Where It Started:
This past New Year’s Eve I was sitting in a small cafe, in a small town in England, doing what so many of us do on the verge of anything new…assessing what had come before and considering what might come after.
The year before had been, as I was about to find out, pivotal. I had turned 40. I had lost both my fur babies (my only babies) of seventeen years. I had lived through the Northern California wild fires and their aftermath. I’d witnessed from afar more mass shootings, more terrorist attacks, and the ongoing effects of climate change. And I found myself in a surreal, divisive political climate where solidarity, compromise, even compassion seemed things of the past. Quite honestly…the year had left me battling a certain amount of PTSD, grieving on many levels, and feeling despair for the future. Not a particularly empowering or effective place to start a new year!
On that New Year’s Eve, maybe because of all those things, I also felt a renewed sense of personal responsibility and a call to action. And so, I made a list of New Year’s resolutions:
- Eat less meat
- Volunteer monthly
- Read slower
- Listen better
- Pick up trash
- Pray more
- And so on…
Now, the only New Year’s resolution I’d ever kept up until then was, “drink more champagne”, so success didn’t bode well…except for two things. First, these new resolutions were kind of like a champagne for my spirit. I already knew from experience that when I practiced them I felt lighter & brighter, more joyful & peaceful; and in that moment I knew that doing them with consistency and mindfulness was exactly what I needed to fill my soul back up. Second, success doesn’t have to mean perfection. In fact, it never does! This hasn’t always been an easy concept for me to grasp. But if I was resolved to be the change I desperately wanted in the world, I needed to redefine success as 1) showing up, 2) trying again and again, and 3) embracing my imperfections and failures.
Where We Start Together:
Fast forward a quarter of the way into the new year.
As messy and haphazard as my attempts at these resolutions have been, I’ve kept at them. I’ve meditated, prayed, volunteered, practiced a little yoga, started decluttering, searched out mentors, and more. And in this short period of time, I have to say, I really have gained some internal peace. I’ve certainly learned more than I expected. And I’ve quite unexpectedly, found a new purpose. You see, the more I did all these things for my own personal growth, the more a new call to action tugged at me – to share this imperfect, beautiful journey with you all! Because if I felt that way on New Year’s Eve, maybe you did too. And still do. Or, like so many of us, you ebb and flow out of hope and despair, mindfulness and oblivion, creativity and lethargy…and need to know you’re not alone. Even if you’re already walking through this world mindfully, joyfully, and creatively, maybe you just want a safe place where you can do it, honestly and imperfectly.
Well, you are not alone. And I want this to be the safe place where self-growth and imperfection go hand-in-hand the way they’re meant to. And I know I have so much to learn from all of you! That’s what the Imperfect Zen Resolution is all about. To be real, to be better, to be together.
A big grizzly bear hug,