One of the stories that we tell ourselves is that we live in a vacuum and the environments we experience do not affect much. We can handle it. We are tough and resilient. We have good boundaries. The truth is that our environments have a huge effect on us and the quality of our lives. If we understood how much, we would likely be much more selective about what we expose ourselves to.
Environments either uplift us or tear us down. Truly uplifting environments are mutually beneficial in that everyone involved are uplifted. The best gauge is how you feel while you are in the environment. Another much is if you are supported to be yourself- regardless of what you are feeling or what mood you are in. Environments that affect us negatively lead to us becoming hardened, desensitized, cynical, sarcastic, anxious, or depressed.
We also tell ourselves that we are stuck with our existing environments. The reality is that all of our environments are a choice. They may not be immediately changeable. For instance, if we determine that our career exposes us to an environment that does not serve us, it may take a some time to shift that- but it still might be extremely worthwhile.
So it might be useful to consider how your environments are affecting you. Are they uplifting you? Are they serving you? If not, it may be time to make some different choices in 2010. There all kinds of environments and worlds to experience. Which ones do you choose?