I love the fresh start of a new year. Every December I daydream in the realm of possibility – I envision the person I want to be, all of her blossoming wishes and truths, and I paint a picture in my imagination of how my efforts in the next year will support me on my journey.
I daydream about world peace in the new year, about ecological restoration and an end to prejudice. I visualize a planet soaked in golden love.
And I consciously look at the past year before I let it fall into memory. What worked, what didn’t, what miracles was I part of. What depression and anxiety did I roll around in, and what did those things teach me. What new places did I see. What am I proud of myself for.
I used to write facebook notes every December detailing the year’s highs, lows, and adventures. At the end of 2011, in one of these tribute-to-the-past-year notes, as an answer to the question “what was your biggest failure?” I wrote: Letting the colorful, eccentric, spontaneous parts of myself trickle away in favor of school and work. This is something I always swore I would not do, but it happened.
I love that I wrote this two years ago because the same sentiment rings true in my life today. The struggle between letting our eccentric inner lights shine and finding community with the people around us. I am slowly fumbling my way into that space where individuality and belonging intersect, making deviations along the way.
A recap of my 2013:
Firsts: I… had a palm reading, got certified in Reiki, created a public facebook page for my writing (terrifying), went on vacation with my boyfriend, saw The Replacements (!), New Order, and The Breeders, moved to a new neighborhood in Chicago, served on a board (Unity In Naperville), went to Denver and Collinsville and Ann Arbor, visited Bodhi Spiritual Center, helped with Love Letters to Yourself, became a member of Stone Soup & Lemonade, took a prayer class, saw Anne Lamott speak three times, received a homemade art journal from my friend Joy, moved my boyfriend into a new home, learned about HeartMath, got my first smartphone…
Deaths: Mikey and Henry, the two most beloved cats in my life, died in 2013. I was working for the day at a local insulation contractor’s office when I saw the news of Mikey’s passing on my phone, and it took everything I had to hold it together until I could get home and cry. I am so grateful I got to be with Henry on his last night and send some loving energy into his little emaciated body. (Also RIP Lou Reed.)
Resolutions: I had a ton of resolutions for 2013, and although I neglected most of them, I’m glad they were there to guide me as my North Star. The act of setting whimsical intentions is powerful because their energy colors our decision-making – I’m not as interested in whether or not I accomplished any of these goals.
Lessons: I’m prone to forgetting the truth of who I am – a divine glittering being with infinite possibility, a creative heart, and the ability to transform a situation by changing my own perception of it. So in 2013 I tried to remember these truths in the tedious and anxiety-filled moments of my daily life.
In 2014, I want to take a trip out of the country – right now I’m thinking of spending a week at a Spanish language school in Buenos Aires. I want more laughter and relief. I want to teach a writing workshop. I want to do things that scare me. I want to answer texts and e-mails immediately instead of letting them fester. I want to trust and embrace my own voice.
I’m interested in living in line with my core desired feelings (as discerned through Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map) – relaxed, creative, radiant, empowered, and fiercely compassionate. I will touch on these more in the coming weeks.
Here is one more reminder from my end of 2011 facebook-note-writing self, when writing about a valuable lesson I learned:
As much as I would love to believe I am in control… I am not. When I let go and let Spirit take over, that’s where the magic happens. And it’s one thing to KNOW this, which I have for years, but it’s an entirely different endeavor to LIVE this.
(I was pretty hip for a 21 year old, huh?)
Wishing everyone a meditative December and a 2014 brimming with possibility! Share your own reflections and hopes in the comments section, and know that I am supporting you on this wild walk of life.
Love, Snowflakes, and Fierce Transformations,