We can flip the calendar, but what changes? Let’s shift the narrative on a crummy year and regain our sovereignty and self-reflection, revealing 2020’s hidden gifts
2020…hmmm, maybe it wasn’t so bad after all?
Bear with me.
I burst out loud laughing recently when I saw a meme on social media that said something to the effect of, “Getting ready for the New Year, New You bullshit.” Ha! Guilty as charged. I’ve posted those very words about new year intentions myself many times over. Somehow that doesn’t seem like it will cut it this year.
I get how it could sound like a bunch of self-empowerment blah, blah, blah. But here’s the thing: your new year is the very moment you decide to make a shift in your life. It can be any random Sunday thru Saturday, January thru December. Take your pick. The calendar is yours. And simply let go of the new year’s resolutions if they feel pressured or contrived. Hold onto your humor and belief in your own power and possibility — and in your ability to choose something else.
The close of this year has gotten a lot of fanfare for wanting to slam the door shut, goodbye and good riddance. Sure, I’ve done plenty of my own complaining and resisting these past long 9 months. I’ve whined about what I felt was taken from me, from us. I’ve even written my fair share about it as well.
But as you take stock of your 2020, as you assess what changed, what was lost, what got triggered and stirred within you — did you ever stop to consider that maybe it wasn’t so bad after all?
Of course, the rare exception to the rule here is with anyone who got sick. This blog isn’t about a virus, this is about our spiritual journeys in the face of adversity, no matter the size.
Complaining about something doesn’t cause it to morph into anything else. It doesn’t feed transformation, it feeds the status quo that you are trying to escape. Complaining is like worrying. It’s providing an energy source for what we don’t like and don’t want, keeping it in perpetual motion on an inescapable treadmill.
Bill (my partner in all things life and biz, and chief idea sharer) said the other day that his word for the new year is simplicity. When I let that sink in, it resonated so deeply with me. It felt like an exhale and a hug at the same time. In fact, I wanted it to be my word and intention too!
Simplicity has emerged from the ashes of this crazy year.
We’ve all gotten a big dose of just how differently we could do the things we thought we couldn’t do differently. We all saw things fall apart and others come together. We recognized things we liked, other things we were ready to release. We learned a great deal about our resiliency and what we truly need to be happy and at peace.
I was cranky for several months as every trip and vacation fell away. I missed my gatherings, routines, friends, hugs. But I also began to realize how fortunate I am to have a life I love. Now that wasn’t always the case (far from it). This life didn’t magically come together. In fact, I crawled on my knees to rebuild it after losing everything in a previous chapter (and still building btw).
That dark journey gave me stamina. It woke me up. It empowered me to see my role in things…especially in the reclaiming of self.
And it doesn’t mean that things always go my way, but it does mean that I’ve learned to use whatever is thrust in my direction and to not allow it to use me — most of all, to trust that I will navigate it (even when I’m wobbling on uncertain feet).
Yes, we’ve been through the ringer on this one. As we close out this unforgettable 2020, I encourage you to spend some time quietly reflecting, perhaps more than ever because this one has cracked us open. Allow yourself to slip into the embrace of ease and simplicity and all that brings comfort to your soul. Replace the usual new year’s eve festivities and merriment with some nurturing, intentional journaling and stillness. Allow what is calling to come forth.
What emerged during this period that needed to come forth (welcomed or not)?
What did you observe about yourself (any new feelings / discoveries or surprises)?
What are you giving yourself permission to let go of that you previously thought was impossible (people, place or thing)?
What are you determined to hold onto and honor?
Like most of us, I’ve been up and down this year. I’ve been all things. I’ve been triggered and at peace. I’ve felt completely lost and at home. I’ve felt connected and disconnected, hopeful and in despair.
Feeling the feels, the full gamut of feels, is the journey.
I squeeze lemonade from lemons, no matter how sour. It’s not that I always see clearly in the heat of the moment, but I’ve learned (the hard way) that when I ask whatever discomfort lands on my doorstep — what meaning it has to share — something within me shifts (eventually).
Here’s a list of some of my 2020 gifts that will hopefully help you uncover yours:
- Gained clarity about what I want to do with my life / what I don’t want to do (and with whom)
- Brought a puppy home and filled my house (and life) with dog medicine and wet kisses!
- Rededicated to my passions
- Took some bold steps on behalf of my goals (more on that later)
- Explored hard conversations with others
- Released my need to be right (well, working on that one! wink)
- Recognized (and owned) my judgment of others
- Reaffirmed my understanding of the healing power of nature (and my need to stay aligned with Mother Nature and God)
- Connected to my family and my home more deeply (connected to my inner homebody)
- Reclaimed precious unexpected quality time with my son home from college
- Elevated consciousness about consumption (analyzed what I needed vs. what I wanted)
- Listened more, spoke less
- Talked back to limited thinking
- Refrained from ‘fixing’ things, sat in the present moment of what ‘was’ as a witness
- Let go of some people, welcomed other beautiful souls
- Released ‘shoulds’ and realized the world didn’t fall apart!
- Honored my ancestors in a new way (recognized my place in my lineage and my role as a cycle-breaker)
- Trusted myself, witnessed my intuition take flight
I recall having such hope for 2020 — that this auspicious number would bring forth great clarity. Perhaps at the end of the day, it actually delivered. Yes, it arrived in some unexpected wrapping and was accompanied by upheaval, fear, divisiveness, bigotry, racism, natural disasters and just about every other unwanted experience of the ugly underbelly of humanity. But it also called to us from deep within. It asked us to show up and be a part of the change we wanted to see in the world.
It didn’t hand us a lovely gift on a sliver tray. No instead, it dumped a shitstorm upon us.
But you likely know better than anyone, the times we’ve made the furthest strides throughout our lives were the times when we were nudged, pushed, left with no other choice. What if 2020 wanted to reveal your Best Self to you?
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Life was hard enough this year. Gather your wins and hold them tight. Allow them to bolster you for more. Pat yourself on the back and protect your sweet dreams. Be gentle and kind and compassionate. Allow this year and all its events to plant seeds for all that you desire.
And then find your humor. I wrote 2020 a parting note. Disclaimer: This isn’t prose, just feelings.
You came in like a mo-fo…but you are actually leaving like a lamb. You’re not as badass as you think. And no, nothing quite feels safe or determined. But I do know that I am bigger than you. You’ve taken enough from me, seized far too much of my joy, pulled the rug from under my feet for the last time…so sorry, the jig is up. I’ve got big plans. Yes, they may get rerouted or derailed along the way, but I am resilient and empowered to trust that I rise, I always rise. So, hit the road. Hasta la vista baby. 2021 or bust!
It’s easy to flip 2020 the proverbial ‘bird’…but in the quiet of your spirit, ask yourself what she gifted you. Allow your Best Self to whisper the response. Life will always provide us with the ammunition to complain — remember, you get to change the narrative at any time…today, tomorrow, new year’s day or any other one within the 365 on the calendar.
I believe in us. Thank you 2020.
Got any parting words for 2020? It’s easy to complain about her…but I want to know if you want to shift the narrative on that? What has she gifted you? Please share with us in the comments below.