The official start of Fall always feel more like an invitation to new beginnings to me than January 1st. There's just something about the shift in temperature, the change of nature's color palette, the cycle of new school years, and the crisp energies surrounding them all that brings a gentle wave of hope much more organic-feeling than the hub-bub and sparkly hoopla of NYE (did I just make myself sound 80?). So, as we head into the pumpkin-spiced-everything season, I remembered something I wanted to share....
In January, I sat down to think about what a great, fulfilling, meaningful 2016 might look like. Of course, I had no idea the roller coaster ride I was in for at the time, but the exercise remains valuable. This year I decided to try something a little different with my "what will be" considerations. Instead of creating a list of resolutions, mapped out like a glorified to-do/to-be list, or even choosing a singular goal meant to carry me through the year (one that inevitably shoulders too much weight and feels like an absolute set up for failure), I chose to give each individual month a "theme" of sorts; An energetic space to live within, and a collection of aspired values to continue being curious about.
Here's what I ended up with:
February: Openness + Freedom
March: Ruthless Prioritization
April: Patience + Trust
May: Radical Acceptance
August: Home. Sacred Space.
September: Love (of self and others)
November: Boundless Gratitude.
What amazes me the most about this breakdown is how greatly my intentions have ended up being predictions thus far. When I reflect on each of the previous months, there was so much within them that captured the energy of exactly what I'd written...for better or worse or some awkward in-between. B might be right after all -- I have some pretty strong, witchy manifesting powers and should be careful with my words. A little hocus pocus focus, if you will.
It's hard to believe there are just 3 months left to 2016. It is so true what they say; The days are long, but the years are short.
It'll be time soon enough to sit in contemplation of what kind of energy I'd like to bring, dwell, grow in 2017. And truthfully, I am really looking forward to more intentions. These past few weeks in particular I have felt my September theme radiating (LOVE! PS -- Pics of sister's wedding to come!), and know that I am truly responsible for the energy I bring into each and every space I enter. Not just in doing, but also in being. Maybe more importantly, the being part. It's not about getting it perfect. Not even a little. It's about letting go of the tight grasp on perfection and having all the answers, and settling into the flow as it comes, with softness.
My coach recently helped me go really deep...tears and fears and confessions kind of deep...and we ended up with an intense assignment for me to work on: Floating. Without divulging too many details, our session helped me shape the metaphor of swimming, always paddling, frequently looking behind to make sure I'm not alone, or frantic to keep up with who is ahead, or holding the weight of important things above my head and thus hardly keeping it above water. A lot of it having to do with trust; of self, others, the Universe. Not trusting what might happen if I stop moving. Surprisingly, hardly anything to do with my destination. And so that is where I am...just floating. Enjoying the views. Feeling the sun on my face, the coolness of the water on my skin. Trusting my capacity to make it to shore, wherever that may be. Whenever that may be.
Maybe even channeling my inner mermaid a bit. Because floating doesn't mean not having any fun.
This feels like the perfect place to finish October, November + December. For Vulnerability, Boundless Gratitude, and Reflection.
How about you? Got any intentions waiting for your presence? I'd love to hear them :)
You guys, can you feel the magic in the air?
I can't quite put my finger on it, but my dear Andy let me know today that Stevie will be coming to our neck of the woods for a concert in December, and this news just seems to affirm my suspicions: beautifully bewitching days lay ahead.
If you need me, I'll be lighting all my best candles, polishing my crystals, twirling to Ms. Nicks, and studying my new medicinal herb book.
Loving it all,
Ahh, blogs. The ultimate space to dump all those iPhone photos you don't want to delete and kind of wish to humble brag about but really, like, don't know what else to do with....
(Thanks for humoring me!)
(so blurry, but so B. "I'm too hot for a shirt right now." Thank you, global warming....amirite?!)
People often (accurately) comment on the abundance of my life: Where I live, how I live, my work, my extensive travels and freedoms, my dynamic relationships. This questioning never offends me, though I usually wish I had more concrete advice or words of wisdom on how in the world I have managed these feats thus far. But the curiosity never offends me, and I think the essence of these choices and the effort I have put into cultivating each of them boils down to this: I do not wish to wait for the next lifetime. While I am still here, breathing in and breathing out, I am going to embrace...fully live...in this one.
This time spent most recently coming to terms with my limitations and challenges has required a faith that is strong; in my instincts, in my closest friends and family, in my spirit and my values. In God and the Universe, too.
I have come to accept that this (for lack of a better word) ailment is actually an assignment to go deeper into myself -- not to hide in shame or disguise my truths, but to unpack everything for the sake of healing...truly healing...body, mind, and soul. This might sound absolutely nuts to many of you, but this anxiety, this depression, has quite possibly been my greatest teacher and my toughest, yet most effective, guide. It has allowed me to get very close to things that are intensely real. Uncomfortable things at times, yes. But real things. It has allowed me to delicately hold my own being in the palm of my hands, turning it over with curious observation instead of fearful judgement. It is difficult to resent it, then, when I bear witness to the unexpected potential for joy, connection, and peace it offers. I have not felt so deeply centered, patient, or hopeful in...honestly? I don’t even know how long.
I have lived these past few months by this prayer:
“It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days…Lightly, lightly—it’s the best advice ever given me. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly, my darling."
My friends, love does not shrink when we become our whole selves: It expands. There is so much evidence for this, but sometimes it must be uncovered. We must be willing to do the work of unpacking this evidence if we wish to experience expansion beyond even our most generous expectations. We are brave enough to do this work that is most worth doing. *You* are worthy of this work.
Without a trace of intentional morbidity, I say this: Death is the ultimate destination, and until that day I simply cannot be convinced it is necessary to fear any part of my humanity — my tears, my laugh, my pain, my joy. All of this — the package deal of humanness — is my greatest offering to those I love and to the world in general. The same is true for you, too.
Lightly, my darlings. Lightly.