My word of the year for 2015 was stretch and it was a good word. A hard word. A rewarding word.
Hard because it required me to keep striving, to keep reaching, to keep working towards my dreams, my potential and to remember to rest but not to backslide.
Rewarding because I moved closer to, and achieved, so many things. I am in the full swing of being a novice glassblower. I’ve made friends to blow glass with, I’m practicing regularly and I’m near ready to take my “test” to move from Novice to Student. I have even sold a few pieces.
On the left – my first plate. On the right – my most recent plate.
I bought a new condo in a neighbourhood where I’ve always wanted to live. It enables me to ditch the car and bus, walk or water taxi just about everywhere (ironically except the glass studio!). I am a 5 minute walk from the beach and seawall and can do most of my grocery shopping at a farmer’s market.
I made difficult changes in my spiritual practice that have resulted in moving away from the status quo, freeing me from rules that weren’t working for me. I spend more spiritual time outdoors, connecting with the earth and the land and the sea, and less time trying to colour within the lines of a picture that is not a vision I share.
And as I said in my mid-year stretch, I am “hashtag blessed” with good friends, meaningful work that pays me well, and a wonderful home. I lost two very dear friends to cancer this year and I am grateful for the time I had with them and for the love that rushes in to fill the empty space where I am missing them.
Other losses this year have been more difficult. Especially the friends who have just stopped talking to me. I never expect that people will agree with everything I do. Or that people won’t say “no” to my suggestions and requests. But I always find it difficult when friends choose to stop communicating rather than talking and explaining and understanding and resolving. I know that there are those who would say that those weren’t really friends if they do that. But, to me they are. Or, were, I suppose.
Which brings me to this year’s word … release. In order to move forward, it means leaving some things behind. To stretch, then release. As I start to do more walking, I have to be careful with my Achilles tendon, which can become quite inflexible and painful. I have to actively stretch and release, stretch and release, in order to keep moving.
Isn’t the heart a muscle, as well? As I stretch emotionally and in my relationships with myself and others, don’t I also need to release that which holds me back? To be conscious to take the time to process and let go. Actively release.
Release sadness and grief.
Release dreams and desires that are not going to be fulfilled.
Release anger. And expectation.
Release what weighs me down, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
That is my aim for 2016. To release so that I can soar.