I love New Year’s Eve!
Whether it’s to turn the page on a difficult or a fantastic year, NYE has always allowed me to wrap up, take stock, set intentions and look forward to a whole new year.
Yesterday, as I was catching the parade in Boston, I was filled with gratitude! 2013 was ripe with gifts, professionally but most notably on the personal level. In August, I finally settled into a home in a perfect location, welcomed my daughter into the world and picked up a childhood dream were I had left it 23 years prior. My eyes got misty as I was counting my blessings.
I also looked back to the beginning of the year, when, after a long period of hesitancy and after a very trying year in 2012, I finally chose my intentions for the coming year: I set my mind on ease and integrity. Throughout the year, I kept reminding myself of this goal, making it my motto and I must say that coming back to it over and over again carried me over beautifully. Imagine a year so full to the brim with stuff to do, challenges, overall business and craziness. It would have been easy to just let myself be overwhelmed and/or give up. Instead I consistently refocused on experiencing ease, even when the going got tough. And lo and behold! This intention slowly changed my mindset, which modified my perception of outside circumstances, my outlook and the way I responded to events. Things did get easier! And because they did, I was able to take on a lot more and stay the course with integrity. I’m proud of what I achieved, almost amazed at the broad metaphorical shoulders I discovered myself to have and grateful I got to experience myself as a capable overachiever.
So I know that intentions are no joke.
This year, it was almost unnecessary to ponder what my intention for 2014 should be. It squarely presented itself to me over and over from all sorts of sources. I decided to focus on desire and fun.
Even though I picked up the thread of a forgotten childhood dream this past year, I still have some unresolved business around what allowed me to drop that dream in the first place. Although I’ve never identified myself as a people-pleaser, I’ve been known to put myself, my desires and my aspirations on the back burner. Taking others into consideration has become second nature to me, but unfortunately to the detriment of a certain connection to my aliveness. Sometimes, I don’t even know what I want anymore because I’m so used to not factoring it in. It can be for small things – like what type of restaurant I want to eat at on a special occasion – or for big things – like the direction to take my business in (although that’s clearer and clearer). The most difficult question you can ask me is “what do you want?” I might be smart, but that one is definitely too hard for me. For now.
I vow to reconnect with my desires in 2014. And I think fun is going to be the perfect indicator to do just that.
You see, it’s been easy to grow with the flow of outside expectations and internalize all the could’ve, would’ve and should’ve out there.
As a parent especially, being responsible for the wellness of another human being apparently placed me and countless other mothers and fathers in a position where every decision we make is open for discussion if not criticism or disapproval. There’s a lot of guilt-tripping happening. It’s expected that we’ll put this new person first – well ahead of ourselves – and it’s expected we do it in a certain way.
As a woman too. If you think about it, the current paradigm of womanhood is only a small handful of decades old at best. But yet, our values, our models, our history, almost everything we’re shown and taught as girls reflects a completely different reality. Caring for others is still heralded as the gauge of our femininity. And that comes with a set of age-old expectations.
All these diktats slowly take the place of what we want for ourselves to the point where we lose all connection to what it is we truly desire…
So when fun is absent, when I’m brewing resentment toward my baby’s father for all the freedom he’s enjoying when I’m working, when I feel overburdened and toiling away at things that bring me no joy, I will stop and reflect. What if the joylessness, the resentment, the burdening feeling all stemmed from a sense of obligation? What if they derived from a pervasive but silent expectation of things I should be doing? What if they had nothing to do with what I really ought to be doing for myself and my family? What if I could use my negative emotions to point out to me when outside expectations are weighing in? What if I could aim for fun instead?
Would that bring me back to what it is I truly want? I hope so…
And I have all of 2014 to find out!
So what’s your intention for this coming year?
If you need help finding out, reach out to me. I know just how painful it is to have your dreams repressed for so long, that you lose the ability to even know what you want, to even think it’s possible to dream again. Back in 2010, at a point when I had completely lost my way to myself, a psychic told me I had to dream bigger, except I had no idea where and how to start. Because I’ve been there, I can show you how.