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Looking Outward or Looking Inward in 2020 and Beyond

By Mary Lou Harris December 29, 2019 Mindset

Recently one morning, I opened a word-for-the-day type of email. The word for that day was ‘metanoia’, a noun defined as a transformative change of heart; especially a spiritual conversion. There are numerous similar definitions, but I most like those that refer to a rebuilding or healing.

What better time to work toward transformation than while looking squarely at the rapid approach of 2020 and the decade it opens?

It struck me that, as we move into a new decade and look at our lives at ages of 60 and more, we should ask ourselves: can we pursue transformational change? Is metanoia a state of being that simply occurs, or is that transforming change something that each of us can work toward?

I prefer to think the latter and have some suggestions on how to actively pursue a transforming change in our lives.

If we open our view to a 10-year window into the future, would we like what we see? Is the heart of our personal well-being in tune with our course? Or, perhaps there is a long-locked desire to veer slightly, or perhaps severely, off the last decade’s course.

Now, in my seventh decade, I am different physically and spiritually from the person that I was in the sixth decade. I expect that may be true for many of us.

So, how do we envision our from-the-heart transformation in the upcoming decade, beginning with January 2020?

Stare Unflinching at That Window of the Future

Peer into the next 10 years and assess the possibilities. Look seriously and honestly at yourself and your current circumstances. What is in your control? What makes you smile when you awake each morning? What makes you burrow back into your pillow before acknowledging you must face ongoing challenges?

If your life is balanced, full of love and companionship in a place where you are content, that is wonderful. Now, can you anticipate how you might need to make adjustments to maintain that life?

Is your life a mixed bag with ongoing financial or health hurdles, personal relationships in need of resolution, or just a sense of wonder at how you came to be in this uncomfortable place in your life?

Opening your thoughts to a personal transformation won’t resolve every problem, but it can give you a clear view of what can be transformed in your life.

Commit to the Long Haul

Transformational change likely won’t occur in the form of a New Year’s resolution. It would entail a truly thoughtful decision to work toward your goals over a period of years – say, a decade. Say, perhaps, this 2020 decade just before us.

Should you be open to transformation in any – or all – aspects of your life? Take a deep look at how you perceive your situation, your family, and how that perception impacts your view of your life and your possibilities.

We Need Reminders of What We Must Work Toward

I am personally working at creating a basic sentence or strong motivational thought that can inspire me to move forward with that change.

When the wording feels right, I will make it visible as I move forward in 2020, ensuring that the physical and emotional place I want to be is a reminder that my day-to-day actions are in line with my desire for change.

When you have mulled over, meditated on, or written down your thought-out desire for transformation – perhaps it flowed fully formed from you, although most of us are not that fortunate – keep it close to your heart and close to your eyes.

Whether it is on your office desk, your refrigerator, or scrolling across your computer screen, keep it where you are reminded.

If you are a private person, place that desire for the 2020 decade where only you will see it. A dresser drawer, a makeup bag, or a jewelry chest may be the right choice, looking at your decade of transformational desire each time you open that private chamber.

Life will change us willingly or unwillingly. We may not achieve the total transformation we yearn for. If the past is indeed a prologue, we will, during this decade, lose friends and family members held dear, we will experience health challenges, and we may have personal crises and regrets known only to our private selves.

Still, an openness to transformation, brought forth in a simple dedicated thought or sentence designed to take us to that destination, will help us in spite of the setbacks life will inevitably throw at us.

As 2020 draws closer by the day, I’m grateful for the possibility of a metanoia, and will embrace it, whatever name it comes by.

What opportunity for transformation do you foresee for the coming decade? How do you plan to direct your life during the next 10 years? Please share what kind of transformation would bring you the most satisfaction.

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The Author

Mary Lou Harris is a proponent of active living, community volunteerism and inquisitive travel. After a post age 60 retirement from a career in public service, she expanded those interests to include ultra-trail running, hiking and extended-stay travel. She can be contacted through her website or on Twitter at @stillarunner.

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