It Was a Pretty Good Year… and I’m Gonna “Crush It” in 2017!

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I bought a glass like this yesterday, and dropped it before I even got it out of the protective paper wrapping. It didn’t simply break… it shattered. My internal committee immediately began a dialogue about what had transpired. Eternal optimist that I am, I chose to look at it as I sign that I am going to “crush it” in 2017!  (Note, there is nothing in this glass. Alas, that is another post for another day.)

Looking back on 2016, I’d have to say it was a pretty good year. There were some lessons along the way, and some heartbreak too. I made some mistakes. Okay, probably lots of mistakes, but I learned from them.

I took on too many things (which I have been known to do). But when I felt overwhelmed, I quit putting new things on my plate and started saying no once in a awhile. I also put other people’s needs before my own. But I began putting my own needs, if not first, at least higher on my list of priorities. Fortunately, I didn’t have any large lessons to learn in 2016… at least none on which I was tested. ( I learned an abundance of lessons in previous years and hope that I am finished with that for a while now.)

No complaints here.

Cookie, my protector and faithful companion of fourteen years, lost her battle with cancer. When I picked her from that litter (in the back of a pickup truck in a Walmart parking lot), I had no clue she would see me through two divorces, a traumatic injury accident, and that in her old age I would get to comfort her through her illness. My heart was broken, yet it was only because of the immense love she brought into my life.

A poignant part of life.

Now, looking toward 2017, I am grateful for another trip around the sun. I know this year will be even better than the one past. I will spend more time with friends and family. I will meet goals and realize dreams. I will accept change and pain if (when) they come. Above all, I will cherish love and life.

Grateful I have both.

Sensorizing

I am always working on goals in my life and have often used visualization as part of my process.  Last night I was introduced to an exercise that was even more powerful than simple visualization.  A class in which I am participating did a sensorizing activity.  

We were asked to first visualize certain scenes such as a sunrise over a mountain, or a sunset that makes the whole sky red.  After we created several visual images, we were asked to see the life we were working toward.  I have done this many times and it has been useful.  During this exercise, I saw myself healthy and fit, successful, and happy. 

Afterward, we were told to hear particular sounds.  Some of these were children laughing, rain, and wind rustling through the trees.  And then again to hear the sounds of the life we were hoping to create.  I have used techniques that involved hearing applause, cheering, or what people were saying, so this wasn’t all that different for me.  This time I heard my family laughing and talking, the sounds of my own back yard, and I heard ocean waves.

Where it became really interesting was when we were given the directive to smell familiar scents — a rose bush, the top of a baby’s head, and a Starbucks coffee shop.  I realized how powerfully my sense of smell connected me with certain memories and feelings.  I knew this on an intellectual level, but hadn’t experienced it in quite this way.  As I used my olfactory memory to sensorize my ideal life, I smelled lilacs, peonies, and lily of the valley — flowers that all remind me of my grandmother.  I smelled the foods that my family loves, the ocean breeze, and of course, I smelled my granddaughter’s baby scent.  

We also imagined tasting things like a tart lemon, a juicy strawberry, and a crisp apple.  I could taste the tomatoes I will harvest from my garden, the spicy food I crave, and my favorite Granny Smith apple that the exercise called to mind.  The feeling of comfort that came from tasting these foods in my mind was interesting.

Finally, we were asked to use our sense of touch to feel our feet in ankle-deep mud, the feeling of shaking an old woman’s hand, as well as the feeling of a child’s hand in our own.  I can remember doing meditations in which I could feel sun on my face or wind in my hair, but never the feel of someone else’s hand in mine.  I could feel the old woman’s bony, cool hand and the child’s warm, pudgy fingers.  I could feel the embraces of people I love, sand between my toes, and clean crisp sheets.  

By the time we completed this exercise, I was fully experiencing things I want to have more of in my everyday life.  Many of these things are readily available to me, so I will make a conscious effort to incorporate them into my daily life more often.  If you are into simple visualization, I highly recommend you try fully sensorizing that which you are hoping to realize.  It is a powerful tool.     

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

 

from the Declaration of Independence, United States of America

 

As I celebrate this Independence Day, I have never been more grateful for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Happy Fourth of July!