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In Bloom: Blooming into the New Year
The finishing line leads to a new start
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It’s Mehak here, writing to you for the very first time! I’m talking to you from a very smoggy and cold New Delhi. Despite the gloominess in the air, the high spiritedness of the people of this city can’t be conquered. The winter season has become the season of celebration and love—weddings are happening everyday here. We’re also embracing slowing down, everyone is out in the parks, playing, picnicking and basking in the sun. In the midst of going to weddings, catching up on sleep and working, the simple pleasure of a cup of hot chocolate is a winter kiss that warms me up.
Sipping hot chocolate at my favourite cafe in New Delhi.
Here’s a glimpse of the holiday season from our team all around the world!
Sophia enjoying panettone, a traditional Christmas treat in Italy! (Sanremo, Italy)
Swetha adoring the beautiful roses in a backyard. (US)
I am enjoying the wedding season in India! (New Delhi, India)
Francesca waking up to the morning after fresh snow in an early cold snap! (London, UK)
We’re inching closer to Christmas (if you celebrate it), the winter vacation, and the New Year and it seems like everyone I know is in a rush to have some ‘plans’. Confession: I’m party to this. I want to take this moment and say that it’s completely okay if you don’t have plans for this period and are staying in. Spending time with one’s self can be just as nourishing as time spent in community or with loved ones. Maybe this is what your body needs. In whichever way you’re planning to spend your time—bingeing on rom-coms, over-sleeping, or just being—it is all okay. Our bodies know what is best for us.
Secondly, we acknowledge that the festive season can also bring up a lot of painful and unpleasant memories for some of us. For those still sitting with such memories and difficult feelings, I hope you are able to take a step towards making yourselves feel safe and warm during this time. Maybe we might not have functions or events to attend because we have an estranged relationship with our family, or have been displaced from home. It's normal to feel lonely. I hope you find peace and calm in the way you decide to spend that day. Or maybe we might not enjoy this time because of strained familial relationships, underlying tension, or abuse. We might feel guilty for feeling like this, for not pushing ourselves enough to be out there or asking ourselves why we can’t we just be like others? They seem to have fun so effortlessly. It’s okay to not want to attend family functions if it gives us more anxiety and distress. I want to emphasise that we all have our different struggles and there’s no good emerging for anyone by comparing our journey with others.
I hope we take this time to not be too hard on ourselves. We acknowledge that we did enough during the year and we are enough—wherever we are. I hope we’re able to show gratitude to ourselves for showing up everyday. For all the things we could not do or achieve—it’s okay, we have another year!
December is the month where the yin and the yang meet - it's the month of endings as well as of new fresh starts. A subtle but powerful reminder that we can always start all over again no matter where we are. There’s always another chance for us. I often take this month to look forward and journal the aspirations I have for myself for the next year. It gets me hopeful and excited, it dares me to think big. I also sit with my current year’s aspirations for myself that I had written last December. I sit in awe when I read that I actually managed to make some of the things happen! It feels like magic when I write something and it happens!
You maybe also find it helpful to take some time to look back and journal your aspirations for the new year. Some of our team use a nice resource with amazing prompts that can support your reflection process. You can access it here.
Bloom in Hindsight
We’ll be doing the same thing for Bloom in this newsletter. We’ll look back at some of the things that happened, reading some of which might bring awe or a smile to your face. We are certainly smiling looking back!
What we learned
The most exciting part of the Bloom journey this year has been that we now have our Bloom courses available in English, Spanish, French, Hindi and Portuguese! We know that each language has its own essence and things get lost in translation. So we’ve tried to localise the content in each language as much as possible instead of just plainly translating. It took the Bloom team a lot of hard work to get this to life and it has been so worth it! We loved working with people literally spread across the world. We all felt closer to the Chayn ethos of geographical diversity.
We are now available on our chat service in the above mentioned languages, too! It has been so rewarding and humbling to interact with the survivors taking our courses and read all the feelings, thoughts, and reflections coming up. Feel free to share Bloom with people who might love to engage with it in their own languages.
Lastly, we realised what it really takes to be a trauma-informed organisation through our actions. We work in trauma-informed ways even if we have to make difficult decisions. We decided towards the end of this year to not do any live courses due to capacity limitations of our team and working non-stop throughout the pandemic in building and expanding Bloom on a small budget. We did not want to make our live courses feel rushed and we wanted to do justice to everyone who would participate in it. This was a tough decision and we wanted to practice what we preach. We are looking forward to Bloom in 2023, and the offerings we will be able to make to our community!
What you said
‘It’s very person-centred, like you’re in control of it. It feels like there’s a lot of choice.”
“I was just so amazed by what was there. I suppose slightly overwhelmed that I had finally found what I had been looking for. It was slightly surreal I guess when I first opened it and was like, well it can’t be real. It’s what I had been looking for the entire time and said I'd been wanting and it was just, here!”
“I liked how at the end, they had the little activities for you to do afterwards. They had the session themselves and the activity to do yourself in your own time … I feel like they gave more to the sessions themselves … it gave it a moment to say ‘this is what I want, this is what I need’.”
"This makes me excited about the person I’m going to become when I’ve done this course"
Journeying into a New Year
We’re taking a break!
After a year full of new highs for Chayn and Bloom, our team is taking a break! We’re going for our winter wind down from 19th December 2022 to 9th January 2023. Chayn's annual Winter Wind Down is a period of purposeful rest and reflection the team uses to look back on our year, learn new skills, read, write and do visioning that often gets missed in day-to-day work. During this time our team will be working at reduced capacity, so please bear with us if we’re slow in responding to you. We’ll take this time to rejuvenate ourselves and come back with a new charged up energy on 9th January 2023!
Affirmations for the new year
As we enter the new year and hope for a better future, here are some things we can tell ourselves to ground ourselves in light and positivity for the year ahead:
I’m worthy of receiving love for who I am. I don’t need to change my being for that.
I don’t need to feel guilty for loving myself and taking care of myself.
I’m grateful for myself to continue to move forward. I’m grateful for all the loved ones around me. I’m grateful for the big blue sky above me and the soil that grounds me.
I can acknowledge my flaws, but they don’t define me.
I honour my life.
We look forward to seeing you next year.
With Love and Kindness,
Mehak and the Bloom team
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