“Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” ~Neil Gaiman
This past year was a paradigm-shifting year for me.
For a lot of folks, I think.
It brought so much buried shit to the surface in my life personally, it sort of feels like 2017 is going to be all about sifting through the mess, trying to make sense of what’s in front of me without completely losing my mind.
I think this happened on both a national and a global scale as well.
The beautiful thing about getting all this shadowy stuff out where we can see it, is that we’re now forced to actually engage with it directly and — hopefully — come up with some creative solutions for how to heal and transform it going forward.
And I really believe this starts with us as individuals, rippling outward from there in sometimes unexpectedly awesome ways to affect change on a broader level.
Which is why I have made the commitment to learn out loud whenever possible this coming year, sharing the lessons I encounter along the way when relevant and appropriate, and allowing my own experiments in living a decent life to provide useful tidbits of wisdom and insight to anyone who might care to benefit from my mistakes along the way.
Because while it’s fun for a minute to think that you exist in a vacuum and that the work you do on your own shit is unrelated to anything occurring on a bigger scale outside your little sphere of existence, the truth is that we are all inevitably and always interconnected.
Whether we want to confront that truth or not.
And this means that the effort you put in to sort through your own shadowy stuff is actually a gift to every other person with whom you come into contact — and especially those folks with whom you share a particularly close bond.
None of us are self-made, you guys. We are all cooperative efforts in human creation.
And I think the sooner we start realizing that our lives are designed to be shared and that we are always and without question being influenced by one another in profound ways, the sooner we can start healing all of this individual and collective crap that has bubbled to the surface over the past several months.
2017 is shaping up to be a totally unpredictable year. I seriously have no idea what to expect given the political climate in front of us at the moment and some of the shake-ups that have occurred in my own life recently.
That being said, I think we are going to be asked to stand firm in our convictions and to push back against some serious negativity and bigotry and less-than-enlightened rhetoric being delivered from the most public of stages before that perspective becomes policy.
This is going to require us to get clear about who we are and what we believe, to ask ourselves hard questions, to be bold and brave and badass, to let go of the shit that holds us back or keeps us disconnected from ourselves and from each other.
Two questions I am asking myself as this year comes to a close:
- What do I need to release to make space for what actually serves me and — by extension — everyone else in my life?
- What do I want to create and contribute to the world over the next twelve months?
Bonus question(s): Where can I be more courageous and/or take more risks?
Perhaps these specific inquiries will prove useful to you as well. Perhaps not. Either way, I encourage you to take a few minutes at some point this weekend to engage in a little bit of self-reflection, to look at yourself a little more closely — maybe even in ways that make you a slight bit uncomfortable — and to set some intentions for the year ahead.
Because while I certainly don’t believe there’s something that magically happens to reset the world somehow when the clock strikes midnight this evening, I do believe that the culturally symbolic act of ringing in a new year makes this transition significant and that we can use that energy to facilitate some self-discovery if we choose to do so.
Happy New Year, everyone.
May you all have a lovely, safe evening saying good-bye to a year that was in many ways not what we had wished it might be.
And may we all stay engaged with our joy even as we enter into the murky, unfamiliar waters ahead.