In a Word

Here it is. The last Tuesday of 2017.

Next week, we’ll be two days into a new year.

I’m not one for making resolutions, however the New Year can be an impetus of change.

This week I’m working towards completing my 2018 portion of the YearCompass. I’m a bit hung up on picking a word to symbolize and define the year ahead. The word I would look at if I need extra energy, to remember to not give up on the goals I am setting forth in these pages now. The word that encompasses how I want to feel this year, the kind of experiences I want to have. A word that is a commitment to positive change and growth.

A word is defined as a “single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing.”

A distinct meaningful element.

If you had one word to describe 2017 for you, what would it be?

What would that word be if you were thinking about 2018? What can you do today to ensure you are on track with all of its possible meanings in every area of your life, starting as early as next week?

 

Green Light

I’m forging ahead as if today is Tuesday. We’ve had two nights of back to back holiday concerts, lingering but thankfully temporary illnesses, work commitments and project deadlines. Coupled with last minute Christmas shopping and hours of cutting, taping and wrapping, I felt completely OK letting go of my Tuesday posting habit last night, but only for a day.

The 2018 Year Compass launched two weeks ago. I started working on the first portion of the workbook last week, reflecting on 2017 (you can, and should, download a copy here).

Last year, I remember being a bit fixated on the reflection piece of the workbook. I wanted to understand how, in an entire year, I hadn’t personally accomplished – outside of raising my daughters and all that goes along with being a mother and wife –  something substantial, something tangible, something of value. Something for myself. The honest answer was that I simply hadn’t been intentional on making it happen.

This year, I’m almost dismissive of 2017; I’ll complete that section, because I believe there are important pieces in the review, in the questions asked in it. I’m not, however, lingering on what I didn’t do or spending an unnecessary amount of time looking back; I’m anticipating looking forward at what more I can make happen. I know that I started in a much different place, and the fact that I simply decided to start really is enough. This might only be due to the simple fact that now I know I can.

I’m more interested in focusing on creating bigger intentions for 2018. The word “goals” keeps popping up, but that word feels too limiting, too finite. I’m not referring to New Year’s resolutions that I want to attain and be done with; I want to create sustainability in growth. As a mother, I am constantly recreating and redefining what that means. Each day, each stage, each child requires something different from me. I’m determined not to limit those spaces of growth only to the roles that I have, but to the woman that I am at the heart of everything that I am to everyone else.

Think about the next 365 days. Think about what it could mean for you to build off of the momentum that you can create. Just one idea, one spark. Envision where you could be a year from now, where you would want to be a year from now.

Think about the things that you would do today, tomorrow, next week if you had no fear, no resistance, no hesitation, no time to plan or procrastinate.

And go do them.

Envision all of the versions of you that you wish you could be.

And go be them.

 

 

 

It’s All in Your Head

IMG_6852.JPGA friend who is working late this evening shared over this message from her tea; I found it to be a perfectly timed reminder for me.

I have been focusing on a few phrases to get me through the times when I am not in the mindset that I want to be; where I might not feel as energetic, calm, composed, level-headed or open-minded as I am striving, in my more intentional moments, to be.

If you had suggested taking up a mantra practice to me a few years ago I would have likely laughed, and certainly would not have taken you seriously.  I used to associate mantras with meditation, and although I enjoy listening to the Headspace and Calm apps once in awhile, I haven’t yet been able to get on any sort of meditating level.

I was introduced to a different form of mantra and affirmation practice through Cara Alwill Leyba (author, life-coach, blogger, podcaster); in this powerful post, she explains how she uses mantras and affirmations.  I was inspired to create my own variation of her practice after reading.

Rather than dwelling on challenge, on stress, on lack, on guilt, on weakness, on the negative, certain phrases have helped me get to a better mental place, not just in the moment but overall, with almost any situation I find myself in.  They make me more aware, and remind me to be intentional.  As Cara mentions in her blog, it helps to remove the power and energy from whatever thing or person that is driving imbalance and gives it back to you.  The phrases that I try to use daily are:

“I am not available for struggle.”

“What is meant for me will not pass me by.”

“When I take care of myself, everyone around me benefits.”

“The way that I speak to my children will become their inner voice.”

Tonight, I’m adding that message I received by way of my friend’s teacup to my list, this one specifically for when I need a more positive direction in where my conversations are going.

Do you have an affirmation or mantra practice?  I’d love to add a few more to my arsenal.


P.S. An easy way to find Cara’s mantras and affirmations is on Instagram; she’s @thechampagnediet if you’re interested.

Lowering the Bar

The past few weeks have been nothing short of sheer chaos and disruption.  We sold our house, packed up our belongings, stored a large majority of them, and temporarily moved in with my parents (every 34-year-old, married-with-children mother’s dream).  I came down with the flu while packing over the last weekend before our closing, and I’m still not quite sure where half of my clothing or any of my jewelry is.

The next few weeks will likely be more of the same. Holiday parties, school concerts, family commitments; coupled with the demands of a career in the ski industry, I am feeling some strain.  OK – a huge amount.

I’ve decided I’m going to give myself permission to lower the bar.

This December, I am going to resign to the fact that if I can meet myself half-way, I will consider it a win.

I’m going to focus on activities, rituals and habits that fundamentally make me feel the best, those things that give me energy and put me in the best headspace. I’m going to allow myself to accept that these things might not necessarily line up with the expectations of others.

I’m going to place emphasis on experiences, and being a part of those experiences rather than just creating them. I’m going to commit to those activities and traditions that mean the most to myself and my family, and decline anything that doesn’t align with those priorities. I’m going to do so without guilt.

What level do you hold yourself accountable to, and for what? Why?

Better yet, for who?