2016 becomes 2017.

What immediately springs to mind when you consider 2016?  Let's be real, it was a bumpy one.  We lost a rather outstanding number of outstanding minds - from heroes like Ali that could seemingly live forever (and whose legacy certainly will) to performers like Bowie and Prince who broke molds, redefining what it means to be a modern artist.

Think about the first of January.  Where were you?  Were you someplace sunny or was it cold outside?  Were you reading a good book?  What did you expect for your year ahead?  What did you not know about yourself or the world that you now intimately know to be true?  As I quietly search my own mind for those answers, my eyes grow glassy - with the good kind of tears.

I am obviously still fundamentally me, but I'm also so damn different than the woman who occupied my skin in the early days of 2016.  The minute details aren't important, but I look back on January me and I am so proud of her for the decisions she made to drastically improve her life.

At winter's end and spring's beginning, she allowed her honest heart to guide her away from the stable (but emotionally damaging, in the case of career) towards the unknown (but boundlessly opportune).

Her patience and grace held space for her in the long, hot middle months of the year, as she found footing on the winding path of reinvention.  There was a lot of time spent outdoors with bare feet, barely makeup, and hair in wild curls.  More times than not, her days were spent hiking, running, and ultimately reconnecting with her happiness.

In the fall she befriended her chutzpah, which carried (and continues to carry) her through the weird early stages of a project she cares a hell-ton about: this here site.  This exploration of self and society...of a search for meaning, belonging, connection, and contribution.

Which leads me to these closing days and nights of a watershed year.  There is so much (SO MUCH) weighing heavily on our world at this moment.  Politically, a huge transition is taking place, about which I'll hold my peace (but let's just say that as a spiritual person whose faith is defined by kindness and curiosity over organized religion, I pray in my own way).

It's in these days and nights that I find comfort in looking forward with fierce optimism.  And to help with that, I utilize a symbolic practice of establishing a North Star word.  A light to guide me through times of confusion or uncertainly.  To ground me.  To lift me.  To motivate me.  To keep me me.

In 2016, my North Star word was actually three:  A Stand Out.  I think that has worked out pretty well.

For all that is happening on the planet beyond my control, AND ALL THAT I HOPE TO MAKE REAL AND AWESOME, 

2017 will be my year of Courage.


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