We've made it -- an entire week into a new year! Remember counting down and turning over into Jan 1, 2017? A midnight moment full of excitement, screaming in elation, tears of joy, and a release.
I took a breath.
There's a subtle murmur left behind from 2016 that still encourages me to plan; to meticulously arrange my year and hold tightly to my vision and goals for myself. And it's the most anxiety-ridden feeling that could ever enter my space. Don't get me wrong -- there's an incentive in having a goal to accomplish, remembering the resiliency and strength of my journey thus far. But the small inkling that whispers "now, do better", "you better keep up", "don't rest now -- they're watching" can tear into what should be a proud dawning of "I did it!" And in those whispers, I have to reclaim that energy and remind myself to let the year breathe.
Think of song -- how any singer can make it their own rendition, and sometimes unrecognizable if their runs and ad-libs "do the most". It's here, in the doing, that another singer may encourage their overzealous peer to let the melody breathe -- allow it to be heard and recognized. The listener can then enjoy and savor the song all while the singer can still make it their own.
This is how I want to approach my year -- allowing it to breathe while remaining authentic to my journey.
So how can I do that?
It's almost an instant sigh of relief -- knowing that my life is destined for greatness despite the obstacles and challenges I may face. My faith is without a doubt the foundation to every day of the year. Any vision I have aligns with His provision for me. It's in the daily conversations, prayer, and quiet time I spend loving Him where my confidence lives -- my heart grows soft and strong simultaneously. There is no perfection in this relationship. I don't have to be perfect to have access to His perfect love. But I'm learning to understand that the healing cannot take place without a release of the hurt -- so I breathe into the growth.
PAUSE. BREATHE. Two of the most natural but forgotten practices of self-care. Too often I find myself on the go-go-go that I forget to breathe. I'm not naive to the fact that this year is a year of manifestation from all I've planted in 2016 -- I'll be busy. And in that blessing, I must practice gratitude. Gratitude to Him for the ability, gratitude to my heart for the resiliency, gratitude to my body for the strength and love.
Self-care can look like a 5 minute music session in the car before work, unlearning the inner-dialect of "I'm so stressed" and practicing affirmations like "I am balanced and successful in all I do", or even the self-monitored curfew to shut off electronics at a certain time and devote 30 minutes to reading a book for leisure.
I vow to practice self-care by breathing in peace. I deserve continued peace this year.
- Stay Accountable to My Tribe
Now I could right an entire post on the truth about having a tribe (I probably will), but it's critical that I acknowledge my tribe and their role in my years (past, present, and future). It takes divine ordination and intentionality to form and sustain friendships in a tribe. And with that comes healthy conflict, accountability, affirmation, love, and sacrifice. Within the last two years I've learned some of the most valuable lessons about living life in community -- one of those being to stay accountable to a trusted friend. There will be times that I lose sight of my center and start to spin. Here is when my tribe steps in and reminds me to breathe. They reflect back to me my real self -- the very thing I need to break the glass holding me back from living a fulfilling and authentic life. I mean, even just recently my tribe called me out on the fact that I was running from what my heart needed (don't worry ... the blog post is coming ;). They remind me to step out of my own way and let life love me -- allow Him to breathe into my life. Overall, I LOVE my tribe, and sometimes having them in my corner is both an incredible blessing and a challenge, but I wouldn't experience growth any other way.
In m last post I listed quite a bit, but nowhere near all of the lessons I've learned from 2016. Just as time moves forward, so has my evolution. Evolving is not a straight path -- the trajectory often looks like the mountains and valleys, the ups and downs, the winding road of a journey from one blessing to the other. Month-by-month I can reflect on the steps forward, and also the steps backwards, taken in 2016. Perspective plays a huge role in how I express gratitude rather than disdain for the good and the bad of my year. I've had to take a deep breath and see every lesson as a journey from blessing to blessing -- counting it all joy. Even the moments when the perspective of others on my growth challenges how I see myself, I must honor and not discredit the work I've completed to enter this space. Honoring my growth also means that I have control over who and what enters my space. On one of my favorite podcasts, I remember Fran saying that "minimized distractions creates more room for abundance". It's encouraging to know that when I quiet the judgement of my internal and external world, when I limit the negativity in my space, it's then that positivity, good vibes, and abundance enter into my life. It's a daily journey, but I must exhale negativity and inhale positivity to continue my evolution.
This moment, an amazing place to be, is where I take a deep breath. 1 week down, 51 more to go -- I'm excited to let 2017 breathe and journey through whatever it has in store.