Building strength and letting go

With the beginning of the new year, a friend – who I’d been chatting with about resolutions – sent me a link to Yoga with Adriene‘s 31-day revolution along with an excited “I’m doing this!”. I hesitated for a second and then, thinking, “what have I got to lose?” signed up too.I have about 10 resolutions this year, so why not add another?!

I’m pretty happy to say that I’ve made it to day 17 and only missed one day of practice (for a massage…yes. a massage!!) It’s been surprisingly easy to make it back to my mat every day. But I won’t lie. Some days are easier than others. And not just the “getting there” part.

Is that just a yoga thing?  or maybe just a human thing… 😉

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A new me: building on all I’ve learned


2017 is a year of new beginnings for me in more ways that one.


Running late. Or just running.

Last week I wrapped things up at the organization where I’ve been working since last May. I was taking advantage of an opportunity to work somewhere else, take on different responsibilities and gain experience that I couldn’t get where I was. It was quite the ride and I’m very grateful for the challenges, the lessons, and the team that welcomed me (like really welcomed me). I worked hard, I laughed, I struggled, I grew…. and I felt very appreciated, professionally and personally, by those around me along the way. It wasn’t always easy, but it was definitely rewarding.

Tomorrow, I go back to my former agency. The place where I’ve worked since (and during) my undergraduate studies. I’ll be re-integrating into a team and organization that I know well… but I’ll  be starting a new job, taking on a new role, with different responsibilities.

When I left last May, I was nervous, but that seemed normal. While I’d taken on development opportunities before and have consistently welcomed new challenges throughout my career, this was really the first time I was stepping outside the world that I knew. Outside my comfort zone. It was hard to leave.

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To new beginnings

It’s a new year.  Again. Typically a time to reflect on where we’ve been and set new goals to help continue the process of becoming a more authentic and better version of ourselves.  I’m into accepting and learning to truly love who I am these days, but there’s always room for a little self-improvement and refocusing. 

Two questions from dear friends this past week have brought me to start writing today.

 1:  “So Andrea… top 5 goals for 2017?”

Hmmm… despite anticipating the New Year and new beginnings, I hadn’t really thought about tangible, (measurable) goals. But okay. I naturally started with goals for “more of”. For instance, I want to: 

  • be MORE active (I’m on day 3 of yogarevolution and  toying with the idea of signing up for a 5 km with my bestie)
  • read MORE (of everything – factual, inspirational, self-help, novels… maybe start that book club I’ve been wishing for?)
  • have MORE fun (i.e. skiing, playing silly board games and going on mini adventures with the kids, going on more dates and having more sex with my B, and spending more time sharing and laughing with friends)
  • save MORE money (or spend less?!)

… and that’s kind of where I left off.

Then she asks: “And what about writing again?” and proceeds to encourage me to do so. And the wheels started  to turn.

 2: “What’s your word for 2017?”

Confusion. My word? Yes. A word to describe my intention for the coming year. Hmm. For my friend it was contentment, for her sister it was acceptance. I struggled to find a word that would reflect my desire to come out of the heaviness that characterised 2016; and to grow and bloom right where I am while building upon the many lessons I learned this past year. 

I couldn’t put my finger on it right away. But the next day, another friend wished me a “gentle” new year and just like that, my word for 2017 was named:  “gentleness”.  Not less, not more, not free of challenge or effort… but softer and gentler. It reads weirdly when I write it out… but it makes sense it my head.

 So now what?

And somehow this all comes together to bring me back here, to AOK, to write again. No doubt the encouragement to do so is a strong motivator. But so is the desire for gentleness (and personal growth and healing).

I abandoned blogging (and any form of personal writing) over the last few years. Not because I was lacking inspiration or things to write about, but because life got busy (as it tends to) and complicated. It became harder to make the time and more difficult to decide what to write about.  But that’s so…  2016 (!)

It’s now time to get back to writing out my thoughts and ideas. These are often complex, intertwined and somewhat (or very) messy. At times, you might even think there’s a ping pong ball bouncing around in my head making the strangest links between different things.  I kid you not.
However, the process of putting them in black and white helps me sift through, analyze, find links, accept, learn, remember and celebrate this life I have. 
I have no specific goals for frequency or subjects to write about.  I’m just going to start. Gently. One day, one week, one month at a time. Sometimes here. Sometimes in a private journal.  And we’ll see where it takes me.
Here’s to a happy and gentle 2017.