I love the magical liminal space in the week before New Year's. Not quite the last year, and not quite the next, I find a usefulness in the threshold of this week - a powerful in-between vantage point to see what's been and what's coming with fresh and curious eyes.
I spent some time this week gathering reflections on this wild year, an annual ritual which felt especially essential right now.
I was surprised by what came up, perhaps because of how connected my own tiny life, decisions, and developments have felt to our experience as a collective, and perhaps because I never would have expected to be talking about most of what is on this list at the beginning of last year.
As we step into the hustle of resolutions and goals and plans, I like this reminder to surrender to the mystery of unfolding. Oddly, an exceptionally hard year has softened and, in many ways, freed me. Emboldened by what has emerged, I invoked the courage to inaugurate a new ritual of sharing my reflections with you.
26 awakenings, acts, & discoveries of 2017:
1. Stopped telling my body what it is supposed to want and decided to just ask. Surprisingly, my body had been waiting to be asked and had responses at the ready including: respect, eating breakfast every day, getting treatment for a 12-year-old injury I had ignored, and getting real about how advertising, ballet, and the patriarchy had meddled with our relationship. Now, we mend.
2. Admitted that I love to write, which meant reconnecting with my lost five-year-old, letting go of a college poetry professor’s feedback about my failure to write a good sonnet and wading through oceans of self doubt. I used the Creative15 to get out of a ten-year block, explored the alchemy of my own creative process, and wrote more in one year than I had in a decade. My heart (and throat) un-gripped significantly.
3. Asked myself what I would most want to make if I only had a year left to live and then initiated the project. (If you are reading this Dad, it’s newsletter official which means it. is. happening.)
4. Sobered up to the loss I feel about certain childhood dreams and acknowledged that they need to be heartily grieved in order to do what I am here to do.
5. Committed to women's collective rising and supported a myriad of extraordinary creative women in community, discovering that every woman together is a more effective and fun organizing principle than every man for himself.
6. Explored social media as a big spiritual exercise to recover from people-pleasing, constant comparison, and perfectionism.
7. Failed at the above spiritual exercise regularly.
8. Did less jamming of my round peg-self into square holes, realizing: I am a creative human with a project-based-episodic career based on the questions I want to ask and the things I value. My intersections, which shape the stories I am privileged to tell, are much more interesting than drop-down menu selections or fixed, singularly defining nouns.
9. Created a new religion called: It's Entirely Okay to Ask for and Receive Help and became a member for life. (This religion is open to everyone and you are all invited)
10. Listened to my intuition, started framing decisions by asking: What would Sally Kimball do? and surprised myself with a string of uncharacteristically bold acts.
11. Had my mind blown when a therapist told me that I do not have to feel other people's feelings for them.
12. Remembered that fulfillment does not come from external validation. Forgot this. Remembered this. Forgot. Remembered. Forgot. Remembered.
13. Attempted to say you're right and thanks more and interrupt less in my closest relationships. When I feel at my judgiest, I try to imagine everyone with beautiful halos of light around their heads and remember that they are just baby bunnies doing the best they can.
14. Said me, too.
15. Prayed this prayer: May I turn my over-achieving human self who aspires to greatness into a regular-achieving human self who aspires to greatness andmay I be okay with this and the ensuing naps, baths and reading for pleasure.
16. Started scheduling non-results oriented wandering days into the calendar and noticed an immediate impact on the quality of my creative ideas.
17. Answered the call from Susan B. Anthony’s dream visits and created She Breaks Through.
18. Woke up to what it means to be an active citizen.
19. Realized that assumptions are a form of cancer that I keep trying to give myself but that I have the power to prevent.
20. Committed to sisterhood with a group of incredible women.
21. Held myself accountable to my belief that guarantees create pain and artful experiments are the pathway to sustainable transformation. I am the most gullible guinea-ist guinea pig historically addicted to guarantees (eat this, read this, buy that, do it this way and we promise you will feel...) but I realize that they hollow out my soul and will never be the language of my collaborations. Experiments requires us to dive headfirst into the unknown, write our own rules and take responsibility, which, while more difficult and potentially less attention-getting at the start, call forth deeper, more interesting parts of who we are.
22. Broke up and got back together with coffee twice. Our affair remains passionate and and alive and dazzlingly torrential.
23. Created a 90-day 1:1 experience for clients ready to do big work and receive radical support in the process. I love it and they love it so we are on to something.
24. Was blessed with several extraordinary powerful women mentors, including Sally K.
25. Cried many technological tears through The Great Meltdown of 2017 and then hired Lacy the Amazing Virtual Assistant before I thought I was ready.
26. Reawakened pleasure in my life and learned that it is a pathway to and not a diversion from big dreams.
If you are inspired, I encourage you to make your own list; I would love to know where our unfolding has intersects and resonates. Comment on the blog, find me on IG, or send me an email with your most significant awakening, act, or discovery from 2017. I read everything you write to me.
And a loving reminder that anyone who got out of bed in this uncanny year wins. Everything else is just a bonus.
I believe in 2018.
There is much I am excited to share with you, dear ones.
Until then, sending big love and bright new year's sparks,
ps: The Collective application period is currently open, and the scholarship application has been extended until January 10th! If you feel called, go to this page to learn about both the NYC groups, online group, and the scholarship.
pps: If you missed our in person event, She Breaks Through is happening online on January 4th. You. Me. Our Computers. Free. Collective Evolution.
A little book of inspiration, frameworks, and guidance for your next creative project.