cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Weekly Blog: New year's affirmations

PCFA_OC_Manager
Community Manager
Community Manager
0 0 66

tim_christmas_banner.jpg

By Tim Baker

Never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, myself. It always feels like setting yourself up to fail, or scolding yourself for not doing enough, being virtuous enough, being enough.

So, this New Year I’d like to propose a new tradition – New Year’s Affirmations, some gentle self-congratulations for the things we are doing right and plan to continue. There’s also some subtle mind trickery at work here to encourage us to refine our lifestyle strategies for self-care, as if we’ve already accomplished this. Think of it as a psychological ploy to make our mind believe we are already doing these things, believing it is so and thus making it so. Sound a bit too woo woo for you? Stick with me and see if I we can overcome that scepticism.

This is my own list, some of which might be relevant to you, some you might want to adopt, and then there are likely things you’ll want to add or jettison to customise it to your own circumstances, playing to your own strengths and weaknesses. Here goes:

  1. I eat a variety of healthy foods to maintain my well-being and vitality as well as for pleasure. Preparing and eating good food is a great joy that requires little effort and delivers great benefit. I occasionally succumb to a junk food fix and it almost always disappoints me, the idea being far superior to the reality.
  2. I exercise daily to enjoy the wonders of the human body, accepting its limitations and focussing on its abilities, to move, to heal, to allow a wide range of pleasurable physical activities. I delight in the magic of exercise to maintain bone strength, muscle mass, elevate mood, and enhance a range of bodily functions.
  3. I sometimes feel lazy and that’s okay, but if it persists too long, I know I need to get moving and find some kind of low-cost supervised training to kick my lazy arse.
  4. I find small windows in my day for moments of quiet meditation and stillness, to let thoughts gently drop away, to rest the cycling anxieties of the intellectual mind and put them on hold even for a brief time. With my mind at rest, I’m curious and open to what may arise and how the quiet whisper of my intuition might be speaking to me.
  5. I take great pleasure in my personal relationships, even when they challenge or frustrate me, while respecting my own boundaries and choosing to seek the company of those who support me. At the same time, I have limited tolerance for people’s bullshit and I’m not afraid to say so.
  6. Creative expression is a source of great happiness in my life that has little do with proficiency or skill or outcomes but is all about the spontaneous joy of allowing creative impulses to arise and express themselves. Music, art, writing, dance, even gardening or cooking can be forms of creative self-expression. The satisfaction they generate are sign posts to where we should direct our energies for maximum effect, particularly when our energies might be limited.
  7. The natural world feeds and sustains me in ways I find deeply restorative and which I consciously open myself to, cultivating a heightened sensitivity to the symphony of benefits it gifts me. Birdsong. The play of light on water and plants. The rustle of unseen wildlife or a fleeting glimpse of a forest or marine creature. I take the time to notice my breathing and heart rate slow, my nervous system relax, the simple pleasures of fresh air entering my lungs and the subtle tingling sensations that arise throughout the physical body.
  8. I understand and accept that the future is highly uncertain and that I am unable to change the past, and thus choose to dwell openly in the present moment. I can sit with uncomfortable feelings knowing that they will pass and I don’t have to “fix” them or identify with them.
  9. I practice gratitude for all the things that have allowed me to greet another year – a functioning health system, dedicated health care workers, medical research and science, my own resilience, the support of friends and family, even when they’ve seemed in short supply or their particular brand of support has missed the mark.
  10. I sometimes eat chocolate or ice cream and have the occasional mid-strength beer or glass of a decent red (a cheeky Victorian pinot noir my go-to), convinced that the endorphins of these occasional culinary pleasures outweigh any harm they might be doing me. And I refuse to feel guilty about it.

What would your 2023 affirmations look like? What are you doing right that you want to continue and even enhance or refine in the year ahead? For me, this just feels like a more positive way of framing things than a list of decrees of how I must do better or do more or try harder. Happy New Year all. Thanks for putting up with my rantings.


About the Author

PCFA_OC_Manager_0-1672702376074.jpeg

 

 

Tim Baker is an award-winning author, journalist and storyteller specialising in surfing history and culture, working across a wide variety of media from books and magazines to film, video, and theatre. Some of his most notable books include “Occy”, a national bestseller and chosen by the Australia Council as one of “50 Books You can’t Put Down” in 2008, and “The Rip Curl Story” which documents the rise of the iconic Australian surf brand to mark its 50th anniversary in 2019. Tim is a former editor of Tracks and Surfing Life magazines. He has twice won the Surfing Australia Hall of Fame Culture Award.

Tim was diagnosed with stage 4, metastatic prostate cancer in 2015 with a Gleason score 9. He was told he had just five years of reasonable health left, but seven years on, at 57, he’s still surfing, writing, and enjoying being a dad. His latest book, Patting The Shark, also documents his cancer journey and will be published in August. Tim will be sharing weekly insights into his journey to help other men who have also been impacted by prostate cancer.


Help is Available

Prostate Cancer Specialist Telenursing Service

If your life has been impacted by prostate cancer, our Specialist Telenursing Service is available to help. If you would like to reach out to the PCFA Prostate Cancer Specialist Telenurse Service for any questions you have about your prostate cancer experience, please phone 1800 22 00 99 Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm, Wednesday 10am-8pm (AEDT).

Prostate Cancer Support Groups

PCFA is proud to have a national network of affiliated support groups in each state and territory of Australia consisting of men and women who have a passion for assisting others who encounter prostate cancer. This network is made up of over 170 affiliated groups who meet locally to provide one-to-one support, giving a vision of life and hope after treatment. Call us on 1800 22 00 99 to find your local group.

MatesCONNECT Telephone-based peer support

MatesCONNECT is a telephone-based peer support program for men affected by prostate cancer. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, our MatesCONNECT service can connect you to a trained volunteer who understands what you’re going through. All of our volunteers have been through prostate cancer. Simply call us on 1800 22 00 99 to be connected with a volunteer.

Newly diagnosed? or need to find more information? Access the PCFA resources here.

House Rules

To help keep this community a welcoming, supportive and caring place we have put together a small list of dos and don'ts for you to think about when posting on our forum, research blog or video gallery. For further information please see our  terms and conditions.

Adhere to PCFA’s five core values of Integrity, Optimism, Compassion, Respect and Commitment.

Our online forum is for you to share experiences with others and does not contain specific medical, counselling or legal advice.  If you require professional advice specific to your individual circumstances we encourage you to see a medical professional, legal professional or counsellor.

No commercial or promotional activity. While members may share information about resources they have found helpful, the PCFA Online Community forum should not be used for the promotion of goods and services. This includes commercial entities passing themselves off as individuals and people who frequently post links to external health professionals or other services.

Be kind to each other - many people using the community are going through a difficult time. A few kind words can go a long way. Please welcome new posters – it can be very nerve-wracking to post on the forum for the first time.

If you or someone you know is suffering from mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, we encourage you to seek assistance and contact Beyond Blue Tel:1300 224 636 or Lifeline Tel:13 11 14

Speak your mind freely, but please be sensitive to the feelings and experiences of others - you might not always agree, but you can agree to disagree in a peaceful manner.

Don't use offensive language -if a user is found to be using offensive language during their conversations the moderators reserve the right to edit the thread, without warning.

Don't use all capital letters in your posts - it's considered ‘shouting' online and it makes posts difficult to read.

Give each other the benefit of the doubt - please remember that it is all too easy for the tone and meaning of posts to be misinterpreted. Think carefully before replying to a discussion. it It is important to remember that things written rather than said can feel much stronger, so please bear this in mind when reading other people's messages.

Please respect the moderators - their job is to keep the forum safe and constructive so that everybody gets to have his or her fair say.

Stay on topic - try to focus on the original topic. In particular, don't change subject in the middle of an existing thread - just start a new thread.

Read what's already on the forum before posting - you may be repeating what others have already said or asked.

We want PCFA's Online Community to be a secure and helpful environment for all of the community. So please remember that by using PCFA's Online Community you are agreeing to follow our terms and conditions.