I love the New Year. It is a time to reflect on the last 12 months (and in my case, my last 35 years), it is a time to make goals and intentions for the coming months, it is a time to set my course and prepare for sail again. Many of the years in the past decade have been on rough waters: survival has been a goal that required effort to achieve. Even navigating through the year to complete it has been difficult in the past. But this year, I hope to push forward with a little help from my friends. My intentions this year almost entirely surround the idea of relationship and community. For me, this is the touchstone year. Because I love metaphors, I like the idea of a touchstone. A touchstone has been used since ancient times as a sort of litmus test of metal. Metals, scratched across the surface of a touchstone, reveal their value by a trail left behind on the rock’s face.
As I grow older, the list of things that matter has become smaller. The intentions I make are more related to people than tasks or measures of worth. Relationships and community are key in my list of things that matter. In setting my intentions every year, I fall back to a traditional measurement of goals: are they specific? Are they achievable? Are they measurable?
My intentions this year are three-fold:
- Choose authenticity by being honest about my capacity and limitations. When I can’t do something, say so. When I need to choose time for myself, make that call. I can’t do everything, I can’t be everywhere and the choice of where I am and what I do is mine. Choose authenticity: evaluate my capacity and take into consideration my limitations as I approach new projects in the coming year.
- Embrace vulnerability by practicing gratitude. This sort of piggy-backs on my first intention of choosing authenticity. I cannot do everything, and being honest about that and grateful for those who come alongside me and help connect the parts I can’t is paramount. Practicing gratitude means acknowledging that you didn’t do it all yourself. For me, it means acknowledging that I couldn’t do it all on my own, and that others have come alongside to help. The idea that I can do it all – and all by myself – forces gratitude out of my life, conversely, being grateful for those things and people who have made my life better and easier and more beautiful speaks to my ability to receive: ultimately to my vulnerability about who I am and what I am limited by. Gratitude rarely comes from a place of guardedness.
- Make the world around me more hopeful in the process of bringing people together to make practical magic in the lives and worlds of those we touch. If there was one word that summed my intentions for this year, it would be community. I laid claim to hope about ten years ago during a fight for life. Hope has guided me through dark places and brought me to beautiful heights, and I hope this year to make the world around me more hopeful. People need opportunities to make magic, and in my work and in my life I want to give them the opportunity. Sometimes this will mean that I step aside and let someone else do it. Sometimes it will mean that I help and other times it will mean I lead. But in all things, I am building my community around me and trekking into the wild hopeful world planting seeds. Spreading hope and making magic is the beauty of life.
What intentions do you have for this new year? It will be what you choose for it to be – our lives are a series of small choices, and this new year will be chosen. What do you choose?