succulent garden on the back step
In 2013, I traveled a lot, took many ecourses, went to retreats and workshops, funded multiple Kickstarter projects, gave money to various individuals and charities, gave gifts and wrote many thank yous. I was homesick for myself, needed to redirect, spend a little bit of time not giving so much away, to sink into myself, the moment, the place.
My word for 2014: Home. This is the way I explained my choice at the beginning of the year,
This next year, I long for a return home, to feel at home — in my body, my house, my work, my job, my relationships, my life. I long for the sense of comfort, safety, authority, belonging and ease that comes with “home.” I want to nest right where I am, to clear out room, make space, settle in. The process of clearing is related to what Rumi says, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” And it’s not just about me, solitary and alone, but as Ram Dass says, “we are all just walking each other home.”
2014 is now at the midpoint, half way done. Choosing “home” to guide me, as a reminder of how I want to experience my life, has been of great benefit to me. It has also surprised me. I knew it meant literally being home, a return to a simpler way of being, bringing all my resources to focus on this place, it’s physical form and the space inside of me, shelter and shape. What I forgot was that it would also mean confronting the monsters under my bed, the skeletons in my closet, the dirty dishes in the sink.
In 2014. I vowed to:
Inhabit, embody, live IN 2014, be present for my life, be in my body, awake in every moment I can be.
In 2014, I am going to do a lot, even though I always say I’m going to slow down, pace myself. And yet, my intention is to focus more on my experience, how I want to feel rather than what I accomplish, so maybe I could also say that in 2014, I am going to do less.
In 2014, I am going to feel free, more at ease, grounded and centered, loved, joyful and grateful, rested and energized, satisfied.
In 2014, I am not going to diet or weigh myself. I am not going to “should all over myself” or smash myself to bits. I won’t abandon myself, won’t apologize for myself, won’t give too much of myself away.
If I haven’t accomplished all these things, I’ve tried, lived in the intention. Some things that surprised me about choosing “home” as my guiding word:
- Raising a puppy without help while Eric and I both worked full-time, and starting yoga teacher training, was so much harder than I expected.
- Committing to no ecourses or workshops or Kickstarter projects, etc., was so much harder than I thought. I wanted to be there, to go and to help.
- I didn’t realize how much “home” would need me, specifically Eric and Sam and Ringo, my tiny little family. Eric and I have been through some really hard things in the past five years (some that I don’t even talk about here), and our confidence has been shaken. We’ve faced directly that we aren’t in control, can’t fix everything, that really bad things happen all the time to us and the beings we love. We are trying to figure out how to be comfortable in that chaos, how to find joy and ease, a sense of peace when there is so much suffering. And then Sam was mysteriously sick for so long and Ringo has been so much more challenging than we expected. I had to give up a lot, stop doing things, spend way more time here, give more attention to this.
- Being at home, comfortable in my body has been tough. After years of hating and pushing it, wishing it away, it’s hard to shift to acceptance and love. I’m rounder, softer, take up more space, and I feel judgement burning me as if the house next door were on fire. Old habits, ways of being are sticky and deep, difficult to shift.
All of this, the obstacles and unexpected difficulty, force me to be honest — about who I am, what I want, what I’m doing, what I value. It means saying “no” more often. It means lowering the bar. Letting go, surrender. Staying with the discomfort rather than freaking out and running away, staying awake rather than numbing out. Keeping my heart open.