Wow! The first month of 2021 is almost over. January is coming to a close and our world is moving faster through so many changes, yet not fast enough in many ways to tackle the unrest of external events and our generalized internal discomfort.

Like many, at the end of each year I have a ritual spending the last days of December contemplating what has been, how I have behaved, and trying to take a realistic inventory of myself and the world. This is part of my routine before setting goals for the upcoming year – just being with (noticing) the experiences of the previous year, allowing a full-bodied presence with self-compassion. Somehow, this process offers a sense of calm. It seems to pave the way for a productive goal setting process for the upcoming year.

As 2020 came to a close, I did my meditations, took out my template for the year ahead, and attempted to engage in my ritual. I quickly noticed I did not have the energy to sit with myself. It was overwhelming to be with all of myself and of all the experiences of 2020. Yet, in some ways, there was so little to recall. There was less travel, less contact with others, less shopping, less concerts; overall, there was less to consider in terms of my external experiences. How could it be that with less experiences, it felt like too much?

I did notice I slept more, craved and ate comfort food well past the Christmas holiday, and needed to pay more attention with intention to get myself to exercise and maintain my usually positive disposition.

I began the process again and again and had little to no interest. What became clear was that I was sitting with less external experiences of 2020 and so many unresolved internal experiences. Many were filled with sadness, hurt, disappointment, anger, and were just downright painful. The process of sitting with all of this was working but it took more time than usual. There was much to notice, to be with and allow to run through me.

2021 was and is welcomed! Like many, the New Year symbolizes new beginnings, a fresh start, unlimited potential and wild creativity to try and or to imagine again. This year is no different. Being patient with myself and my process allowed my optimism to return. Each day as we move further into this month, my vitality and radiance returns with more authenticity.

What was helpful was noticing, allowing, kind and tender curiosity, and being with myself with self-compassion. The process has taken more time than it has in the past. Perhaps that is because I am owning and noticing more about myself than I did last year and there have been fewer distractions.

I am choosing to bring all of myself into 2021. I invite you to do the same!