A new way to approach the New Year: what’s your word?

2 Comments

 

I think it would be much more sensible
if resolutions began generally
on January the second.
~ Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones’s Diary)

Resolution—a word that can conjure up anxiety, ill will, self-defeat—even before we put wings to it. For decades I’ve attempted to ring in the new year with resolutions, plans, intentions. This year, however, prior to the advent of Jan. 1, a single word settled upon my soul: “Exercise.” And because I already strive to incorporate 8-10 hours of weekly physical fitness into my life, my first thought sounded a lot like: WTH? But then I began putting pen to paper: Exercise… kindness. Exercise… my spiritual muscles. Exercise… self-control, self-discipline and my faith. Exercise… gratitude, creativity and my mind. And, yes, exercise my physical body. Each insight also includes tangible ways I can live out my word—a reference to measure my journey throughout the days and weeks ahead. It’s going to be a good year—I can feel it.

What’s your word for 2019?

Image courtesy of 7crafts at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Letting go doesn’t mean loving less

Leave a comment

 

At times, it feels like our journey through this one life is fraught with trials and setbacks more so than smooth sailing. Times when we could use an encouraging word, a hug or a shoulder on which to cry. A friend of mine is going through such a time and, earlier this week—despite my attempt to practice mindfulness (see ‘A month of mindfulness…’)—I allowed frustration over a situation out of my control to instead control my tongue. Unfortunately, this resulted in words spouted off between us, words that stung, words that could not be retracted. And, ultimately, a falling out. Although I tried to right it, the damage had been done and I realized the only thing I could do was to let go. To give my friend space. It doesn’t mean I love any less; it means I love enough to allow someone else to take my place. To pick up where I left off.

How do you know when it’s time to let go?

Photo courtesy of usamedeniz at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

A simple(r) life: the ins and outs

Leave a comment

a-simpler-life

My goal for 2016 has revolved around discovering a life of simplicity. What I’ve learned is that a simple(r) life doesn’t just happen. For me, it includes a heightened awareness: recognizing daily pleasures and meting out kindness in large doses. I believe kindness is a requirement for a simple(r) life for the simple reason that it takes little time and resources to be kind—and kindness begets kindness. I’ve also learned a simple life can be full, but requires an evaluation of where we spend our time—if we need to say no to the things that complicate our journey, or yes to the things that improve the lives around us. For Thanksgiving this year, I opted for a meal plan that allowed me to spread my time between an early-morning yoga practice to hanging up a few pictures to tidying up my home before sitting down to enjoy a simple, yet filling dinner and games with family. Three words: awareness, then practice.

Where can you simplify life?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Four ways to flush out frustration

Leave a comment

Flush out frustration

The cure for anything is salt water:
sweat, tears or the sea. ~ Isak Dinesen

Many of my posts are written as reminders: I am good enough, strong enough, life is a journey, blah blah blah. Do I believe any of it? Yes. Do I ascribe to any of it? Sometimes. But let’s face it: I am not sparkly 24/7. I feel frustration, anger, disappointment, rejection. I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, forget to wear my crown, try to do it all and fail. I even manifest expectations onto my friends: Bam, it’s your fault I’m frustrated. Instead of allowing frustration to suck our lifeblood, however, flush it out. 1) Accept reality: if we can’t change it, then either live with it or be the change we wish to see. 2) Shift focus: involve ourselves in our favorite work, pastime, etc. 3) Exercise: exorcise those demons with sweat, tears (or the sea). 4) Journal it and/or talk it out.

What’s your remedy for frustration?

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Doing life in the fast lane

Leave a comment

Life in the fast lane

 
Since taking that leap and crossing over the half-century mark this past December, the trajectory on the other side feels like I’m traveling Autobahn speeds. While the first 50 years took their own sweet time, now the necessity to apply imaginary brakes in order to slow time—to cram everything I can into each moment—grips me with a palpable intensity. ‘There’s just not enough time,’ I said to my girlfriend as we prepared for our 90-minute Bikram yoga class. Thankfully, a daily dose of soul searching has created space for like-minded, intuitive people to join my ‘tribe.’ One such friend recently gifted me a book—Just Hit Send, a journey to freedom—written by a dear yogi practitioner whose personal inscription syncs with my travels, both gestures a reminder I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. So be kind, gentle and love (yourself and others) with a fierce passion and live out your dreams with abandon. Fast or slow.

In which lane do you prefer to travel?

Image courtesy of mapichai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Kindness is free, sprinkle liberally

Leave a comment

sprinkle kindness

My post ‘Birthday wish list: the gift of joy‘ talks about ushering in a new decade (which I did—complete with princess party and sparkles) in the form of engaging in 50 acts of kindness. A dear friend suggested I spread these acts out throughout the entire year, rather than attempt to stuff them into an already packed birthday month. And then to personalize them along the way. What a gift of joy this journey unfolds on a daily basis. I’ve encountered kindness begets kindness: a returned smile, a thank you, a hug, a gentler response. And then I want to do it all over again. But not for the recognition. I think serving others might just be a little self-serving because this is where I get my happy on. And although it’s a little corner of my world, I can sprinkle liberally. My hope is that kindness becomes contagious and scatters outward to make a bigger impact.

How do you sprinkle kindness in your sphere of influence?

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

 

Trusting the destination

Leave a comment

trusting in the destination

During a recent visit with a close family member, she thanked me for my transparency after I’d shared a personal battle with which I wrestle. Later that day, that same transparency fell under attack when someone accused me of acting and speaking devoid of sincerity. Perhaps many of us hide behind walls in order to protect our vulnerability, but find ourselves able to shed the self-imposed masks in the presence of those who inspire, embolden and love us without condition into our true selves—ickies and all. So when our transparent selves are rejected, it’s not unusual to feel battered and bruised. However, the next morning, my puffy eyes the sole evidence of a confused and depleted heart, I spent my quiet time randomly choosing devotions that provided a comforting balm. And one after the other reminded me to trust the destination no matter what my journey looks like today. While I continue to be true to self.

How easy is it for you to trust the destination?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

To wait, or to anticipate?

Leave a comment

ID-100250014

Since my last post, “The answer might be to wait,” I have been doing just that: waiting. But not sitting idly as the world passes me by. I continue to keep my mind and body active and to carve out time to do what makes me happy. And I’ve learned a few things about myself in the process: 1) I am able to find an extra nine hours in a week if I really want to, because it’s a matter of ‘making’ the time. 2) I might be fickle in a few areas of my life, but I know what I want and where I want to go. Now I need to discover the right path to get there. However, maybe it’s those unexpected twists and turns that create the journey that is mine alone. And 3) I am stronger than I thought I was [read: conquered my first five-minute plank]. Perhaps it’s not waiting, after all, but anticipating better things to come.

Are you waiting, or anticipating?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Living in the ‘ah-ha’ moment

1 Comment

ah-ha moment

 

Ever know something in your head, yet it never reached your heart until you experienced an ah-ha moment? That was me the other day during Bikram yoga practice. While bending and stretching, healing my body from the inside out, something the teacher said, something I’ve heard repeatedly (and ramble about in my blogs), pierced my soul, brought tears to my eyes. I say it this way in “Maybe it’s about the story:” We’re told that in life, it’s about the journey, not the destination. The same is true… [in] yoga: it’s not about the final expression—it’s all about the process. I finally get it. To enjoy the journey—the process—removes expectation and allows us to live in the moment. To immerse ourselves. To treasure the person, place or thing with no attachment to the past or the future. And when we do that, we discover peace in the present. I just hope it’s not too late to practice what I’ve learned.

What’s your latest ah-ha moment?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

 

Exhale the old, inhale the new

Leave a comment

jan 1 2015

 

[Image credit: Danilo Rizzuti]

So far the best saying I’ve stumbled across that pertains to the New Year is: Exhale 2014, inhale 2015. I love the visual this invokes: Shed the old in order to fill up with the new. But I believe that in order to make room for more of the good stuff, it’s important to acknowledge the bad stuff and then let it go. Didn’t get everything crossed off your bucket list? Pare it down this year, make it more attainable. Loved and lost? Give thanks for those who made you feel alive. Ran head first into a few hiccups on your journey? Learn and continue to live. Each moment is an opportunity to love more, forgive more, appreciate more… be more. My personal focus for the New Year is balance—while at the same time doing more (of the above). And remember: Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product (Eleanor Roosevelt). I’m ready.

What is one area you plan to focus on in the coming year?

Older Entries Newer Entries