When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there.
As you kind folks are aware, 2013 was probably the greatest year of profound change for me since the year I gave birth to my first child.
In my mind, 2013 was the year I said yes to everything, casting aside my need to seem in control, my need to seem "cool", my need for people to think well of me. It was horrible at first, but then it got better and better. Like an ill-used muscle, as I became increasingly open to the possibilities of the world without trying to control the outcome, I found myself becoming stronger and changing in ways that I could never imagine.
Mostly, what I learned in 2013 was to love myself again. And not because I had a certain job or a certain life, or had certain things, but because we are all, fundamentally, lovable. And once I could love myself and forgive myself for being human and frail, I found myself judging less and understanding more. And while that may sound airy-fairy, it is the truth as I know it.
A year ago, I would have written that article that was recently published mostly for ego reasons, "look at me aren't I wonderful?" reasons or "please validate me" reasons.
When I submitted the article for consideration this past Autumn, I did so because I thought maybe someone else felt like I did. Over the past year, what was helped me time and again was when I read of others having the same worries, concerns, confusion that I was having. If even one person gleaned something useful from my experience then it was worth sharing.
The most moving experience I've had over the past few days are private emails from people telling me that they felt "soul sick" and unhappy, too, and thanking me for naming it so now they could name it and begin a new way of life, whatever that new way of life will be for them.
Writing from the heart, to entertain or to share, has made all the difference to me. I believe I will have children's books published not because I am more special or luckier or more talented than anyone else, but because I am willing to work hard and I want to make a difference to a child in my own goofy way.
Once I began to get out of my own way in 2013, things seemed easier and began to work out in ways that I have no control or understanding of nor do I care to have that control or understanding.
So this year, my only resolution is to continue the inner spadework that is necessary to be the best and kindest person I can be. Each of us has the ability to touch and support others through our thoughts, words and deeds. I would like mine to be the best they can be!
I heard an interview with Nelson Mandela last month when he talked about his 27 years in captivity as a gift, as it enabled him to change his perspective on the world and therefore change himself. He noted that the hardest work a person can do is to change themselves. Amen to that!
I have high hopes for the year; 14 is my number, so I am excited to see how the year unfolds. And this morning we woke up to a New Moon, an auspicious way to begin a new year.
I share again the picture my son drew for me many years ago when I was having a particularly challenging day at work:
We are the heroes of our lives. Let's write a 2014 story that is epic-worthy! Happy New Year and Stay Safe out there!