I’ve been feeling a little raw the past few days. This morning, after yoga and tears I decided to take a little refuge in silence and reflect on, and write about, the past year.
I don’t usually do the new year thing. I don’t make a fuss of New Year’s Eve; I don’t reflect on one year before entering another; and I never make resolutions.
This year feels different. It feels like it deserves reflection. I owe it to My Twenty-Fourteen to reflect and take note of learnings, growth and joy, of which there has been much.
Maybe my urge to reflect on this year is down to it being my 40th. My 40th. I still feel like a baby. I have had toddler strops twice in two days.
So here are the things I’m carefully packing into my bag to take with me into 2015:
1 // When my application for September’s Bikram Yoga Teacher Training was unsuccessful, I was given a holiday. I was taken to Portugal with friends. My heart still bursts at the loveliness of this act of generosity. I have many dear friends like these two, who have inspired me, loved me, challenged me, and supported me in myriad ways and I give thanks daily for them. I take them all with me.
2 // My family. I have not been the best sister, aunt or daughter this year. I have virtually ignored them whilst raging through 2014’s obstacle course. But they’re always there, holding my hand. I am lucky and proud to name each and every one of them as part of my tribe. They don’t go in my luggage – they’re coming with me in my pocket.
3 // I’ve always believed that our strength lies in our vulnerability. And in recent years, particularly the past two, I have made a conscious choice to surrender to vulnerability more and more. It certainly hasn’t always been easy. It’s been challenging and uncomfortable most of the time and deeply painful some of the time. But it has expanded my heart and mind to the subtleties and nuances of love in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I have forged deeper, more profound connections. And even though I sometimes feel frighteningly exposed I am happier living more authentically. And grateful (always) that there are angels, human and other, always there with an encouraging embrace.
4 // My giant radiant overflowing raging blue heart. It got broken in June, whilst I was in the middle of a work-related breakdown in a foreign city. My world shattered. I was utterly broken. But for only a few days. The healing took a bit longer, but the ripped-apart feeling of despair lasted only a few days. My heart just filled itself with love and compassion. It told my ego gently to bugger off and it was easy to remember why I loved him and it allowed me to be happy for him. And to give him my blessing. I owe my continued connection to him to my heart. Which contains galaxies.
5 // Dreams taking shape. Huge thanks go out to those of you who have been instrumental in nudging, encouraging, and sometimes kicking me into action. You all know who you are. Here I come Bikram. Here I come.
6 // Shut the Fuck Up And Run. I don’t run but this is my soul-bird’s marathon running mantra. She’s a sweet, kind, gentle wee thing but when facing her first marathon she was not going to tell herself to “run light” or any of the other gently kindly inspirational things her co-runners were telling themselves. Every time she had a thought about something hurting, or it being too long, or she couldn’t do it, she told herself to “Shut the fuck up and run”. I take this Sané, thank you, and I’m gonna use it every time I’m afraid to do anything (like write these entries) that could accelerate my progress.
And lastly, because it’s getting late and I’ve been ignoring a special person most of the day….
7 // My prayer for 2015. Whatever it brings, whatever I create, is that I bring more love, more compassion, and more grace to all my actions. Baby steps. For a 40 year-old baby.
Happy New Year …
8 // INDIAAAA!!!!! After 20 years of dreaming about travelling here, I have made it. Here I am, New Year’s Eve 2014, sitting in a shack, listening to the sea, sand between my toes, face tight from sea-salt, reflecting on my year and all the things that have helped me to start materialising my dreams, having materialised one of the big ones. I know. That was waffle but tough. I need a cocktail.