Outside my window, the snow gently flutters through the gray sky, the flakes kissing the ground and lying tightly together, edge to edge, upon the earth to create an unending expanse of whiteness as far as I can see. It is January First, two-thousand and thirteen. A New Year. A New Day. A New Opportunity to turn to Love.
I made an unusual choice last night in terms of how I would ring in the New Year. We started a new tradition last year – joining the Game Night Crew for laughter, games, food, and more laughter. That celebration was perfect and was one that I thought we would be replicating year after year. And, perhaps, next year we will return to that tradition. This year, however, on 12/30, I was invited to join in a ceremony in the home of one of my clients, Leraine Horstmanshoff. As soon as I received the information, I knew that I wanted to bring in the New Year in a ceremonial, intentional environment.
It was an awesome choice!
For many reasons, this choice was good for me. It allowed me time with my beautiful daughter and her lovely boyfriend in a sacred space that is dedicated to love, healing, and the Divine. It gave me the opportunity to purposefully reflect on what I wanted to release, what I wanted to bring in, and what I wanted to embrace for the transition from 2012 to 2013. It provided me the chance to be around some amazing people – old friends and new – of all ages, who were also there to bask in the energy of Love. It was a chance to, once again, be in Leraine’s space, listen to her rich voice, and sing praises through Kirtan with her. And, most importantly, it was a moment that I got to face a big fear, stand up for what felt delicious to me, and release myself from the bondage of that fear.
Making this decision to attend the New Year’s Eve celebration at Leraine’s meant that I would not be attending Game Night New Year’s Eve. It also meant that, even though I had been thrilled and excited to attend Game Night New Year’s Eve just days ago, anticipating the event with great joy, I was now going to have to tell the hosts that I would not be joining them – after RSVPing that I would. This may not seem like that big of deal. It was, after all,just a party, nothing earth shattering. Right? Well, no.
For me, this decision was so much more than that. It meant I would be choosing me first. It meant I would face choosing me first and possibly “making” someone else “feel bad” about my decision. It meant the possibility of looking mean, rude, selfish, and as though I were “breaking up” with the Game Night Crew. It meant all sorts of things in my head, none of which were congruent with where I am now and none of which supported me living in a life filled with Love. However, my age-old programming of pleasing others over myself kicked in ferociously and it was almost strong enough to make me not choose into the ceremony at Leraine’s – especially after I received the Game Night text that said, “Angie says tonight’s a potluck and we will start the festivities at 7.”
I spent a few hours vacillating between choices, being unwilling to be “mean” and being unwilling to choose Love. My heart knew what was calling to me, but I was too chicken to embrace that choice, to make a decision for me. I wanted to make it hinge on my daughter’s boyfriend… well, if his parents say that he can go with us, then we’ll go to Leraine’s for sure; if they don’t, then we’ll go to Game Night. And for awhile, that worked, but after waiting for a response from them for several hours, I realized *I* was going to have to make the decision for me. Mostly because, after the first two hours of waiting for a response from them, I realized that what I really wanted for myself was to be in the fire, love, spirit, and connection that I knew would be at Leraine’s, but I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
After arguing with myself and allowing myself to feel the fear of losing a friend – it had gotten that big in my head – I took a breath and asked my soul, “Which choice will lead me toward my purpose?” The answer was clear: ceremony.
That decision released the bonds of fear. That decision brought me into Love and I was able to share the news that we wouldn’t be there because I was choosing into a ceremony that I really wanted to attend. I was not rejected by my friend for choosing out of her celebration as I had so feared, but, instead, my loving unRSVP was received with a loving, “We will miss you so much,” and the gears for choosing me began to turn. Interestingly enough, within minutes of me making the decision to choose me, no matter what, the response came in from his parents and he was going to be able to join us after all… just minutes after I got clear.
The decision to choose me, no matter what, last night proved to be the most powerful gift of this holiday break. To sit in a space dedicated to Love, with a dear friend who is also committed to being fully alive and living in Love, with my beautiful daughter and her gentle-hearted man, to listen to the richness of the voices and music from a myriad of instruments that filled the space, to feel the roaring heat of the ceremonial fire that crackled and popped all night long, to see the beautiful smiles and joyfully tearful eyes, to feel the “Om” and the Kirtan within me… all of that was beautiful and life changing.
But the biggest life changing moment came when I chose to follow my purpose and go toward that which would grow my Love – the moment when I chose ME.
That, indeed, is a grand way to start the New Year!