Thursday, February 6, 2014

1 New Year, 7 New Possibilities!

I don't really make New Year's resolutions, because let's face it they rarely last more than a week. But I do love the very idea of January 1st each year. I see it as a blank slate, a fresh start, a time for a new beginning. It's like the very moment before creation, where absolutely anything is possible! Dreams can come true no matter how big, lives can change in amazing ways in the blink of an eye. Each year in this positive, excited, optimistic state of mind, I like to contemplate all the new possibilities of how I can live my life for the next 365 days. Here are a few that I'm considering for 2014:

1. Watch more sunsets. Every day the Universe puts on two spectacular shows, known as "sunrise" and "sunset." Not being a morning person pretty much rules out the first one, but if I am willing to be a little more intentional, I can likely catch the second one on a semi-regular basis. Watching a sunset for me is the equivalent of petting a fluffy kitten, or staring at an aquarium. It's centering, calming, blood-pressure-lowering, and a daily dose of soul-soothing natural beauty.

2. Flirt more. I'm going to flirt with everyone, men, women, children, dogs, the grocery check out clerk, the fed-ex deliverer, the mom and 3 kids at the playground, the 85 year old usher at church. My mother was a Southern girl and boy, did she know how to flirt! Yes, she had men of all ages wrapped around her little finger, but she had the ability to focus her attention on every person she interacted with and to make them feel special, like they really mattered. Flirting was second nature to her, and after years of resisting "turning out like my Mother," I now realize how awesome she was in this way. So I'm going to flirt more, not to get a specific outcome, just to show up as love. There is not enough love in the world, we are too stingy with our love. What is it for if not to give away?

3 Listen more. This goes hand in hand with "talk less." I think we all need to feel that we are heard, that someone really "gets" us and what we have to say. But most conversations are two people talking "at" one another, each thinking about what they want to say next while the other is speaking instead of really listening. In 2014 I want to become the world's best listener.

4. Eat healthier. Like probably 99% of the general population in the U.S., I would like to lose a few pounds this year. Preferably the 10-12 that I "found" over the last 2 years. But after a lifetime of "yo-yo-ing" I have come to the stunning realization that "diets" don't work. At least not long term, not for me. So I've made a new decision. Before I put a food item in my mouth I will ask myself this simple question "Is it healthy and good for me?" (At this point in my life I pretty much know what's healthy and what's not.) If the answer is yes, then I will eat it. If the answer is "no" then I'll make a different choice. Period.

5. Move more. Forget "exercising," I want to PLAY. I want to dance. I want to jump on a trampoline, roller skate, and ride a bike down a hill as fast as I can go. I want to have more fun while moving my body. When we were kids we didn't "exercise," we went out to play and had fun! Time to get back to "playing".

6. Be gentle with myself. I try to be a kind person. I give people the benefit of the doubt and multiple "second" chances. It's time I treated myself the same way, to love myself despite my perceived flaws and faults, to allow myself to be an imperfect human. I am realizing that as long as something is learned from the experience there are no mistakes, only lessons.

7. Allow things (and people) to be what they are. If I can find compassion for myself (see #6) it will be much easier to have compassion for others. I think we spend way too much valuable time and energy trying to make people and relationships "fit" our expectations. I'm going to try to let people show up (or not) the way they are, and to love them anyway. "People show us who they are." I'm going to start believing them, the first time!

*Author's note: It's February 6th, and some of these possibilities have already fallen by the wayside. However, I am going to forgive myself and start over! After all, each new day brings a new beginning....

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