you survived…celebrate that!

HebrewDawn: you survived...celebrate that!

Here we are…down to the 11th hour in the year 2017. Social media is rife with emotional diatribes and reflections of the past year. Some include a laundry list of accomplishments, others include a giant list of things to never do again. No matter what happened this year — good or bad — it seems we all want to talk about it. Soooo, let’s talk! How did it go for you? Was it the #bestever? Was it totally forgettable? Perhaps it was somewhere in between…

Full disclosure-having a winter birthday has made me into one of these wistful wintertime wonderers. Around the beginning of December each year, I start this little scorekeeping activity. Did I do everything I said I would? Did I do it well? Did I suck less at some things and excel at others? Did I completely change my life for the better? If I didn’t, do I still have enough time left to make my mark?

I gotta tell ya, as important as I feel it is to self-evaluate, I generally feel pretty awful about myself after this little exercise. Why? Because I’m always so disappointed. I’m really good at finding room for improvement, everywhere, all the time. This is a great habit for productivity and goal setting, but pretty miserable for self-esteem. Sometimes the accomplishment is survival. Sometimes, like my best friend Crystal says, done is enough.  So that’s how I feel about this year. It’s almost done, y’all!

As long as I can remember, I have tried to “figure it out”; tried to equate what I have with what I feel I deserve. And guess what always happens? Since I am the common denominator in the events of my life, I  have to blame myself for all the shortcomings. I resent my multitudinous bad habits. I am envious of what others have done that I believe to be better or more important than my own accomplishments.

This is all negative reinforcement and I find myself asking why I do this? What is the point in keeping score? Tallying arbitrary accolades that mean very little to anyone else and say very little about the person I am. At some point, will I accumulate enough positive life events to win something? Will 365 days of AWESOME bring me to some amazing place of clarity and self-actualization?

The logical part of my brain is laughing at the mere thought of this. If we know perfection does not exist, why do we still expect it from ourselves? The purpose of life is not to be perfect, but to live; to continue experiencing one moment to the next for as long as we have moments on earth. In order to do that, we must be present. We have to participate in all the moments fully. We have to find the best in every moment/day/year…even the really sh*tty ones.

Through my yoga teacher training, I have come to accept that we can only control our reactions and responses. From this latest year on earth, I have come to learn that life really isn’t fair. It is from this place that I offer my conclusions on the year 2017

  1. Some sh*t happened.
  2. Some of that sh*t was positive – YAY!
  3. Some of that sh*t was negative…but it provided a chance to learn/regroup/restrategize-still a YAY!
  4. So far, I’ve managed to survive every day..even the really sh*tty ones.

Whatever happened this year, be grateful for it and then let it go. It hasn’t taken the breath from your lungs, the love from your heart, or the thoughts from your head. Celebrate every d@*% thing that you went through this year because it made you tougher, stronger, better. Bad things help us know and trust ourselves more. They make us resilient. Good things help us stay motivated to continue doing more. They empower us. So really, all things are good things, if you want to see it that way.

We are ALL strong. We are ALL overcoming. We are ALL brave. Let’go into this new year with a goal to make it through the whole stinkin’ thing, NO MATTER WHAT!

I believe in you guys…



HebrewDawn: you survived...celebrate that!

Making Your Passwords Count

I know that at this time of year, everyone has set or is scrambling to set their New Year’s resolutions. I also know that many have shared that they’re not one to set resolutions. Others have said that they don’t set resolutions, but say that they set intentions. I definitely think that last group is really doing the same as the first and just trying to call it something different. I am definitely one that would fall in the second group, because as I shared last week I just disappoint myself by not following through on them. At the end of 2014 learned about setting inspirational passwords, and I feel that has been more powerful than resolutions I could set.

These inspirational passwords are meant to be a word or phrase to help keep you focused on what’s most important or needed in your life. It’s critical that these passwords be used on accounts you will use all the time, such as at work or your phone. In 2015 I had two words that remained the most important for me, and they were grace and peace. Each of these words applied to a different aspect of my life, but were what I really needed to make it through the year.

I am someone who can be REALLY hard on themselves about almost everything. I can find something to criticize myself about in all aspects of my life. Nothing is off limits from my own self-judgement…my parenting, being a spouse, home maintenance, volunteer work, and my job. Looking at that list it doesn’t leave much room for grace, which I knew I so desperately needed to give myself.
Honest confession here, I can get very irritated with what I perceive to be a lack of effort by others or not doing what they should be doing. I may not be perfect at what I do, but I try to give it my best. I get widely frustrated with others not trying to do the same. People are not necessarily going to change because I think they should, but I can change my response. Rather than perpetuate this way of thinking, I knew I had to change the way I thought about people. To do this I needed to find peace in that moment of irritation and give them grace.

Being honest about my struggle last year is not an easy thing for this self-critical gal. But I can say that these inspirational passwords helped. This may seem a little woo-woo to some, and great to other. All I know is that they helped me, and I hope that they help you. I can say that grace was a great thing to give myself all year, and I will continue to give myself more grace this year. I won’t share my word(s) for 2016 now for obvious security reasons, but look forward to sharing with you later how it goes.