Saturday, December 31, 2011


It's Thursday morning, December 29th. I'm sitting in front of our fireplace in my floral pajamas with a mug of chamomile tea and an inspirational Osho Zen card deck.

I've arranged for my son to attend an all-day winter nature camp so I can write. I have agreed to deliver a first draft of my manuscript to my publisher by January so the holidays have been a mix of book deadlines interspersed with family time (an interesting cocktail!).

But today what is calling me is not my unfinished chapters (that still need a lot of massaging), but my old journals, my colored pencils and sketchpad, drawings from the last 12 months and scribbled insights and musings from 2011--all scattered across my dark wooden coffee table.

After the guilt around not "getting busy" subsides, I give myself permission to surrender and embrace my natural rhythms. I settle into a comfortable spot near the fire, wrap myself in a soft blanket and allow the signal to travel through my body that yes, I agree, it's time to slow to a snail's pace.

My desire for reflection this week is so strong, it feels like the pull you experience while standing in a strong tide. Constant, persistent and visceral.

I don't want to produce, I want to pause. I don't want to create, I want to dream. To observe and take note of what needs to whither and die--and what needs to be allowed to grow and bloom.

I want to simply be. To take sweet time to gently acknowledge all the lessons learned in 2011 and to sit quietly with all the joys, suffering, light and shadow (read more), achievements and failures. I want to invite all of these experiences and emotions to sit close by my side, like a small child before they finally wiggle away and run off to play.

So often it feels like we're "speed living" --moving quickly through the motions, skimming the surface--instead of allowing ourselves to drop deeply into the moment. 

Later that day while savoring a walk around the lake with a dear friend in 70 degree weather, I knew I had made the right decision. The time for writing will come. But the opportunities to be quiet, reflect and go inward are precious and deserve to be heeded when they call.

Reflection exercises: Some of the things I'm doing this week during my time of reflection include creating a "Gifts from 2011" list, writing a letter of forgiveness to someone I want to make amends with and reflecting with my partner and friends on ways we can all simplify our lives even more. I'd love to hear any rituals you do during reflective time (and of course, doing absolutely nothing is best of all!).

Have you heard about the I CHOOSE LOVE public service campaign? It's a reminder that when we come from love--one of the most powerful yet underutilized forces on the planet--we have the ability to transcend fear and remember what we're really hear to do: give and receive love. Learn more and order a tshirt (at cost).

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