2016 - My year of 'Quiet'

Well, 2016 is upon us, and to some this means the start of new things.  I am not much for resolutions, but I do like to sit quietly with my thoughts at this time and reflect on the year that has passed -

I declared 2015 to be my year of 'Grace'.  When I first made the declaration, my intention was to offer more grace to others.  To love more, to judge less, to have more patience, and to have a wide open heart.  To look past disappointment and the dreaded expectations and offer 'Grace' in a kind and loving way to all whom I encountered.

However, very early into 2015 I swiftly, and somewhat brutally learned that offing 'Grace' to others was not the divine lesson that was in store for me.  It seemed that lurking behind every twist and hairpin turn in my 2015 path, the Universe was snickering "Grace huh?  Let's see how you handle this!"

Our 2015 offered many lumps and bumps, and as the calendar switched to 2016, I crossed the 2015 finish line weary, bloodied, battered and bruised.  But not broken.

I, tongue in cheek, will likely always refer to 2015 as "the year that kicked the shit out of me".  It made me question,  re-evaluate, and change how I perceived pretty much everything.  My friendships, my parenting, my family, my career choices, my business decisions, my financial choices, my marriage, my self worth... All of it.  I weathered storms - of hurricane caliber - in pretty much everyone of these areas.

2015 carried with it SO many lessons - most of which I was able to handle with an outward appearance of  'Grace'.  Some of those lessons were hard and devastating, and some were a simple but necessary affirmation of my correct path in this journey, and some, well, I guess I am still trying to figure out what the heck the lesson was...  But what I KNOW for sure is that all the lessons - good or bad - known or unknown - are all so very sacred because they truly showed me what I needed most to know about 'Grace'.

What I needed most to know about 'Grace' was that I rarelyoffered it to myself. 
Offering 'Grace' to others was a breeze, but offering it to myself was not something that  came easily to me at all.  I am SO very hard on myself when things do not go 'right'.  Harder on myself than I would ever allow anyone else to be on me.  In 2015, I promised to stop...  To try to show myself some of the 'Grace' I so eagerly offer to others.

While 2015 was very trying, it also holds some of my life's most magical moments.

  • I learned that even though facing the reality of aging parents as a 'now' only child still wallops me, I am able to manage the scary stuff, even when everything inside me wants nothing more than to just be little again.
  • In 2015, I learned I could take some huge hits, and still smile...  But then also reach out to my life line of heart friends when the swirling darkness threatened to pull me under...
  • I learned how to recognize what life line of heart friends really looked like.
  • In 2015 I was the recipient of a very generous act of kindness.  One that still makes me put my head down and do the ugly cry when I think about it.  I have kept it very sacred, safe, and close to my heart, but will someday openly share it.  I was an unforgettable act of pure love.
  • I got to hang out with many of my all time favorite Canadian Music Icons in 2015. 
  • In 2015 I was able to see more of our amazingly beautiful  and historically rich country, and create some lifelong memories when I travelled with Emma on her Grade 7 School trip to Quebec. 
  • I learned that miracles can happen, and the unlikeliest of forces can unite in the protection of those loved so very much.
  • I welcomed my first Grandchild, and began the next phase of my life as 'Mimi', as I tearfully and proudly watched my son become 'dad', and my husband become 'grandpa'.  This event also created some incredibly excited, doting and head over heels in love Auntie's, Uncle's and Great Grandparents among those I hold dearest.  I am SO grateful for my front row seats to witness this beauty.
  • I put my toes in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time ever when I was able to escape for some connecting time on a South Carolina Beach with some of my most beloved sisters, for some time of sacred sistering.
  • I started my stint as a teacher for Brave Girl University.
  • I was able to play a small part in several love stories this year with Fearless hART as my guide..

So, 2015 - My year of 'Grace' I respectfully and humbly bow to you for all we endured together.  All the good times, and all the challenges.  Know that I am grateful, and that I view each lesson is a perfectly beautiful albeit messy gift.
One seldom emerges from a period of trying times completely unscathed.  I am finding that there are still some things that need to be resolved, some decisions that need to be made, some questions that need to be answered, and some wounds that need to be healed.  I begin this new year feeling a wee bit scattered, disjointed, foggy and in need of some clarity.

As I leave my lesson filled year of 'Grace', I will be entering into my soul searching and reflective year, that will be guided by 'Quiet'.

I will be spending my 2016 turning down and cutting out the noise...  So that I am able to hear my own voice, my own intuition, my own needs and desires, and my own callings to serve.  It is the year of making my own voice matter as much to me as everyone else's.  It is the year of finding my center and refocusing on what really matters, and letting go of what really doesn't.  Clutter is noise, judgement is noise, speaking without action is noise, 'Should' is noise.

I will be spending more time reading books and less time reading click bait articles such as "67 characteristics of a successful person", "342 ways to be happy", "84 tips to be a better mom" - or any other generalized opinionated summation that points out the ways in which I am failing - without knowing anything about me, or my life.  It is all noise.

To cut out the noise, I am reinstating a daily yoga and meditation practice.  To honor the 'quiet' I will write every day.

I will be reducing my screen time, and increasing my face time in 2016.

May the 'Quiet' allow me to hear my own voice.  May the 'Quiet' lead me to be authentically intentional in all of my choices.  May the 'Quiet' help me to live in the present moment - not in the ones that have passed, or worrying about the ones that haven't come yet.  

And may I offer myself 'Grace' as I fumble on down this road and I gratefully accept as many 'Day Ones' as it takes - I anticipate needing many.

The Work of Byron Katie

May your 2016 be all that you need it to be.

With love and gratitude,

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