Anticipating the arrival of a New Year can bring conflicted feelings for me. At its best, a New Year can be a time of rest (with the holiday), and of valuable reflection and renewal. And it can also sting.
The New Year can arrive as a painful toll of another year of unfulfilled dreams, which sometimes feel nowhere in sight.
It had been a tough year. As the holidays approached, I was fortunate to glimpse the cloud of despair on the horizon conjured by the prospect of forcing myself into yet another round of New Year's eve "festivities"— and to heed its prescient warning. And so it was that year, I made perhaps one of my most important, and lasting, resolutions — I resolved never to subject myself again to the manufactured hype of this holiday.
I pledged to give myself the gift of something I rarely enjoy as a busy entrepreneur—solitude. Space to let my body breathe, and contemplate my life and goals for the coming year.
This was radical - but I asked my body to help me find the perfect place. Where did it (my body) want to be?
It desired someplace within an easy drive, and reasonably-priced. I imagined a bed and breakfast in the woods somewhere. I searched online for B&Bs (as I had many times before for other occasions), and out of the blue, a restored 3-bedroom 18th century log cabin on 50 acres of land popped on my screen. Guests are invited to bring their horses, as they have a stable on the property.
I immediately emailed the owners to inquire.They informed me that it was unfortunately booked for the evenings of January 2nd and 3rd, but it was available New Year’s eve and New Years evening!
I felt giddy and began imagining how I would spend my time there in this pocket of peace. “Soul space to roam and play,” I call time like this. I hoped there would be horses.
Shopping for my getaway groceries, I began to sense the blessing that was unfolding.
The store was mobbed with New Year’s eve shoppers. I was directed to register #7 when my turn came to pay. The #7 is a holy number. When the cashier rang up my groceries for the weekend, the total came to $63.63. My parents were married June 3, 1963 (6-3-63). The time on the receipt was the prefix to my sister's telephone number.
This coalescence of numerical coincidences felt like an affirming hug from the heavens, cheering me as I set out on my journey with my provisions. Like a key, it opened the inner chamber of my heart to the blessings that were to flow in. I felt the very molecules of my body rejoice and the world began to glimmer with magic.
Turning down the driveway, still fully-covered with snow (despite the melt everywhere else in the area) I entered into a space of woodsy expanse, led by a gentle fence line as far as the eye could see. I tingled with expectant excitement as I ventured, bounded really, joyfully, into the New Year. Oh, and yes, there were even horses!
My body showed me several things:
1. The instantaneous creative power it has, at the ready to assist us if only we ask
2. The marvelous resilience of our hearts, which can know joy and delight, even in the midst of sorrows
3. The liberating exuberance one experiences in following one's heart.
I realized through this choice, how much of my life I had sought to live up to other people's imagined standards. As a single person you are supposed to have social plans for New Years where you can meet people, not hole up alone in a remote log cabin.
Wherever you are in life at the turn of the next New Year, especially if life seems amiss, invite your beautiful body to contribute and see what shows up.