2016 was hard. It wasn’t the worst, not the best, but in any case, it’s good to tie up loose ends and welcome a fresh, shiny new year. What are your plans to make the most of this new opportunity?
My numerogically-gifted friend Shae will tell you 2016 was a 9 year – a time for endings and closure, however difficult or painful, and sometimes necessary. But today begins a 1 year – the beginning of a new nine-year cycle which will set the course for years to come. It’s a chance to evaluate where you are and where you want to be, and devise a plan to get there.
For me personally, the last few years tested my limits and resources, brought absconded health issues to the light, and challenged me to reevaluate my methods, across the board. I learned about my own resilience and industriousness. And despite frustration, 2016 was luckily absent of tragedy in my family, though many people are aching. That said, it was a hard year, but generally a good one. 2017 is a 1 year, and I am a 1, so I’m seizing this year as mine. The door to the universe is open.
I was watching a recent episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown in Rome in which actress and director Asia Argento told Tony she worried about her neighborhood, her children, and her building, and that was plenty to worry about. It sure is. While I encourage civic involvement and staying engaged in the world around you, sometimes your energy is better spend on the things you can influence and on those you care most about. I can’t do anything now about politics or the economy but I can help my daughter have a great day, everyday.
So as many of the things I care about have fallen by the wayside in the last handful of years, starting Pura Vida. Sometimes. has helped me rediscover and connect with things that are important to me. It has also help me to think (or at least phrase my thinking) in a linear, relatable way, it’s made me a better marketer, it helps me to refine my writing, and it keeps me grounded. Its growth has been slow but promising, and I thank you for coming along, but to be honest, I’d probably still be doing the same things and maybe writing about them even without an audience.
Last week, driving a few hours down the highway for a lunch date with a friend who’s moving to her home country after decades here, I was reflecting on how she and I met, and how life has changed drastically since then. Back then, I was riding horses and off-roading, but I’ve gone through phases of salsa dancing, surfing, hiking, Zumba, country two-step – generally activities involving music or nature and great people. Speaking about it that day with my dear friend, she observed that they were all moments of joy. As one door closes, another always opens, and though we may feel nostalgic for days passed, more moments of joy are sure to follow. Friends leave, but it is with excited anticipation we wait for our next encounter. Goodbye is intentional, but joy and love circle back.
I’m hopeful and eager for whatever this next phase of life brings – things I’ll discover, moments that will ignite my spirit, friends I’ll meet and other’s with whom I’ll reunite. From a year of challenges emerges the promise of change.
Nearly every year of my life I’ve had the New Years’ resolutions to get healthy, lose weight, develop skills, improve my character, explore new places, etc., but given the last handful of years, those things are less important to me.
2017 is a decisive 1 year. The time to decide how you’ll live the next nine years. The opportunity to decide who you want to be and what’s important to you. I’m sure I’ll default to my long-standing resolutions at some point, maybe when life’s been all peachy-keen and I’m not experiencing an energetic shift like I am now, but just for now, I’m going to live intentionally and scrap the resolutions.
2017 New Year intentions
Space: I once read a meditation book by Wayne W. Dyer called Getting In the Gap: Making Conscious Contact with God Through Meditation, that taught meditation by focusing on the spaces between the words of the Lord’s Prayer (Our father, who art in heaven…). Stay with me. I have 30 minutes of free-time right before bed each night, and that’s all, but my doctor wants me to exercise 30 minutes each day. I have to cook dinner each night, but it takes away from time with my daughter. I often don’t have the time to write or design (and forget about sleep), but I can make space. I can park my car further and take the stairs and be intentional about the trek, teach my daughter to cook, look for space between the words of daily life to connect with the people and things I care about. Intentionally and mindfully, these practices become meditative and transformational.
Balance: Everything is best in moderation – even moderation. Even the smart doctors will tell you that. There’s no magic diet, no “right” way to do things, no shortcuts. We each have to do the best we can given fluctuating circumstances, and try to prevent the scales from shifting too far in either direction. I don’t want to be skinny, I may not ever be as healthy as I once was, I probably won’t leisure read until my daughter’s eight, but I can find the pathway to what makes me happy physically, spiritually, and intellectually.
Peace: As the Serenity Prayer goes, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.” In 2017, I will try not to fall into the rabbit hole of things I cannot change, do what I can to positively affect the things I can, accept big issues and find small everyday solutions, honor and love myself as I am today, and always move forward.
Joy: The last handful of years, everyone else in my life has taken precedence. I’ve empowered and built a life that nurtures my family, but have sacrificed some of my needs, and at times, all of them. My priorities in life have shifted, for the better I think, but it’s time to reclaim some of what makes me who I am. I will pursue the joy – the next discovery of music or dance, my connection with nature, great friends, and halcyon moments that will define the next chapter of my life.
I dare you use 2017 to dream big, use your intuition, think about what’s important to you, and ask yourself:
- In 2017, who do I want to be? Who or what’s stopping me from being that person?
- Who do I want to be eight years from now?
- How do I get there?
- What are the big steps, and what are the small steps that get me to the big ones?
- Where do I need balance, and how can I create the space?
- How do I increase the love I give and get?
- How do I define joy?
2017 gives is our chance to chase the music, be more of who we were meant to be, and remain open to the beautiful gifts life presents in this new chapter. Happy New Year, and thanks for being a part of the journey – pura vida!