New Year, Finding Me

Welcome to 2022, Y’all!

I think, at this point, all the “New Year New ME” posts and declarations ring a little hollow, or at least they do for me, at least as regards myself. (YMMV, you do you, Boo!) Maybe it’s that I don’t want a *new* me, I just really want to be able to live fully as the Me I am, without so many of the things that frustrate me and hold me back. Not only that, but I want to get to know Me, more deeply understanding who I am and living into that. I want to really shake off the lies I’ve been told and have come to believe about myself and see the beauty and the truth that lies beneath.

I find myself feeling a little strange and almost guilty, typing that, because the quest and desire to release the lies and see and live into the truth about my identity isn’t new- it started five and a half years ago, around when I started therapy, and it’s been slow and heavy work, this undoing, un-believing, un-shaming work. The exploring, the asking, the curiosity, the discovery has been just as hard for me, because I had been programmed for so long to be and do what I was told, by many different authority figures through the first 35 years of my life, and that drowned out the handful of voices that said “You are enough, you are worthy, you are not too much, and what you have to give is SO valuable.” And so, the work continues, and intensifies, and I hurtle, seemingly at the speed of light, toward a milestone birthday, six months from yesterday.

So, all that said, rather than a focus on changing or reinventing myself in 2022, I am setting the intention to live into who I already am, the gifts, talents, and callings I already have within me, and exactly where I am now, and in each moment going forward. I am going to THRIVE. That’s right, the word for 2022 in the heart, mind, and life of this girl is THRIVE. It’s going to look different every day, and I am here for that. I cannot control the events around me in the world, or even some of the ones in my own little world, our home, (as I have been experiencing strongly today, with my kids struggling intensely with being asked to get dressed and do school and therefore throwing my whole rhythm behind schedule) but I can choose to respond to these things in a way that allows me to keep thriving. For example, in response to my kids being uncooperative this morning, I kept moving forward as much as I was able, prioritizing what I needed, even if it took me a little longer, and, when it became clear that my “office hours” were going to be impacted, I brought some of my work with me and did it sitting beside Lil Ducky while he dragged his feet through his handwriting practice.

I am also going to pursuing growth in specific areas, and the goals I have set look like this:

  • Find healing for my body through consistent, intentional self care rhythms. (This means taking care of my nutrition, exercise, basic hygiene, stress management, physical recovery, sleep, and taking the time to do things that remind me that I’m worthy of the time they take, like painting my nails. There are also some outcomes I want to see here, with regards to my body composition and performance, but those are secondary to the pursuit of wellness and energy)
  • Boldly get my words in front of the people who may need them. (This looks like publishing blogs at least weekly, finishing and taking steps toward publication on the books I’ve started, and hopefully starting this third book that’s taking shape in the back of my mind.)
  • Plant and grow an inclusive and welcoming yoga community.  (This looks like continuing my yoga education, teaching meditations and both live and recorded classes, and hopefully some in person ones too, while making it clear to anyone who enters my classroom, even virtually, that they are absolutely enough, worthy, and capable.)
  • Prioritize deepening my relationships and prayerfully pursuing new connections. (Y’all, I am so lonely. Obviously, all of us have had less social connection during this pandemic, but for me, and for my family, unfortunately, it’s not been two years, it’s been five. I’m so lonely, I’m so fed up with the isolation, but I also feel powerless, because the pandemic is not over, and I struggle to know and trust even my own judgement on the line between wisdom and overstressing, or safety and carelessness. So, in order to THRIVE where God has me, I am going to start by looking at how to connect to and deepen relationships that I already have, from right where I am -home- and pray fervently for the wisdom and freedom to move into other places. I hope to return to church in person, to get the kids in some activities with other kids, to have girl time with my friends who love nearby, to host gatherings here in our home, to travel to visit my dearest soul sister, to fling wide our door and love people the way I want to. I don’t have a timeline for any of that, but my heart aches for it, and I’ll take that ache to the One who does have a timeline and a plan.)
  • Cultivate and embody a hunger for academic and spiritual growth for and in my kids. (The start of this school year has been rough for us. The move had us start late, and the kids had a challenge transitioning to a new curriculum, a new routine, with more work- I mean, Kindergarten and fourth grade are, by nature, harder than Pre-K and third, and, most of all, a new place. I’ve been adjusting too, and it’s been hard on all of us. I want to give grace for that, but, I also need, for all of our sakes, for school to be a part of our day, something we all enjoy overall, and not something that sucks the life out of us. 80% of the issue is that my students both have other things they would prefer to be doing, and my asking them to do school is an inconvenience. #homeschoolerproblems, to the nth degree, because I cannot imagine, even at nine years old, thinking that it was unfair to be asked to do schoolwork for two hours a day- I was at school six hours a day plus at least an hour a night of homework. The mind boggles, and I digress. I can’t fix her attitude, but I can choose to approach school time with both my kids with the attitude I’d like to see: “Let’s see what we get to learn today! Let’s focus and get the hard stuff done, so that when we are done, we can do all sorts of other fun stuff! Wow! When we focus and show that we can do the hard things, or the things we enjoy less, we have so much freedom to learn in more exciting ways!” This is how I can Thrive in this area of my life. The other area that I want to set an example of enthusiasm is in spiritual growth. I’ll get to my own journey more in a bit, but I really want my kids to have more opportunities to grow spiritually. I have a lot of thoughts on this for another day, but, suffice it to say, I do not want learning about pursuing godliness to be either a rote, meaningless thing, or to be something forced on them. I do want them to have faith of their own, so, I am going to put more intention to sowing and watering spiritual seeds for them. I’m not yet sure what this looks like, but I want it for us as a family. )
  • Make time and use it with intention to do things that refill my cup and renew my whole self. (This looks like taking time in my afternoons to do things that I enjoy, like reading, gardening, creating art, spending time watching movies virtually with my best friend, long baths with a book, and more. I am worthy of rest and recreation.)
  • Pursue healing and growth in my heart and mind through learning and living into the truth of how loved I am by God. (This looks like PRIORITIZING my daily soul care time, where I pray and get into God’s word, and allow that to be the messaging that defines who I am and all my purpose, instead of all the messages of people and culture that don’t know or love me well. This practice is so important, and yet it’s the easiest thing to abandon when my time gets short. I need this to change. I want to be free of fear and move out of being limited by my anxiety, but I can’t do that on my own. The healing has to come from the hands of the Healer.)
  • Intentionally use our time as a family to create memories and enjoy the world together. (This looks like bike rides, playing outside, day trips to state parks and other outdoorsy things, and as I heal and the pandemic recedes, God willing, other things that are more populated. It also looks like family fun nights once or twice a week where we engage actively with one another, and laugh, and make memories. I don’t want to waste these precious days while the kids are young and we are too!)

That’s the most concise version of my hopeful vision for 2022 that I can share, and I’m choosing hope and optimism for it. I have learned so much, the past five years, about letting God work in me right where I am, even if I am not super thrilled with where I am or how long I have been here. Where I am is where I am supposed to be, and where He is taking me can’t exist if I don’t do the work He has for me and enjoy the blessings of being right here now. I am so looking forward to sharing this year with you, and I hope to hear from you about what your hopes are for this year too, and how I can help  and pray for you!

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