Start With Where You Are

It is the eve of a new year — a time to reflect on what has passed and to set our intentions for the year ahead.

Often our resolutions are about doing something different from before, whether losing weight, changing jobs, or finally getting around to writing that book you’re just sure will be a best-seller. Moreover, if we’re really honest with ourselves, the best of our intentions often fall short of the promise of what’s possible and we end up right back where we started, perhaps feeling disappointed and defeated by the lack of change in our lives.

But what if instead of throwing out the baby with the bath water we made a choice to build upon what is already there? What if instead of spending our time dreaming of something altogether new, we focused our energy on cherishing what is, while reflecting on ways to expand and enrich the present(s) in our lives?

The best resolutions are those that honor and reflect our authentic selves.

Need to lose weight or lower your cholesterol? Start by loving your body as it is and making a mindful choice to care for it through healthy eating and exercise. Want to change jobs? Take an inventory of your current skills and environment and explore ways you might be find fulfillment by adding value where you already are. Still dreaming of writing that best-seller? Start by taking baby steps…cultivating a daily writing practice or joining a community of writers who share your passion.

Change may be difficult, but growth begins with where you are.

As you contemplate ringing in 2017, I hope you’ll consider joining me in making it the best year yet, remembering that the grass is greenest — not in some fantasy or someone else’s back yard, but where we choose to water and nurture it.

Happy New Year!

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Postscript: Speaking of resolutions, one of my intentions in 2016 was to finally compile some of the best of my insights with original artwork and publish as an inspirational quote book. In March 2017, my new book, Walking the Heart Path, will be released and available for purchase. Click here to learn more, reserve your copy, and read what others are already saying.

 

Waiting in Earnest…

For the last few years (and these last few weeks in particular), my son has been waiting in earnest to go to Scarowinds – the Halloween-themed fright night at our local amusement park.  Until this year, he has neither been old enough to participate in the fright zones (maturity defined by the magic age of 13), nor big enough to ride all of the rides.

Though he has been frustrated by the wait; though he watched as his older and bigger friends attended this time last year, to his credit, he never allowed circumstances and restrictions to limit his thinking, dreaming and/or planning for the BIG DAY.

The planning came in many forms.  As a parent, I am always amazed by how an otherwise often forgetful child can nevertheless manage to memorize every last detail of his latest focus – in this case, the Scarowinds theme park.  Now 13 and with a firm offer in hand from his mother to take him and his best friend to this treasured destination, he spent the weeks leading up to the big day studying every last detail of this year’s theme park.

Lost in the wonderful world of imagination and make-believe, he practiced creating some of the same gory make-up effects as the ‘scare-actors’ with various supplies around the house.  Already a talented computer programmer, he spent much of his free time designing and building 3D computer animated roller coasters, anticipating the thrill and adrenalin rush of the rides he would soon ride.  Topping the list were the Intimidator, Night Hawk and Vortex, and as the days drew closer, he studied weather maps, park maps and time schedules.  It was all he could talk about…all he could think about.

Waiting with earnest expectation, the BIG DAY finally came.  Yesterday in fact.  The planning, the dreaming, the imagining, were coming into focus.  As the rain poured throughout the day, we held our breaths, wondering…praying that the thunderous rain clouds would not thwart our carefully laid out plans.  In the final hour, prayers and wishes were answered as the skies cleared, the sun shone, and we headed off on our adventure…

It is now 10:00 a.m., Saturday morning.  The boys still sleeping, I smile as I reflect back on last evening.  There were thrill, chills, and screaming.  There were endless smiles and laughter.  A beloved son, a favorite friend, a good-natured mom, and a good time had by all.

I wonder to myself…after months of anticipation, did the evening live up to and/or exceed his expectations?  Did his planning and preparation enable him to more fully appreciate and enjoy the moment? Was it worth the wait?  Absolutely!