Not The New Year's Day I Wanted, But The One I Needed

"New Year's Day 2016" Photo by: Elana Kilkenny

The first day of the new year started off rough as I followed my intuition and it led me to a hurtful discovery. It was validation of what my gut had been telling me for months, which was the good news as I now knew I wasn't being paranoid to sense what I was sensing about this situation. But the truth hurt and it struck a deeper historical cord in my heart.

I could have gotten stuck there today. And I almost did.

But then Bono appeared. In my head that is. And he started singing to me:

"You've got to get yourself together
You've got stuck in a moment
And now you can't get out of it

I knew I didn't want to stay stuck in this moment, but judging from the mental tape that was playing on repeat in my head about this situation I knew I was in danger of tethering myself to feeling like sh*t all day (and perhaps for days afterward). The vicious circle was in full swing as I wasn't only upset about what I found out, my head was now extrapolating about what this would mean for the future and I was becoming increasingly incensed and sad that this was how I was experiencing my first day of 2016.

At some point, my early-detection victim warning-system went off in my brain. And instead of focusing on Bono's "stuck" lyrics I willed myself to focus on the "You've got to get yourself together" line. It became clear to me that I was incapable of producing any wise, or even accurate, conclusions around this situation when I was this upset. It also became very clear that I was not a victim here and that if this was being presented to me on January 1st that there was probably a transformative element at play. Furthermore, that if I could swim to the other side of these choppy emotional waters, my experience and intuition were telling me there would be a gift.

This was all enlightened and wonderful to realize, but truthfully I knew the strength of my propensity to not choose happiness in any given moment and to stay focused on a perceived injustice (I am a Sag after all).  So while I honored my feelings about this upsetting situation and realized that it would need my attention, I also recognized that I was now falling into a pattern of obsessive thinking that is seductive in its righteous stance. So I decided not to dwell on what I had no control over in the moment that was making me feel so unhappy, when there was so much right in front of me to be so heart-full about.

It was time to take some action to shift my energy.

How do you shift quickly out of obsessive thinking? One way is to navigate your energy into a different direction by helping someone else (the caveat being to make sure they want your help). The opportunity presented itself very quickly. and I was grateful that supporting my friend today, in the midst of her difficult time, helped both of our hearts. This action also created energetic room and momentum for me to make a decision to choose happiness within the muck of my day.

As my sadness was real and old patterns around emotional stuckness can be entrenched and persnickety, I also asked the universe for some heart solace and for some signs as to where my energy needed to go...not just for today but in this new year.

Synchronistically, I received these signs very clearly and quickly.

After lunch with my husband and children at a local restaurant, I realized I needed some space alone to follow the whispers of my prayer. So while my husband took my kids to the park, I took some time on my own and found myself led to a neighborhood book store that was surprisingly open today.

The first book that called to me was Mindy Kaling's book "Why Not Me". I opened it randomly and the page I turned to uncannily spoke to the source of my morning disappointment. It also made me laugh out loud as I cried, which was very good soul medicine indeed. This answered my "today" prayer.

My "new year" prayer was answered by the next book. I have been thinking a lot lately about the power of being clear with my "Yes's" and "No's". So when I stumbled upon Shonda Rhimes' book "Year of Yes", I felt that click in my soul that happens when stars align. And the pages I randomly opened to in Ms. Rhimes book, turned out to be exactly and very unexpectedly what I needed to read. 

As I left the bookstore, I felt that buzz of a new fledgling epiphany starting to form.

When I got home, our apartment was quiet and I started to sort laundry. The quiet was making too much space for my old mental-tapes to begin again, so I decided to catch up on some "Super Soul Sunday" nourishment. I went through my list of DVR'ed shows and found, drumroll please, Oprah's interview with Shonda Rhimes about her year of yes.

And then the pieces started coming together. And while my disappointment around my earlier discovery will continue to be felt and processed, a soul gift came out of this pain.

This will be my Year of Yes...

It will mean there will be some very clarifying no's along the way to honor my truth and to make room for my authentic yes's, but my focus will be on saying yes more. With a radar out for saying "Yes" to that which scares me but has something I desire nestled within it.

So my year of yes starts now, with me going beyond my tiredness and comfort zone tonight and putting action behind my "yes-intention" to write more this year and share it with you despite my fears around doing so.

While this certainly wasn't the New Year's Day I wanted, it was the one i needed. For a day that began with some heart-shaking no's ended on some fortifying and empowering yes's. And that my friends, is an unexpectedly powerful new beginning to this New Year.

Over to You:

I would love to hear from you, please leave your comments below as it just might do your own heart and someone else's heart some good.

  • Was your New Year's Day what you wished it to be?
  • If so, how?
  • If not, were than any hidden gifts or messages you can authentically glean from your experience?


Photo by: Elana Kilkenny

Photo by: Elana Kilkenny