Holy crow, New Year is here already! I can’t say that I’m fully prepared for this next phase of the journey, but I CAN say that I’m at least going to do my best at what I am able to do. I have a new journal, notebook, and some new pens, so I’ve at least some tools to help me get the job done.
Did you follow along with the blog prompts in 2018? Now is a great time to look back through all your entries and see all the hard work you have done. Looking through my own entries was an interesting exercise. I grew a lot in 2018 and it was interesting to look at the goals and intentions I set for myself at the beginning of the year, see the work I did through the prompts throughout the year, and then evaluate my growth at the end. I honestly can’t say I “completed” any one goal, but that’s because I’ve realized the goals I chose were more about growth than something that was specific and measurable. For example, one of my goals was to have stronger boundaries. Instead of making sure everyone around me was as comfortable as possible at my own expense, I decided that it was time to put my self-care first and foremost. There were three interesting side effects to doing this:
- My inner completionist took the reins from my inner perfectionist. I made the decision to do my best as I was able and not kill myself over making something perfect. The latter was driven by a false belief that I was only worthy if I produced something amazing and perfect, which kept me from trying a lot of things in life altogether. It kept me from putting myself out there. It kept me protected and safe. It kept me stagnant and unsatisfied. Starting this blog in April allowed me to dip my toe into the waters and see that I could survive if other people saw my words. I put a lot of work into writing Book of My Shadows for 2019, which allowed my inner perfectionist to stretch her legs, but not steal the show. And I know I’ll survive any mistakes I have made and will forgive myself easier if I don’t get something done the way I originally intended or by the time I wanted to get it done.
- Not everyone appreciated my new boundaries. They caused some people to see things in themselves that they weren’t ready to see and didn’t know how to work with what they saw. It made some be accountable for their actions and to be more self-aware of the effect they have on other people. Setting boundaries is challenging, especially if it’s reinforcing a boundary that you wish you would have set long ago, but didn’t. But the key thing that I keep in mind here is that those who truly love and care for me will see it as me taking care of myself in a new way and not them losing something from the process.
- I’ve made a lot of new friends who are on similar journeys. I’m not exactly sure when or how it happened, but at some point in the beginning of 2018 I opened a door that allowed me to meet and develop friendships with people who also admit that they are works in progress. I started to live the wisdom of “surround yourself with the people you want to be like” by spending more time with people who were continually questioning why they do things they way they do, healing their own personal traumas, and upholding a high level of personal integrity while doing such. These are people who encourage me to be my best and call me out when I can do better. I can trust their opinions when I ask for them because I know what they tell me is what I need to hear, not just what I want to hear.
One of my goals this year is to be more consistent with this blog. It will morph a bit to be more of a supplement to Book of My Shadows for 2019 instead of only rehashing of what is found in the book. This year I’m including plant and crystal allies for each entry and I will write about the benefits of using these allies not just for the prompt du jour, but in everyday life as well.
Another goal I have is to make the Instagram feed a little more active on a daily basis. To do this I’ll post mindfulness activities and ask everyone what they are grateful for every day. Incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine can seem daunting to many, but it really is a great way to reduce anxiety and aid emotional regulation. Reflecting on what you are grateful for can help ease depression. Since Book of My Shadows is about introspection to understand yourself better, having a regular practice of mindfulness and gratitude will help keep your mind and emotions balanced.
My inner perfectionist would like me to include that this is all just an experiment and could change if it doesn’t work. And that is fine! There is nothing wrong with changing or letting go of a goal or intention that isn’t ultimately the right goal or intention to have. Things can be tweaked or even put down for a short time without having to feel like you’ve failed, because you haven’t. I think the only time we fail is when we don’t set out to try something in the first place.
If you would like to play along at home, feel free to stop by the shop and pick up your copy of Book of My Shadows for 2019. You can get a physical copy or PDF, whichever works for you!
I hope 2019 brings you health, prosperity, and the skills you need to make it the best year yet!