Rather than list a myriad of well-meaning resolutions and share a stream of optimistic goals for the upcoming year, I’ve decided to welcome the new year here in a more unconventional manner. One of the greatest endeavors I embarked upon during 2016 was working toward a true recovery of my creative expression. So perhaps it’s not too surprising that I felt inspired to commemorate my journey artistically–poetically bidding adieu to what no longer serves me from 2016 and boldly claiming and warmly embracing what I envision and welcome in the new year.
After a dark period of feeling rather unsafe and uncertain sharing my deepest thoughts, feelings and words with the world, I began taking critical steps toward creative recovery this past year. I know without a shadow of a doubt that creative (and ultimately, spiritual) healing is just as vital to my physical health as my daily practice of grounding and centering meditation and restorative yoga. I undertook prolific private journaling and probing memoir exercises that challenged me to reflect on the rollercoaster of highs and lows I have experienced in the last almost two decades of living with chronic illness and to unflinchingly face traumas of the past with honesty, self-love and compassion.
I took time away from the lens of my online public life to rest, recenter myself and remember why I first wanted to share my story in the first place. Along the way, I opened myself up to numerous learning, teaching and leadership opportunities, as well as public speaking experiences. Blessedly, I also found I was able to let loose the dam of inspiration, allowing it to more freely flow in my life with visual art, poetry and song once again.
I am grateful for the sacred time and space I’ve had to rediscover, acknowledge and appreciate the unique traits of my self and the singular path of my life’s journey. I know not everyone has the expanse of freedom to work toward their own healing, and I know I never would have been able to do so without the incredible love and support of my husband and family. During this time of cocooning and evolving, I’ve also gained new perspective on the incredible people who have accompanied me at various stages along my journey, both in the past and in the present. I took stock of the quality of my most important relationships, and I have begun working on better nurturing my friendships and being more actively present for my my loved ones, in return.
Being able to more fully see and express gratitude for the totality of my life, including the tremendously supportive people in it, has been critical to my creative recovery. In the warm presence of my nearest and dearest, I have felt safe and welcome sharing my truest self. With growing confidence, I have been able to slowly and carefully extend my circle of sharing a bit wider and with a bit more frequency. I expect that sharing to grow exponentially in this upcoming year.
In line with my path to reclaim my voice and once again share it with a larger audience, I am sharing a poem in which I bid adieu to what no longer serves me from 2016 and to claim in advance what I desire for the new year. For how would shrinking myself and playing small show my gratitude for the precious life with which I have been graced? And as a bit of fun, I decided to challenge my vocabulary across the alphabet, taking a cue from greetings and salutations from across the world–the antiquated and obsolete, along with the current and trendy–to say adiós to 2016 and bienvenido to 2017.
The ABCs of Bidding Adieu To the Old As We Greet The New Year
Adiós to avoidance, blind spots and complacency,
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, defeatism, ego-clinging and false frailties,
Go on, now, git, guardedness, habitual living and insecurities,
Jump off, judgmentalism, careless klutziness and lethargy,
Move along, moodiness, negligence and overwhelm
Pip pip, cheerio to perfectionism, procrastination and unpredictability,
To quitting before the finish line
And to retreating at early signs of defeat
Sayonara to self-consciousness, trauma triggers and uncertainty
Vaya con Dios, vanity, wariness and eXcuses
You can go your own way, yielding nature and zany hangups.
Aloha, abundance, buoyancy and compassion
Delighted to see you, determination and discipline,
enlightenment–presence, awareness and wisdom–
fearlessness and fierce courage
G’day to graciousness, honor, inspiration and joy
Kia ora to kindness, luminous living, mirth and novelty
Ohayou Gozaimasu, optimism, passion and quemefulness
Raise the roof to radiance, radical self-care and self-discipline
a Toast to tenacity, unpretentiousness and vitality
and a Warm welcome to wittiness, eXcellence, and eXpressing
One’s self with zest and zeal.