The new year is coming. Many of us are grateful to get out of 2018 (someone on Facebook said, “2018 has been a very long decade” and I totally feel that, do you?). But with the new year comes a lot of expectations. The greatest of which is that something will be different- capital D, Different (!!!) – this year.
Besides the fact that having an expectation for ‘Things To Be Different’ is maybe setting ourselves up for failure, it’s also a very forceful kind of energy. We’re going to push, do, wrangle, and claw our way into whatever is on our Fix Me list for 2019. For the most part, I’m not into that anymore.
As I move further into mid-life, I find that I’m not as interested in forcing myself into some new thing, shape, box, way of being. Admittedly, I have done a lot of work on myself, in my life, already; I have integrated some things that others still struggle with (eating healthy for me, and moving, regularly, plus meditation and med-taking self-care routines). As I move further into mid-life, I find that I am interested in accepting myself more, in having more compassion for myself, in cleaning up my psyche, and delving deeper into the strengths I have. I am less interested in forcing things and more interested in letting myself unfold.
I was talking with a client a few weeks ago and we spoke about how sometimes the work we have to do is not linear- moving from pain to emotional work to healing in one clean, pretty line- but rather, that we have to let ourselves unfold– and sometimes this is messy and looks like going back over the same old ground, again and again. It’s more organic, and probably more honest. Certainly, it’s more feminine. I am far more interested in the kind of personal development that unwinds and unfolds, as I look forward to the new year.
A long time ago I wrote a piece about what I was learning about my own sensuality and who I was becoming- how I was gently unfolding into who I wanted to become.
At that time, I wrote:
“The new facet is very different. It is light and soft and quiet and supportive. It is the wind through the window, blowing the gauzy curtains. It is the rumpled bed, the glass vase, the wild trees, and the rainy window.
There is a new woman growing inside of me. And her softness is her strength.
This is how I pray to her. Believing that, if I listen, if I feel, if I make space for her- she will grow.”
You can read the whole thing here.
What I am finding, as I grow older, is that unfolding is the easier way. To stay with myself as I listen deeply to my heart. To gently encourage myself in directions that feel right. To work on what might be broken, but to work with compassion and gentleness. To also see my own light and strengths and deepen my connection with them. We don’t have to force ourselves into some new shape as the calendar changes from December to January. We can unfold into the truth of what we are – warts and all – and gently become more of who we really are.
So, as we look towards the new year, I encourage you to be gentle. Think about what you already know about your self. Think about your truest desires. Think about what your heart is yearning for. Think about how you can move towards your own health and self-acceptance, gently. Think about how you can unfold – not with force, but with grace – and bloom.