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Hi everyone and welcome to 2022!

First of all, I want to wish you all a happy and healthy year ahead, where you just take it all day by day, as much as you can and be good to yourself. This past year has been like a roller coaster. Treat yourself with the same kindness, love and compassion you would show to a small child. Take yourself by the hand. And start right there.

Okay, let’s put it all on the table. This has been an intense time of highs and lows and ups and downs and we’re all going through a lot. There has been so much uncertainty and here we go now into the third year of this pandemic and with all the changes from day to day, and sometimes from hour to hour, it’s hard sometimes to stay centered and grounded.

What if you get COVID? What if you have COVID? You’re either living in fear that you have it, or that you’ve come into contact or been exposed to someone who has it, or you’re fearful about getting it. And this brings forth so many complications regarding how and when to isolate, how to be safe for others and for yourself. Everywhere you turn, it feels like there are rules that are constantly changing and it’s hard to know sometimes which way to go and to know ultimately if we’re making the right decisions.

Is bliss possible with all of this going on?

Well, a wonderful suggestion that I got from my Supervising Producer Mag Ruffman, was the idea of thinking of three things you can do every day that will anchor you.

So what makes you feel calm, centered and comforted? What makes you feel happy and safe? Is it a yoga class and being on your mat? Is it that wonderful feeling you get after a meditation when everything just feels better and lighter? Is it journaling and getting everything down on paper? Or maybe is it just being out in nature, whether that’s on a beach, in the mountains, in the woods, or just outside on a windy day with all of that wonderful fresh air and the wind in your hair? And as my Dad used to say, just being outside always cleared his head. So sometimes it might be as simple as just going for a brisk walk outdoors. Nature is a wonderful place to nourish and replenish your soul.

And incidentally, you don’t have to find three things that ground and anchor you. It can be just one thing that you can do every day that helps you stay centered, calm and feeling good. What is that thing for you? Try to have that one thing at your fingertips so that you can call on it when you need to.

So here we are in a brand new year, and whenever we think of the New Year, we often think of New Year’s resolutions. I don’t love the phrase “New Year’s resolutions,” but I do love words like “dreams” and “goals”, “hopes” and “intentions”. Really, one of the most important words is “mantras” and making mantras, which are much stronger than resolutions.

So what is your mantra for the New Year? Your mantra can be one word or even two or three words. For example, I think “hope” is going to be my mantra for the year ahead. But, the word “hope” in itself is not a mantra — it’s not strong enough. You need to add a verb to the word in order to make it work. So you have to say something like, “I have hope,” that’s a mantra because it has a verb.

If you want to be calmer, happier, more focused, stronger, more courageous, more relaxed, or do you want to develop more “joie de vivre”, say something like:

“I will become stronger in 2022”.

“I will meditate once a day in 2022 to become calmer and more serene”.

“I will spend 15 minutes a day doing a body scan to feel calmer and more serene”.

Make a list of goals for 2022 that are specific, clear and concise. Maybe instead of thinking of the typical New Year’s resolutions, like going to the gym five times a week, think about what it would feel like for you to feel more nurtured, more joyful, healthier, calmer, fitter and ultimately to become the best version of yourself.

Maybe you want to seek therapy or go to a life coach, invest your money and save for your future? Or maybe you want to do some inner work that will have a big payoff for you in terms of your happiness and well-being. Visualize who you are and what you want to be.

What if you transferred things from your To Do List, to your To Be List?

One thing that I’ve noticed is that each one of us has a To Do List. I always have a very long one. In fact, one of the things on my To Do List for a long time, was to write BLISS MINUTES, these daily doses of Optimism and Positivity, which I later called The Bliss Minute. And finally, after years of talking about it, I transferred it from my To Do List to my To Be List.

I have to tell you something. It really takes the pressure off of you when you bring your wish or your dream into a place of action. Doesn’t it feel calmer to you when you finally DO that thing, so instead of feeling guilty and watching all of your To Do’s piling up on that list. When you promote them to the To Be List, it becomes doable. So ask yourself who you want to be this year? And work with someone — a best friend or a coach — on making that happen and turning your dreams into action.

Here are some other bliss tips for how to have a happy and blissful New Year.

12 Bliss Tips For the Best Version of You in 2022

  1. Be kind. You feel good, they feel good, and the third party feels good. Kindness costs nothing but it means everything.
  2. “When a thing is good a thing is good”. Great advice from my late Grandma Siblin!
  3. Always look for the silver lining. When I had surgery on my left hand, I had to remind myself that least it wasn’t my right hand.
  4. Focus your energy on the good stuff. For example, even though I have a non-working middle finger, I can still type. There are apps I can dictate into and it’s so freeing. I am a work in progress too.
  5. Gratitude — Get into the habit of looking for three things to be grateful for every time you feel a little low. I often think about getting into crisp sheets at the end of the day and curling up with a great book like Best Wishes Warmest Regards: The Story of Schitt’s Creek by Dan Levy and Eugene Levy, which I couldn’t stop reading. I think about that excellent cup of coffee first thing in the morning, I think about the peace and quiet as I’m having it.
  6. As author Susie Moore says in her book Let it be Easy, don’t ask what is wrong, ask what is right. And even better, as Susie suggests, ask yourself “what is missing?” and just insert what is missing into the equation. She gives a great example in the book of someone who moves to a new city and is feeling lonely and then remembers that salsa dancing always makes her happy. So she enrolls in a dance class, starts dancing again and immediately begins to feel better. She found what was missing for her and was able to make it better by just injecting a weekly dance class into her life. It’s such a simple technique, but it works.
  7. Choose happiness. Pay attention to what truly makes you happy and train your mind to look for the good. Write down five things that make you happy. Try it right now.
  8. Meditate and don’t complicate. Just breathe. It really helps. Here is the link to my meditation page on Insight Timer.
  9. Write in a journal, and put yourself on a timer for 5 minutes, on “what you’re feeling”. Revered creativity consultant Julia Cameron coined this in her seminal book, The Artist’s Way, where she suggests you write three pages every day when you first wake up. It should only take three to five minutes to do. And you’d be amazed at the miracles and the little gems that show up on the page and sparkle before your very eyes.
  10. Put love in your heart. Love combats a lot of negative emotions. This is so well described in Neale Walsch’s book Conversations with God. For more information, check out Neale’s wonderful book about the power of love.
  11. Show generosity of spirit. When you don’t share, you actually cut off your own life force. As soon as you share something, the energy can flow back into your system.
  12. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, get outside of yourself. Surprise someone else by sending them a card or flowers, making a phone call to them or sending a special email to someone you love or care about, just telling them what they mean to you. Do this when they’re not expecting it. This gesture is evidence that you care about them. It’s like a little hug. It shows the person that they matter. Imagine how you would feel if you received a card or an email like this.

Thanks to all of our “Bliss-ners” for listening to Finding Your Bliss on Zoomer Radio and for being here, reading our magazine. We’d love for you to write to us and give us your suggestions, stories and comments on what you’d like to see in the magazine this year. Is it more book reviews on self-help books, life coaching tips, or more stories of personal bliss journeys? Do you have a favourite one, or is there something you want to explore that hasn’t yet been a part of Finding Your Bliss? Let us know. We love hearing from you. Write to us at fyb@findingyourbliss.com

We’ve all had one of the most challenging years of our lives. And I have total empathy for anyone who is struggling right now. If you want to talk, I’m always here. If you want to participate with us on air, we’d love to hear your story. Sometimes just sharing can ease the burden.

I am so grateful to our listeners who wrote to us with their incredibly moving stories, that became so valuable to our listeners. Like the wonderful story of Bill Barnes, who is not only a Gordon Lightfoot enthusiast, but is a beautiful singer himself and we had a wonderful connection on the show. Bill’s was one of the most heartwarming episodes we have ever done.

Then there’s Rachel McGarry, who is coming up soon on the program, whose mom Virginia listens every week and loves the show so much. She encouraged Rachel to reach out to us, because she felt her daughter’s yoga and meditation journey was so closely aligned with our vision. Rachel and I ended up having one of the most soulful and heartwarming conversations on the air. That conversation with Rachel was so incredibly moving for me, she really made me cry.

No one is excluded from this bliss journey.

One of our listeners said, “your show is one of the best kept secrets on Canadian radio, because the stories you feature are so heartwarming, uplifting and transformative”.

So reach out to us. Connect with us. We love to hear from you.

Connecting with you is my bliss. So thank YOU for being part of Finding Your Bliss. Let’s keep the conversation going and Happy New Year to you all!

We’d love to hear from you! Please send us your suggestions for future articles. And if you’re a writer, please see our writer’s submissions page for details.

Love,
Judy