With the holiday season, and all the excess that comes along with it, rapidly drawing to a close, it feels only natural to reflect on the past year in preparation for transitioning to a new one.
And while we’re talking about excess, I don’t know about you but my body is certainly feeling the effects of “too much,” particularly heavy, rich, gravy-laden food and boozy coffee. Too much noise and too much hustle and bustle have also taken a toll. I chalk it up to having a highly sensitive nervous system, because even though I knew it was coming, my efforts to brace myself and proceed with caution seem to have been for naught.
As I languish in the slow, soupy, drawn-out days between Christmas and New Year’s, the in-between time when time is pretty much irrelevant, I’ve been hit hard with the awareness that I’ve gone pretty far out of balance. My body has been talking to me and reminding me it’s time to return to healthier ways again. And as I reflect on my journey through the past year, I can certainly see how ‘going out of balance’ in order to figure things out is a common theme that’s reflected in each of my key learnings.
You may recall I chose three words to guide me in 2018: intuition, intention, and inspiration. Little did I know the starring role these words would play in almost the exact opposite way I had expected…or perhaps I knew precisely what I was doing all along? Ya, right. That’s it…
Hits of Intuition – I can see quite clearly in retrospect how, on numerous occasions, my intuition was giving me some serious warnings signs and signals that something was amiss. And I‘m certain I made things more difficult for myself by not listening and trusting the simple signs before me. As my chest tightened and my entire body constricted in the presence of individuals whose intentions were not the most honourable, I was literally being shown how energy doesn’t lie; only people do, and my body definitely knows the difference before my mind has a chance to catch up. I’d like to think I’ve learned a valuable lesson—the importance of trusting myself and my gut, beyond everything else—but I suppose time will be the judge of that. Still, I’m not giving up. I will continue to work on building up my intuitive capacity, flexing it like a muscle, and learning to listen to what it’s trying to tell me.
Honouring Intentions – The biggest lesson I’ve learned about setting intentions and honouring them is that the time and action (or the energy) you commit toward nurturing their growth are what matter the most. And again this is something I had to learn the hard way. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve squandered countless hours, many of which were consumed with mindless scrolling on social media, to the extent that I decided to remove the Facebook app from my phone for most of December. And you know what? This may have been one of the very best decisions I’ve ever made in my life to date. It has clearly shown me the value of limiting my exposure to the impressions I take in from social media, and that I have much better ways I can spend my time, not to mention my life is better lived in real life. I also know now with greater certainty than ever that, if and when I decide to wade back into the Facebook world, I will certainly be treading lightly, and will do so only with very clear restrictions in place.
Harnessing Inspiration – In the simplest terms, this year I learned that when I’m not trusting my intuition and not honouring my intentions, when I’m preoccupied with drama and negativity, when I’m emotionally exhausted and not taking proper care of myself, or wasting my life away on social media, inspiration is an elusive wench, plain and simple. And that’s really all there is to say about that. Except for maybe that I’m curious to see how I may be able to cultivate more inspiration in 2019, when I’m better aligned in other areas.
The good news from all of this is I’ve learned which areas of my life I want to refocus on and place a greater amount of emphasis, and also with whom I want to spend my time and energy going forward. I know I am better poised to enter 2019 with awareness, the ability to set firm, clear boundaries, and the knowledge that I‘m no longer willing to trade my authenticity for someone else’s acceptance or approval.
I’m also aware that all these failures and deficiencies sound quite negative. Let’s face it: 2018 wasn’t entirely kind in many ways. But as I’ve said before, I can see how the situations that brought me the greatest pain in 2018 were a necessary catalyst for my personal growth, and I can now look back with deep gratitude for the refreshing new perspective it brought me. Also, by being brutally honest about what really didn’t work well or serve me in 2018, I absolutely know what I need to move forward, which brings me to my word for 2019:
Although there are many food-related connotations around this word, and even though food/nutrition is very much an integral component of the healthy life I am focused on creating, I actually chose this word, or perhaps it more accurately found its way to me, because it feels all-encompassing of the way I want to approach every facet of my life in the coming year—with the love, care, attention, and nurturing that I so want and richly deserve for myself.
Just as a seed needs fertile soil, water, and sunlight to sprout and grow, my life needs the proper nourishment for me to grow into the fullest expression of my highest self in the coming year.
I spent some time thinking about what feels nourishing to me—mentally, physically, and spiritually. And while by no means is the following list exhaustive, it will definitely serve as a guidepost for me as I look to bring the energy and spirit of ‘nourish’ into all areas of my life. And you’d better believe this stuff is going on my vision board, too.
I am nourished by:
- Meaningful connection and deep, soulful conversations about the nature of the universe, life, and humanity.
- Creativity and new ideas.
- Movement—the mindful kind.
- Introspection, quiet, solitude.
- Helping others.
- Time spent with good peeps, soaking up the good vibes.
- Nature and beauty. Trees are my favourite, followed very closely by mountains and water.
- Singing and dancing.
- Writing. Reading.
- Learning. Growing.
- Sleep, glorious sleep.
- Feeling supported by my peeps, knowing they believe in me and always have my back.
- Riding my bike.
- Practicing gratitude.
- Fresh air.
- Deep breathing.
- Simplicity. Order. Organization.
- Doggie cuddles.
- Sunshine. Rainbows.
- The sky, the moon, and the stars.
- Travel. Exploring. Adventure.
As I dive, head first, into the blank slate that is this New Year, rather than making resolutions that come from a place of fear or inadequacy within myself, I am choosing to focus on what feels like a more positive, growth-based intention setting practice. That’s why, in 2019, I plan to nourish myself deeply; my overall physical health, as well as my emotional and spiritual well-being. I want to devote energy to nourishing my creativity—tending to it and cultivating it as I would a garden of beautiful flowers. In all these ways and so many more, I intend for 2019 to be about choosing only to engage in what feels good and brings nourishment to my soul.
Along with making NOURISH my faithful companion, and of course based on everything I learned from this past year—the good, the bad, and the ugly (because there was all of that and more, and I’m grateful for every part), this is my solemn vow to myself for 2019:
May I always remember my life is worth a billion blessings to everyone I meet on my journey. But I am not for everyone, and everyone is not for me. And that is ok.
I was born of the heavens and am part of all that eternally exists in the sky above.
I am the vastness of my greatest thought, and the infinite power that sources and sustains the entire universe.
On this day, I remember who I am, what I am here for, and why I chose the experiences that have come to me this past year.
Today, I promise to leave the smallness of my darkest thoughts behind and melt with open arms into the love of my highest self.
I surrender to the endless possibilities 2019 has in store for me, allowing each day of the coming year to surprise me and NOURISH the deepest desires of my soul.
I will remind myself to always return to the spark of the divine from which I was created, using my innate power to light the way forward, for myself, and for others, should they choose to follow.
This year, I will give to others what I want back for myself. If I want love, I will find a way, however small—a smile or silent blessing, to love every person with whom I cross paths.
If I want peace, I will think peaceful thoughts, say peaceful words, and pray for peace for all those experiencing chaos.
If I want success, I will work diligently to help those around me succeed. And I will focus on and honour the commitments I make to myself.
If I want respect, I will begin by respecting my own life—body, mind, and spirit. I will respect those around me and those who work to make this planet better for all of us. I will respect the earth, my body, my past, and the unique gifts I possess that I am meant to share with the world.
I will surrender judgment in exchange for reverence, and in doing so, I trust that what I give to the world will be echoed back to me.
As we all ride the wave of the last hours, minutes, and seconds of 2018, I extend my sincere wish for each of you to receive the things your heart desires most in 2019.
May you accept the love that is extended to you. May your heart embrace it fully and may it warm you to the depths of your soul.
May your spirit know the deepest sense of peace.
May you be blessed with good fortune, and if not, may you be resilient enough to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and carry on with even greater strength and determination.
And may you be healthy and know what it feels like to be completely nourished in all the ways that bring you the greatest joy in the year ahead.
With all my love,
my Phare Lady