2018 Sinks Below the Horizon

How was 2018 for you? Probably a mix of tough and good.  Either way, in a few hours, it will be 2019. And you can choose what to take with you and what to leave behind. Yes, you can. This is not up to your partner, or your parents, or what happened in 1994. It’s your choice.

Sunrise, New Year. © Quinn McDonald, alcohol ink on Yupo, 2017.

Letting go means not dragging the worry and tension with you into a new year. Letting go means exhaling and waiting to pull in new air into your life and lungs.

In their book, Writing—The Sacred Art: Beyond the Page to Spiritual Practice, Rami and Aaron Shapiro explain (my paraphrase): The story you tell is your story. Your parents may have told you a story about yourself and you may have believed it, or felt you had to believe it. But, in the end, it is your story. We are not born to be one, specific thing. We can create different selves, but it is hard.

So we often take on the story that someone else made up for us and decide this is who we are, rather than the person we have chosen to be. We are what we create. If I am the story I tell, and the story isn’t right, I am free to invent another story.

Invent a story that lets you breathe. Invent a story that lets you step into the person you want to be. Let go the images of you that drag you down. Leave to 2018 the ideas, the anger, the resentment  that aren’t useful. Leave behind thoughts that drag you down. Resentments that hold you back.

You get to choose priorities. You get to name what it important to you. No one can decide for you. You can’t claim it is important and then turn your back on it. Then it wasn’t important enough.

One year from now, you will not remember if you started the year with a fresh bullet planner or clean floors, a smaller waist, or a put-away tree. You bring it all with you, but you don’t have to. You can put down those resentments, that anger, and write a new you into being.

You may be afraid that without your anger, your control, your resentment, you won’t remember who you are. That may be a good thing. Be someone new. Someone with wonder. Someone who laughs at mistakes–your own, mostly. Learn. Grow.  Start to let go of what doesn’t make you eager, alive, wonderful and awake. You have a few hours to start.

-Quinn McDonald is a writer and creativity coach. She teaches writing, creative problem solving, and working with difficult people.

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Box of Colors

Storage sheds. We all know about them, we all need them.  Most of mine have had a jumble of broken items, tools, spiders, toads, snakes and rust in them.

Today, I found a shed clearly planned ahead and carefully. It’s in an older neighborhood in Phoenix, but as so often happens, once the updating started, almost everyone on the block got into the updating swing.

I love this box because it is not what you would expect. It does not hide itself. It stands, colorful and proudly offering its services while also brightening a front yard.  Being different isn’t easy, but it can be beautiful.

–Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach who is working on a book about the Invisible, Visible World.