New Year. New Lily?

I spent this past Christmas in California with my daughter who just moved there. I’ve always loved the winter season but it’s unusually refreshing to me the few times I’ve spent the holiday season in a warm climate. Walking beneath billowy palm trees while having the warmth of the sun follow me around for a few days helped me to clarify the numerous plans I have for the new decade beginning with the year 2020.

For most people January is always a time for new beginnings. A time that one can be resolute in their determination to find the better, sweeter, more productive parts of their own nature. A time one can conquer their demons and ride a chariot of confidence into the fresh, promising new year.

Image by Maddi Bazzocco

But over the months and years of my life I’ve figured out resolutions are for ca ca. They don’t often work very well, if at all. Or at least they don’t work in the long term. Or maybe they just don’t work for me. However, that’s not to say that nothing works. In fact, I think I may have finally found the answer to the age old challenge of the new year, new you conundrum.

The way I’ve flipped the switch is to focus on a theme for the beginning of my new year. The gist of this theme is to create a recurring idea that you can brush up against any time you think you’ve lost your way. When, in April, or heaven forbid February, your purpose starts to slip through your fingers like thick smoke through a stove hood, all you have to do is think back on your theme then remember where you want to be or go to refocus. My theme is even streamlined to one single word that can stay top of mind and bring the whole process hurtling back to me with just the immediate impact of remembering it in the moment.

Last year my theme was honesty. For a few years I’d been pushing a lot of my thoughts and feelings through filters. Squeezing my feelings through the most secure and narrowest netting. Making sure I didn’t focus too hard on anything scary or difficult to bear. It also meant I didn’t speak too bluntly or straight from the hip and inadvertently hurt someone’s feelings — something I’ve done in the past — a lot.

All of that circumspection was a problem though. Any kind of in-authenticity can be a heavy burden to carry so I decided for a year I’d try to rid myself of that cargo using honesty as a theme. For the most part it worked or at least did what I wanted it to do — lighten my load and help me see things with a clarity that I would have ignored or denied in the past. It was an enlightening experiment.

This year I went looking for another bolder word to use for my motif. Something that would spring me into action whenever I thought of it. Not fraught or anxiety driven action, but something that would create a noticeably forward moving and progressive shift towards one or many of my goals. Several words occurred to me. Intention stayed with me for a while but it was somewhat vague so it never felt quite right. Manifest was an option I considered but again not a word that would bring any chaotic thoughts or lackadaisical procrastinating tendencies to a grinding halt. The word manifest in itself makes me a little nervous. When I examined why it did, was when the word I want to use for 2020 came to me, not with a whisper but a warrior cry.


Image by Andrew Neel

To my mind you can’t manifest anything at all unless you prepare for it. Preparation is key. I have many things I intend to make real in this decade and much to assemble, blend, concoct, and produce along the way.

I’ll keep you in the loop as I go dear reader here on my website or on my author page. You can always check this link as well to learn a little about everything I’m doing in one place:

Til next time allow me to wish you a Happy New Year. May your blessings and joy in 2020 be abundant and may you always be ready and fully prepared to receive them.

Cheers, Lily

Image by Jamie Fenn

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