Every year, I pick a word or theme for the coming months. I’m not into goals and resolutions because those are generally forgotten before the first week of February.
But I love the idea of a theme for the year, something to put in the back of your mind and mull over gently for the next 12 months. For myself, I always pick a quality that I want more of in my life – more harmony, less discord; more laughter, less pessimism. It could be anything. I pick whatever feels right.
I’ve been working through Susannah Conway’s Unravelling 2013 workbook, reviewing 2012 and looking forward to 2013. This past year was a doozy – there was a lot of hard and a lot of wonderful. It was a year of adventure, and it wouldn’t be an adventure unless there were good times and bad times. (Would Indiana Jones have been as awesome if he didn’t have to run away from giant rolling stones??)
As some of you know, I sold all of my furniture, put the rest of my belongings in storage, packed up a suitcase and went off to art school in France to study the art I’ve always wanted to make. It’s been both more amazing and more difficult than I foresaw.
It’s also been a year of being blindsided by personal grief and events that echoed through my life, rippling out like waves in a pool. I’m still trying to put bits of me back together.
2012, more than anything, was a year of lessons – that I’m stronger than I think, that I’m more scared than I thought, and that I’m deeply, deeply stubborn when I really want something.
I also learned that planning is really useful and helps me keep moving forward, but sometimes the Universe sees all your pretty plans and then laughs gleefully as it smacks them all away with a careless swipe of the hand.
Also, that love, kindness, patience and compassion will fix pretty much everything. And that if you just pour as much love as you have into a situation, it will heal. That healing may not always look the way you imagined, but there will be peace & ease there.
Looking to the year ahead
My word for 2013 came to me weeks ago - Lightness.
2012 was a heavy year in many ways and more often than I’d like, I forgot to relax and enjoy myself.
This year, I want some more lightness. Lightness of spirit, of body, of mind, of art.
Lightness of feet as I dance around my kitchen.
Lightness of voice as I sing enthusiastically and off key in the shower.
Lightness of mind as I remember to laugh, both at myself and at the vagaries of life.
Lightness of spirit and heart as I learn to release old wounds and hurts.
Light infusing the art that I make.
If you forget to relish the good times, it’s that much harder to get through the bad times. I’ve been learning this lesson for the last 12 years. What can I say? I’m a slow learner.
Even when I was most sick – so sick that friends couldn’t come to visit and days passed in a haze of daytime television and ceiling-staring, I held onto the little things. I’d paint my nails bright blue, and then every time I saw my hands, I smiled inside.
Now, here I am doing things I couldn’t have even imagined 7 years ago and I keep forgetting to relish the wonder of it all. In my heart, I’m so happy I could burst. But then in my day to day life, relaxing and enjoying it all slips away in a tidal wave of to do’s, to don’ts and anxieties.
And as I work through my personal grief, it’s more important than ever that I remember to welcome joy into my daily life. It’s not about blind positivism, but of balance – yes, there is pain. But there is also pleasure and sunshine and rain pattering on roofs, and freshly baked cookies and steaming cups of tea and brightly-coloured fingernails.
So here’s to a year of laughter and playfulness, to delicious food and goofy dancing, to ridiculous jokes and silliness, and remembering to not take life too seriously.
Here’s to lightness, in all the ways it shows up.
If you’d like to help me get back to France this year & read more about my journey, click right here to find out more.