Saying good-bye to 2013 is such a momentous relief, such an iconic reality of courage and victory, words have seemed simultaneously inadequate and explicitly relevant. Watching it slip away brings no sense of loss. Blech….2013…what an awful year for so many.
Yet, as is the way of life if we let it be so, I will look back on 2013 as one of the best years of growth in my life. The strength I gained and the voice I found and the backbone I developed will be with me, and make possible the accomplishment of more that I am called to do for the rest of my life.
When I made my 2013 resolution to not let anyone waste my time or money anymore, I invited people into my life who valued my time and talents, training and skill, positive attitude and plain speaking observation, and desire to love and be loved extravagantly.
So I find 2014 filled with the option of completing all that I’ve ever started, learning new languages both verbally and musically, fascinated with the ways I might become more articulate as a writer, and smiling at the mere thought of the joyful adventures that these next 365 days will present.
Whatever your resolutions, fitness, sobriety, relationships, the very definition of a resolution invokes a willingness to explore change disentangling and de-enmeshing oneself from a negative and non-nurturing behavior. That process is, of necessity, dramatic and messy.
BUT…and this is a huge ‘but’…what lies underneath and beyond the casting off of the negative is Peace. Inner peace, mental peace, community peace, circumstantial peace. When we are at peace we do not anxiously approach life with duct tape and a hammer trying to make things happen which are not flowing in the most positive vein.
OK…that’s enough heavy stuff.
For small starters, the appetizers of change might be my top ten positive life practices that will under gird any big-ticket change items you might be trying to accomplish. They ground and define daily encouragements to walk on terra firma and not slog through trenches of uneven footsteps.
10. Find a place to hang your keys and always use it. At the start of each New Year, throw out any keys you no longer use or remember to which lock they are assigned. Every time it’s easy to get in and out of the doors of your life, you will remember to live simply and keep only the essential tools at your fingertips. That will transfer to many situations in good and positive ways.
9. Write more words in long hand. It actually will cause your brain to grow. Hold pencil or pen between your fingers and put to whatever manner of paper and there is a physical process that increases brain activity that makes a huge difference in your ability to discern and act. Plus, of course, it reinstates the personal and the relational in a way keystrokes can’t.
8. Jump into adventures and opportunities even if you don’t do it very well or finish. We can’t learn if we aren’t willing to do something poorly at first and a good start is beneficial.
7. Be good to your body. It’s the only one you have. Good health is certainly about long life, but more importantly, it allows us to make the most of days we are currently experiencing. To shape a phrase differently, be daily wise and the years will take care of themselves.
6.Keep little white lies out of your vocabulary. Half-truths and cover-ups have caused many a tragedy and will tilt your moral compass in the wrong direction. Little truths make True North possible.
5. Ask for help and learn to like receiving it. It reminds us we are humans and keeps us connected. Do your very best, as much as you can, and when you find your limits, ask for help. When someone asks for help, give as much as you can. Sometimes that is doing something for someone. Sometimes that is just showing them how there is more in them than they think there is.
4. Nod your head when the deck hand shows you where to go. Talk to the checker at the grocery store. Smile back when someone smiles. Wave to your neighbors. Complete the conversation. The more we converse, the more we move forward as the human collective.
3. Say thank you to children. It teaches them their contribution to the days of the world is important. It encourages them to do it again.
2. Have the courage to dream and act on those dreams. It keeps us from getting lost in the negatives of our stories.
1. Value yourself. The only way to contribute in good and positive ways is to give out of our best not our baggage. When we value ourselves it also helps us value others.
Best wishes for a banner, stellar, fantastic 2014 full of healing and dreams and adventures!