December 31, 2017

Traditions and Intentions

FILED IN: Uncategorized

What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate the New Year?

Five years ago, I began a treasured tradition: penning a letter to myself and my family to be sealed, saved, and opened on the following New Year. Three years ago, I wrote about it here.

The purpose of the letter is to capture the spirit of the year that lay behind, and cultivate thoughtful intention to help guide who you are and what you choose in the year that lies ahead. It’s like creating your own 1-year time capsule; and an exciting and motivating gift to yourself.

And yet, as I sit here on New Year’s Eve 2017, I have no letter to open.

I have no letter because last year, I very clearly and easily set my heart and mind on a one-word intention: Simplicity.

As I write this post, basking in the warm glow of a crackling fire, surrounded by my family and a trail of toys playfully left behind by my twin toddlers, I can happily declare that my intention served me well.

Simplicity was good to me in 2017. It was exactly what I needed in the wake of a personally tumultuous 2016.

Simplicity informed my thoughts and drove my actions (and in some cases, lack thereof). I came back to it often, and when I found myself experiencing the familiar pulls of complication or overwhelm, I asked myself: what might simplicity look like here?

As I responded to that question throughout the year, simplicity helped me choose imperfection, compromise, letting go, less worry, and healing. Simplicity drew me back to what was most important, and helped train my focus on calm and presence, even in the midst of what sometimes felt like chaos.

So, yes, I do feel a bit sad not to have a letter to open tonight, but my presiding feeling is one of satisfaction at having lived into simplicity in 2017.

What was your 2017 like? What did you set out to do? Be? What’s the sense you have as you look to the year ahead? What do you hope it’s like? What choices can you make to help you create that?

I’m already noticing that my hands are itching to put pen to paper for a 2018 letter. I haven’t quite landed on my one-word intention just yet, but stay tuned for more as the New Year unfolds.

Happy New Year, friends! Looking forward to hearing more about your traditions, intentions, and hopes!

Oh, and PS: if you’re interested in more on New Year’s intention-setting, join my dear friend Brenda of and me on January 7 for our visioning and intention setting workshop!


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