Another new year. <big sigh > Oh, the pressure. Of a new year.
So many things to be grateful for, health, happiness, career success, the love of family and friends. Blah, blah, blah. So much accomplished, new places we went and new things we experienced. Only good things to follow in the new year. Blah, blah, blah.
If I had a quarter for every time someone used that word, or every time I read it in a status update.
It’s how we are supposed to feel, though, right? Blessed. Grateful. Happy. Hopeful. And when we don’t actually feel that way, then what?
That is how I used to ring in a new year. Counting my failures. Taking stock of what I didn’t accomplish. Searching for meaning in my life, for purpose, direction, for ANY way forward in the new year. Doubting people who were always happy, always positive, always “blessed.”
It’s crazy, right? It’s a horrible way to live, isn’t it?
Yes. Let me assure you it is.
BUT this is the year I found out in a big way that I wasn’t really living. That all the patience, and compassion, and chances, and understanding I so easily give to others, I wasn’t first giving them to myself, the person most deserving. It was a near fatal fall from a very high place.
BUT I survived. And I have worked really hard over the last few months reading, studying, in self-reflection, to move away from that poisonous thought process. I am stronger and smarter, but by no means am I “healed.” It is a slow process, sometimes impossibly so, but I understand that. It is the smallest of things over time that will make the biggest difference for me.
So, with that in mind, I have thought a lot about the new year and wanted to share my intentions here. I haven’t been unnecessarily harsh about what I did/didn’t do this last year. Surviving it is enough. I am not worried about the new year. I am not overwhelmed by the blank slate, but I am not unrealistic about it either. There is work ahead and I am ready to dig in…but with a much smaller, much kinder and gentler shovel.
Here is where I am going to start –
1.) I have chosen a word of the year, a word to use when I need a gentle reminder. A word to describe the feeling I want to carry with me throughout the year. And the word is “Fly” and/or “F.L.Y.” It is time for me to live beyond the harsh voices in my head. The ones that keep me stagnant, scared, stressed, inactive, weighed down. In other words, it is time for me to fly. It also reminds me to First Love Yourself, something I am just learning to do. I am worthy, just the way I am.
2.) I will practice reflection and gratitude every single day. Whether it is dropping notes into a happiness jar (virtual or otherwise), posting images of things I am grateful for through the 365 grateful project, taking time out of my day to meditate, do yoga, pray, or whatever.
3.) This will be my mantra: Today I choose joy. Because, after all, happiness is a choice, right?
You may be wondering why I am calling these intentions instead of resolutions. Resolutions are something you make, and subsequently break. They are sweeping statements, formal, unforgiving. To me, intentions are created and cultivated through actions. Read this article and let me know what you think.
Peace, love and blessings to you in 2014!