Rather than make resolutions this year, I decided to make a ‘Not To-Do’ List, a list of all the things I want to say ‘No’ to this year. It was an exercise I recommend since it highlighted for me the activities and thought patterns that had created the majority of my stress. It also got me thinking about what I wanted more of this year – what did I want to say ‘Yes’ to?
I invite you to look back at 2016 – what worked?
When did you feel inspired?
What helped rejuvenate you?
What would you like to draw towards you in 2017?
As the saying goes, ‘energy flows where intention goes’. Where would you like to set your intention for this year?
This year, I’m saying Yes to…
Joy without guilt. Deep joy that I embrace in the moment, without wondering when it might end or the ways I could lose it.
Constructive criticism from sources I respect. This does not mean I absorb every criticism thrown my way or take to heart personal attacks. There are loving, magical cheerleaders in my life who express honest and constructive advice. I embrace their help wholeheartedly.
The deep, esoteric wisdom of the Universe. She works in mysterious and magical ways, often beyond my immediate understanding. But she’s proven herself time and time again to be pretty good at this stuff so I endeavor to take whatever comes my way, whether it’s good or (what initially appears to be) bad fortune.
Synchronicity. I’ve opened my eyes to the signs of the universe and with this viewpoint I see how life connects the dots, leading me towards or away from different plot lines. I no longer believe it’s a ‘coincidence’ when I am told to read a book by three separate people nor do I write it off to chance when I meet someone and we feel like we already know each other
Vulnerability, even when she masquerades as fear and doubt. I am saying a BIG fuck YES to fear lately and it’s earth-rocking-terrifying. Life. Is. Scary. And after years of trying to make decisions to squelch fear and control hurt, I am steering into the skid and living, loving, and dreaming bigger than I thought I could.
Rest, recovery, rejuvenation, and feeling like a Queen. There’s a clear delineation between before ‘the fall’ and after; there’s pre-illness Maya and post-illness Maya. And the biggest difference is that pre-illness I did not know how to rest. Even worse, I felt guilty for it. Each time I got ill I expended huge amounts of energy feeling guilt for being sick and guilt for missing work, which ultimately led to guilt for not being ‘enough’. Add that to the energy expended from being ill and it’s no wonder that I stayed sick. It is still a struggle to unplug and ‘do’ nothing but I have surrounded myself with people who celebrate the art of doing nothing. And if in doubt, I read and reread this quote – “Stop the glorification of busy”
Rituals – also known as ‘habits that make you feel good’. Habits that soothe your soul without feeding you ego. For me, this means that most mornings I have a bubble bath. When I write, I make a bullet coffee, sit down, and set an intention. When my mind is fuzzy, I use meditation to centre me back to my true self. Rituals are your own to create, honour, and celebrate. They guide you back to nourishing yourself in a world that is constantly trying to pull you towards consumption.
Creativity. I used to put creativity aside, considering it a fools errand. It wasn’t a means to an end therefore I could not see the value. When I had work to do, it seemed irresponsible to create just for the sake of creating. I realize now the gift of creativity is within the act itself; when I create, I am myself. It is another reminder of my BIG self, my truth. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, it is fun.
Boundaries. In a world of constant connection and availability, it has become even easier for boundaries to be absorbed into an abyss of phone alerts, tweets, emails, texts, LinkedIn invites, likes…the list goes on and on. I can be pulled and prodded into a misshapen blob, unrecognizable to myself as I bend backwards to accommodate (often) unnecessary requests. When I say ‘Yes’ to boundaries, I am saying ‘Yes’ to myself and to my health. It is no one’s duty but my own to protect my time – it is my most precious resource.
What are you saying YES to this year?