Happy New Year!
I hope you and yours had a happy ending to 2016 and a beautiful start to 2017.
New years are always filled with such hope and optimism. Everyone likes to reflect on the past year and make intentions based on the changes and improvements they want to see in their lives. Astrologically speaking, this is a great time to do so since Mercury is in Retrograde. It’s a great time to slow down and reflect on our lives. It’s a good time for conclusions – like wrapping up a project or ending a chapter of your life. Then, as it ends, you prepare for the new and live your life based on what you learned about yourself during Retrograde. Your reflection informs your future decisions.
I’ve had a wonderful break leading up to this new year. We didn’t travel as much as we normally do during the holidays, so the time to just sit around and enjoy my home and family was plentiful. I’ve journaled almost every day, and I wrote down all of my intentions for the new year. I also made a list of things I need to release, accept, and be at peace with. Things like the reality of living my life so far from family, having to put my sweet dog Izzy down, living with the pain of not having my grandmother, etc. Through my journey of self-discovery over the past several years, I’ve learned that I tend to hold onto pain. (I haven’t figured out why yet, but I notice it in myself a lot.) It’s ok to feel this pain. If pain exists, that means it’s meant to be felt. I just can’t wallow in it anymore. No more self-pity parties, no more lamenting or wallowing. It’s time for big changes and drastic life improvements.
To help bring about such, Dustin and I have started the Whole30 challenge – no grains, sugar, dairy, or processed foods for 30 days. We’re doing it as a cleanse and challenge of self-control. Our bodies will feel so much better after not consuming things they were never meant to consume, and I think our mental selves will feel better after the 30 days, too. They say that sugar and wheat have a big impact on our moods and emotional intelligence. They also say that white refined sugar is as addictive and unhealthy for our brains as cocaine.
In addition to the boost in mental and emotional health, I’m looking forward to the feeling of accomplishment that will come from this challenge. By abstaining from these ingredients and focusing on making healthy food choices for a month, my self-confidence will be boosted to know that I DID something. I followed through. In a stage of my life where I feel I never get enough done and that there are too many unfinished projects laying around, I’ll be able to say that I accomplished something. That in and of itself is motivation enough for me to keep going.
I’m also challenging myself to incorporate other good habits into my life this month along with the healthy eating. I want to get back to doing yoga every night before bed like I used to when I was in the best shape of my life. This is basically my motivation. And, as always, I hope to write more in the next 30 days. I’ve set a goal of two blog posts and 3-5 journal sessions a week. I’m hoping that keeping busy with yoga and writing will help curb the sugar and carb cravings. If anything, it’ll give me something productive to do since I can’t just sit on the couch and eat a tub of ice cream like I normally do when I feel bad.
If you’ve never watched this TED talk on trying something new for 30 days, you should. Science is showing that it takes anywhere from 21-66 consecutive days for our brains to become accustomed to a new habit. So 30 days is a good challenge to try to instill or avoid certain habits in your life.
I challenge you to take some time to reflect on your last year and create some intentions for the new one we’ve entered.
What do you want to create more of in your life? How can you do that? How do you want to feel in the next year? What do you want to do? What do you not want to do? What changes do you want to see happening in your life? Do you want to challenge yourself as well? Is there an unhealthy habit you want to do away with for 30 days? Maybe no soda or no caffeine, no alcohol or no cigarettes, no sugar or no dairy? Or maybe there is a new habit you want to start implementing. Like no phone for a half hour before bed. Or stretch for ten minutes every morning when you wake up. Maybe you want to read more or watch more documentaries. Play more music. Make more love. The possibilities are endless.
Even though a pessimistic part of me is over all the resolution-setting and generic New Year’s traditions, I can still acknowledge that there is power in ritual. Especially rituals involving releasing the old and opening oneself up to the new.
What do you need to release? Pain? Expectations? Relationships? Fear?
What do you need to welcome into your life? Love? Joy? Peace? Healthful habits?
Set the stage now for a beautiful year to come. Remember, you’re only on page 2 of a 365-page book of your life this year!
Love and New Year Blessings,