I love beginnings. (I also love a great ending, but that’s a story for a different day).
Starting a new day, a new week, a new month—or the big momma of them all—the new year, provides (for the optimists among us) the chance to make things a bit better, improve upon those aspects of our life we’d really love to kick to the curb.
I have certainly tried any number of approaches to maximize this opportunity: resolutions, lists, promises, resolves, gym memberships, and the like, but most of that seemed to work against me in the long run. And so, for a number of years, I didn’t do anything at all because I preferred flat-lining (i.e. repeating old patterns) to the reverberations of disappointment and frustration that generally followed my high-minded attempts at transforming my life.
And then? I fell into a bit of good luck with the word ‘practice.’ Instead of some full-out wonder woman jumping out of a phone booth instant change, I began to focus on practicing what it was I wanted more of in the very smallest of ways, daily ways.
When I wasn’t successful, it was no big deal—I was just practicing and could shrug it off to try again the next day.
But the funny thing was, when I was successful it felt huge and great and energizing and gave me more mojo to keep it going.
The fact is, there is a reason my spirit animals are a bunny and a fox—I tend to be timid, prefer slipping out of sight and definitely gravitate toward a quieter, gentler approach in most things—and so initiating the art of practice into my daily life, was the ideal way for me to bring about change in a more gradual, organic manner.
I know that this is not for everyone and I would never suggest that it could be—I simply wanted to share it in case it was helpful to someone else who wanted to use the fresh start energy of a new year in a way that felt strong and supportive of their intention.
Since developing this approach, I can tell you my life has changed more dramatically than I could have possibly imagined—and, in fact, I never would have imagined the changes. So for 2012—I am going to try it once again.
My practice for the year ahead is to tell a new story.
For me, this means when asked to tell ‘why’ or ‘what happened’ or somehow explain the causative events leading up to a situation—I am no longer going to rehash old hurts, wounds, or experiences through the lens I have previously used. Either the story is put to rest permanently or the tale is retold from a brand-new perspective that puts the emphasis on all that I learned and all the good that came from that experience.
I know, right? Pollyanna incarnate—but not really. What I prefer is the language that Pixie shared with me last October—strong medicine. Isn’t that awesome? If you truly seek to learn from what happened and take ownership of bringing it into your life no matter how genuinely awful or unwanted it may be—then, it can be seen as strong medicine to inoculate and/or cure the original source of the crisis.
Anyway—that’s my plan. I intend to practice telling a new story—and catch myself when I find myself rolling out the old yarns.
Do you have a new practice for the year ahead? If you do, please share—I’d love to hear about it and hold the intention for you.
Whatever your plans—may the year ahead be filled with all that you love most.
*photos by thea coughlin
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