We have just come out of the holiday season, where we are bombarded with messages telling us to buy, buy, BUY. The root of these messages is:
a) Happiness can be bought. I call bullshit on that. There is no package or material item that is going to give anyone long-term joy or life fulfillment.
b) You are not good enough until you have _____________ (insert item here). I mean, really?! We are told by social media, commercials, billboards, and other advertisements that somehow we are never good enough. But if we buy stuff, then, and only then, will we fill the emotional void that we all (apparently) need to fill. We just *might* end up as happy as those 15 year olds making out on the beach in that perfume ad...
This breaks my heart.
Consumerism is a dangerous wheel that preys on us in our most vulnerable moments.
I am here to tell you that YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Let’s not extend the feeling of worthlessness by starting the New Year creating goals that 80% of us will not achieve.
This year, as a collective, let’s break that cycle.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
Stop setting yourself up to fail.
Start comparing yourself...to yourself!
Start the year by reminding yourself of how fucking amazing you are.
YOU ARE FUCKING AMAAAAAAZING!!!!!
I am delighted to share our personal New Year’s practice with you. It is simple and intentional and leaves me feeling grounded and grateful. I wish the same for you.
Steps 1 & 2 are inspired by an exercise I learned from Denise Duffield-Thomas. I have changed it into my own language, but I like to give credit, where credit is due!
Before You Begin
This is an exercise for you to do TOGETHER.
Set aside an hour (at least!), once the kids are asleep, where you and your partner will be uninterrupted.
It's okay to do this today, tomorrow, or whenever works for you. Because, let's be honest, things do not always go to plan! Do it when it feels right for YOU.
Set the mood by dimming the lights and playing music that makes you feel inspired, but doesn’t pull your focus.
No TV, phones, or screens during this time, please.
You will need a journal, or paper, and a pen or pencil.
Step 1: Reflect on 2017
With your writing tools, sit down with your partner/friend/lover and take turns asking each other the following:
What do you feel proud of this year? What made you feel awesome this year? Be specific.
For example: (these are not mine - just ideas!)
- I got my kids to school on time, almost every day.
- I got my ________ licence.
- I learned to speak Spanish.
- I packed healthy lunches for the whole family.
- I started having smoothies once a week.
- I met a new friend, who challenged me to be true to myself.
- I went to bed by 10pm, most nights.
- I had monthly date nights with my love.
- I got a raise at work.
- I took my dream vacation to _______.
- I read two books...just for fun!
- I left the dishes, so that I could play on the floor with my kids.
- We made love in public and it was super hot.
Now it’s your turn! Write down at least 20 things on your page.
Step 2: “And…?”
When you have completed Step 1 and have written it all down, I want you to ask:
- I got my kids to school on time, almost every day...AND I loved our conversations en route.
- I started having smoothies once a week...AND it made my body feel energized.
You can also add brand new things to your list, or add on to things that are already there - up to you!
Keep exploring until you squeeze out another page (or more!) of amazing-ness. This is where the best stuff comes out, so don’t skip this step!
Having the support of another person is especially powerful during this step. Really give each other time and enthusiasm during the process. You may feel stuck at times, but keep at it!
Keep gently asking “And…?”
Feeling supported and encouraged will make the outcome fulfilling for both of you.
Step 3: One Small Step
Now that you feel confident and can see how much you have accomplished this year, I hope you feel AMAZING!
From this place of confidence and positivity, I want you to think of one small change that can make a big difference in your life.
- I want to have more date nights with my partner.
This is too big, so instead you could write down the first baby step towards this goal:
- I will find a babysitter/friend/relative that my child(ren) feel safe and comfortable with.
- I will text my friends/FB community to ask if they can recommend any babysitters.
That was two options, so hopefully you get the idea….small steps, towards a larger goal!
Write it down to make it real.
Step 4: Gratefulness Love Note
This is my favourite step and I am soooooo pumped to do this with Arjan tonight!
Each of you need to take a scrap piece of paper and spend three minutes crafting 1-3 thoughtful sentences about how you are grateful for each other. Be specific and kind with your words. This small note will have a huge impact.
(There is a theme here...small actions = big impact!)
Once completed, slide the love notes across the table and read them aloud to each other. Or read them silently, whichever you prefer.
Take in the words and know that you are deeply loved.
Put the notes on your fridge, or take a snapshot and make them your phone wallpaper, as a reminder of your beautiful start to 2018.
Step 5: A Simple Toast
You did it! Congratulations!
You took the time to be intentional with yourself and with each other.
Toast with your favourite beverage, whether it’s kombucha, hot chocolate, or champagne.
I hope this little ritual will leave you feeling uplifted, valued, and loved.
For more inspiration and tips on staying connected as a couple, join our list here.
With love and best wishes for the New Year,
P.S. - Don't forget to leave us a comment below and follow our family sabbatical in Mexico on IG. Lots happening on IG stories!