A Gregorian New Year’s post – complete with manatees!

Yes! You’re in luck!  The new year just started according to the Gregorian calendar, so today was Orthodox New Year’s Day!  So if you were ready to give up and start again next year, don’t despair!  You can start now!  Or re-start now!

I don’t know about you but I sometimes feel a little panicky right about mid-month in January.  What have I accomplished?  Am I on track to make 2013 the best year yet?  All of that ridiculous pressure-y stuff.

Then I remember my words for the year.  And I feel soo much better!  A lot of people, especially my coaching colleagues, pick a word or phrase for each year.  They distill their vision for the year down super small, small enough to fit on a Post-it, or to be embroidered on a tea towel, or carved in a pretty block of wood to be used as a door stop.  (I’m actually not sure anyone embroiders or carves their word or phrase of the year, but you get what I’m saying.)  So, while I was away with the dolphins and pelicans and bald eagles at the barrier island over New Year’s (the first New Year’s) I came up with my three words.

Every time I think of them I relax.  And I smile, and everything feels fabulous.  My three words are breathe, laugh and connect.  That’s what I’m doing in 2013.  No building, no striving, no pushing.  I may build something, I may push a little – heck, I may even strive.  But that’s not the main idea for 2013.  It’s to breathe.  Because breathing brings me into the present moment and that’s a fantastic place to be.  It’s to laugh.  Because, really, without laughter, what exactly is the point?  It’s to connect.  Because living is even richer when it includes sharing, fellowship and camaraderie with others. And with our most true selves.

Once I had my words of the year I decided to find out my animal totem of the year.  I used the amazing Sarah Seidelman’s What the Walrus Knows app – one of my favorite ways to gain a little insight.  I let the application do the divining, and guess what my Beastie, as Sarah calls them, is?  It’s perfect!  It’s the manatee!  I bet it’s in the manatee code to spend time breathing, laughing (however manatees do that – they certainly appear to be smiling!) and connecting.

And speaking of manatees, have you seen the calming manatee website? Click for a manatee and a calming message.  Everyone can use a calming manatee sometimes…

So please don’t despair, midway through January!  There’s plenty of time!  And feel free to take my words and use them yourself this year.  I wonder what the world would be like if all of us prioritized breathing, laughing, and connecting along with all of our other pressing to-dos…

Buster has the breathing part down…

buster 1

Or if you have a word or phrase for yourself I’d love to hear it!  How is your new year going?  Email me or post your thoughts in the comments!

May as well give up now; try again in 2013…

This is where I was on New Year's Day. Explains why I sort of forgot about the resolution thing.

Wow.  We’re halfway through the first month of 2012.  Half way!  If you’re like me, it feels like perhaps someone put you in a time machine on New Year’s Day and you emerged two weeks later, dazed and confused.  Perhaps you’re a little freaked out because that’s 1/24th of the year already gone, GONE!!!  And such a long list of things that were going to be different or fantastic about this year – what’s been checked off? – what’s been accomplished? – what new habits are fully in place, little stickers on the calendar marking their completion?  Yoga, breathing, eating, exercising, being nice, not cursing, going to bed at a decent hour, no more time-wasting on YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/Hulu.

No yelling, instead being like the Dalai Lama, a walking paragon of peace and equanimity, never even thinking an angry thought.  Magically having time to live, work, make healthy and delicious meals full of fruits and vegetables, plus enjoy quality time with spouses/friends/family/children/neighbors/pets.  While we knit/sew/draw/photograph/paint beautiful creative pieces.  And keep the place clean – don’t forget that!

Do you- on this holiday to honor a wise and fabulous man who saw the big picture, even if he was still a human with his own foibles – do you look around and wonder where the heck January went?  Did your stickers fall to the wayside on January 4th? (Or 3rd, or 2nd?)  Are there dust bunnies lurking in the corner?  Have you had fast food?  Or an angry thought? Or perhaps a screaming match with a loved one?  Do you want to throw up your hands, dive back under the covers and say, forget it – I’ll try again in 2013?

Well, I’m here to tell you (and myself) to settle down.  Take a breath.  Look out the window.  Even better, go outside.  Even if it’s cold.  Just step out there and breathe the air and remind yourself that you’re alive.  Drop your plans.  Ask the little part inside you, the one that maybe doesn’t get to weigh in often enough, what one thing you’d most like to do today.  And just do that.

Me?  I didn’t make any resolutions this year.  I was too immersed in wordlessness and oneness.  My plan’s been to approach things a little more openly this year.  Stay present.  I know I’ll get things done – I always do!  And I have a lot more energy to make things happen if I’m not beating myself up for the 37 items on a too-long list of goals and plans that didn’t get done.  I’ll keep you posted about how it goes.  So far, so good!