Posts Tagged ‘starting over’
I’ve gotta admit, I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions. It always felt a bit false to promise to do or not do something and tie that to a specific and somewhat arbitrary date. It always struck me like starting a diet—it’s a fad or phase—and thus seems doomed to failure from the start. Rather, I usually honor the transition from one year to the next with a bit of contemplation and examination of what I’d like to cultivate and invite into my life and wrap it all up in the Yogic viewpoint that change is the only constant, therefore, we’re always starting over … regardless of the date.
Starting over and starting anew has been a big theme in my life this past year. I’ve had to literally start at the beginning of my asana practice three times this year after each time my back froze up. BUT, I have added some additional care, have some new and quite helpful information, and with each yoga class and walk in the woods, I can feel that my strength and endurance is returning in a slow but steady and progressive way.
In my business life, I’m constantly starting new projects and feeling and thinking my way into new viewpoints. This year, I’m taking my business into a new direction which has me excited and full of both invigorating energy as well as moments of overwhelm.
And, of course, my romantic relationship is venturing into new and exciting territory, too. Getting married again—a state I’ve not visited for over 23 years—is not a small step for me. Exciting and wonderful, but not small.
Yup, 2015 is bringing a LOT of NEW.
But that’s the point, right? Change brings new and new brings vibrancy to our lives if we can calm the primal part of our brain interpreting change as unsafe. If we can take a moment and whisper to our scared self, “Shh, it’s ok. This is going to be fun!” than we can release fear, move forward, and let our lives unfold as needed. And when I say “needed” I’m not saying that in a “should” sort of way. What you need in your life may look very different from what I need in my life. The common thread, however, is that each and every one of us needs to continually be moving toward that which lights us up.
“Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman
I love that quote because it resonates so deeply for me. When I’m overwhelmed and wondering how can my life possibly make a difference, this quote helps me remember. Because it’s true: when each of us lives from our hearts, drawing guidance from our deep, authentic selves, we can find the life we need and can then become a life the world needs. Our very existence with all its actions and reactions creates organic ripple effects which can be immeasurably positive. And this can’t be achieved strictly through thinking strategy, this requires feeling your way, too, trusting your heart, your gut, that little voice — especially if you are unsure about what it is in this world that does light you up.
So, I’m not going to make any dramatic resolutions for 2015. I’m simply going to continue to start over whenever I need to. I’m going to welcome all the new and unfamiliar with as much presence, breath, and heart it requires. I’m going to live as compassionately as possible. I’m going to keep trying to connect with others in kind ways. I’m going to keep increasing my tolerance for joy. And I’m going to keep seeking that which I love and which in turn lights me up because it’s good for me, it’s good for others, it’s good for the world … and beyond all that, it’s really, really fun.
Bright blessings to you all for a 2015 abundant with joy, love, laughter, health, and prosperity! How do you mark the change of the years?
It’s official: we’re engaged! At this year’s annual King Richard’s Faire visit, my partner of five years managed to surprise me, jaw drop included. And it’s not like he and I haven’t discussed getting married; we have, but I was surprised nonetheless. The thing is, I was married and divorced long ago, so I was also never in a hurry to repeat it. But what I have now is so different from my past. And the question was delivered from such a loving and authentic place, saying yes was easy.
The romance of the situation was not lost on me at all. A mutual friend introduced us at King Richard’s Faire, so it’s our annual “anniversary thang.” 🙂 We go, usually with a gang of friends, and leave reality at the gate. It’s a great day of silly fun … I LOVE that he chose to propose there. I’m girly-vain enough to enjoy that I was wearing a costume that I love and in which I feel beautiful. Not to mention, KRF for me is simply infused with wonderful memories—the romance of the gesture just lit me up. I’m also thrilled that Mike made sure that my best friend was there to share in the joy … AND to take lots of great photos. Take a look at my face, people, after the surprise, that’s JOY!
Although getting to a place of authentic joy in a personal relationship has been a journey for me, for sure, I don’t claim to be unique or alone in having needed to get past smashed dreams, heartache, feelings of betrayal, and the subsequent feeling of never wanting to open up again and trust enough to fall in love. But, the beautiful thing about being human is that once we start healing personally, the rest does sort of fall into place. Mike and I didn’t fall in love with each other until we’d both made some peace with ourselves.
Of course, an obvious key factor in what’s different is I’m older; we’re both older. At this point in our lives, we know who we are and have a better understanding of what we need to be happy and fulfilled, both individually and as a couple. (My 22-year-old bride self was more than a little clueless.) Unlike my first go round, Mike and I have taken the time to truly get to know each other and our relationship is solidly based on a foundation of love, trust, and respect … oh, and lots and LOTS of laughs! (The fact the man makes me belly laugh every single day is an amazing gift.)
Another surprising gift evolving out of this new state of being is the knowledge that I want to feel that same authentic joy I felt when he proposed in many more facets of my life—it feels damn good! Feeling that authentic joy is crystallizing my motivation to choose happiness, to make decisions that are for my best good and that bring joy. I know that I want joy on a daily basis. I don’t want to wait until I accomplish just one more thing or wait for a particular something else to happen. I am deciding that joy is a priority. I also know I’m the ONLY one who can make it happen and it’ll take some practice. Joy can be found in things large and small, I just have to consciously make the decision, and that will also require taking moments to feel gratitude for the tiny to grand blessings in my life. I know that when I cultivate gratitude, it allows me in any given situation to choose what will hold my focus—frustration or acceptance; restlessness or contentment; alienation or love. Our perceptions do create our realities.
So, I’m going to continue to revisit what authentic joy feels like and invite it in as often, and in as many ways, as possible. How do you cultivate joy in your daily life?