A Year of HopeThe New Year is often seen as a lighthouse for new beginnings and new possibilities. A time where mistakes of the past year become the lessons for the future. For some, it is a victory lap for overcoming the impossible. It is a new chapter waiting to be written. January 1st represents moments of hope, healing,  promises and possibilities. While it is still all of those things, it is just going to look a little different this year. More work will be required of us, but the growth will be magnificent and better than anything we could have ever imagined.

One thing about the New Year I could never understand was the concept of “resolutions.” To me, when I hear resolutions, it makes me feel I have something to resolve. What if I don’t have anything that needs a resolution? Then what? Where do we go next?

My literal interpretation of that word always felt so discouraging so I never made any.

Instead, I began calling them “New Year’s Intentions.” It may seem like such a trivial change, but it holds a much deeper meaning. Intentions have no end or no beginning. They can take on any form and never lose their value. Intentions convey to the Universe that you are ready to receive all that is deserving of you.

New Year’s intentions won’t fade by the end of January, because they originated out of an abundance of your very thoughts, feelings, words and actions. It will always remain with you and a part of you.

Trust me! Try setting intentions this year!

Yours may look different than mine, and that is fantastic! A garden is more glorious when all flowers are not the same!

As I do every December, I spend the last few weeks of the year thinking about not just what I want from the year ahead, but also what I can give back to make the world feel a little less pain.

I have always believed that we don’t need to be on the frontlines to make a difference. When we are centered, the steadiness of our true intentions emits energies of high vibrational frequencies that help in the healing process no matter where we are.

Remember, when creating yours, keep it simple. You don’t have to have an extravagant end point.

Simple. Sustainable. Steady.

So how about we set a few intentions, right now, together? Here are just a few of my intentions for 2021 and beyond:

Affirmations. What we believe, we live. After years of epic failed attempts, I am finally beginning to accept that self-judgment only leads to spinning our wheels further into this incessant pool of negativity. It gets us nowhere! So why do we do it?  This year I am choosing to change all of that. Every day, I look in the mirror and tell that reflection staring back at me ONE positive way she is making a difference in the world.  When we think positive thoughts, we believe them. Our actions are manifestations from that single thought.  That single affirmation results in a surge of neurotransmitters that leads us to feel happy, hopeful and joyous. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Three of the most powerful words. Say it often enough and you WILL believe it. When we believe in ourselves, we will do everything we can to stay healthy and support that awesomeness.

Meditation. When I first stepped foot into the mandala of the meditation circle, I was scared of what I would find within myself. I wish I could say I am as disciplined in my meditation practice as I am in my workouts. I still meditate once a week, but to truly reap the benefits of the practice, I am lovingly guiding myself to a daily habit. It is no longer fear that keeps me off of the mat. It is pure laziness!! Meditation has healing benefits that have been consistently proven time and time again.  So why not do it? I think part of it is the uneasiness of sitting in silence with our own thoughts. Not knowing what truths could emerge is a little unsettling. But when we release that control, meditation is ONE of the very best resources we have to living a healthy life. My intention is to sit for FIVE minutes daily and turn off the world. Try it! I promise it will change your life and your health.

One new thing a day. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a diehard Friends fan. I can recite any line from any episode from all 10 seasons. So, this next intention is a tribute to the episode “The One With All The Resolutions” where Ross decides to try one new thing a day. I started thinking about that and thought, why not? We are so used to living in our comfort zones and anything outside of that safe air space scares us. But doesn’t growth, healing, joy and happiness come from new experiences? I decided the “new thing” doesn’t have to be anything big. For example, I put the spoons in a different drawer than normal or I put my left sock on before my right. This seems so silly, especially with everything going on in the world. But just in the last couple weeks of trying “one new thing” I have started appreciating the small things that I so often took for granted.  It is doing a puzzle for the brain. I find I have to slow down and concentrate because I am no longer operating on auto pilot. I just smile and giggle at the simplicity of having to think for a second or two before putting on the left sock before the right. How truly simple healing can be if we just move past home base. Finding the courage to trust new experiences leads the way to making greater changes in our lives.

Journaling. This may not excite some of you out there, but hear me out. You don’t need to be holding a pen and paper to journal. Yes, while scripted words offer a cathartic release, any form of artistic creation can do the same. We don’t have to be an artist or master creator to express those visions we dream. A box of 24 Crayola crayons and a $2 coloring book is journaling. Organizing your desk or closet is journaling. Trying spontaneous recipes is journaling. Wearing mix-matched socks is journaling.  Typing a letter to Mother Nature is journaling. To me, ANYTHING that allows a passionate expression of oneself is journaling. Dancing, for me, is my everything. I have used the power and grace of movement in dance to convey things that words couldn’t match. But this year, I wanted to learn other ways to speak the language of expression. This one is a work in progress. The perfectionist in me is learning to let go of how I think the outcome should be and just give myself permission to be “perfectly imperfect” in the process of creation. As with all of my other intentions, I wanted to keep it simple. What’s simpler than a box of crayons and a blank sheet of paper? A canvas for unleashing the imagination of all of our thoughts and feelings and being free to express in a way words can’t is the healing power of journaling.

When I was thinking of topics to write on this month, these were the furthest things in my mind.

I could have played it safe and went the conventional route by promising myself to drink more water or get to bed 15 minutes earlier or resist that last cookie, but I wanted to see what would happen if I went unconventional.

I am not saying those things are not important, because they are! I knew that taking a detour through the scenic route would lead to new experiences and greater learning. After all, I was still going to the same place. How I got there was not as important as the fact that I reach safely, even if it takes a little longer.

Thank you for allowing me to share with you this new journey and I hope it inspires you to look at yours in a different light.

All roads lead to the same place.

2021-A year of hope. A time of healing. Here is wishing each of you a very Happy New Year!