It is popular to pay lip service to New Beginnings.  New jobs, new homes, big moves and big changes have their own hype and energy around them.  They each offer a new and unique opportunity to step away from what has been and create what will become.  New Years Days have always been met with hope and joy and promise for me.

But what about the baggage?

You know what I mean by baggage.  It is the residue of old hurts and old disappointments, the coping mechanisms that they activate in us that then become defensive pieces of armor welded to our personalities.  This baggage-armor is heavy and we are naturally fused to it.  It takes action akin to surgery to remove it.

And so, new beginnings bring new hope and ideas of walking away from the old, but do we really?  How much of the old poison is carried over like extra vacation days?

Introducing the concept of COMPLETION.

This year, before even making my resolutions, I have applied myself to letting go.  But it isn’t something I was born knowing how to do.  I researched it, discussed it with wise people in my life, and worked through some very practical steps that were recommended to me.  My findings were that it is not a short process and it is not worth doing if not done thoroughly.  It involves the complete purging of ones’ emotions around the issue, taking the lessons out of the soup, and finding gratefulness to close the chapter.  New Years Day 2012 has found me prepared like an athlete working her way through weeks of training for a marathon to let go, complete, and move on.

I have spent the better part of this afternoon and many afternoons leading up to this writing out every emotion and purging myself, driving through this process.  I have isolated circumstances and protagonists of 2011 and those carried over from before and vomited page after page after page of written words.  Words carrying weight that have sat on my bones and joints and festered in my organs like a cancer.  The process began weeks ago and layer after layer has been stripped revealing my clean and healthy essence in place of rough and calloused armor.  By no means is this process fully complete.  But I am excited to find that there is soooo much space once you defragment your emotions and choose what you’d like to save! 

The New Year finds many a home spotless and expectant.  There are festivities and celebrations all over the world.  Desks are cleaned on the last day of work for the year.  Garbage is taken out of the house.  All in preparation for a fresh start.  But what of hearts?  What of minds?

I challenge every one of my readers to face this year with confidence.  Complete your grief processes and the cycles of disappointment as best you can.  Forgive where that is called for.  Chip away at your callouses.  Purge yourself of your baggage.  And offer the space that you have cleaned out to the will of God and new opportunities.  Face the adventure of your future with space.  Space for love, space for joy, space for adventure and space to grow.

Travel light!  Happy New Year!

Blame New Year’s Eve

Fireworks in Hog Sty Bay

I am ready for 2011 to be over.  And it’s just November!  Life is about ebbs and flows, ups and downs, light and dark.  Some years are full of love and laughter and others gloom and tears.  2011 has been one of those valleys, deep and dank, and I’m ready to move on now thank you.

There is a tradition where I’m from that whatever the New Year finds you doing is where you will spend your year.  Devout Christians will, for this reason, spend midnight in church.  Socialites and revellers will spend it in parties.  Families will spend it around the television watching the ball drop in Times Square.  But everyone wants to spend it with the people they love.

The last New Year found me in bed a tearful mess, disappointed and scared.  Rather than force the issue into a positive and make a bad situation worse I had opted to stay at home and let midnight meet me at peace asleep.  I couldn’t sleep and when I did drift off my dreams were tainted by my reality.  Perhaps 2011 was doomed, stained by its first few minutes.

2010 had begun beautifully in Spain with someone special.  My hair was as long as my hopes for the future.  I danced salsa and ate grapes at midnight and rested in confidence that I was exactly where I needed to be.  Until December 31st.

This year must end differently.  It has to.  A repeat of 2011 with its pitfalls and struggles cannot be repeated.  It is so important to me that I have not turned my more-enlightened-than-thou nose in the air and am actually preparing months in advance for it.  I am planning from now for the best New Year’s Eve I have ever had and pray for joy for 2012 when the bell tolls.

How shall I do it?  I am opening the floor for suggestions.