What will the new year be about? What intention will I hold for this space in my life and my work? In pondering my blog and the focus of my writing, I have found myself a bit "blank" about what is calling to me. Thus the silence for those who are used to seeing a blog from me weekly. What I can share is what has come to me thus far. Last year I wrote my blogs mainly based in my work. They held bits and pieces of my personal healing journey as well. My topic was concerned with manifesting dreams and desires. This year will be different. Last year I wrote my blogs and edited them quite a bit before bringing them here to publish. This year will be a more immediate stream of consciousness. I will be writing right here at my site and sending it out across the internet airwaves when it is finished. Hopefully this will happen in one brief sitting. This is change #1.
Change #2. I don't have a theme. My desire is simply to inform those that are reading my work about my life journey. This is because I feel dedicated to living my work, the principles and ideas that I share with others in a helping capacity. Since I am demonstrating putting these ideas and tools to work and experiencing success through that process, my hope is that my sharing will offer ideas and encouragement for readers to continue to stay focused on creating a fulfilling life and lifestyle.
Today I was writing a thank you note for a hand-made gift I received this holiday. I felt a little badly about sending it via email, but the recipient was to be leaving this week for Europe and them receiving the heartfelt thank you in a timely manner was most important to me. As I wrote my note, I began to share about my experience of the holiday and realized what a significant passage this past holiday felt like to me. I have spoken twice about the holiday in the past week and been brought to tears as I described my feelings. So I decided it seemed an important event that merited some writing, and more reflection, more honoring.
The image that comes to my mind as I reflect is me passing a torch to my daughter, to the next generation. Let me paint a picture of my holiday. I spent the better part of the holiday at my daughter's apartment with both my daughters, my son's dog and, for part of the week, my son. It is a small apartment, decorated nicely, with a homey feel. In that little space, I nursed the cold that I brought with me from Virginia with loving attention from my family, we made cookies, wrapped gifts, did errands, visited with one another and shared lots of yummy food. My daughter was the hostess for Christmas eve for the four of us as well as my niece and her husband, my son's girlfriend and my daughter's dear friend from work. The eight of us circled around a festive table put together from two smaller tables and benches that served to seat two each, finding a way to fit us all at the table. As we sat down to eat and toasted one another, my beaming daughter said, "I am so happy you are all here with me" with such joy on her face that it moved me to tears. Here I was sitting at a table with a beautiful dinner cooked with love and the best kind of energy - a deep desire to do it.
I have sat down to many, many lovely holiday feasts with family and friends. In the last twenty-something years, most of them were hosted and cooked by me with the help of my kids and/or husband. I do love entertaining, especially a big family meal shared together. The last years I lived in Massachusetts, I was tired from work and travel, from menopause and not feeling well, and it was not such a pleasure to do the entertaining, all the work required to make it happen the way I like to. Being here it has been easier again with the help of my husband and the time to do it in a more leisurely way. But this holiday was so special because I was not "in charge". The brunt of the efforts were shouldered by my daughter who has grown to be an excellent cook and attentive hostess. And like her mother, I can see the joy that she experiences in doing it. Ah, the passing of the torch.
This is a true passage for me. A letting go of what once was to allow in a new experience of the holidays. I think about how the plans were decided, my kids talking about it at Thanksgiving. I could feel the change in the air, the desire for something else. As we discussed the holiday, it was difficult not to push them towards coming to my home here in Virginia, to encourage the routine of the last two years. Instead it felt time to take a more passive stance, to allow them to speak about what felt right for them. This was hard for me to do internally, I could feel the pull inside to say what I wanted - come home! But home for them is where they are living now, they make their homes well because they love home life too. Allowing this new version of the holiday meant giving up some things, like some holiday time with my husband and his loved ones, but it also meant allowing my daughter to experience great joy in her strengths and gifts of creating a special holiday experience.
More and more I see how life is a series of giving up in order to receive. This happens in small and large ways. I give up a lunch out with my husband to stay home and accomplish some work on my writing. I give up the need to stick to past tradition to allow new traditions to be formed. I release a hurtful feeling about a past transgression and receive a sense of inner peace. As I choose more consciously about how I spend my time, I find myself becoming more and more discriminating about exactly what I do and with whom I spend the time. And with this careful choosing I feel more empowered by my choices, even when it means I am passing the power to choose on to others. Watching others become the leaders of their own satisfying lives is a pleasure and gift beyond measure.