Three powerful things 2013 gifted me with

Three Powerful Things 2013 Gifted Me With

Typically, I don’t set New Years resolutions. It always feels like such an arbitrary time of year to set a bunch of lofty goals. This year, however, I made a list of small things I’d like to start each day doing: write 3-5 sentences, meditate for 3 minutes, and drink tea. After reading about Chiara’s experience with her juice fast, I’ve also decided to add 2-3 green juices per week into my diet. All pretty simple resolutions, and I hope to keep those actions up until they become habits.

I think of 2013 as a single chapter in the book of my life. It was a dense chapter full of self-empowerment and badassery, sure. It was also a year of exploring who I am – then expressing it openly and often. And some real shifts in perspective happened for me, these three in particular:

  1. I’m not all that afraid of death anymore. This is coming from someone who used to be terrified of the d word. I’m probably more scared of getting hurt physically than I am of dying. Of course, I love my life. Earth is pretty spectacular. My friends and family are the ultimate. But, it’s fair to say that I have an abundance of inner peace these days. I’m happy, I’m enjoying the ride, I don’t really want it to end. But, truthfully, I don’t think it ever really ‘ends.’ More on that in another post.
  2. I have far fewer regrets now than I ever have. I’ve made peace with some past demons. I’ve learned to let go of the feelings associated with regret. And, I live well and the way in which I want to live, for the most part. My actions echo my thoughts pretty accurately, and I work toward being more unapologetically me every day. With men, I am so much better at sharing my actual self and speaking my truth. I know what I want and what I don’t want, and I’m not afraid to ask for it. Living this way, there’s a lot less regret.
  3. Stress doesn’t rule my life anymore. I used to be stressed out, on-the-daily. I thought it was normal to wake up with a racing heart and tight aching stomach, because I felt that for years. YEARS. I’ve moved so far from that reality, which is not to say that I don’t get stressed. I do, of course, from time to time. But, I take much better care of myself. Instead of feeling like I’m at the mercy of stress, I recognize it as separate from me. There’s good stress and there’s mean, unhelpful, and straight-up damaging stress. I don’t give in to that damaging kind anymore. In other words, I choose myself over stress.

Moving into 2014, I’m ready to reassess what I am passionate for and what I’m here to do next. What did I do well? What can I leave in 2013, to free up space for something exciting and new to develop?

I debated ending this blog in 2014 and simply writing in a private journal instead while contributing pieces to magazines and blogs. Then, last night I received a string of encouraging messages from a close friend telling me my blog is exactly what he’s needed lately. He said my writing reminds him to be himself and go for his dreams. It put a huge smile across my face and I decided in that moment to keep this blog going, at least for a little while longer. At least as long as it seems to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives. My own life, included.

Some of the things I’m looking forward to accomplishing this year: developing my skills as a makeup artist by working with Portland photographers and participating in shows like Portland Fashion Week (eee!! So excited for this opportunity, let’s hope it pans out), landing a job at a lovely holistic day spa as a certified Esthetician, expanding upon the list of online and offline publications that feature my writing, and continuing to embrace myself, be authentic, and inspire others to do the same.

What are you most excited for in 2014?

With courage, love, and intensity,

Kristen

Photo credit: JoeInSouthernCA / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

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