So this year, for the first time in years, I didn’t spend the night dancing on a beach under the stars. Instead I’ve spent the past couple of days ‘pondering’….yep, pondering. My, how I’ve changed!
For most of us, New Year is a brilliant time to pause and take stock, to work out how we got to this point and figure out where we’re going next. And this coming year for me feels like a big shift.
I spent my 30s saying a big, fat YES to life, and oh boy what a ride it’s been! My life got filled with so many incredible and life changing experiences – travelled the world, studied a bunch (from Kick-boxing to a Masters Degree, me!?!), ran half marathons and triathlons, got married, built a great career and then started a brand new one, became a Yoga Teacher, started my own business, did a ton of fundraising and volunteer work, added another 10yrs to my recovery and mentored others. I stuffed in as much as I possibly could and discovered I was capable of so much more than I ever knew. I’ve been truly blown away by every opportunity and everything that’s unfolded.
My lust for life, my insatiable curiosity and my high capacity to get things done is beautiful, and a part of me I really love and feel immensely proud of. BUT, left unchecked these things run the risk of unconsciously taking the joy out of life. These parts of me, along with my crazy brain, have always been a gift and a challenge.
I’ve always been a MORE kind of gal, but I’m starting to feel something inside saying No More, Enough. And so this year I’ve decided it’s a year of LESS. I want less of everything: Less stuff, less commitments, less rushing, less pushing and multitasking, less stress, less cramming, less one more thing and another thing and another thing…so even the things I love to do, don’t feel like obligations.
I want to create space for more quiet, more stillness, more simplicity. I want my life to be less impressive, to be unflashy and profoundly unspectacular so that I can be more present, more connected and grounded. I want more rest, play and joy – to ask for help, to be fragile and sometimes stop completely. I want more space to fully taste and hear the music of my life.
Don’t get me wrong, nothing bad has happened. There hasn’t been a ‘thing’ that’s caused me to pause and take stock, and this isn’t about turning my life upside down or starting again. I love my life and my work, and I absolutely Know this is the right path for me. I can just feel the pull and yearning to slow down, get quiet and go deeper. That pull is getting stronger and I’m really paying attention.
I know this will mean laying down some of the things that keep me full and frantic, or distracted and exhausted. It will mean asking for more help and saying no thank you to things I’d love to do in order to create more space. This isn’t about working less or more necessarily. It’s about letting go of the myth that every day is a new opportunity that I HAVE to grab and fill with good stuff, adventure, growth or to even prove my worth. It’s about realising that what makes my life meaningful is not what I accomplish, or how well I take care of , but how deeply and honestly I connect with my own heart and the people in my life.
I’m really starting to understand (finally!) that, feeling useful or held in high regard isn’t what really nourishes me. It’s lovely and I’m so grateful I get the opportunity to be of service every single day, BUT feeling connected is where I feel most alive. And sadly I can’t stay tender and connected to myself or anyone really when I’m hurling myself through my life like a cannon ball! My engine of ‘getting things done’ is not the best part of me, my heart is.
So this year I’ve got no plans for grand, Facebook worthy gestures – no climbing a mountain, no bikini-ready body (whatever that means!) or running a marathon. No massive career change, big adventure or Instagram moment. Instead I’m righting the imbalances in my life and looking around to see what I can let go of to create space – what commitments, expectations, roles and things that seem unmovable (until you start to move them) – can go? It’s going to take some recalibrating.
I totally get that to some this may seem boring or lacklustre and that’s totally, absolutely ok with me. This is an inside job – less sexy on the outside, more joy on the inside – and I’m going in people.
Writing this down has helped me to get clarity and I’m sharing here to hold myself accountable –asking you to be my witness and to nudge me lovingly (gently please!) if you can see me going off track. I’ve been this way for a really long time, and so I expect to fall off the wagon a hundred times. But moving in the right direction will be good enough for me. And if what I’ve shared here resonates with you, then this time of ‘pondering’ and sharing has been even more valuable.
I can’t wait to meet you along the way. Wishing you all an amazing year, responding to whatever your heart is calling for. And whatever that is, I hope it fills you up – not so you’re stuffed and overwhelmed, but with a deep, warm contentment, BIG love to you beauties xxx