I did something different this New Year’s Eve. I knew I wanted to do something to celebrate all my changes in 2019, and bring in 2020 with a commitment to more changes, so I googled New Year’s Eve workshops in my area. I found one called ‘Glow’, and after reading the details, I registered. I asked some of MY new friends to go with me, but they already had plans. So, I decided to go by myself.
I worked during the day on New Year’s Eve and all day I felt melancholy and nervous about the evening. The workshop started at 3 and ended at 10. That was a long time to hang out if I was going to be by myself. I decided that if I was uncomfortable, that I would just leave. That thought took some of the edge off my decision to go.
After work, I filled up my car with gas, set my MAPS to the ‘Peace Awareness Labyrinth Gardens’ and off I went. It was 70 degrees out and sunny, and my mind wanted to turn my car around, go back to my apartment, put shorts on and walk the beach. That felt better to me; safer! I knew that would feel good and make me happy in the moment. It would take away the nervousness that I was feeling of walking into a unknown space by myself.
As I got off the 405 freeway and started driving towards my destination, my heart sped up a little as the neighborhood looked a little rough. But I had made it this far, and so I kept going. I found my destination. It was a refurbished mansion with 8 foot wrought iron gates surrounding it, and security guards out front. I had gotten there too late to park my car behind the gates, so I parked in the street and walked a block and a half up to the security guard and timidly showed him my ticket.
He unlocked the gate and moved to the side so I could get in. The mansion was something out of a movie with lush green gardens, white pillars, and Christmas wreaths and sparkling lights twinkling. My heart filled with hope and I took the steps to the entrance. I gave my name as I walked in and they handed me a beaded necklace to wear. A nice man introduced himself and explained that the workshop had already started, and they were going through the Glow New Year’s Resolution workbook.
I sat down in the room that looked like it was straight out of a 1900’s movie, with paintings of cherubs on the ceilings, ornate moldings, and over the top light fixtures. My first impulse was to sit in the back, that way I could sneak out if I felt uncomfortable, but I didn’t. I forced myself to go to the middle of the room and find a seat. I opened my workbook and followed along as the spiritual director talked about Resolutions. He broke down resolutions into parts; commitment, devotion, dedication, consecration and celebration. He explained each of these, and then had us write down our thoughts on each.
He made me think about what a resolution really is. It isn’t just a word or a thought. It is more than that. It is a promise to myself to change something about my current reality, into a new reality. And that is a hard thing to do. If I really want to change, I have to think about how, why and what I want to change, and come up with a plan.
My mind got busy working on these ideas, when he said that we had to get into groups of 4 to discuss. There happen to be 3 women sitting to the right of me, and I looked over in hopeful acceptance. They scooted closer to me, and their warmth and beauty immediately touched me. I couldn’t help myself, and blurted out to them, ‘You are all so pretty!’ And they were, and they are. They were like me; creatives that were reaching out to find tools to push themselves beyond their comfort zones. They all had something to say, and were saying it in their lives but wanted to say it better and louder. I immediately felt a kinship with them, and they asked me to join their group for the evening of more discussions, labyrinth walks, dinner and the sound bath later that evening.
How did I get so lucky? The 3 of them enhanced my evening and made me feel accepted and happy. I kind of forgot it was New Year’s Eve as I got swept up in our talks and the activities of the evening. Their courage made me more brave, and I spoke my heart to virtual strangers, that somehow I felt like I already knew.
My nervousness and melancholy of earlier that day completely disappeared as I started to feel happy and motivated. I wasn’t alone in my desire for something more. I wasn’t alone in putting myself first, and pushing my boundaries. I wasn’t alone on New Year’s Eve!
The evening ended around 10:00 and I got home and looked through the workbook we were given. I really started to think about commitment. What was I really committed to? I sat for a good 10 minutes staring off into space as my mind went blank at this question. Then a flood of thoughts came to me. I am committed to writing this blog, I am committed to my daughter, I am committed to personal growth, I am committed to my finance job, I am committed to making Redondo Beach my forever home, I am committed to forgiving and living with an open heart. Every day I intentionally work on all of these things, but until I sat down and really thought about it I didn’t see them as accomplishments.
Since then, I have been writing about these commitments, and dedicating myself to new ones. Since then, I have seen more of my own power to change my life when I make a commitment and stick to it. I have realized how empowered and confident it makes me feel to follow through, and keep the promises that I make to myself.
Up until now, I was focussing more on the loss of my old life, instead of focussing on the result of my sacrifice and determination to create a new life for myself. It is not easy, and sometimes I get caught up in self doubt, and nervous thoughts fill my head. If I let myself, I can go down a path that makes me feel sad and guilty, where I just see the loss of the past, and an uncertain future.
When I start to feel that way, I know I need to challenge myself to do something new. It is ok to feel sad, but not to get so wrapped up in it that I can’t move forward. My New Year’s Eve workshop was the perfect solution to what otherwise could have been an evening spent reminiscing about the past, and blaming myself and others for it not working out the way I had planned.
I have learned that the only way to have the life I want is to create it, and I can’t create it unless I take action. It has to be an active search for the new, and not a passive waiting for it. I am accepting that feeling sadness is ok, but I can’t bring the sadness with me, because there isn’t enough room for the burden of guilt and sadness where I am headed.