Just like I imagine many of you, I’ve experienced the feeling of upheaval and harmony, discord and quiet, heartbreak, and contentment. The past year has been filled with change and challenge as sorrow has knocked on too many doors.
Perhaps you feel off-kilter because what was once a “given” (at least for many of us)—family and friends gathered around a Christmas Tree, Menorah, or Unity Cup, and celebrating a New Year—has been altered significantly by a virus (and fear and hate).
On January 1st, 2021, I started a journal where I could record everything positive or uplifting. Initially, it was great, but as the year wore on, COVID deaths grew, and isolation and fear swept the planet my resolve to annotate the happy slowly dissipated. Life got darker.
Joy started being tougher to find. I stopped going to my friend Emily’s weekly zoom meditation to work on client projects, completely dismissed my morning quiet, contemplative time, and did much less reaching out than I did in the first coronavirus year. Our planet seemed overshadowed by clouds so murky that light had to battle to even creep through the crevices.
Despite having a daughter in healthcare, like most people, COVID-19 wasn’t something I ever imagined being part of my reality. Everyone in my family is vaccinated, and we’d been pretty diligent mask wearers, but despite that, the virus came knocking at our door shortly before Christmas. The reactions I talked about yesterday, when the information was shared publicly, were pretty diverse.
I didn’t even attend my church’s Christmas Eve zoom service because I was incredibly emotional. “Family Christmas Eve”got moved to New Year’s Eve, and my wonderful teenage grandson still insisted on carrying on the six-decade-old tradition of a birthday cake for Baby Jesus that evening. Our Christmas was celebrated on New Year’s Day, January 1st.
A New Year
New Year’s resolutions often seem pretty cliche: exercise more, meet the perfect partner (no one’s actually perfect), read haughtier books or actually write the book, get organized (one of my favorites). After all, it’s easy to list all the “will do” or “will change” intentions while holding a glass of champagne in your hand as the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve, but the follow-through can be incredibly daunting or exhausting by week six.
When the clock strikes midnight—that magical nanosecond between “what’s left behind” and “the hope of a new, shiny year”—we often, one more time, resolve to give the coming days a clean slate for a fresh start.
Maybe goal-setting is an ongoing process for you. If so, that’s wonderful. If not—despite the hype surrounding New Year’s Resolutions—there’s immense value in rethinking what’s important, what you’d like to reframe, where your heart wants to reside, no matter when that is.
And, using a milestone—like your date of birth or a few days into a new calendar year—combined with goal-markers (like I’d like to accomplish X by the end of this month) help create life-changing realities.
So, maybe we can do this together with these steps:
1. Make a commitment to decide what you’d like to change. Think BIG—don’t limit it to what you know is definitely is doable. After all, you have 362 days if you start now, and what we now take for granted—like the ability to pick up a cell phone and know the coordinates of where someone else is— was created by fellow humans!
2. Envision what you don’t currently experience that would make your life more joy-filled or gratifying then embrace that. Without happiness for yourself, it’s harder to create that for others.
3. Think beyond the often typical resolutions like: “I want to make more money,” “I need to lose/gain weight,” “I wish I had a larger house or better job,” to personal, internal values like “I want to know and respect myself more,” “I intend to take better care of my health,” or “I will recognize the value in others independent of what I see with my gift of sight.
4. Cultivate meaningful relationships of value and trust.
5. Foster a higher spiritual connection including, practices like daily meditation and self-worth reminders.
6. Recognize what YOU, at your core, desire in your life—peacefulness, connection with nature, time to create, heightened spirituality?
7. Identify where there’s a “hole” in your life yearning to be filled with joy, laughter, peace, and tranquillity?
Reach beyond the typical, looking not only for what’s essential for survival but also for the soul-seeking desire that’s often buried beneath the everyday world. What vibrational frequencies do you want to move in? Where does your spirit want to reside?
Actively seek peace.
Lean into or mend relationships that have value.
Leave relationships that only bring sorrow or negativity.
Decide what parts of you truly speak your truth.
Discard anything that negates your self-worth.
Hear your small, still voice that knows you as love.
Hold onto your truths, and honor them.
May 2022 bring you abundant blessings, love, and, of course, peace.