Never big on resolutions, last year I kicked that concept to the curb and instead chose a word. Truly, a phrase:
Put yourself in the way of beauty.
As I explained here, the phrase came from Cheryl Strayed’s book, Wild. She received the advice from her mother and lived into it as she trekked the Pacific Crest Trail on her way out of destructive behavior and into a healthier version of herself.
Often content to be a spectator of my own life, choosing this phrase as a guide required me to be intentional, to participate. I had to stop looking out the window and Be There. I made decisions to put aside my occasionally cranky and often complacent attitude and look for the most beautiful choice I could make right now.
Unlike most resolutions I’ve made and abandoned, this phrase changed my actions throughout the year. It stuck in the best way.
I took a lot more walks – by myself, with the dog, with friends, with my Guy.
I spent more time at the gym and found joy in movement.
I painted, not because I’m good at it but because playful meditation is good for me.
I bought myself flowers.
I looked up and down and all around to notice the beauty in my own surroundings.
I took uncomfortable risks.
I wrote, and in developing a regular writing routine stretched myself in new ways.
I set healthy boundaries.
I pushed myself into social situations in search of beautiful personal encounters – and I found them.
I engaged in familiar experiences as if for the last time, thereby changing the experience.
I gave myself permission to stop reading books that didn’t elicit a beautiful response in me.
I implemented a new bedtime routine that includes a cup of sleepy tea, a good book, and a hand and foot massage – it’s become one of my favorite times of day.
I danced (and I can’t dance worth a lick) and I laughed loudly.
I don’t look any different, but I feel healthier having made good choices for my physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional well-being. And like most things, I found what I was looking for.