“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” ~ Marianne Williamson
Another month to tactfully try to transform your ’13 into a ’14 when writing the date.
Another new month to hear Steve Miller softly singing in your head, “time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future…”
Another chance to improve ourselves.
January is a month for reflecting on the past. As new calendars fly up on our walls, we are wildly ambitious. We have goals, obtainable goals and we claim, “this year, this year I shall achieve my goals.” Our resolutions define our dreams, inspiring us to live more richly and finally become that person we aspire to be.
I look back at my year and feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the places my eyes have seen and the beautiful path I’ve chosen to pursue. I’ve been blessed to travel to places of immense beauty and I know that I will continue to do so. My passion for this amazing world of ours ignites and builds each day.
I could leave it at that.
Or I could go on about how I love not having a nine to five job, or how I would never regret choosing to walk the road less graveled; how I will continue to wander through pristine wild places and how my upcoming travel itinerary could make Elizabeth Gilbert jealous.
I could rub it in.
Or I could tell you the truth.
It’s wonderful to look at only the positive perspective, but if I really want to go deeper, if I really want to learn and grow, I have to look at the flip side of the past as well. To be true to ourselves, I believe we must look in the face of adversity no matter how trivial or detrimental. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve met my share of challenges. The most daunting challenge, ironically stems from the free-spirited lifestyle I have created. I have the ability to work in amazing places for half of the year and the means to travel for the latter half.
People are constantly asking, “How do you do that??”
I cannot count the number of times people have told me they were envious of my life. While I always encourage travel as one of the greatest learning experiences possible, I also retort with a warning; the grass is ALWAYS greener.
There is something almost traumatizing about having to uproot your life every 6 months. The thrill of travel is on close par with the dread of living out of my backpack. I constantly wrestle with the idea of wanting a real home. A community. A permanent address. A bicycle. A garden. A dog. A partner. Maybe even a freaking bookshelf for my poor books confined to a life sentence in the dusty boxes of my parent’s attic.
I am aware: this is a serious first world problem. Mainly, a Y-generation problem.
Boohoo. You are probably thinking, “My goodness, say what!? This girl has too much freedom?” Empathy is far from your mind. However, I commend you; take it as a lesson as I am attempting to.
Everything is about trade-offs. And I do mean everything. Life is a paradox. At the risk of being blatantly morbid: don’t we live to die?
The best thing you can do for yourself, every one of us, is to realize how lucky you are to be exactly where you are.
I’m working on it, everyday.
So this is my resolution to end resolutions.
Every year we get a chance to start fresh, start anew. I scroll over enthusiastic statuses of friends relieved to be rid of 2013. Social media is overflowing with gratitude and resolutions; people are ready to be done with their past, anxiously waiting for that clean slate as they awake hung over and groggy on January 1st, 2014.
Why is it that we need this deadline, this specific day to start new? Last time I checked, the sun rises and sets each day, making each day an amazing opportunity to start again. Humans, it seems, need deadlines. We need social demarcation to move on with our lives.
I have a challenge for you.
Which is really, admittedly, a challenge for myself.
What if your resolution was to be done with resolutions? What if you lived each day as if it were a brand new chance to start over? What if you decided to live the way you intend to without saying, “I’ll change…starting in January.” All the while thinking: someday I’ll be the person I want to be. I have a wake-up call for you: you won’t become that person someday. You will never be the person you want to be, until you realize: you already are.
Look how hard it is to say these words: I am profoundly happy with my life. Try it.
Or even more challenging: This is as good as it gets.
Say it genuinely. Or this: I need nothing else but what I have.
Can you? Honestly?
Can you say, yes, I love myself unconditionally? I realize each day how hard it is to say yes, and how easily we succumb to saying no.
We are great at making excuses. From a young age we are conditioned to think that we are not good enough as we are. We are taught that an even mix of anxiety coupled with ambition will help us become the shiny successful people we envision ourselves to be. It is ingrained into our beings.
I challenge you to live each day as if it were a brand spanking New Year. In reality, each day is a symbol for new growth. One rotation around the sun, one orbit of the earth; they are just versions of one another. When we relax into being and actually love ourselves, only then can we begin to create light in this world.
That being said, Happy New Year!!!
Go celebrate. I implore you.
Carry that feeling with you each day.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Assistant Editor: Heather Hendry / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons