I’m just going to come out and say it: the first week of January sucks. It does. In fact, the first half of January can probably pucker up and go kiss my ass.
No matter how peacefully I try to slide into the new year, with my intentional goals, and relaxation, last week was, and historically is, a bit of a write-off. There’s the getting used to eating things that aren’t chocolatey and filled with sugar, there’s the not putting Baileys into everything I drink, and then there’s trying to get back into something resembling work. I spent the week sputtering forward on what felt like square wheels, not quite sure what day it was and tempted to nap. You with me?
I spent the week between Christmas and the start of 2017 in a tiny cabin in the the middle of nowhere. If you know B.C. at all, and I tell you I was staying just doors down from the Baits Motel in Spences Bridge, you might crinkle up your face a bit and say, “Huh? What is even there?”
Nothing. Nothing is there.
The only restaurant in the tiny hamlet of 150 people was closed for the holidays, and the only movement we really saw was the locals tucking in and venturing outside for more firewood, like we did.
Here is the description that sold me on staying there (taken from the listing on Airbnb): This cabin is the first dwelling of the white settlers in the 1800s and was a writing cabin for the famous British ethno-biologist, James Teit, who is acclaimed for stepping into local life as a young immigrant, marrying a local indigenous woman, Antuk, and riding the hills with the men for hunting and social/political/cultural gatherings. He recorded much of the Thompson Indian culture, preserving it through the dark times, and supporting the indigenous residents near and far with land negotiations during the rising British colonization.
We brought a ton of food with us, along with an embarrassing amount of alcohol, tools to get busy with planning the next year and the giant bag of dog toys that Jasper received for Christmas. From us.
I wrote my big heart out between meals and pieces of Nanaimo Bar, we made big, important, family decisions, and I even read two! Whole! Fiction! books! It was probably the most fun I had on a retreat all year, and that included a trip to Colombia, a week in Mexico, hiking the West Coast Trail, and walking in and out of the Grand Canyon in one day, so yes, I was smitten with it. I seriously dug this cabin and our week of seclusion.
Now that the second week of January is upon us, I am ready!
You see, during my week in cabin bliss, I went through my Goals with Soul program (from Danielle LaPorte)— I gave it as a gift to some of my beloveds, and if you missed out, you can still snag it here.
I like this program more than, say, writing a random list of bullshit resolutions because it is all about considering where I want to go this year by identifying how I want to FEEL when I get there.
To help you see what I’m talking about, I will outline my Core Desired Feelings (that’s what the whole program is about) and explain how I think they’re going to enhance my life and work in a way the a resolution never could:
Connection. I use this word over the word connected on purpose. I want to feel like I am tuned in to the people around me and the people with whom I work and live, and also with the flow of the larger…group/the whole world? I want to feel in connection with all of it. I don’t want to sit in judgement of anyone, and I want to practice love. I love this feeling. It will likely mean that I make more time for face-to-face interaction and a number of things that could easily be a resolution, but as I am focusing on feeling connection, it definitely won’t feel like one.
Languid. I hate to feel frenetic or frantic; it makes my eyes feel like they are vibrating at a rave. I much prefer to feel slow and deliberate and even peaceful. To me, this word is about moving with intention, and through all I accomplish this year, I would like there to be calm and a sense of purposefulness. Ah. Just typing this makes me feel it.
Limber. This is about fluidity in my life and my business. I want to feel agile and bendy, like I can react to what is timely, and be on point as I do. I would also love to feel flexible in my body and what I invite it to do—a limber person can dance, and move and hike and play, and that will likely be a lot of how I spend this year.
Sovereign. For me, this is a much more powerful version of “freedom” and it’s about being brave, being decisive and powerful and unapologetic when I am going after what really matters. It also feels like I know the best for myself and my business because I do. It means that I am reaching milestones this year at the helm of a team and that I will always trust myself.
Nourished Joy. When I was in Mexico, I was shocked to find that a lot of the clothes I packed had SHRUNK! Ha! Actually, it was me. I now weigh more than I ever have in my whole life, and I don’t feel healthy in my body, at all. Sure, in the past I would have robotically put “Lose 20lbs” on the ol’ resolution list and approached myself as a problem to be fixed. This year, I am asking how I can love my body, what it needs, and how that can feel nourished and joyful. It means I am returning to half-marathoning and also yoga; this is about a conversation.
Magical. I believe that there is magic all around us, so this is a surrender to what is happening around me that will help me to get where I would like to go. Simple.
However you are easing (or flying as if on a crazy carpet on a hill of snow) into 2017, I wish you loads of peace and health and all the good things. And if you want to pick out your own Core Desired Feelings for the year, I invite you to jump on a (free) call with me to tell me all about them.