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A Year of Gratitude

Happy New Year!

Over the past few days, many of us have been reflecting on this past year and declaring intentions for our next trip around the sun. It has been uplifting and heartwarming to see friends and family reflect on their best (and in some cases worst) parts of 2018. Lots of gratitude has been expressed in the last 72 hours or so, perhaps as you shared or read others highlights, you felt the energy of gratitude?

Reflection and release was certainly the theme for me in 2018. Last January I launched myself into this very blog, unsure of what it even really meant, not completely sure why I was called to share-- now a whole year later I know it was always about RELEASE. Last year I did deep inner work, healing, revealing and unraveling of deeply seated beliefs and stories-- which was about making the space for new creations and intentions to RISE.

Last year I experienced some of the highest highs and the lowest lows, and while we tend to enjoy the upswing of the pendulum more so than the down, I am grateful for the -- anxiety, depression, doubt, fear, worry, panic and any other hard feelings I am presently failing to acknowledge. This past year I learned to feel my feelings and thus move them through rather than let them fester and create more trouble. There is no avoiding the shadow parts of ourselves, life will always present us with challenges, and with perspective, we can see them as opportunities for growth. Last year I found a greater acceptance and love for myself. I am still working on it but I am slowly but surely going easier with myself, and embrace being with the process and practice rather than mounting high expectations on myself and striving to do more. The motto for me, a hard on herself, recovering perfectionist-- less is more. I realized it isn’t really about getting everything done, yes being in action is important, but doing this with less of a sense of urgency and impatience, well, that will make way for more thoughtful and empowering creations. So as I enter this next year feeling lighter from having released heaviness this past year, this new year I will restore my energy and purpose to connect with and serve others.

One of the highlights of 2018 for me was traveling to southern Portugal for two weeks with my family. It was by all accounts the trip of a lifetime (so far). The beauty of the country mesmerized me, I spent much of the trip outdoors attempting to soak in all the awesome and new scenery. In Portugal, I was present. I practiced yoga daily, in some cases twice a day, meditated, read books, journaled, and did a lot of dream-talking with my dearest Hugo. Multiple times a day I felt myself feeling overwhelmingly grateful, my eyes flooded with tears and a sense of peace, joy, and love washed through my entire body. I shared my thanks with Hugo repeatedly on an almost daily basis, it was spontaneous and almost uncontrollable, like a knee-jerk reaction. Somehow, I can’t explain it, but somehow this trip opened me up to a greater reverence for life.

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We all returned home with a higher vibe and vision for new intentions. Sadly I think the jet lag lasted a bit longer than all our wide-eyed wanderer enthusiasm, quickly we fell back into the daily shuffle of “regular life.”

Two weeks or so later, somewhere in the midst of a sour mood, feeling frustrated and sorry for myself-- I stopped-- I consciously observed myself and made the decision to shift gears. It was that moment that “A Year of Gratitude” was born, seriously, without my usual planning and editing approach in 5 minutes or so the group was created and shared. It hit me at that moment, gazing at Leif who was sleeping with a high fever, I have so much to be grateful for, every single day of my life not just on the days when I am lucky enough to be on a grand adventure.

I am surrounded by love and light, I am love and light, I live in abundance-- AND-- I am still a human who gets down and entrapped by my mind, sometimes I am blinded by my frustrations and fears and thus I lose sight of lifes blessings. The fact is that we all do this, it is part of the human condition.

In speaking with a dear friend the other night she shared that she beats herself up for “not always feeling grateful,” and went on to say that this black or white thinking causes a lot of suffering. Yes friend, yes it does. I can’t tell you how many times I have given myself a lashing about not appreciating how fortunate I am to have the support and ability to stay at home with Leif these past three years. This is me completely disregarding and denying that it isn’t all sunshine and roses. I think a major trap of motherhood is that we are supposed to enjoy all of it with a smile on our face, perfect hair, clean houses, and that our bodies should (remember ‘shoulding is shitty’) bounce back immediately and flawlessly. The truth is that motherhood is hard, parenting, is hard, life is hard, and being hard on ourselves well, it only makes it (for lack of a better word) harder. The fact of the matter is that all the challenges are what make us stronger and as my friend said "sometimes you have to feel the suck of it all." So this intention to be more grateful in the next year is not about shaming and guilting ourselves into acknowledging our blessings, it is about taking a REGULAR pause to feel grateful for the things, people, places, even the struggles that make us stronger. Perhaps a more regular expression of gratitude will help us to find a mid-point between the lows and the highs? I hope to create a space for respecting the value and importance of both light and dark, that's part of my New Years resolve.

So the plan that as I said I didn’t really plan at all, is to prompt myself and others to express gratitude on a weekly basis. I started by inviting my friends and family, I encouraged them to invite anyone they see fit. Anyone is welcome to share, it is my hope that the connection and sharing of gratitude will generate a higher vibration and sense of reverence for all who partake.

You can join the Year of Gratitude here.

Mamaste Well,