It’s the last month of 2021. The nostalgia of the New Year and starting a new chapter in life seems to have lost it’s zeal since pandemic life became a thing. I can attest personally that 2020 wasn’t a year I could have ever imagined. The pandemic, work changes constantly, COVID scares left and right, children trying to learn digitally and the list goes on. Little did I know 2020 was light weight compared to what 2021 bought into my life. As the year went on and I am able to look back now, I can see some threads of preparedness that I want to share with you which I plan to take with me into the New Year.
1. Take care of yourself...first
We know about the facemask. Put it on yourself first. However, beyond that, I want you to explore that your life can only be seen and felt by you. No one can gauge your journey like you. No one can take your energy. No one can make you feel any other way than how you choose to feel. I am not saying hurts and miscommunications won’t happen. I am suggesting that when they do, you become an alchemist and change that energy real quick. Why? Because energy depletion and stress causes a weakened immune system. That’s not what you want in this season or any season of life really. Stress even in small doses can cause health issues and mental anguish. Who wants any of that? Protect your energy and protect your peace at all costs.
Protecting my peace looked so different for me this year. It included separating myself from family members. It included having some tough conversations. Even as I write this, I have decisions lingering that need to be made by the year’s end, and not because I want these changes. Because I need them. Taking care of you is going to come with you doing things that you may not want to do as well. Taking care of yourself is a must and things that need to happen in your life are most likely going to have to be initiated by you.
2. Say all the words and do all the things
I let you know that 2021 was a year for the books for me. Well, one thing that I learned was that you can never lose when it comes to expressing love. So do it and do it often. My mother is my absolute bestie. My phone would ring at a minimum of four times a day with her on the other end talking about absolutely anything. Randomly, we would exchange gifts and always always laughed. June 18th was the last time that I talked to my mom. June 25th I coordinated the most beautiful life celebration that I could put together for her. As I returned home from her home going service and reality set in that I would never hug her again, I was one grateful daughter because I had no regrets. I had done all the things that I could do. And, I had said all the words.
Now, my mother and I battled for peace for many years. It wasn’t until the last five years that we realized that peace couldn’t come if we were fighting for it. When it comes to peace, you have to stop battling first. We decided in our healing journey to wave both our white flags and instead of going back and forth over who was right or wrong, we asked the question of what we both wanted now. We both wanted the same thing. We wanted a relationship that was healthy and we wanted to love each other. I am blessed to say, eventually we got what we both wanted.
Reconciliation and peace is not always possible. If the other party won’t meet halfway, that's okay. You can still love and acknowledge your own feelings about the person or situation. Try journaling, therapy, talking to a friend about it or a symbolic acknowledgement. A symbolic acknowledgement can be lighting a candle for meditation, physical movement like dancing or exercise with the intention of releasing or allowing feelings to be for whatever duration of time you select.
When it comes to the healthy relationships in your life, show ‘em some love! Being able to love another human being particularly is a gift we many take for granted too often. One of the most beautiful things about love to me is its ability to be minute and vast. Showing love can be as simple as sending flowers or as vast as a surprise vacation. Displays and communications of love live on a spectrum. So, there are so many ways to express it!
By definition alchemy is turning something ordinary into something extraordinary in a way that can’t really be explained. If you don’t know about alchemy, now's a good time to get acquainted with it! Some really hard things have taken place in the world and that energy is real and it’s heavy and it’s going to take some time to sift through it all. In the meantime, let the hard stuff come as it may and transmute every bit of it that you can. Become your own emotional and thought recycling center. You can create new energy and thoughts.
My ordinary, everyday-self can do this. You can too. Take a look at all that life has handed to you this past year; how about the past two years, even five years back? Do you see alchemy in it? Do you see some really hard things and somehow you’re still pushing. You made it past that moment to have others? I am not asking if you came out without change or even loss in the process. I am asking you to see that alchemy is available if we choose it. We have to intentionally choose it.
4. Be grateful
A gratitude journal is nice or just saying things that you are grateful for can work too. This year it seems like I lost so much. I had to start tracking my wins. The ordinary mundane parts of life are my grateful points now. Take a moment each and every day to be grateful. None of what you have has to belong to you. The people who are in your life, the coffee shop you stop by every morning, the dish you often order at your favorite restaurant, none of it has to be. Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is true, noble, admirable, and of good rapport, give thanks for it.
As the New Year will arrive before we all know it, I am hoping that we’ve learned more about life and it’s fragility. When 2022 comes in, I hope it's kind to you and you are kind to yourself. I am grateful for every reader, fan, and all the feedback that I receive on my writings. The areas of improvement that have been pointed out, I will take them and become even better with my craft this coming year! Above all, I hope that you take care of yourself and know that only you can gauge your journey into 2022.