In 2014 we brought our newest family member, Yoshi, home. We moved to our present home and settled in as quickly as we've ever settled anywhere. I started going to Yoga on a weekly basis. We traveled, had great visits with family, and generally had a great time.
I just took the whole month of December off from blogging. It is the first time I have skipped a whole month since I started Together Walking over 3 years ago. It was not a conscious decision. I often follow my instincts and feelings on things and my body, mind, and spirit were telling me to slow down and take a break.
As I reflected on this past year I realized how many defining moments and realizations I've had lately. Here are a few of my favorite things that I've discovered this year:
1) My favorite thing that I've ever read on the internet: A Thousand Rivers, What the modern world has forgotten about children and learning
2) My favorite group to listen to during emotional times - The Wailin' Jennys.
Especially One Voice and By Way of Sorrow and... ok just about anything they sing!
3) My favorite TEDx talk yet: Peace code in the human brain by Robin Grille
I'll probably write more about this in the future, but for now I'll just say that I started bawling after watching this talk. It was a mixture of feelings of validation, relief, and hope. It is totally awesome and you should watch too.
4) My favorite character ever: Thanks to Marisol we are reading the Harry Potter series together and I'm falling completely in love with Dumbledore again. He is just too amazing to put into words. His sense of humor ("Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thanks you!"), his sense of unwavering justice, fearlessness, kindness, intelligence, integrity, the way he treats Harry and the other students... well obviously I could just go on and on! Clearly I am in love. And I've found my role model for life. So what if he's fictitious.
There were a few themes in 2014 too: Death, Lice, and Gratitude being the Top 3. I know they don't sound very uplifting or glamorous overall, but they were (uplifting) and maybe life isn't meant to be glamorous.
I don't think I can elaborate on why I felt like Death was a theme here - it deserves a whole post (or more) on it's own. But I'll just say it's a topic that has been on my mind a LOT this year and I feel like I've learned a lot from delving into it, even though it's not always fun.
Lice is more like the theme of our fall and winter and again - not really fun or glamorous, but I strive more for honesty here, and HONESTLY we've been dealing with it! I've learned that trying to "take care" of Lice is more of a marathon (with some sprints thrown in) and I'm better at the sprint part. And when you don't get to the finish line you just make your marathon longer. Oh well. It's also a good attitude check. Life and Lice happen - now go make some lemonade. (<-- if this paragraph made sense to you - awesome! If not, don't worry about it.
Onward! As one of my favorite people - who I forgot to list above - Elizabeth Gilbert says all the time.)
In the late summer and early fall I fell into a very emotional state of being. I wasn't exactly depressed - as I "carried on" with life quite well. But I could feel my heart aching every day. Literally aching. My chest physically hurt just about every day and I felt incredibly raw and vulnerable - like my chest was open and heart exposed.
During that stretch I took to recording my Gratitudes frequently - for the first month or so I did it every day. After a couple of months of doing this I noticed my heart wasn't so achy and I felt much lighter in spirit. I'm tucking this away in my store of experiences to remember in the future when I need it.
I also discovered The Theme song for my life: Nothing More by The Alternate Routes. The chorus really sums it up for me:
We are love,
We are one,
We are how we treat each other when the day is done.
We are peace,
We are war,
We are how we treat each other and nothing more.
It is so true and it explains the vastness of the human (and other species) experience. We are capable of All Things - great things, loving things, terrible things, fearful things - all of it. In the end it comes down to our choices and how we treat each other.
Marisol, my mom and I sang this song at the Lockwood family reunion to celebrate my grandfather's 90th birthday this year which will be a cherished memory for us too.
But if I had to pick the two things that made 2014 an amazing year for me, myself, and I - it is easy to do. Those two things are Yoshi and Yoga.
Before we brought Yoshi home I taught a Hypnobabies series to four expecting couples - all four were dog owners! If that is not really cool, amazing, meaningful - maybe "meant to be"? jumps to mind - then I don't know what is. They were all thrilled for my family and one student mentioned that getting a dog is "life changing".
At the time I didn't completely understand. But now I do. I'm totally in love with my dog. She is just so wonderful and I can't imagine our family without her anymore. And I'm completely lucky to have her because her needs perfectly align with some of my needs that I was neglecting before we had her. I now regularly take walks, get outside (daily!) and get to talk with my new friends while she plays with hers. Thank you Yoshi, I love you!
And Yoga, ah Yoga. I put Yoga at the top of the list of best things I've ever done for myself. I'm that serious about it. I haven't missed a week since I started this summer (except when we traveled - and then I did make-ups!)
What were some defining moments for you in 2014? Some of your favorites? What did you discover about yourself? About others?