How’s it going with your New Year’s resolutions / intentions / desires?  If you are like most of us, it is already getting difficult to stay with the changes you wanted to make.  Change is always difficult – whether we decide to do it on New Year’s Eve or a random Tuesday in May.
My intention for 2016 is to have an increase in mindful living.  I can sum it up into one word…. my word for the year, grounded.  This means to belong, be familiar, acquainted, aware, au courant.  It means conscious living.  It’s such a beautiful concept.  And one that often feels elusive.  Bookstores are lined with books trying to help us get there, entire magazines are devoted to the topic, podcasts have been launched with instructions.  The concept has definitely gone mainstream.  It isn’t just a term for therapy any longer.
Our western lifestyle doesn’t make it an easy option.  We live full and busy lives where we work and play hard.  How often do we talk about needing a day of rest after a long weekend or vacation?
We eat on the run, check in with our loved ones via text, quickly say hello to co-workers as we pass in the hall and rush on to the next project.  And all of that activity lulls us to sleep in our daily lives.  It leaves us anxious, depressed and lacking meaningful connection with others.  Who wants that?
My New Year’s Eve held a beautiful ceremony to ring in this year of desired intentional living.  My life is blessed with some marvelous people who joined in with me.  We gathered together and made plans to honor the changing of the calendar.  We decided to individually write down what we were leaving behind and also what we wanted to bring into the new year.  (All materials and methods to be used received the approval of my eco-conscious daughter).
I had done quite a bit of reflecting on 2015 and there were a few things I needed to leave behind.  It was time to let go.  And there was this idea of being ever grounded in my life that I want to grow in 2016.
We all got very serious about the ceremony.  Conversation stilled, paper came out, folks went to other rooms to think, photos were taken to remember what was written, notes were folded and then it was time.  We went down to the river and tore those papers to bits.  We let the current move our struggles along and I was moved by how silent and real it became as each of us let those papers float away.
We returned home, toasted the new year and picked up our new lists.  These lists were different.  These were the IMG_0967things we wanted to bring into 2016.  The conversations about these lists were deep and heartfelt.  They focused not on acquiring things but understanding why things hold value to us.  We talked about life goals and desires so sacred they are rarely shared.  We didn’t discuss everything we had written.  It was an incredibly personal experience.  We placed these new lists, holding our intentions, solidly into the earth along with a plant.  We gave them life to grow along with.  It was magical.
I wander to that cherished side of the yard often.  As the plants grow and bloom we will all be reminded of the possibility of our own potential and I want to regularly soak that in.
Then came Monday….  The first week of the year has already challenged my focus.  I have realized that familiar urgency in my day as I get fast and furious to complete the tasks on my to-do list.  My newsletter was late being emailed because I recognized the need to step away from my computer and participate in self care.  I didn’t like not being on-time and had to really really really work on letting that be okay.  I found myself mindlessly eating a chocolate bar last night.  I didn’t even realize I was doing it until it was almost gone!  I’ve also heard it in my voice when those I love want to talk and I am moving onto the next thing.  If I want to be present anywhere it is with those I love….
Being a student and learning how to be more grounded will be a process and not an instant revolution.  This year will not be perfect.  I won’t do this right every time.  That’s not the goal.
Each day I will begin again and simply let my word be my focus in that moment.
I am grounded into this day.  Gently.  Lovingly.  Intentionally.

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