It’s been a while, I know, and I sincerely apologize for the delay in posting. At the beginning of each year, I tend to take time to reflect. I identify motivations, desires, and goals. I’m a list person and this process often ends with additions to my bucket list, updates to my values list, and, of course, a concrete list of goals for the new year. After all, things become much more achievable when they are better defined, right? Oh yeah, and I always buy a new planner. Oh joy, oh rapture!
This year has been somewhat different, however. Aside from tackling the familiar obstacle of analysis paralysis, I noticed something during the process that I haven’t been faced with in years past. My list of concrete goals looked substantially the same as it did last year. And it wasn’t because I hadn’t done anything noteworthy in 2017 or before. I had started a business that I now had to grow and sustain. I had begun to write more and pursue more creativity and I wanted to cultivate those things. I had come to value my mental, emotional, spiritual and physical wellness and I wanted to continue. I had made a contribution in my volunteer efforts and wanted to see them through. I had a relationship with a good guy that I wanted to nurture. And I had a beautiful daughter with whom I wanted to strengthen a bond and help develop.
What gives? It seems all works were in progress. Now what? I quickly realized that it was less about the concrete goals for me this year but what was it about? How was I to continue to evolve? And then it hit me. I was gifted with one of those clear-as-a-bell, 30,000-foot, bigger picture perspectives (Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu refers to them as “God’s eye-views”…I love that). April, you must work on your attitude, I thought. This year is not about the what - the specific goals - but about the how - how I will get out of my own way and approach my life so I can actually bring all my dreams into fruition. I have all of the colors, the brushes in hand, and the perfect lighting to craft a beautiful masterpiece but my attitude is what needs work and the things that I want to accomplish hang in the balance. Whether I wield my brushes proactively or reactively or with positivity or negativity and whether I color my canvas with joy or anger, fear or love is up to me.
The ability to pursue my gifts with all the vigor I can muster, for example, depends on whether I let my morbid (and it is morbid) fear of failure get in the way. It shows up as procrastination, lack of forward movement, wishi-washiness and an inability to make decisions, and even obsessive perfectionism and, ironically, those very behaviors are almost sure to bring about the very failure I so desperately want to avoid. Similarly, whether or not I end up with a loving and supportive companionship with my husband depends greatly on whether I cultivate love and support and friendship or whether I hold grudges, overreact, and defend a sense of self that isn’t even real. The list goes on but one thing is clear - my attitude is my choice.
I choose to be steady rather than to constantly react - letting every little set back, every traffic jam, every tantrum and tiny thing steal bits and pieces of my peace and joy and contentment. I resolve to remain on the path to self-mastery in the midst of highs and lows. I decide to preserve my energy and to use it as a precious resource on the things that matter most. I aim for a wide open heart. And I intend to act from that inspired place - a place of positivity and grace and compassion and honesty and gratitude and giving and ultimately of love. I ask the universe for the help to remember my decisions at each and every moment of each and every day so that I can move closer to the expression of my own soul. Amen. It’s February and the year is officially in full swing. I appreciate your support this year. I struggle, as I’m sure you do too but you guys are my sisters and I am humbled to serve you.
Love in all things,