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The Lessons I’ve Learned in 2017

Pic by Ritika Bajaj

As the sun sets on 2017, and we get ready for a brand new year ahead, I can’t help but reminisce about all the wonderful memories I’ve had as well as the lessons I’ve learned in the past year!

The last year was a year of exploration for me… I took a gap year to explore all the possibilities outside and the untapped potential within.

I quit my job, took meditation classes, immersed myself in yoga, made new friends, toured new cities… Revisited old passions — like music and books — enjoyed cinema, the arts, and experienced the joys of waking up with nature.

Through it all I realised one essential truth, everything is a reflection of you — your thoughts, words, deeds — whatever you put out, comes back to you in equal measure if not more.

All your experiences are nothing but a mirror that help you understand yourself better. And hence what you learn is also a measure of how you have trained yourself to see the world.

If your vision is one of light, happiness, good intent and gratitude, nothing around you will darken your spirit. But if your vision is one of doom, gloom, constant expectation and desire, nothing you do will lift your life.

Experiences allow you to act in the way most suitable to you… How you respond to the world, and connect with people and nature around you, is a reflection of how connected you are within yourself.

Hence the lessons you learn, are nothing but your own interpretations of the life around you…

You realise that everything is simply a game of perception, and the finer you get at tuning your perception, the more heightened will be your experiences.

The idea then is to start viewing everything around you with greater clarity…to allow complete awareness to penetrate every experience.

While I journeyed outside and within, I gained several insights — of course from my own lens of perception — here are some of the important ones:

You are not alone.

Yes, you indeed have the whole world as your family to rely on. If your approach is inclusive and responsive, you will be surprised by the number of people who come to your aid at times when you least expect it.

So don’t lose faith in people…simply reach out and include the world in your dreams. When you stop looking at the other as the ‘other’, you have essentially broken the biggest barrier within yourself, and allowed yourself to love more.

Let go of what’s not working.

Reinvention is largely a cleansing process… It’s about analysing what’s working and what’s not…letting go of what’s not serving you, and adding more of what’s working for you.

It could be anything from a relationship that drains you to a career that has stopped giving you fulfillment. And, don’t be afraid of letting go…because the moment you let go of what’s dead, you make space for what can make you come alive.

Get on the road…often.

The best memories and lessons are learned when traveling. We explore new places and people…and we allow ourselves to step out from our routines and familiar surroundings to experience the unfamiliar.

Any unfamiliar surrounding tests our adaptability quotient, and also reduces the barrier of fear within us… The more we travel, the more confident and independent we become as individuals, secure in the belief that we can survive in any terrain or climate.

Put yourself first.

It’s important that we make time for ourselves, and that we use that time to restore ourselves at a mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual level. Most of us are leading hectic lives, running around chasing dreams, and believing that a constant state of busyness is going to taking our lives ahead.

It is in fact, the moments of quiet and stillness that move us ahead, both at a spiritual level and a material one. When you feel calm within you, you respond better to the world around… Otherwise life simply passes you by, like a river whose waters only flow through it once… Hence, if you are not aware of the current waters at that point, you have lost the experience forever.

Every new year is an opportunity to start life afresh, to take stock and reorient yourself toward a better future, one in which you are living with complete awareness and fulfillment. So use the end of the year to assess how you could make the next year more rewarding for yourself, and for those around you.

Share with us your own experiences of 2017 in the comments below, and if you would like to contribute your blogs to Pink Pinjra, simply write in to, or submit them directly by clicking here.

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Ritika (Bajaj) Lalwani

Ritika (Bajaj) Lalwani

Writer-editor, seeker, yoga enthusiast, tarot reader, voyager… and more