Some New Year’s Thoughts

Hello, friends!  A new, fresh year is upon us!  January is cold, crisp, and exciting.  January is the month that, generally, people make promises for the coming year and there is a lot of enthusiasm behind said promises.  However, if you live in a similar climate as me, it’s been extremely cold since 2017 started, and all I really want to do is curl up with my cat and a blanket, and I don’t feel very proactive…

But, let’s talk a little bit about resolutions.  I’m just as guilty as the next person about having grand ideas about who I want to be, what I want to look like, or what I want to do.  This year, however, I’ve moved away from making “resolutions” and instead have crafted some affirmations around my goals and my word of the year.

My word for 2017 is “practice.”  On my Instagram feed I wrote this about my word: “There are a lot of things in my life that I want to ramp up and build a practice around.  The word, to me, implies ritual and imperfection, it reminds me to work a little bit each day toward my goals.  Be those goals health related, to read a book, to go deeper spiritually, to use my cards, to play my ukulele, to write a bit each day…..it covers a little bit of everything…We’re not perfect, life isn’t perfect, and that’s why we practice — to get things a little better each time.”

With that in mind, and with the help with of my Many Moons workbook, I worked out some intentions and affirmations for the coming year.  I don’t want to call them resolutions exactly because while they aren’t specific goals, (as in “I want to lose 60 pounds”), they are (as said above) practices that I want to build up over this year.  I do have specific end goals in mind, but I want to focus on the intention and practices behind the goals.

The workbook explains affirmations and how they can help to alter thought patterns and habits.  I found the section helpful in crafting my own affirmations, as I didn’t have much experience writing them before.  The book calls affirmations mini-spells, which I really like.  As such, I went on to craft some affirmations to bolster my intentions for 2017.

My overall affirmation for 2017 is, “My goals are not a chore; they are so that I can be a better me.”  I wrote this affirmation keeping my 2017 word, practice, in mind.  I actually really like this affirmation because I tend to view my daily goals as something to be checked off a list.  But really my goals are not something mundane (a chore), they are dynamic, and are intended to help me improve myself.

The workbook then asks “what is waiting to be manifested” for the rest of 2017.  It breaks down goals into sections, and asks us to pick two goals for each section.  I went a step further and crafted an affirmation for each section to reinforce my intentions for the year.  Below, I list what I’ve come up with.

Prosperity/Abundance
1.  Spend my (free) time on activities that I enjoy/make me happy and could also potentially add revenue to my budget (i.e., writing and card reading).
2.  Work to pay off student loans, so that true saving can begin.
Affirmation:  “I spend my time and money in beneficial ways.”

Opportunities/Skill-sets
1.  Practice ukulele three times per week.
2.  Dedicate myself to spiritual development.
Affirmation:  “Practice is a part of ritual and learning.”

Physical body/Health
1.  Drink more smoothies (particularly at work) and more water.
2.  Work out more, particularly at home weights and yoga, three times per week.
Affirmation:  “I nourish and care for my body appropriately.”

Self-love
1.  Build up a meditative practice, three times per week.
2.  Take ritual baths one time per week.
Affirmation:  “I give myself space to relax and open up.”

My focus this year is going to be on the affirmations.  I really like the idea of keeping the affirmations central to my actions this year.  The goals that I have written are more guidelines; if I don’t accomplish the “three times per week,” I won’t beat myself up about it.  The affirmations are meant to keep my intentions on track.

Have you made any resolutions this year?  Do you like to use affirmations?  Let me know in the comments!  I hope you all have a great 2017!

exploringly yours,
Alaina xx

A Meditation on the Six of Wands

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The Six of Wands is May’s card of the month from my year ahead spread.  What I really love about the year ahead spread is that at the beginning of each month, it encourages me to slow down for a minute to recognize the passing of time.  The card for this month – the Six of Wands – is so fitting: I feel like this month is what all of the other months have been leading up to.  The groundwork has been laid, the messages received, and I am now ready to internalize, process, and act.

I love this card for a couple of reasons.  The butterfly (my favorite animal since I was young), that brilliant blue color, and because when I showed my roommate the card, she immediately understood the meaning without knowing anything about tarot.  This card is about victory, rising up, new life, overcoming obstacles.  Rachel Pollack writes in 78 Degrees of Wisdom, “Optimism produces the very success it desires and expects.  Often, though certainly not always, it requires only a true belief in ourselves to find the energy to accomplish what we want.”

I keep feeling that the messages of late are about my health, wellness, and physical body.  Balance, not letting emotions rule the situation, enjoying the work while not worrying about the reward.  Pentacles versus cups.  It all kind of comes together here.

I’ve struggled against my body since high school.  We’ve been through a lot, for better and for worse.  And we’ve never quite struck the balance.  With still somewhat recently converting to a vegan diet, and never fully (slash, willingly) embracing athletics, I still have a ways to go.  But I’m learning – what foods make me feel good (and what doesn’t), what exercises I enjoy (and what I don’t), and my favorite ways to spend my time with me, myself, and I.

It’s not just about looking good (though, yeah, that’s part of it), but it’s about feeling good, finding the balance that I need between health, confidence, being comfortable, and being myself.  I want to connect with my body, instead of struggle with it.  I want to honor my body, those around me, the animals, the world.  But first true balance must be found within me, so that I can accomplish the work that I am meant to do.

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It’s a work in progress, but I feel the Six of Wands is telling me that this month will hold big strides.  I’ve adopted a mantra for this month: “Fear of failure is the failure.”  I must credit one of my long time inspirations for this mantra, Rich Roll, but it’s perfect for this month of pushing myself to victory, to rise from the ashes.  My health is important, my body is important.  I want to be the one in control, not fear, or any other emotion.

There is so much more I could write here, so much more that the Six of Wands (particularly this depiction) means to me, but my physical body is a big part of it.

What is your card of the month?  What does the Six of Wands mean to you?  Share in the comments….

exporinglyyours,
Alaina