinking about the future can be useful as long as we do so with intent and purpose, otherwise it is possible to get caught up in a cycle of negativity, fear and ‘what -ifs?’ As this article is focussed on the Aloha Spirit here are a few pointers about the new year from that perspective.
Bless What You Want More Of
Recognise in other people, things and circumstances, the positive qualities that you admire and desire. Give praise (verbally and or mentally) for these qualities and this will not only make you feel good but will also increase the likelihood of more these things coming into your life in foreseen and unforeseen ways.
Reduce Criticism and Increase Flexibility
Criticism is toxic. Make a pact with yourself to change any critical behaviour throughout the next year. Even if things don’t go your way all the time, self-deprecation and beating yourself up doesn’t help. Keep learning. If one way has not worked, remember you are part of a universe of infinite possibilities, choose another way and praise yourself for your wonderful resilience, flexibility and ingenuity in exploring more options.
Appreciate and Foster Connection
We have a natural urge to connect which we sometimes make great efforts to sabotage. Over the next year, take the time to notice and bless the positive connections you have – people, places and ideas. Also take the time to consider ways to build more positive connections, this might include performing acts of kindness, making new friends, spending more time in nature, for example.
As the year progresses take some time to reflect on what you can be grateful for. If you dig deep enough there is always something. This helps reinforce useful patterns and increase positive energy.
Remember that wherever and whenever you are during the next year, you are where you are at that present moment – ‘there’ is exactly where you will be! Remember to take time to really savour the present moment and to fully experience the here and now as, ultimately, whether you think about last year, next year or whenever, your true power resides in the here and now.
Reflecting On and Re-Evaluating Values
Since the future is so hard to see, it’s easy to say that “Well, I certainly don’t want a year like this last one!” That may be, but what are you going to do about it? One of the most effective ways of changing how we craft our future is to be aware of our values. These values are the foundation of all our choices. They give us a way to measure all our options and probabilities. They connect our Soul to our daily life. This time of year is a perfect time to scan our values and make any necessary changes.
Firstly, it’s vital to remind ourselves what is most important and significant in our lives currently. It’s all too easy to get caught up in what seems to be urgent and overlook the central elements of our lives. When we take a moment to remember what is driving us and what it is that we love the most, we bring Aloha to ourselves. This is more than being grateful for what we have, as important as that is. It is about feeling deep within us to be aware of what we care about at the deepest levels. We then want to ask how satisfied we feel with how we nurture what we most acutely care about.
Secondly, we are constantly changing, and our values change like everything else. This is a wonderful time to look over our values - the people, the things, the ideas - and see what may have changed to be of more or perhaps less value to us now. We may not think that always wearing patchouli oil is as important now as it was before. We may not find collecting trading cards to be as exciting as it once was. We may want to consciously change or discard values that no longer serve us.
We may have new values, like helping animal shelters or supporting underprivileged people. These new values need to be integrated into our whole value system and allowed some space in our already crowded lives. We may need to prioritize our values differently. All this takes some dedicated time and a quiet space to do it.
And thirdly, our values are there to structure our lives in ways that maximize our joy and love. They are key to shaping lives that we feel good living. But there is no point in having values or anything else worthwhile if we don’t spend time enjoying these things and people that we love. Savouring the things we value most is an act of Aloha that feeds our Soul. This awareness of pleasure and enjoyment is what gratitude and appreciation are all about.
Reviewing and editing our values is valuable exercise any time of year. But it seems that this time of year is a particularly apt moment to do this. I hope you all have a magnificent New Year, if that aligns with your values!
Thinking about the future can also be useful as a way of providing focus and setting goals as well as raising expectations of the good to come.
A simple rubric for thinking about the new year can be summed up in the following:
Bless The Present
Expect The Best
You may also find the following two articles written with this time of year in mind of use.
A neat technique to set a big picture direction for the year and to keep your navigation on track throughout
Here’s wishing you a wonderful, prosperous,harmonious and adventurous 2023!
About the Authors
Stewart Blackburn is an Alakai of Huna International living on Big Island Hawaii. Stewart's website is www.stewartblackburn.com He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pete Dalton is an Alakai of Huna International living in the UK. He uses Huna for coaching and empowerment and produces the Huna Adventurer’s Newsletter. For more information and to sign up to the free newsletter visit: www.urbanhuna.org
Exploring Huna in 2023
If you want to explore Huna further Stewart and Pete run regular Huna workshops. The ones below are running in January, February and March 2023: