Change is inevitable. I don’t fear change, I welcome it with my goals. My life long goal is to be the best person I can be and live my best life. I think stagnation means you are dead or close to it. Life is about living. I choose life. I have never been so attached to a year like I am with the current year. 2013 was amazing and I can’t let it end without expressing gratitude.
I started this year with three simple goals meditate daily, be physically active and nurture my creativity. It takes time to develop habits and the habits I wanted to implement were challenging. I set myself up to succeed and made sure I was easy on myself if I slipped up. I was reward by life for my progress.
Meditation is a challenge. However, setting time to mediate and practicing daily was a success. I successfully meditated for five months straight (January – May). Overtime I noticed I got better with being present and I could meditate longer. As work got busier, my days at work got longer; I slept in more and mediated less. It’s been a challenge to get back to the level of meditation I got to this year. But, seeing the positive impact that mediation had on my life, I intend to get back into my daily meditation routine in 2014.
Nurturing my creativity was an easy goal in theory. I am creative. As I got older and work loads got heavier it was hard to create. I realized in college I turned to creativity when I had a hard semester. I need to create to be happy. I had writers block for almost eight years and felt my writers block was the result of all the research papers I wrote in college that required me to think critically to defend my point of view on papers I wrote. I discovered that my writers block was fear.
This goal encompassed taking one-day art classes that fit in my schedule and writing classes. I did all the things I set out to do with this goal. In the process I found my creativity and gained a deeper understanding of myself. I learned that my fear was deep, I was afraid of being truly seen and heard.
If you don’t show the authentic version of yourself it is safer, but it will eat at you over time.
Improv is where the true magic happened (it was an extension of my creativity goal). I found so many parallels about society and myself as an improviser. I didn’t like what I realized. I used to dance when I was a girl and baton twirl, I was in show choir in jr. high and I addressed audiences since high school. I have no problem being on stage, but it’s intimating making up stories as you go and it’s a hard skill that I am learning.
What bothered me was how hard free association is for me. I discovered the extent that I have filtered my thoughts and words since I was a young. While I feel confident and bold at times, I have not been as bold as I thought.
Improv involves playfulness. I am playful with my friends and family, but in mixed company, my professional persona always takes charge. Improv helped me to dig deeper and more magic came.
Be physically active involved practicing yoga and other physical fitness activities. I was asked to play windy city softball. I played softball for about 10 years between elementary school and high school. I was a decent softball player, but I am a shitty windy city softball player. Windy city softball is co-ed and played with a bigger softball. They say it takes a seasons for new players to adjust to the ball. I agree. It was a challenge to adjust to the feel of the ball. The ball was so large that if a ground ball was hit, it would bounce. I have been out of practice for years, and I don’t want to get crazy on the field diving etc. because I didn’t want to get hurt.
I decided that yoga would be the means to carry out my fitness goal for the duration of the year. As I practiced yoga over time I started to see how it helped me create a calm and break in my week. I was getting strong and in shape. Practicing meditation and yoga together in the same year deepened my spiritually. Everything I did this year led me to the next thing and they complimented each other. I no longer believe in coincidences as a result of this year.
This year has been the fastest yet, but it felt like two years to me. The first part of this year (January – May), when I started my goals, felt like one year. June was a turning point, where my goals pointed me to a new direction (Redirection: 7 Lessons from Living Differently). The second half of the year (July – December), where I implemented my goals for my down time, felt like a completely different year.
On top of what I learned there were all the re-connections and memories of parts of my life that I haven’t thought about in years. I reconnected with a friend that led me to my spirituality. She gave me some information that I didn’t know I needed to hear. I reconnected with a good friend, E, who reminded me of who I was before I went through all my growth. He also pointed out the strengths that I had before all my major growth over the years. I am not sure I ever acknowledged those strengths prior to them being pointed out to me?
Then I attended a wedding for my acting buddy, Jimmy Dean. That wedding was a great reunion of my creative friends that I haven’t seen since I moved. Plus, it brought back so many memories of my acting class, my acting friends and the years prior to my move. I found my group of girlfriends and artists who I have been actively searching for since I moved.
And I deepened relationships though my practice of being vulnerable, in a way that I have never been before.
I had so many opportunities too! I wrote and read an original poem at an art museum, I won an award for an improvised speech that I gave on creativity and my goal to volunteer with a theater company led to me achieving my secret goal of assistant directing. Plus, I staffed a leadership program for teens that I haven’t been able to staff since I’ve moved to LA.
Never in my life have I learned so much and have been so profoundly changed by a year like I have by this year. Thank you universe for everything this year encompassed. I look forward to 2014 continuing the moment that I started this year. Happy New year to you and yours. May 2014 provide everything you need.