It’s quiet on the streets, and the city has taken on its winter aura of a million shades of grey – beautiful, if seen through the right filters. The loft is cold, but the industrial gas blower kicks in every few minutes and moves hot air around, I’m cozy in flannel, and a giant mug of matcha warms from inside out. Green tea and flannel shirts: two things I could not live without in Canadian winter.
I’m listening to RadioIo Ambient, always just the right vibe for meditation, contemplation and cooking.
While Forest’s perfectly curated grooves bathe my brainwaves, I give thanks for another amazing year on Planet Earth.
It’s always quite shocking when the calendar indicates that a year has passed, isn’t it? On one hand it feels like time has flown and on the other, we wonder how we managed to squeeze so much living into just three and a half hundred days.
Whenever I have the luxury of a quiet day like this, where the world is on pause, the heat continues to blow and the music continues to play and I get to reflect and resolve, I bow deeply to the gods in gratitude. So many people in the world are too busy simply surviving to contemplate happiness.
This has been a full-on growth chapter for me. I spent the year very intentionally solo, single, uncoupled after most of my adult life in and out of long term relationships, which meant a complete from-scratch re-define of everything from where I live to what I do, and a challenge to my emotional security my financial stability and my social aptitude. The re-in-vention continues as I attempt to peel away old layers that no longer serve and polish others that play to a higher calling. I’m choosing to surround myself with positivity and beauty, and in doing so have found beauty in some unexpected places and people!
I dove back into entrepreneurship this year, a place where I’m equally comfortable and incompetent. This is an arena that serves as a master class in communication and commitment. Failure is an option, but fear of failure is not.
Some friendships were tested this year, while others proved rock solid and new ones spontaneously showed up. I could not have gotten through months of this year without the support of some amazing friends. To be a friend to someone in need may be the highest calling there is. I have had better friends this year than I have been.
I struggled with independence. I’m of two dubious hearts here: The one that defies, “Leave me alone, I can do it,” and the one that demands, “Why aren’t you helping me?” This is an arena where I’ve left friends and partners scratching their heads, and one that needs major work. If I take ego out of the equation, independence does not involve another or mean separateness from another at all. It is simply claiming absolute responsibility for my own words, thoughts and actions. Once ego is out of the equation, there is no one to blame (or to claim independence from).
I struggled with solitude. Not with the act of being alone, because I consider that a rare privilege and a gift that most of us don’t give ourselves often enough, but with the aspect of solitude that requires making big decisions in the bubble of one. I understand how women turn into a crazy cat ladies or adopt wolves. The biggest struggles and the greatest pleasures are always best shared, aren’t they?
I was inspired by you this year. So many of you whom I love and admire are the bold ones, the adventurers, the edge-walkers, the people who live as though your heart and mine and this moment are the only things that matter, you who challenge monotony and mediocrity, not the motivational speakers but the motivational doers.
The pathway from dreams to reality is action.
If last year was a year of growth, this is a year of ACTION. A time to implement ideas, to take all the learning and all the experience and synthesize it into refined reality, a year to reach out and connect, a year of bridging community and building business, a year to be bold, to be seen and heard, to be fearless in all arenas, to cultivate generosity and abundance, to wear out the pathway between the dream world and this world, a year of sculpting beautiful supportive personal and professional relationships, a year to harness the incredible flying dragon energy to fire the spirit and move mountains. Yeah! I’ll need fellow fiery dragon wranglers! 2012 is gonna be monstrous!
In my year of growth, I learned a few simple things and learned to groove more deeply a few other things. I hope some of these thoughts will inspire you to grow, to be still, to grow some more.
Chop wood; carry water.
1. My biggest lesson this year: There is so much more to learn!
2. Define your purpose. Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Until you know the answer to that question, life will meander with little meaning.
3. Become a ruthless optimist. Even people who want to hate you will find it impossible.
4. Friendship can’t be measured or judged. True friendship has no agenda but to play, to grow, to support, to forgive and to love.
5. Love for another truly does begin with love for yourself. Love is many things but first, love is a choice. Love is also absolute surrender in every moment.
6. Your body is a temple. Treat it with reverence and it will reward you with a fulfilling life. Make high quality food, daily exercise and a solid night’s sleep your top priorities.
7. Practice radical acceptance. This is not turning a blind eye to what you know is wrong, this is changing what you are able to change and wholly accepting all else.
8. Do what you love. Period. The universe really does conspire to support a person on his or her right path.
9. Schedule time for yourself no matter what. Meditate, pray, sit, sleep. Do whatever you need to do to replenish your spirit daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.
10. Practice gratitude. Each and every breath, each and every moment is an opportunity to give thanks.
11. Grow up but refuse to grow old. Children see the world through curious eyes. When we cease to be curious, we become old. Let your freak flag fly!
12. Ask for help. No one achieves greatness on their own. Your happiness is mine. Your success is my success.
How can I help you?