We’re a few days into 2015 and I haven’t left the house in two days. I am actually pretty stoked about that because 2014 held a consistently frenetic pace for me, especially the last few weeks. I desperately needed some down time, so I happily claimed it on a couple days where not much was going on. The past two days have been about reading (I just finished Some Nerve by Patty Chang Anker and started Take the Lead by Betsy Myers), teaching myself Photoshop, naps, pajamas, and silence.
All in all, 2014 was a pretty good year. There were highs and lows—euphoric moments of joy and crushing moments of disappointment—but as is with most things in life, I got out of 2014 what I put into it. My classes grew in size and I explored new avenues for empowering others. I unfurled itty-bitty literary wings as I began writing my first book. I made new friends. I reevaluated existing friendships. I said yes when I would normally say no. I said no when I really didn’t want to say yes. I put up healthy boundaries when I would normally allow myself to be trampled. I listened…to my heart, to others, to the wind. I took courses and expanded my knowledge base. I made art. I helped others. I looked at things from new perspectives. There were some stories that didn’t serve me anymore, so I told myself new stories. I faltered. I got back up. I grew.
Truth be told, I have come so far over the past 10 years…but I have such a long way to go. There are things I am still actively working on because I know I can do better:
- I feed my mind and my soul a diet of healthy and fulfilling food, but I frequently don’t treat my body with the respect it deserves. I take my good health for granted and I simply don’t sweat enough.
- I am so Zen about much of the world around me, but I still allow myself to be triggered by a few people, particularly family members and those who know how to push my buttons.
- I get focused to a fault. Sometimes when I am in a creative zone, I let other things slide (housework, meaningful connection with my husband, etc).
- I still don’t manage my time as effectively as I know how to. I often flail about where daily disciplines are concerned and have not yet figured out how to carve out consistent Me Time.
I could go on and on, but you get the gist. I am perfectly imperfect, yet aware of my foibles. That awareness will lend itself to eventual mastery. I just have to keep on trucking. And turning new pages.
As I turn the page from 2014 to 2015, I have been thinking about what my Word of the Year will be. Last year, I went with NOURISH. As it turns out, it manifested pretty much the way I intended it to. In my January 2014 blog post, I wrote this: “It will encompass the food I eat, the way I treat my body, the way I make big and little decisions. It will guide which books I read, which movies I see, the people I surround myself with, and how I spend my free time. It’s a way to be more tender, not only with myself, but with the people around me. This year will be about feeling good…and doing good. It’s about filling my bucket so I can fill others’ buckets. It’s about saying yes when I want to say yes, saying no when I want to say no, and not confusing the two. It’s about knowing what to accept and what to reject, and not second guessing either one. It’s about building scalable businesses according to my dreams and desires, not what everyone else thinks I should be doing. It’s about being a tender bad-ass with massive heart, and clarity in her soul.” That pretty much sums it up. One other thing that happened is that I learned to be gentler with myself. I silenced the inner critic as much as possible and I was happier and more productive after I put a self-imposed gag order on that nasty little troll.
This year, I am looking to build on the foundation I laid last year. I am looking to bring it all together: mind, body, soul, family, friends, business, pleasure, passions. After some contemplation, I know how I want to feel this year. My word for 2015 is STRENGTHEN. It’s about putting bricks on the foundation I have so lovingly laid the past few years. It’s about shepherding my children along and fortifying their character with love, encouragement, and gentle nudges out of their comfort zones. It’s about bolstering my relationship with my husband amidst countless distractions and not taking him or our relationship for granted. It’s about firming up the body that I have literally allowed to get soft. It’s continuing to be a lifelong learner myself so I can effectively solidify my mission and my message. It’s about collaboration and strengthening my ties to the community. It’s about shoring up my finances and putting away more money in the rainy-day and retirement funds. It’s about bravely stepping outside of my comfort zone, regardless of what outside voices and the voices in my head are saying. It’s about helping people bear witness to their own courage and helping them live out their dreams with meaningful authenticity. It’s about instilling a strong love of creativity and honing people’s creative voice through my work. It’s about “No” being a complete sentence and saying “Yes” with exclamation points. It’s about flexing all the muscles (heart, soul, brain, voice, biceps) and feeling all the feels. It’s about prioritization…MY prioritization, not the agendas of others. It’s about focus and passion and determination and abundance and resolve and being FIERCE. There will be lists and disciplines and periods of radio silence and going within. There will be times I will say no to the shiny objects of today so I can focus on the big goals of the future. Mainly, STRENGTHEN is 2015’s North Star to being better each day than I was the day before, both personally and professionally.
Cheers to the blank canvas that lies before all of us. May we take nothing for granted and make the most of each and every day. I wish you a 2015 rife with possibility. Of laughter and love. Of beginnings and endings. And all good things in between.
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey. See you in the studio!