Written December 2022
In November’s piece, I reflected on the mantras of the past year. While doing so, I was struck by just how much they set the tone for the year I have known. In sharing with you, I reminded myself of the power we hold when we partner with Life with intention and determination.
It is with this energy and hopefulness that I share the mantras I have chosen for the year ahead of us ::
None of it contradicts.
One is more of a phrase I suppose. Still those two words resonate deep down within me.
Integrated grace means that the grace I extend outward and the grace I apply inward are balanced. With the life changes this past year held for me, I noticed some of my stubbornly-seeded perfectionistic tendencies begin to sprout.
Perfectionism is a mindset I turn back to when I am overwhelmed. It is autopilot for me. One day I hope to heal beyond this. This year, I am grateful that I at least have awareness about when and how it shows up.
When I operate from perfectionism, I hold a standard for myself that is inhuman. And start to convince myself that I am not holding these standards for other people too. Then sometimes, I get bitter towards these other people because, “how dare they receive all this kindness that I don’t get to feel too.”
The irony, my loves, the irony is not lost on me.
When I woke up from this mental mindgame I was playing with myself, I was re-reminded of shadow work. Which, in essence, proposes that our external world is a mirror of our internal world.
The frustrations, triggers and experiences that evoke emotional responses from us, are highlighting something within ourselves that is unresolved, unsatisfied, or simply asking for a bit more love.
So, instead of holding an inhuman standard of work ethic, productivity, and appearance for myself, I can show the same patience, say the same kindloving words to myself that I would to a friend or loved one.
And in return, I anticipate a more radically generous spirit towards others will grow in me as well.
To me, this is integrated grace - a grace that is practiced and extended within myself fully. Shared and felt fully by the world around me as well.
None of it contradicts.
This past year held so much newness for me, so much change, and tangible joy.
I have prioritized being a bright, kind, and generous person no matter my circumstances. Yet this year’s changes and gifts so naturally led to an overflowing joy for me. And in many ways, this threw my system for a loop.
I lived through some deep dark days to get to where I am now. Some of these tendencies and struggles still rear their head – internally and sometimes externally.
To be so beautifully loved, to be in a workplace that affirms me, to have friends in my life who say I inspire them – there have been many moments when my heart questions if this is real, and if this girl really deserves to feel such love given back to her.
Somehow being handed everything I have hoped, worked, and intentionally manifested // prayed // whatever-you-call-it for felt too good to be true.
Like I can’t have known, have lived that darkness, and also now get this goodness.
But that’s the shame. That is not the truth that I know at the core of me.
What is true is that none of it contradicts. That, as one of my favorite lyricists puts it, “I can learn from way back when and still live right now.” The truth is that in those dark days, I held out for the hope I would know days as bright as these. And this girl’s joy is her birthright.
Joy, love, and inner peace are your birthrights too, my friends.
These are words we hear all over the radio, advertisements, and on cards this time of year. The essence of them are powerful and transformative.
May they not be watered down for you.
May you find it within yourself to do the hard, healing work necessary to truly know them.
May I do the same.
These are the mantras that I hope will continue me on this journey in the year to come.
If they struck a chord in you, I’d be honored to listen and know how.
Please reach out to me if you’d like a companion on this journey.
We are worthy.
We are loved.
We are most powerful when we partner with Life with intention.
To deeper integration, grace and love in the year to come ~