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  • Writer's pictureDenny Balish


With the arrival of the new year, many of us have set goals and intentions we hope will improve our lives or increase our enjoyment in living. We may have committed to: eating well, losing weight, learning an instrument or language, writing a book, spending more time with family and friends, working less and playing more, etc. When I was reviewing my list the other day, I started to stress out! I set some pretty ambitious goals, no doubt—ones that will stretch me beyond my comfort zone. But is it too much? What if something happens and I don’t accomplish everything? How will I feel about myself knowing the years are ticking by and I’m not getting any younger? I have SO much I want to do!

Like I said, I was stressing myself out. I took a moment to breathe and turn inwardly. I listened. A question emerged: What if I focused more on how I want to “be” this year rather what I want to “do?” I felt a qualitative shift throughout my entire being. My mind slowed down. My body relaxed. My spirit lightened. I sensed that I might be able to accomplish my goals more easily if I focused on my quality of being, rather than my running to-do list. Listening deeper, I asked myself, how do I want to be this year? It took a few moments but eventually two things bubbled up: I want to be kind and I want to be courageous. I took to my journal. I wrote about being kind in the way I interact with others, wanting my words, deeds and actions to land softly. I want to create an open space of acceptance between myself and others by withholding judgment and showing genuine curiosity. I want to offer an easy smile, a caring hand, a helpful word. I want people to feel safe, accepted, and appreciated in my presence. I smiled inwardly. Tension melted. Next, I wrote about being courageous. I felt an inner strength ripple through my body. I wrote about trying new things with no guarantee of success. I wrote about standing in my power and speaking my truth without explanation or apology. I wrote about sharing my gifts without knowing how they would be received. All this takes courage. I imagined myself as a Spiritual Warrior-Goddess with staff in hand atop a mountain at dawn radiating courage and kindness to the world. I felt strong, grounded, and calm. Imagine if I could help others feel the same? Maya Angelou once said: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I completely agree. This year, may I be remembered as a kind and courageous person, one who walked gently through the world and spoke truth. What about you? How would you like to be remembered this year? Drop me a line and let me know…

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