The end of the year is the time to take stock of what is serving us — and what isn’t. Surprise — they are often one and the same.
Thank you 2016.
Thank you for stirring the pot, upsetting the apple cart and kicking my ass.
This is the last newsletter of the year — and to be honest, when I first sat down I didn’t think I was going to write about this. Perhaps it isn’t clever or themed or relevant to world suffering, and it certainly isn’t wrapped in a shiny holiday bow — but it is what emerged. And typically when I follow the intuitive urge to share something, its message often resonates with others, so here we go.
I almost gave up this year.
Yep, I seriously considered closing down shop.
The post-election fallout with all its dredged up divisiveness, intolerance and dare I say, hatred — left me feeling deflated, distraught and defeated. I’m not headed for politics here — this isn’t about party lines, it is about conversation, connection and community. Admittedly, I had been living in a ‘best self’ bubble, with a somewhat Pollyanna view of the world. My I can do it, glass half-full perspective was now drained, as it felt like the ugliness of humanity rose to the surface. The aftermath seemed insurmountable. The morning after, I cried as I walked in the cold rain in the woods, What are we doing? No one wants to be their best selves. Seriously, we should just stop wasting our time, blood, sweat and tears.
Here’s the thing: I’m still standing, albeit on wobbly feet. I have no idea where this path will lead me, but I believe we are being called — called to show up, called to bring forth our best selves. And yes, I know that may sound like a lot of self-help blah, blah, blah, especially when our personal issues appear to pale in comparison to the intensity of world issues unfolding around us every time we turn on the news.
The tragedies are real, but so are our feelings. When we allow the media to trump our own suffering, we bypass our own emotions and diminish what is unfolding in our own lives — and in doing so, nothing gets healed.
Sitting at a table with a small group of women, most of whom I didn’t know, the topic of news (as in mainstream media) came up. When I blurted out that I’m currently not consuming any of it — one woman immediately responded, Oh, I could never do that. I don’t agree with that. To quote actor Denzel Washington from a recent interview, “If you don’t read the newspaper…you’re uninformed. If you do…you’re misinformed.” The great conundrum.
So who’s right, who’s wrong and what are we left to do?
Perhaps we aren’t supposed to get caught within the vortex of polarity, the notion of right and wrong, good and bad. No matter what end of the spectrum we are on, our own self-righteousness can lead us astray. The real conversation lies in the conversation, when we create space to observe, listen and hear.
Here are 5 things that these recent events have brought forth for me, takeaways that I’m going to carry forth into 2017:
- My feelings count: I’m not going to bypass my feelings because something seems bigger, more important or more tragic. If it’s coming up for me, there’s something I need to be looking at. It has a message for me.
- I like gray: The world doesn’t have to be black and white. My opinion doesn’t make me right, and you wrong (or vice versa). I don’t need to convince you of anything and I don’t need to fix me. We can coexist in diversity.
- Ask and you shall receive: Observe, acknowledge and keep asking questions of your inner self. What’s really going on underneath this? What do I need to pay attention to here?
- Open and close: Where can I go deeper in my own spiritual, soul growth? Where can I open the door and where can I give myself permission to retreat and nurture myself when needed — to allow the unfolding of me? What can I let go of that is unserving?
- My best self exists: She is comfortable within her own skin, not drawing comparisons to anyone other than herself. The goal isn’t to be better than anyone else — it is to be a better version of ourselves today than we were yesterday. What environment and practices do I need to create to foster this ME?
So as one year comes to a close and we stand on the doorstep of a new one — it’s a perfect opportunity to call forth your inner best self activist — the one who calls herself out, and is willing to clean her own stuff up.
So, I’m staying the course, because I love it, I feel lit up and I see the glass of possibility half-full yet again…even if it leads me in a new direction.
Thank you for this Best Self ride. Thank you for being a part of shining the light on where I needed to look. Oh, and thanks for pointing out that even when things appear to not be working, they are actually working for us.
Are you ready to heed your call?
Now that’s a resolution worth getting behind.
As always, I love hearing from you. What are you saying goodbye and hello to? Let me know in the comments below.