Wow. Just when you thought 2016 wasn't playing... But, here we are. We made it. And for that, with all sincerity, I am eternally grateful. I also have to acknowledge that out of the many challenges a deeply transformative year like 2017 brought with it, the sheer scope for expansion and self-rediscovery has been inconceivable. Amongst an array of alchemy, some of the main breakthroughs of 2017 for me were:
I re-entered, reclaimed and ritualised my body; I escaped the tendency I often have of becoming trapped inside my head (Pisces Sun) and became firmly rooted in my sensuality (Taurus Moon), honouring my physicality, tuning into my cycles, allowing myself to be guided by my body's intuition; cultivating a gentle curiosity and a deep compassion for its needs, its fluctuations, its desires. Listening intently.
I found my voice. I broke open the cage in my throat and my truth grew wings. I found the courage to express myself in a way that emancipated myself and hopefully empowered others. And in doing so, I realised that self-expression will save you.
I discovered that I have my Mum's green fingers and that my Dad is the softest man I know.
I learned that if you cry on public transport during rush hour, chances are nobody will even notice. I made peace with my sensitivity. I normalised vulnerability.
I became an advocate for self-care as a survival strategy. I discovered that when shit hits the fan, your power resides in the way you choose to show up and care for yourself on a day to day basis. I cleansed myself and my space with herbs and ritual, bathed in rose petals, salts and essential oils, adorned my body with art and crystals, wrote daily self-love letters, transformed my home into an inner garden (becoming a plant mama to 19 thriving babies), and allowed time and space to just do nothing. I prioritised my peace and my pleasure.
I exercised healthy boundaries. I learned to say no. I learned not to fear the consequences. I learned to let go.
I grew into my fire. I stopped diluting myself. I stopped silencing myself. I stopped living apologetically. I stopped denying my abilities. I stopped suppressing my creativity. I became who I always was.
Reading over these and the long list of realisations I've had during my end of year reflecting, the dominant theme underpinning all of them is freedom; the sense of personal power, of self-realisation, of free will. The desire to just be.
Now, we've arrived at that time of year where traditionally we're expected to make resolutions. And whilst I'm personally quite fond of the romantic notion that everyday – every given moment, in fact – is a fresh start, there is undoubtably something very tangible about the feeling in the air of a new beginning once January greets us. A universal reset; a control-alt-delete tactic to end flagging tasks, switch to something new or restart all over again. This opportunity to begin again seduces us to commit ourselves to goals which would somehow seem less desirable at any other time of year. Yet so many of us, after that initial ambitious momentum – the honeymoon phase – succumb to feelings of overwhelmment and demotivation. And when you look at definitions and synonyms for the word, resolution, the kind of things that come up are resolve, course of action, determination, firmness of purpose. All of these phrases and concepts have something very significant in common; they each describe the act of effort and exertion; connotations of struggle, force and battle; of doing rather than being. So, is it any wonder then, that we either run out of steam or feel burdened by the pressure?
For me, this year I have vowed to set intentions around being; around how I'd like to feel, and should this resonate with you, then I invite you to do the same. How can we make space to be more present, more alive, more deliberate, more whole, more inspired, more attuned, more pleasure-driven, more honest, more open? How can we discover ways to be less judgemental, less apologetic, less conditional, less exploitative, less disconnected, less critical, less fear-led, less small? Can we be the change, the example, the inspiration we seek, the love we desire?
If all else fails, I hope we can at the very least find ways to be kinder to ourselves, recognising that we are forever in a state of be-coming; constantly rediscovering and re-routing on a never-ending journey back to ourselves.
Happy New Year and Happy Full Moon!