As I write this, the snow is falling, covering the ground with a blanket of white.
Slipping into warm, fuzzy slippers, and pulling my sweater closer to shield myself from the chill in the air, I settle in and sip my tea.
There is a calm, quiet stillness that always accompanies the snow.
It’s as if it is here to remind you to go inward, to pause and reflect.
The new year is always a beacon for a fresh start, a chance to begin again.
There always seems to be a conflict of what’s now and what’s next, trying to find a balance.
Slowing down enough to appreciate the moment and what is in front of you while also laying the groundwork for creating what’s next.
What do you really desire?
Recently I ran across the idea of writing down a life list of your 100 desires.
There is always power in writing down what you want.
Writing 100 things stretches you to go beyond what you might normally consider.
What are the big things and little things brimming with possibility that could become cherished memories and beacons of hope for you?
Try to be specific rather than broad like saying you want to “be happier” or “get fit” or “travel”. What would be some specific things that you desire?
When I was in my early 20’s, I met John Goddard, a famous author, adventurer, and explorer, who led some of the group tours at the travel agency I worked for.
I had no idea or appreciation of who he was at the time. I wish I had because I would have asked him some questions! And I wish I had heard him speak.
At the age of 15 he wrote a life list of 127 goals he wanted to accomplish.
Before he died, he accomplished 109 goals from his list.
John Goddard listed things like ride a camel, explore the Amazon river, climb Mount Kilimanjaro, learn to fence, teach a university class, write a book, type 50 words a minute, learn to speak french, spanish, and arabic, and lots more.
You can see his entire list here. https://johngoddard.info/life_list.htm
Your list doesn’t have to be impressive to others or be anything but what you really want. In Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map book, she suggests you focus on how you want to feel, not just what you want.
There is no need to feel overwhelmed, like you have to do them all right now. This is a life list that you can use as a guide.
Some of the small things will most likely happen without much effort, simply because you have named them.
You can experiment with choosing one thing and focusing on that, which can feel very liberating.
If you are like me and have too many ideas, choosing one or two and directing your energy toward them brings more calm and clarity that trying to do too much at once.
I am still practicing that idea, because it is hard for me to choose one thing but I notice the less I choose to focus on, the more relaxed I am and the more I complete.
The painting above is called “Hope” Having an image to focus on can help you to feel more grounded and relaxed.
Choose a Word for the Year
There is also a great practice of choosing a word for the year that helps you to remind you of your desires and what you want.
I decided to choose the word Savor for this year.
Savor has the feeling of lingering and slowing down time to appreciate the things you want to enjoy.
I want to more consciously create memories and experiences worth savoring.
A Desire for Calm
One of the things I’ve been doing that is a perfect fit for the idea of savoring and has a wonderful calming effect is a drawing technique called Zentangle.
It is a method of drawing one line at a time that makes it easy to draw beautiful patterns that are simple to create and have a meditative quality to them.
I plan to teach the Beginning Zentangle class in person and to also offer it as an online class.
Click here if you would like more information about the upcoming class.