December 31st is a pivotal day, marking the end of one year. It is a death, of sorts, although it can be experienced as the turning of a calendar page just as any other day is experienced. For me, I view December 31st as a way to get clear. As is tradition here in my world, I do a yearend recap of what I have experienced this year as a way of reminding myself and my readers of all that can be accomplished in 365 days. I spend time outside of my writing to also reflect on what I’ve experienced for the year to get clear about what is working and what is not. I do a lot of cleaning, organizing, throwing stuff away, and clearing space – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I revisit dreams and ask myself if they are still viable dreams that I truly want or is it a dream that is ready to be laid to rest.
2013 started out with a life-changing experiment in choosing me, in making a choice that led me toward my aliveness instead of pleasing others. While it was scary to choose me, it was empowering and, in the end, the most delicious choice I could have made. January also held another life-changing experience for me that has become who I now know myself to be and, still to this day, is with me in every moment: Kelsey, Garrett, and their five dogs were killed in that car accident, and Sage was born within an hour of the incident only to choose to join his parents 1 hour and 55 minutes later.
This experience – Kel’s death – was unlike any experience I have lived through to date. It helped me to understand the experience of fully falling into grief as much as love. It helped me understand that to feel heart-wrenching grief is the same experience of feeling full-on bliss. It helped me to comprehend how I can feel sorrow and joy together, gratitude and grief at the same time, laughter and tears of sadness all at once. I came to understand the full capacity of who I am and why I am here and for what I have been created. As I supported Jen in grieving the loss of one entire segment of her family, it required me to call on all of my skills – as Healer, I supported her, myself, and the family in their sorrow; as Writer, I had the privilege of composing a most unusual and delightful obituary; as a Designer and Artist, I had the honor of creating the funeral program, capturing images through photography, and creating slideshows. Through their deaths, I experienced the fullness of me and was forever changed.
On the heels of January, there were parts of me that felt I would never get back to “normal.” And, honestly, I haven’t. The part of me that used to settle, that used to give up, that used to acquiesce to being “wrong” all the time, that used to believe I “wasn’t enough”… somehow, that part of me died with the process of honoring Kel and her little family. In February, I reconnected with my best friend from high school in a tender, open way that had me remembering who I once was and forgiving myself for tossing away a friendship that had once meant so much to me. It also saw me crying time and again as I watched the brilliant short movie that accompanies the slam poetry of Shane Koyczan, To This Day. I was so touched by his sentence, “They Called Me Porkchop,” that I could not not watch it over and over and over.
March rolled in and brought witness to me looking into what I truly feared – reaching for what I long for – and addressing the oft-repeated phrase, “Angie, you’re just too happy all the time. Nobody can be that happy all the time.” And this led to the realization of what abundance really means to me, how I was able to be “abundant” with the least amount of money I have ever lived on, and why money really isn’t what abundance is.
I also addressed – several times – my feelings about the laws of the land and gay marriage, as well as ways that a message can be misconstrued through symbology. I also had the humbling experience of teaching a tiny child the art of Energy Healing.
In May, I was gently reminded about how my fears limit me and how moving through them transforms me and how meeting in the middle can look different to people witnessing the situation from the outside. In June, I found myself continually falling on a slippery spot and refusing to do anything about it, resulting in a lot of pain and discomfort until I finally got my own act together and cleaned up the mess.
By July, the tenderness from January had melted into an ever-present ache. And then… we returned to the cemetery to mark their grave. A day-long event of comings and goings, where we sat beneath a white tent and communed together, basking in our friendships and love and remembering Kelsey and Garrett.
A tender topic for me has always been the treatment of the gay community. I have been witness to many horrible things done to my loved ones in the name of “rightness.” I have often written about “gay marriage” throughout the existence of this blog, but I addressed it this year more frequently than any other. Perhaps I could sense the brewing decision of Judge Shelby here in Utah just this month that would lift the ban on gay marriage, or perhaps it was because it really is something I believe in – that every person should have the right to marry whom they choose to be married to.
August was a big month with almost daily transformations. I faced into the sadness that slammed into me when a client, for the first time in my life, created a chargeback and stated that I had not delivered on my end of our agreement. I was so sad and shocked by that experience and discovered what it meant to feel the emotions and then release them, to keep on going and how, by being willing to feel the emotions and release them, I was opened up to experience the full expanse of emotions that were embedded in the circumstances and to be available when the truth came through. I also addressed near death experiences, defined success, and laughed until I couldn’t see straight.
As I travelled into the last quarter of 2013, I had the opportunity to address my own behaviors in the beginning of a relationship with a woman who has grown into a dear friend. I looked at how defensive I had been and angry at her, even though she didn’t know why. I looked at how her willingness to address and question my anger and my willingness to break down my defensive walls has led to the most beautiful friendship. I also looked at how these same behaviors showed up in my marriage that was riddled with domestic violence.
2013 was a big year for me. I had many opportunities to learn more about myself, release old patterns, and grow to understand that just because someone is mad it doesn’t mean I have to do anything about it. I also shared with the world what it means to have chivels – my own personal word that I define and invite you to use in your own world. And I met with people who were celebrating their passion in public.
November was another big month for me. I had the opportunity to get clear about the “industry” I work in and the top ten tips of how to succeed in this industry and shared my one wish that I have for the world. I looked at how I feel about passion, gratitude, waiting, and what it means for me when I want to dance but am unable to.
In December, something big came up for me and I addressed it in a 3-part series. It is something about which I am very passionate: Fabricated Bipolar Disorder (part 1, part 2, and part 3) and I received a lot of quiet, private messages of pain as a result of what that series brought up for people. This month has also had me appreciating one of my god-given gifts that I do so effortlessly that I had thought it “no big deal” and I experienced what it is like to look through another’s filters.
It has been an amazing year, one that has most definitely taken me to the core of who I am time and again. I have laughed to the point of tears and cried to the point of laughter. I have felt the depths of sorrow, vast and colorful. I have experienced the burgeoning of a dream coming true only to have my hopes dashed and the end to come before the beginning had even blossomed. I have witnessed Life and Love on a daily basis, remembering who I am and where I am blessed to be heading.
Most importantly, this year has been about claiming myself for me. For far too long, I have stood on the sidelines of my own life and have not fully lived it. This year, thanks to the life-changing events early on in the year, I have fully lived every moment and have been vitally conscious of each choice I make and the subsequent consequences.
While some are saying they are grateful to be bidding adieu to 2013, I must say I am profoundly grateful for the experience of these 365 days. I am forever changed as a result of them and, thereby, eternally grateful.
I always welcome your thoughts, questions, and comments.
Feel free to jot down what you’re thinking in the comment box below.