After reading the new year’s resolution of others via Twitter, Facebook and my overflowing RSS feeds, I thought I should post some thought about 2009 and ideas for the coming year. 2009 was an exciting year for me- not because of any dramatic events, but because I started to learn how to just be- to live more in the now and to really enjoy the life I am living.
Transformation Watching my son grow and transform from a baby into an independent and fun-loving toddler filled with wonder for the world around him has brought me a new level of joy and excitement for each day that I only imagined before he was born. As I watch him gradually transforming from an infant into a child, I have experienced amazement at how accepting he is of every days challenges, and his growth and willingness to explore has led to my own. While watching my son develop over the year, I have been transforming into a more confident mother. I feel less nervous and more capable each day. I don’t second guess my own abilities as a mother as often, and I have started trusting the process of childhood more- knowing that through all the bumps, bruises and tears, my son is developing just fine into a thoughtful, intelligent, warm-hearted and spirited boy, and that all is going just fine. I spend each day taking more joy in the days ups and worrying less about the downs.
Creative Growth Shortly after my son was born in 2008 it became abundantly clear to me that I needed to devote more time to creative work. 2009 seems to have been a year of shedding old layers- getting over past criticism and fear and devoting more time to play and experimentation. I have spent the year getting past the past and learning to trust my creative instincts more each day. Sometimes you just need to dive in and try- rather than expecting every creative endeavor to turn out a stunning master piece. While I tell my students this all the time, this year I have been more honestly practicing the art of ignoring my fear of failure, and I have been blessed to discover that on the other side of that fear is the joy of creative discovery and the excitement of seeing something unexpected develop. The year ended with a burst of creativity- I started painting again for the first time in the decade. Talking with my roommate reminded me that I used to paint- and had even exhibited paintings during my sophomore year of college, but after the trauma of college drawing class critique experiences I stopped painting altogether. In the past few weeks I have been spending free time painting more and in different styles than in the past, and the joy of just getting the paint onto the canvas and letting things go has unveiled creative energy that I didn’t think existed anymore.
Letting Go All of this has led to a deeper sense of acceptance of life and the world’s ability to keep turning on with or without my worry or fear. I have been practicing letting go- of fear, of worry, of anger and resentment and especially of my obsession with past events. I am learning to let go of negativity in general and am trying to live more in the present. The more I let go and stay present, the more I am able to experience more of the joy in the I am living. My experience of life is changing for the better, and I hope to continue this process in the coming year.
And so- here is my proposition to myself for the new year- rather than making a resolution to do something new, to lose twenty pounds or to become a vegan, or to keep the house cleaner, I resolve to continue honestly on the path I am living, to stay present and appreciate the life that I am living and to let my creativity to continue to grow. I am happy with the past year and I hope to continue living and learning in this way throughout the coming year. As this path unfolds, I hope to find even more success in this concept of positivity, acceptance and transformation.
This morning I read a quote on SuperForest that really rang true for me. I hope that whatever your New Year’s resolution, it will ring true for you as well in your 2010 endeavors:
“What is success? To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; that is to have succeeded.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
May 2010 be a year of success for all.