Jan04

Publisher - January 2019

Publisher0618Celebrate yourself...being happy
with you is the whole idea.
— Anonymous —

I promise IT will be mentioned in millions of editorials and articles ad nauseum. What exactly is IT? Resolutions. One can hardly say New Year without thinking resolution. Writers will argue why we should set resolutions, or why we shouldn’t. They will give us step-by-step directions on how to set them, the top 10 most popular resolutions in case you can’t come up with your own, and, of course, advice on how to keep them (as if they have kept their own resolutions). I was born in September, and if my memory serves, four months later I resolved to lose weight.

In looking forward in 2019, when it comes to resolutions, I say do what you want. If setting one helps you stay on track and feeds your desire to succeed, do it! Why wouldn’t you? However, if your track record for resolutions is fairly dismal, like mine, just skip going through the motions and avoid setting yourself up for failure. Regardless of what you do, I want to encourage you to look back before you look ahead.

To me, resolutions magnify our inadequacies, focusing on what we need to do to pull it together and make ourselves better. What they don’t take into consideration is the accomplishments we managed to achieve last year, which is why I want you to look back. If we have to make a resolution, let’s resolve together, to not start the New Year without giving ourselves hearty pats on the back for making it through 2018. In other words, before beating yourself up for what you still need to do, bask in your accomplishments, both little and big.

Let’s discuss this basking—there are no rules, OK. You can pat yourself on the back for something as small as changing laundry detergent if it meant something to you. Just give yourself a moment to reminisce; I believe you will find you moved forward way more than you give yourself credit for. Here are a few things I’m patting myself on the back for, which means I’m less inadequate than I was a year ago. Or maybe I’m not. Either way I’m sticking with Meg Ryan’s quote, which I adore: “I am so inadequate, and I love myself!” It’s a great mantra, and obviously, it’s worked for her.

Good news: We are human, thus we’re born to be inadequate (This doesn’t just apply to men). It’s perfectly OK we’re not perfect! Isn’t that exciting? The older I get, the more thrilling it is, and the less I need other’s validation, including my mother’s. I have to tell you it feels a lot like freedom, something I have sought after for years, finally and lovingly embracing my inner black sheep.

So going into the New Year with the intention of not setting resolutions—although I am defining my IT (see page 17)—am I mad at myself and beating myself up over anything? Of course I am. You can probably guess what about, too. Weight. Duh. Nonetheless, that doesn’t define me as a human being, and besides, I am looking back before I look forward. With that in mind, here is what I’m giving myself kudos for achieving in 2018:

1) I moved back into my home that was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew. I have been able, little by little, to turn my rebuilt house into my home. Each room is a representation of me. As the judges on American Idol would say, “I’ve made it my own!” All of the bad juju from the hurricane and failed marriage has vanished. I absolutely love my home. It is warm and colorful, fresh and relaxing, and truly perfect for me. I have lived here 16 years, and most of those years I spent looking for a better house. In 2018 I discovered the “better” part had nothing to do with the house; it had to do with the peace and contentment inside of me. I am so happy here, and I have lavish visions for landscaping this spring—I am finally able to dream again, which is always a positive sign. Oh how thankful I am for my home.

2) Since the intensive healing and transformation I have gone through over the last few years, around mid-2018, I found myself, and she is a fearless powerhouse. During my desolate healing time I once wrote,  “Do you have any idea how powerful one becomes when no longer afraid of death?” I feel somewhat like the Incredible Hulk—the part when he begins to burst out of his clothing, turn green and bulk up—except in my mind, I turn pink  It’s as if all I went through was like lifting mental weights, which resulted in a strong, defined, powerful inner warrior. The other side to this, which I am grateful for, is I haven’t allowed any of it to turn me bitter or hardened. I can still laugh and love and live, and I am happy! Hallelujah!

3) There’s one more thing I have to absolutely pat myself extra on the back for—a no brainer for most: I flew this year… for the first time in 23 years. I battled panic disorder for almost 25 years, and in doing so, I shut down many avenues that made me fear having anxiety attacks. Flying was one of them. With all the work I’ve put into myself over the last 15 years—life coaching, retreats, surrounding myself with amazing women, books, seminars—I have healed myself. I haven’t had a panic attack in more than 10 years. But, I still wasn’t willing to put myself out there—at least for the things I felt insecure doing. Last July, Margie Howiler, whose been my friend since sixth grade, and I flew to Rochester, NY, and from there traveled around Upstate NY, Niagara Falls, and Toronto via train, plane, bus and automobile. I honestly smiled all the way to Rochester while in the air, not because I was travelling, but because I knew I was free at last. Free. At. Last.

What did you accomplish in 2018? Be sure to look back over your year, even if you thought it was dismal and are glad to see it go. I promise you grew. Take a long, sweet stroll down memory lane. Somewhere inside of you is an incredible hulk just looking for a reason to turn pink. Happy New Year! Let’s rock 2019.

 

Passion, Peace & Paisley

Elizabeth Millen

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