Looking back on the year that was, I’m sure many of you would agree that 2022 was physically emotionally and mentally tiring. Finding our feet in the aftermath of Covid-19 – overcoming grief and loss, financial challenges, connecting with family and friends again, and finding our focus in our careers – 2022 was an attempt to getting back to what was. But we were trying to do this without having fully processed what we had gone through, leaving us exhausted by the time December arrived.
In fact, many people in my circle used the words ‘burnout’, ‘mentally drained’, and ‘exhausted’ to describe how 2022 made them feel, and I must admit that my own sentiments weren’t too far off.
It had been many years since I had taken time off work, (because I really enjoy the work I do – I see it more as living my passion and purpose than a job), but last November I had decided to take a break before year-end, needing to re-group, rest and rejuvenate.
I decided to set off to India. The clichéd Eat, Pray, Love experience was exactly what this trip offered. In Kāraikkudi Chettinad, I enjoyed the most delicious food served on banana leaves. I paid my respects in Ajmer, the religious home of Sufi saint Khwaja Mohiuddin Chishti RA. I was a guest in Odisha, Cuttack, Karaikudi, Thanjavur, Puducherry, all so unique and steeped in natural beauty.
My visits to India always leave me feeling hopeful and inspired, not least because the people who call it home, being so happy despite having little of worldly luxuries, remind me to live in gratitude and humility.
It also motivates me to keep doing the work that I love, as do platforms of recognition like the Woman of Stature Awards, which has awarded me a nomination alongside some incredible female leaders in its Women in Coaching and Mentoring awards category.
It was in light of this nomination and in the afterglow of my travels that I was moved to contemplate 2023. For me, this will be the year to be grateful for the memorable moments and meaningful lessons of the past few years. This is the time to re-group within ourselves in mind and body, to re-group as a community and country to support each other, and to encourage one another to be kind to ourselves and fellow human beings.
Moreover, I am hopeful for the year 2023. It’s time to take action, to be present and take responsibility in making this year one to remember. It’s time to move away from being passive passengers on this journey, relying on inefficiencies, tolerating or blaming. Now is the time to take ownership and believe that each positive act has a ripple effect in changing our world for the better.
I wish you a year of success, healing, and strength, and if you’d like to touch base with me for support on making 2023 count for you as on a personal or professional level, I encourage you to reach out to me – my inbox, firstname.lastname@example.org, is always open.
Dr Mariam Sha