Hello, journey

winter_road_by_lexious

Buddha said: “If your compassion doesn’t include yourself it is incomplete.”

I’m stumbling upon that law of life again. And instead of resolutions entering the new year, I’m playing with the meaning of words like intentions and self love. What are your intentions that will guide your journey in 2016?

Self love.

The first book I curled up with this year was not my new journal in which I intend to fill pages and pages of shedding old stories, tracking new ones, and dreaming dreams. It was a book from the top of my new to-read list: Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road. It’s no surprise I’m delving into biography first. I am seeking mémoire, as I imagine myself writing it all down. Pouring it all out. Again and again this year.

Gloria encourages me to travel—even while living where I am with “an-on-the-road state of mind” for a few days “not seeking the familiar but staying open to whatever comes along.” She says the road will force me to live in the present. Right away I jot down notes, deciding this kind of thinking/living-with-my-whole-heart could really take precedent this year. The year of self-love. Of embracing my story.

Stories. Here I am captivated by only the introduction to a traveller’s bio about stories—in which she sincerely hopes for us to tell ours. Having never travelled myself to more than cottage country and a few continental and Caribbean jaunts, the biggest journey of my life has been motherhood. With all of its intense joys, challenges and LOVE. I’ll start here.

Enter another book. This one came as a surprise in the mail from a most thoughtful friend with just the right blend of tactfulness, prudence and advisability (and love for chocolate). Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection is indeed a gift (nudge) for jumping into self-love.

Again, I’m taken by the introduction—the honesty, the vulnerability from a mainstream self-help best-selling author. So I let down my guard and flip through the chapters filled with how-to practices on cultivating authenticity and self-compassion: yes, please! Admittedly, I might get through cleaning the closets sooner than completing her 10 Guideposts. It’s a momentum glitch. (Insert: meditation in any shape or form, whenever and wherever possible in 2016.)

But first, thank you Brené for saying: “Where we are on our journey of living and loving with our whole hearts is a much stronger indicator of parenting success than anything we can learn from how-to books.”

And I’ll start there. 

I’ll hit the roads less travelled on this year’s journey (because breaking up the big LIFE journey into smaller stretches, I believe, will help me keep the practices of self-compassion—and forgiveness, another biggie this year). I invite compassion and connection in all my interactions.

As the first new moon of the new year approaches, I’m setting goals to tend to the stories that are demanding my attention by crowding my dreams and thoughts. And I’m setting intentions to live in love. And trust that I have the tools deep within to do the work.

Let us remember to dream
Sometimes you’ve just got to dream
Woah the power of dreamin’ women
Stand up and dream!

– Kate Sutherland

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