“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” -Robert Frost
Yesterday morning I went outside and took down our Christmas lights – this is significant because I usually enjoy holiday decorations until well after the New Year. Not this year. I am ready for 2016 to conclude. I do not say this in a negative tone or with an exasperated sigh – I say it with gratitude & excitement.
2016 was a year of personal and national discomfort, disconnect, raw awakening and clarification. As our big beautiful planet has begun its return toward the sun and the light, as my Jewish friends are in the beginning of the lighting of their Hanukah candles, let us all prepare to strike an internal match and light our souls, take action to our whispers and care for ourselves, our families, our friends, our country —our planet.
I am reading “The Sweet Spot – How to find your groove at home and work” by Christine Carter. In this book she uses a metaphor of gears for making changes – visualize a clock with all the large and small gears clicking away to move the hands of the clock around the face 24/day, 365 (and a fourth) a year. I love this metaphor and will apply it to what I am trying to express. In the book, she indicates that when making changes, sometimes its best to focus on the small gears of change first, the things you can address more quickly and see change immediately (for example, starting a walking program 15 minutes a day) instead of going straight to a big gear (doing an ironman).
Although many of us feel we are unable to move the large gears nationally or globally we do and can focus on the small gears that will inevitably change the big gears. Let us enter 2017 intentional, awake and engaged. Let our small gears be kindness to everyone –to remember that every single person we meet is doing the best he/she can, and is dealing with their own internal struggles – every single one of us – oil our gears of softness, compassion, non-judgement and our most gracious listening ear –
“Promise yourself to live your life as a revolution and not just a process of evolution.”
– Anthony J. D’angelo
A few weeks ago, I found myself standing next to a dear friend Bill in the lobby of a theatre waiting for our daughters as they did staging for some dance pieces they will be in this Spring – We were standing there in the middle of the chaos of hundreds of tween and teen dancers and activity and rather than the customary “Hi, how are you?” exchange, Bill said to me something like “So what have you been doing that nourishes you?” OOOhhhhh….I loved it…”what have I been doing that nourished me?” Good question.
He went on to share with me a concept he uses called the 5 thing principle (I believe it is from a leadership speaker and author named John Maxwell). What I took away from this conversation was this concept, identifying at least, but no more than, 5 ‘things’ you can do EVERY day that feed you…nourish you and make it happen – every day – It may require you to say no to other things, change your schedule, disappoint others, not complete the never-ending ‘to do’ list, etc. — but nothing is more important.
“Some things you have to do every day. Eating seven apples on Saturday night instead of one a day just isn’t going to get the job done.” -Jim Rohn
I spent time asking myself what are 5 things I want to do everyday? It was not hard to compile my list and it wasn’t surprising that out of that list, I was only doing one (and not everyday)! Bill shared that it may take months or years to have five solid ‘things’ but what is important is to get started and be conscious of what fills you up.
Here are my five things I commit to doing every day in 2017.
- walk every day outside.
- go to bed at reasonable hour.
- write daily.
- read each evening.
I know for sure that if we can identify the daily routines or activities that speak to our own hearts and honor the private part in each of us, we will have more energy and space to extend graciousness to all.
As 2016 comes to an end, I thank all of you whom have read my beginning attempts at blogging this year (and your encouragement) and sharing your lives with me. I lovingly invite each of us to identify and take action to participate in daily activities that nourish our hearts and I know we will rock 2017 out!
Much love and peace! Cheers!