Are You Ready To Be The Designated Driver In Your Life?
You made it through 2016!
Take a moment to acknowledge, review and release this surreal past year. It has not been easy, but the person you are now is better prepared for what lies ahead.
There is a certain trepidation we feel entering 2017. We know things will change as we traverse the coming days. The unexpected will continue to erupt into our reality, scorching familiar comforts. Accept this turmoil, however disruptive. Bold new bedrock, ideas and alliances will spring from these fires. The quest for what is real and true has begun.
I’d like to think that the worst is behind us. But it is not. There is no going back to what is “normal.” That box we constantly try to think outside of…is actually breaking apart. Change has begun and it is permanent. 2017 is the year you decide whether to jump into the front seat of your life, hands purposefully on the wheel, or submit to the back seat resigned to what happens. Take actions, however small, that steer you in the direction you want to go.
Most of us will experience a profound event in our lives, a quantum shift towards a new way of being. There will be waves of dread and chaos, then opportunity and wonder. New friends will appear. What we believed to be absolutely true might prove to be false. Something we assumed would last a lifetime does not. Trust will become both a question and an ally.
For those who choose to step up and be the designated driver in their lives this year, I offer guideposts to navigate 2017’s uncommon crossing:
Be present to what is. As illusions dissolve and current structures and belief systems crumble, steady yourself by being present to what is, regardless of what was or should be. We must learn to adapt to each jolt, and respond fresh from that moment without clinging to the verdicts of the past.
Know thyself. The most important thing you will ever do is being who you truly are. Grant yourself time alone. Turn off technologies and be still. Commune with the earth, touch trees, walk barefoot, and listen to the language of nature. It will remind you of your place here, and initiate you into a higher way of thinking. Be with people who care about you enough to expose your blind spots, those unrecognized hindrances you cannot resolve until witnessed.
Stand up. When someone is giving you crumbs, don’t let them convince you they are giving you the whole cake. Choose the world you wish to inhabit and stand fully in it. Reserve judgment of others but do not cower in the shadows. Allow yourself to be seen. This is the year to speak your truth out loud. Ladies, take your places!
Suffering is a teacher. We will receive as much pain as it takes for us to change. Most of it will be unfair. But it will transform forever whomever it touches. Suffering is asking us to wake up, end stale routines, remember our humanity and pay attention to what is wrong. Suffering precedes every great breakthrough. Ask for help, and hold a caring space for others traveling through difficult circumstances. You are not failing. You are emerging.
Cultivate the adult within. Be the person who can handle anything. 2017 will require the adult in us to intercede and take responsibility for our emotions, actions and goals. Find your courage. The world needs adults now more than ever. Stop complaining, blaming, and shaming. Lead, care, and manage, instead.
Have fun! There will be radiant sparks of happiness available all year. Respite from the storms. Seek people and experiences that bring you joy and make you laugh. Take risks. Your best life exists on the other side of those gambles. Fun fuels courage.
An explosion of sharing. Share kindness, vulnerability, support, money, things. It is the glue of a new community being born. Holding too tight to what you have will only bring fear and separation. Sharing will open hearts and doors to what is possible in the world that is unfolding.
Love what you don’t understand. Everyone will struggle with something this year.
We may not always respond to our stresses in the best way. Be compassionate. Another’s journey may appear different from yours, but in the end the destination is the same. We will all need a little latitude as we grow.
Take care of your body like never before. Anxiety and illness will run high, and the healthcare system is not equipped. People will be dying this year in uncomfortable numbers. Eat healthy, move your body, quiet your mind. It’s the most important thing you will do for yourself in 2017.
Pray. Yes, pray. Reclaim the divine presence within you. Prayer is powerful, soothing and meaningful. Prayer helps you remember who you are beyond our social conditioning and technology and creates a spiritual cord that connects us all. Prayer transforms what you cannot bear.
Stop buying stuff. You really want the world to change? Don’t buy anything until you need it. There is power in economic restraint. The best way to get the attention of those who seek to control you is by spending with discernment.
Be Kind. That’s it. Just be kind all the time.
Learn where to place your trust. For now, do not trust institutions, corporations, the media, or governments. Trust each other. Get to know each other. Build community through shared vulnerability. Help your neighbors. Open to the possibility of our human connection. Take responsibility for your thoughts and actions. You are the only one you need to change. Love more. Fear less. Walk hopefully into what you do not know.
This year, we are going through a birth canal of sorts. It will be messy and uncomfortable. Where we finally arrive dwells within our individual choices more than we have been willing to accept. Act towards the world you envision for yourself. Everything better we can be involves moving beyond our personal dramas, prejudices and absolutes. The good news is that we will begin to understand this as we continue our migration together towards somewhere we have never been before. Go where you feel called, even if no one you know follows. Others will be there, waiting. Begin to recognize and fully embrace your fellow travelers. Let go. This is happening!
It’s going to be a momentous year. Hope to meet you along the way!