Lightening Strikes, Maybe Once, Maybe Twice…

2014 – It’s The Time

The New Year is, for better or worse, a time when nearly everyone takes stock of their lives, where they’re at, what they’re doing and gives consideration for change. While I’m not really a proponent of specific New Year’s goals (i.e. I’m going to lose exactly this much weight, I’m going to save up exactly this many dollars, etc), I do think that taking a good, hard look at your life sometimes is a beneficial and wise thing to do. 2012 and 2013 were both, for many reasons, very trying years for me. However, instead of consuming myself with the “have nots” and the “what ifs”, I’ve found myself dwelling much longer lately on the future instead. It’s mine to grab hold of. I thought I would share some of my (relatively unspecific) New Year’s goals for 2014 – Perhaps not goals per se, but things that I want to revisit, focus on and dedicate energy to in the new year:

1. Forgiveness.

“The moment I let go of it,
was the moment I got more than I could handle
The moment I jumped off of it,
was the moment I touched down.”
-“Thank U” | Alanis Morissette

*Sigh* It’s such a nice concept – But there always seem to be those people who really try your patience, test your forgiveness and wear down your soul. Believe me, there have been times where I’ve very much wanted to stomp my feet like a three-year old, whine and say “But I don’t WANT TO be the bigger person! I want this person that’s hurting me to feel the same pain that they’ve caused me!” Time is such a double-edged sword – There never seems to be enough of it, but oftentimes it’s the only thing that allows you to forgive. I believe that in order to truly forgive yourself and/or others, you need to be well-rounded enough to separate yourself from whatever pain you feel and not allow a knee-jerk reaction to it. Ultimately, you need to love yourself enough to let go. Life has so far shown me that once you’re able to let go, you can grow and then forgive. Every freakin’ time. So I’ve let go of things, of pains charring my heart and clouding my mind. And I’ve grown. And now it’s time to focus on forgiving myself and others (even if I don’t always understand it), accepting the positivity that comes with that and letting it overflow into every beautiful aspect of my life.

2. Kindness.

“One runs the risk of weeping a little,
if one allows himself to be tamed.”
-“The Little Prince | Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Words can become meaningless if you don’t live what you write. Choosing kindness shouldn’t be a choice – It should be automatic. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the things that, at the end of the day, ultimately don’t matter and eventually cause more harm than good. Kindness can be contagious, but so can the opposite of that – And it’s important to remember to remove yourself from any sort of situation where kindness isn’t the automatic choice. I’ve always envied those people that suffer setbacks, and are just as quickly able to get up and move on without so much as a scratch on their heart. I’ve always been someone that needs time to process, time to heal and time to sincerely move on from a detrimental setback. I always thought that maybe those types of people were just naturally kinder than I – Able to forgive, let go and move on as easily as a duck floating on the water. I’d like to be one of those people able to pick myself up quickly and maintain a sunny outlook, even after some sort of wearing on the soul. I’d like to continually choose kindness, even if on occasion it gets taken advantage of or hurts me – What I never want is to become one of those people so jaded that bitterness and disillusionment overshadows their life. I’d rather choose kindness, get hurt every time and pick myself back up after a while to choose it again than shut off my capacity to love.

I believe that kindness and forgiveness sort of go hand-in-hand, and sometimes a reset of your perspective is necessary. After all, karma does exist. I read once somewhere something that was along the lines of “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” This year, I want to take a step back and remind myself to always, always choose kindness.

3. Yoga.

“My soul honors your soul.
I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides.
I honor the light, love, truth, beauty and peace within you,
because it is also within me.
In sharing these things, we are united.
We are the same. We are one.
Namaste.”

My body is my temple and I had been doing so well with yoga in the last handful of years. I’ve always practiced it on and off since I was a teenager, but in the last couple of years it had become a significant part of my life and it was something I loved. Something I looked forward to. And, best of all, something that brought me peace and clarity so intensely that (without sounding too new-age-y hippie freak) I truly believe I was more enlightened to myself and the world around me when I was practicing it regularly. There is an indescribable calmness and peace that I’ve always found when in the “yoga zone” – That amazingly bright, crystal clear place deep inside of you – that can’t be discovered anywhere but from within. Plus, did I mention I was GOOD at it? Well, I was good at it. Like, crazy good. For reasons I’ll never know, my body took to yoga like a fish to water and it just…fit. So much so that I was seriously contemplating getting my teacher certification if it wasn’t so surprisingly expensive and teaching classes to students of my own on a casual, part-time basis.

However, I got so far out of it and away from it in the last year that it’s hard not to be disappointed in myself. In 2014, I have every intention of getting back into a few classes and kicking my ass back into the yoga life. Instead of easing a toe back into the pool, I want to cannonball hard right into the deep end. Hot yoga, evening yoga, weekend yoga – Here I come. Healthy mind equals healthy body, and vice versa – And it’s time to live that again.

Om, shanti, shanti, shanti. 

4. Gratitude.

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life
is the foundation for all abundance.”
-Eckhart Tolle

There is so much to be thankful for and life can ALWAYS be worse. I have exactly what I need and I am exactly where I should be. I’m so grateful, when I think about my life, for all of the opportunities I’ve had, the places and things I’ve explored and the lessons I’ve learned both from the good and from the setbacks. It’s hard to complain about my job, my house, my car, etc – I have those things and I am grateful for them. My family and friends are all healthy and well, which is such an exceptional thing – Who cares if we all don’t see eye-to-eye sometimes? We’re different people with different lives shaping our world view, and as long as they’re okay I will be grateful and enriched. Seeing the beauty of something instead of the problem or potential for conflict about it is part of resetting your perspective and something I want to focus on in the new year. When I count all of the things I have to be grateful for, it fills my heart with love and happiness. I want to dedicate energy to these things and always remember that I have it good. Even in the face of a problem or a setback, I will remind myself that I’m okay. And it will always be okay.

5. Choosing Love.

“Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first.”
-Carrie Bradshaw | Sex & The City

If you don’t love and appreciate yourself, it’s going to cause clear-cut problems in any sort of relationships you try to have. An ex of mine once told me that I am my own worst enemy. I think that’s because I have a tendency to over-analyze everything, but I’ve never been a shallow person. Taking the time to love yourself, and re-learn how to fall in love with yourself over again, is so important – It seeps into how you carry yourself, what you accept in your life, what you let go of, how you operate in your relationships and how you function in life. Every serious relationship that I’ve gotten into has happened when I’ve been at a point in life where I’ve been happily independent, truly loving myself, ecstatic for an unwritten future and confidently happy. People are attracted to this, whether on a conscious or sub-conscious level, and the best ones will grow with you so you can continue on a path of loving yourselves and loving each other. When it comes to deciding whether to love yourself or to fall over the edge into that murky pit of depression and despair, the choice should be easy.

I feel the changes and I’m starting to fall in love with myself again. It all works together, the forgiveness and kindness and loving yourself – Maybe not the yoga, but for me it’s an added bonus! After some heartbreaks, some setbacks, a couple of roller-coaster years, confusion and lots of falling down, I’ve picked myself back up in time for the new year. I’m going to make myself the best I can be once again and journey through another year with a smile on my face, for those around me, for those that love me, for those in my life and, most of all, for myself. I know I’m a constant work in progress, because I never want to stop evolving and learning, but it’s time to focus on the good and live the positive.

Happy New Year, everyone!

~

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