(This post was written on New Year’s Eve – Dec. 31, 2015)
Its New Year’s Eve.
This is quickly becoming my favorite holiday. Its so exciting… The notion of starting fresh.
I liken it, like so many do, to a blank canvas. Bright white, clean, ready to be made beautiful with whatever colors, shapes, strokes I choose. What a blessing it is to begin again. To take stock of the past year and consider how you might change and grow and transform again in the coming months. I’m not going to lie, it really gets me going.
Last year I chose three words to be my mantra. I focused on them pretty hard in the first quarter, and then slowly they dwindled out of my consciousness and into the abyss. However, for the months that I did have them in the forefront of my mind, they were transformative.
They were Release. Forgive. Love.
Three beautiful words that helped me to let go of a lot of past pains. I think so often we are told we need to forgive. And its true, for if we don’t its only poison contaminating our own life’s well, however, I don’t think releasing the pain is talked about enough. How are we to forgive if we haven’t released it first? I think that can take form in a myriad of ways. Writing it on a piece of paper and burning it. Visually embracing the pain and then saying sayonara. Screaming it out loud in a place that is safe to physically get the hurt out of your body. I don’t think it really matters how I go about doing this – just that I do it. This prevents me from keeping it lodged in my body and mind where it might take up residence and get comfortable and cozy for a long stay. I don’t want to be one of those people who carries a bunch of baggage everywhere and into everything I do. No one is immune to pain and hurt – but I deeply believe we can free ourselves from it. Maybe not over night, but acknowledging it and facing it is the first step.
Then to me, actively releasing it is next. (Wow, I didn’t realize all those words were in me regarding this subject. I guess I haven’t been writing enough. That is one of my goals for the New Year. To write a little every day.)
Anyway, my second word was Forgive. I’m not sure this needs a whole lot of explanation. Forgiveness is really a gift we give ourselves. It frees us from the binds that bitterness tries to keep us under. I want to be good at forgiving. I can’t say that I am, but I am trying. I would also like to be good at asking for forgiveness. Acknowledging the ego and realizing that pride is so often what stands between us and others is, to me, essential. If we keep ourselves from connection with others, what are we here for?
My next word was Love. After releasing my pain and forgiving, I wanted that space to be filled with Love. Love for the one (s) that hurt me, love for the ones that I hurt, and love for myself. Practicing self love can be really hard. I think so often we have this internal voice that plays the same condescending song on repeat. I’m not good enough. Thin enough. Young enough. Tall enough. Tough enough… Pick your poison. You get the idea. But, the older I get, the more I realize that self love is where its at. If we don’t love ourselves, how can we love anyone else? Unconditionally or otherwise?
Man, reflecting feels so good! I feel like I’m peeling back another laying and discovering new depths within my soul. Which brings me to my three new words for the year.
Discipline – I’m going to run at my dream with a vigor and focus that I haven’t tapped into yet. I want to make it the first thing I carve out time to work on everyday. My hope is to create a schedule I can stick to that involves the majority of my time dedicated to pursuing my dream, songwriting, and practicing and performing with my band. Those are my priorities this year and I’m going to treat them as such.
Simplicity – I read the book, “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown last year (I did a VLOG post on it) and it changed my life. However, I need to reread it again because I can feel myself slowly slipping into bad habits. I want to keep things simple so that my focus can be on my dreams. In my head, in my heart, in my home. This is so much harder than it seems, but I feel I need to focus on it so that I can keep my priorities in check. Its time to get $hit done… more butterflying, less caterpillar-ing. Got me?
Authenticity – so last year I dubbed my year of rebellion. Not rebellion for rebellion’s sake, but rebellion against inauthenticity. I wanted to become the truest version of myself without the barriers I have felt around me. I’ve placed too much stock in what others think of me all my life and last year I set out to let that go. I’m happy to report, I’m getting better. However, I also realized how addicted I am to others words and opinions of me… so like a more traditional addict, I’m taking it step by step and trying to show up as my true self as often as I’m consciously aware that I’m not being my true self… Does that make sense? Basically, I want to show up as myself everywhere I go. Not just the put together version… The REAL version. This requires vulnerability. Courage. Self-awareness. Big cahones. But that’s ok… I’m going keep at ’cause that’s what I want to do… be authentically me.
Friends, I am so excited about this year I could burst. I’m feeling so deeply grateful for the growth the last year brought and I know that as I continue to create my reality through the thoughts I think, that that will continue. Its not always clear cut, clean, or easy, but running after my dream and pursuing the truest version of myself has been the most rewarding adventure. And I’m so grateful I get to experience this great adventure along side so many other lovely people.
Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for being you. Please let me know how I can encourage you this year as you embark on the great adventures that 2016 is sure to bring.
I wish you an abundance of…