When one year of your life has been colored with a lot of anxiety and stress, it is easy, oh so easy, to bring those negative feelings with you into the following year. I notice that all too often in myself. I give myself promise after promise that I will break the negative thought patterns and bring myself out of that destructive cycle, only to think and act according to the same self pitying again just minutes later.
For many of my friends, as well as for Hannah & I, this has been a challenging year. Probably the hardest year so far. Speaking in astrological terms, we are all approaching our Saturn Return (when Saturn returns to the very same position it was in when we were born) which supposedly is a time of great ordeal.
So for New Years Eve, Hannah and Anna (a friend of ours) had prepared a ceremony, to help us let go of difficult things from the year that has been and bring life to the things that are yet to come.
The things we wished to let go of we scribbled down on a piece of paper that we set on fire. To acknowledge that difficult things doesn’t go away just like that but rather requires of us to actively chose differently, Anna had brought back home braided bracelets from Bali for each one of us to tie around our wrists. According to tradition, once the bracelet falls of by itself, you are ready to let go of the burdens it represents.
Photo borrowed from my dear friend Anna, aka. Rawblizz.
Our wishes for 2017 – a note consisting of everything we wanna bring into our lives – we each taped on a sky lantern. The sky that night was pitch black and rather stormy, so each time we sent one off it was a gamble. The lanterns wiggled from side to side and almost crashed into trees and chimneys, but in the end all of them successfully sailed off with our wishes into the night, being the only visible light spots as far as the eye could see. Their brittle departure a metaphor of the delicate balancing act we are all enacting right now.
Photo borrowed from my dear friend Anna, aka. Rawblizz.
As a way of starting the year on a more positive note, I wrote a list of all the good things 2016 brought me.
2016 was the year when I:
✧ Did more sun salutations than any previous years
✧ Started meditating
✧ Started seeing a holistic, homeopathic practitioner
✧ Got to know my first dog friend
✧ Moved to a cabin in the forest
✧ Got engaged
✧ Went on my first workation
✧ Found a handful of awesome blog friends
✧ Figured out some important stuff around my food issues, and wrote an honest blog post about it
✧ Found “my style” in photo editing
✧ Learned heaps about social media strategy and online business management
✧ Explored the Swedish countryside
✧ Decided to invest in this blog full time
✧ Started seeing a therapist
✧ Learned how to observe my emotions and thought patterns a teeny bit more rationally
✧ For the first time felt truly connected with you readers
✧ Began exploring new ways to earn a living through (mainly) blogging
✧ Launched Cashew Kitchen Letters which put me in touch with so many of you guys
These events and insights I’m forever grateful for. What good things did 2016 bring into your life?
I postponed reading through my goals for 2016 for the longest time. When I finally did, a bad feeling started growing in my chest. Almost all of the things I wrote was focused on activities or achievements. Things you wanna cross of a list and then move on. Seeing as I demand a lot of myself already, this was a very bad choice of goals.
For 2017, I’ve tried to write goals that are humane and that focus on what I can do more of rather than what I should stop doing. Together they make up a mindset or feeling that I wanna embody. My goals are broad enough to hold change of plans or unexpected life events. But to me they are also specific in that I know exactly what feeling I’m after. Most of them can’t be put on a to do list, but they can be enacted or practiced daily, or weekly, or monthly.
For 2017, I want to:
☾ Nourish the hobbies and interests that defines me: music, reading novels, feed my nerdiness, experiment with recipes, invest in friendships, spend time in nature.
☾ Actively work towards improving my health: sleep, move my body, meditate, take food sensitivities seriously, act on warning signals early and implement “worry time”.
☾ Experience adventures: free interpretation!!
☾ Go on a yoga retreat: because I’ve always wanted to.
☾ Save up and prepare for a puppy <3
☾ Practice seeing positivity and possibilities: inspired by Wilda. Because I so easily get stuck in negative thought cycles.
☾ Dare to change: regardless of the ugly confrontation with myself it might mean. Regardless of what other people might think.
☾ Dare to embrace my spirituality and wellness regime fully: I sometimes suppress this because of conveniency (and fear of change, see above). Instead I wanna get clear on my non-negotiables, practice putting my experiences into words and explore concepts that fascinates me.
☾ Prioritize the right friendships: those that bring me good energies and excitement.
☾ Begin a journaling practice: however irregular it might be. As a brain dump for everything I’m feeling.
☾ Allow myself to invest money, time & attention in my appearance: because it’s fun and it empowers me. It makes me feel smarter, calmer and closer to my identity. And because this is an area I’ve completely neglected for years since I used to think it was only “superficial nonsense”. But now I think that life is too short not to decorate myself as playfully as I can.
For Cashew Kitchen, my goals are somewhat more specific and measurable. These goals I need to be able to put on a to do list and break down into actions.
In my business, my goals for 2017 are:
△ Get my book keeping together: finish everything from 2016 and find a routine for being on top of it during 2017.
△ Respect work hours as well and free time. Separate the two more than I have done in the past. Now that I’ll be running my business full time I wanna make sure I still get that “Friday feeling” and days off dedicated to other activities. I also wanna make the most of my work days. Particularly take care of those precious morning hours.
△ Launch a new blog come February!
△ Optimize and organize my fees, terms & conditions, media kit etc: I want everything to be readily available in a standardized form.
△ Earn enough money through Cashew Kitchen to take out a full month’s salary come June.
△ Get to know more people in this community :-)
△ Invest in capacity building and networking: for example through workshops, workations, conferences, tools and online courses.
△ Launch some kind of course or service: I’ll keep the details to myself for now ;-)
All in all, for 2017 I want to find a comfortable everyday routine that is both stimulating and grounding. I want to feel free to create and spend my days as I please. I want to see possibilities and engage in fun, challenging and giving activities, and feel that my body and psyche is backing me up in my pursuits.
Have you written down any goals or wishes for 2017? I would love to hear them! Feel free to share in the comment section <3
Wishing you the best start possible to the New Year!!!
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