Happy New Year, Darling!  Welcome to 2013! I New York City - Miss Sylvania by Gil Elvgrenoften share pieces of my personal story here within the blog. Long ago I learned that people learn from the stories of others. It’s why we were read fairy tales and fables when we were children, because deep behind the sleeping princess and little girls with baskets of goodies – as well as wolves in grandma’s clothing – were traces of lessons learned and key tenets to remember for living a happier (and safer) life.

Through these stories – the stories of fairies and glass shoes and ordinary people – those traces of lessons learned can serve as breadcrumbs to create a path towards a life we can fall in love with.  By the way, the lesson I get from most of the princess stories isn’t that you need a prince on a white horse, it’s that love is the key.

But I digress.

So, yes, while I share pieces of my life scattered here and there of what I’ve learned through loving and living and breathing and playing, most of the time, the wisdom gleaned is from an experience in my past.

This post, however, is different. Instead of sharing pieces of my past, I want to share with you pieces of my current path and what my soul is calling me to embrace. This is my personal compass for 2013.

The first word for 2013 is Receive.

So, let me be incredibly and vulnerably transparent with you: I suck at receiving, and yes, that’s something really hard for me to admit.

The week of Thanksgiving I realized that I wasn’t allowing the full gratitude cycle to work in my world: Gratitude is a process of acknowledgment while receiving is an active process of taking in and experiencing of what you are grateful for. So, if I’m going to truly allow the gratitude process to work, I can’t just acknowledge it, I need to actually allow my heart to be open and receive those gifts.

I’m a pro at acknowledging the love and bounty in my world. I’m also a pro at giving my gifts to others. I’m also really good at deflecting compliments, looking gift-horses in the mouth, and feeling a need to find an equal (or above) exchange for what I get from others.

By not allowing myself to simply be open to receiving, I’m blocking all kinds of goodness.

I know that this is going to be the most challenging of my words to master in 2013, but every fiber of my being tells me that this is the magical year that the art of receiving will take root not only in my head, but also my heart and soul.

The second word for 2013 is Release.

A funny thing happened the first week of December: I removed my belly button ring and made the decision not to put it back in. Yes, I know that seems like a bit too much information, but let me explain.

In the spring of 2005, I was freshly divorced and was under mountains of stress both professionally and personally. I needed some sort of personal expression to signal to my mind and my heart that it was all going to be ok – and that it was ok to rebel against what I “should” be. I had opened the gates of the white picket fence months earlier, but I was still kind of emotionally trapped in that white picket fence life.

I took a bold step outside of that fence, walked into a tattoo parlor and got my belly button pierced. While that may not seem like a rebellion, it was a huge moment of rebellion to a perfect Southern Belle. That was the first thing I really did to begin allowing the perfection of what a southern gal was supposed to be begin to tarnish.

Over the years, as I both timidly and boldly stepped out who I was supposed to be, the belly button ring was a physical touch point of change. As I broke the molds of what defined good girls, the belly button ring was a reminder of courage.

It became a symbol of what it was to be myself no matter the circumstances.

Fast forward to December of 2012. I was with JB on a business trip to Philadelphia and one morning after he headed to his meetings, I decided to make good use of the giant tub in our room. I filled the tub with super-hot water, poured in some bath salts, turned on some music, and dimmed the lights in the bathroom. Before I climbed into the tub, I pulled out my belly button ring and laid it on the counter with the rest of my jewelry. As I let the warmth of the water surround and sooth me, I allowed my mind to drift. I’d already realized that I wanted to learn how to better receive in the coming year, and realized that part of that learning process of receiving would mean that some things would need to be released.

As I stepped out of the tub and allowed the waters to drain, I released my need to have that symbol of rebellion. I tucked the belly button ring away in my jewelry case and during the next round of clearing clutter from my closet, I’ll toss out all the single earrings, tangled necklaces, and pieces of jewelry I no longer need, including the belly button rings.

You see, in order to make room for the new, you have to release the old. This doesn’t just mean releasing physical clutter, it means releasing the mental and spiritual clutter as well. Part of that release, is the releasing of labels, concepts, and tenets that are no longer necessary.

In retrospect, I did a lot of releasing in 2012, but my heart knows that there will be more to come. Making space for the new by releasing what no I no longer need.

My third word for 2013 is Revel.

I’ll confess that I have a long love affair with office supplies and organizational tools. I adore note cards and my nifty little label maker. I keep spreadsheets of blog posts, quotes, and lesson schedules for my 30 Days to Clarity courses. I love calendars and knowing that I have a loose plan for my business world.

The downside of the organizational planning side of my brain is that I’m good at cataloging the past and creating a plan of the future, which, sometimes leaves out the present.

I know that there is beauty around me in every moment, and though I do a fair amount of admiring and soaking that beauty in of sunrises, sunsets, and snow on the branches of trees,  I want to take that practice beyond snatches of time and revel in it. Taking delight and pleasure in living is where we find those unexpected moments of love and joy.

I’ll admit that I’ve become way too serious the last few months, and it’s time to be more festive in the day to day living.  In 2013, I will soak it all in and revel in it!

So there, my dear, you have the naked truth of where I am today as we begin 2013. It shall be the year that I allow these three little yet powerful words  to enrich and further intensify how much I truly love my life.

Receive all the love and abundance the universe has for me. Release the old and crusty to make room for the new. Revel is the love and beauty in this beautiful life that I’m in love with.

So, what about you? What is your focus or compass for 2013?

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