Moments of 2020 – 02

Moments of 2020 is a year-long project for 2020. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here.

Books I Read This Week 2020 – 02

Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! I also have an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

Willa’s Grove (4 stars): “That’s why I love it. It reminds me how truly small I am every single time. And how wild is the base of the natural world.”

I really enjoyed my time with this story. This is the story of four women who are, for different reasons, at a stage in their life where they are at a precipice. They have (or want to have) left the life they’re living behind and they are trying to figure out what should/could come next.

They all gather at Willa’s home in Montana to spend a handful of days together and see if they can figure out what’s next while supporting each other through their journey of discovery.

“Maybe the reason we’re having such a hard time figuring out what to do next in our lives is because we’re starting with fear instead of love.”

Each of the women have different personalities and different reasons why they are stuck and they open-mindedly support each other as they discuss bits and pieces of their lives and struggles. If you’re close to that place or stage of your life, you might really enjoy this book. If you’re far from it, it might feel hard to connect.

“So it’s a fine bit of irony, really. We don’t want what we have, and then it’s all we want.”

For me, it was a great read. I liked the way the women supported each other. I liked how each character was wildly different and yet they were each struggling in their own story. It reflects how we can each be struggling even if our stories differ and the struggle itself might be something we have in common and something we can guide each other through. It’s a story about community and how we’re built for community.

“That’s why I love it. It reminds me how truly small I am every single time. And how wild is the base of the natural world.”

It’s also a story about beautiful nature and Montana which I also loved.

If you’re looking for a sweet, character-driven story and are wondering your own So Now What? I’d recommend this read.

with gratitude to netgalley and Blackstone Publishing for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Joy of Movement (4 stars): I am lucky enough to have taken several of Kelly McGonigal’s Psychology classes and I have always been a huge fan. When I saw this book was coming out, I knew I would read it no matter what and I knew it would be fantastic no matter what.

And it was.

It’s chock full of research about how movement can help with depression, loneliness and isolation. How we all need community and how movement can really help with that. It has a lot of inspiring stories and a lot of science. The perfect combination for all varieties of readers.

I have big movement plans for 2020, so I will be coming back to this one again and again to help remind myself of all of its gifts.

If you need any inspiration at all, this is the book for you.

Dear Edward (4 stars): I loved this sweet, slow, quiet and soft book about being the sole survivor of a devastating plane crash. It was written so thoughtfully, with such a good balance between the devastation and loneliness of being this one little kid who lost everyone and the hope of how life goes on and you find your people and you find ways to cope and even pay it forward.

It’s a sad book. It’s a hopeful book. I feel it did quite a good job of respecting the devastation while still reminding us of how much we humans are capable of surviving.

You Were There Too (3 stars): Hmmm I am on the fence about this one. It was a really fast read. The story and the premise was really creative. It had the potential to be a bit silly and I feel like it was never too silly. It did however get melodramatic and I feel a bit like the author wasn’t really sure how to end the story. I really liked several of the characters very much and enjoyed my time with this story.

Come Tumbling Down (4 stars): I couldn’t wait for this book to come out. I have loved every single one of the books in this series from the first one I got my hands on and I loved the creativity of the characters and the plot and the crazy worlds Seanan McGuire dreamt up. She’s just amazing.

This continues the story of Jack and Jill and I will say that it was not one of my favorites. Mostly because there wasn’t much new world building in this one and I find the worlds she creates one of the best parts of her books. I would likely give this more of a 3.5 stars but her characters are so quirky, so unique, so much fun that I rounded up.

I will take any books in this series and I really hope the next one takes us through a new door and we can share more of this amazing author’s unparalleled imagination.

And there we go, another week of reading in 2020.

Books I Read this Week 2020 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here. I am also tracking my books in real time on Good Reads here. If you’re on Good Reads add me so I can follow you, too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

Stories from 2020 – 02

This year I am planning to do something different than last year. Around last September, I stopped taking a lot of daily photos which then meant I also stopped scrapbooking. I have several of the Story Kit’s piled up. So I decided to switch gears a bit and see if I can use Ali’s prompts to tell my stories. I might (or might not) also turn them into scrapbook pages. In the meantime, I will just enjoy telling my stories.

Prompt: Breathe – 01 | Think about the last time you experienced something that took your breath away. Tell that story.

During the summer of 2019, we took a family trip to Oahu, Hawaii. It was my first time on any Hawaii island and while I loved the beautiful beaches and the blue sea, I was disappointed by how crowded Waikiki was and how large and impersonal our hotel felt. I had hoped to have a quiet vacation, sitting by the pool and reading my book but it didn’t look like that was going to be possible. 

The week we spent there was still magical, full of beautiful beaches, delicious sandwiches, lots of reading time and family time. But the best part came at the very end. 

On our last day there, we looked for one final adventure together. I had read about a hard-to-find hike in this hidden forest near the highway. We decided we had nothing to lose so we went in search of this path. 

It was a bit confusing, but we managed to find it and started walking down the bamboo forest that turned into a lushly covered pathway. We got lost a handful of times as we walked up the hill, through the muddy terrain. We thought of giving up but the few people we saw on the way told us to keep going.

So we did. 

And it was the best decision ever. At the end of the long path, we came upon an amazing waterfall and a small lake. We were soaking wet from sweat and even though the water was freezing, I couldn’t wait to jump in. We walked up to the waterfall and stood under it as the water fell all over us. It was one of the most magical moments of my life and even now thinking about it takes my breath away. 

It reminded me of what a gift nature is and how water heals everything for me.

Stories from 2020 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here. The prompts are from Ali’s Story Kits unless mentioned otherwise. I have started an instagram account for these, we’ll see if I keep it up.

Living Wild – 02

Weekly Intention: Ok here we go, week 2. My intention this week is to do better than last week Ha! I’d like to journal more and see what’s going on with me. Why I feel how I feel. I’d like to extend extra grace to myself and I’d like to act before I feel and see what happens.

This month’s intention is:  Into the Wild: Start small. Make a plan for the steps you want to take and give yourself a lot of grace. Take a handful of steps. You got this. Doing ok so far with walking and climbing, would like to get back on the yoga and pt wagon. And breathing more.

One way I will show up this week:  Curious about myself and others.

I will go into the wild:  Maybe we can do the hike we didn’t get to do last week? I can take more outdoor meetings and walk with Nathaniel twice.

This week, I will pay attention to: my words.

One new thing I will begin this week: I skipped the cardio and gave myself a bit more time on that. I think i’d like to begin more regular journaling actually.

One magic I will create: Maybe some snuggles with my kids and husband? Maybe a vacation for next weekend.

One thing I hope to release: thoughts around work still.

One thing I will join in on: I need some more time for this one. Maybe I can join something at work.

One area I will practice being open: I have this one meeting on Monday. I will practice being open there.

I am looking forward to: Figuring out how to move through all this.

This week’s challenges: I think early part of the week looks more challenging than the latter part.

  • Top Goals:
    • Work: walking 1-1s. clean email. get some answers.
    • Personal: figure out a routine that works for me.
    • Family: make long weekend plans?

I will focus on my values (love, learn, peace, service, gratitude): I am going to try really hard to choose to be in the moment and remember what matters most this week which hopefully will mean my values emerge front and center.

This week, I want to remember: that most things are more transient than they seem.

Living Wild is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here.

Weekly Reflection 2020 – 01

The Wildest Part of this Week was: Hmm this was a week of ups and downs. I felt on the edge the whole week and couldn’t really articulate why. I ended up journaling a bunch and trying to take some steps forward. I also tried to get out of my head often with mixed results. Nothing super wild this week.

Top Goals Review:  

  • Work:  I tried to get back into the groove of things. I did clean email. I didn’t write up nbu but started to work towards it.
  • Personal: I didn’t spent a lot of time trying to figure out a routine that works for me. I did walk every weekday morning.
  • Family: I started plans with with David and and I did spend time working with Nathaniel.

I celebrate: Can I say making it through? I was pretty anxious about going back.

I am grateful for: a little bit of breathing room in my schedule this week.

This week, I exercised: I did uphill walking (15%) 5 days, rock climbing 3 days, yoga twice, and that’s it.

This week, I answered the Call of the Wildvery mildly. Took 3 meetings outside and did a walk with Nathaniel twice.

I embraced Silence of the Wilderness: I journaled on Monday morning and that was it. Pretty poor.

This week’s Wildcard was: Hmm I think it was climbing Friday night since it wasn’t in the plans and I just went for it and it was pretty awesome because I climbed only unrated routes and tried two overhangs.

I said yes to: walking in the mornings even though I am so tired.

I said no to: doing anything on Saturday.

Core Desired Feelings (leap, soft, release, join, delight) Check-in: Hmmm, I think I didn’t lean into almost any of these this week. I need to find a way to make them more front and center in my life.

My mood this week was: on and off.

I am proud of: getting some work done outside of meetings.

I release: whatever i couldn’t do. this week’s laziness and falling behind in yoga.

Here’s what I learned this week: if you want something you have to ask for it.

What I love right now: I love how kind my husband is. I am so grateful.

Weekly Review 2020 is a year-long project for 2020. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here.

Moments of 2020 – 01

Moments of 2020 is a year-long project for 2020. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here.

Books I Read This Week 2020 – 01

Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! I also have an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art. I tried to get all the 2019 books last week but I ended up reading two more in 2019. So only 4 of these are from 2020.

A Keeper (3 stars): I have no idea who Graham Norton is but it looks like he is famous (at least the other reviews seem to mention this.) I picked up this book because it got relatively good ratings and I had put off reading it all year. It’s the story of a daughter and a mother years apart. The story of how the daughter came to be. It was sad and heart wrenching and also managed to be touching at parts.

Guests of August (4 stars): “That was what marriage was sometimes like, she thought. Slights and moods, words unspoken, angers contained, toxic combinations that inevitably simmer and overflow. But it is also inevitable, she assures herself, that heat cools, that even caustic stains fade and are wiped away, leaving only the palest of scars.”

It took me a while to read this story and there were so many characters that it was sometimes hard to keep track of them all and their children. But I still enjoyed the time I spent with it and the best part, of course, was exposing all the human-ness we all have. How marriage is hard, how forgiving and being open and vulnerable is hard.

I especially loved the parts where the doctor and his wife kept forgiving each other and wanting to strengthen their marriages at different times when they weren’t together and then something would happen and change everything again. I think that’s such an accurate portrayal of how life and marriage is and how the chances of both people feeling and being in the same place at the same time is such a rare occurrence. It’s so much more often that we feel surges of emotion/love/forgiveness at mismatched times.

It was a lovely novel to end 2019 with.

Thank you to netgalley and Severn House for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Radical Compassion (5 stars): There’s nothing like starting out my year with Tara Brach. I have been a longtime fan and her podcasts have carried me through several very tough years. Tara’s ability to mix methodology, thinking, and storytelling is unparalleled. In her podcasts, she usually also tells some wonderful jokes that have stayed with me over the years. If you haven’t listened to any of her work, I cannot recommend it enough. Her other books are also phenomenal.

This book is focused on compassion as the title states. Specifically in the practice of her version of RAIN:
– Recognize what is happening;
– Allow the experience to be there, just as it is;
– Investigate with interest and care;
– Nurture with self-compassion.

There is a lot more about Rain in her site if you’re interested:

The book explains the practice, gives examples and contains meditations that give you the space to do right then. I listened to it on audio which was perfect for practicing the meditations. A great way to start the new year and to hold my intention of more compassion.

You’re not Listening (3 stars): “For example, someone who has a critical inner voice will hear someone else’s words very differently from how someone whose inner voice tends to blame others will. It’s all your fault versus It’s all their fault. In other words, our inner dialogue influences and distorts what other people say and thus how we behave in relationships.”

I had mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, there was a lot of interesting information and data that explains how we listen, common pitfalls we fall into and why it’s important to listen better. All of which I totally agree with. That’s the reason I wanted to read this book to begin with. I knew I wasn’t listening as well as I could be and I wanted to do a better job.

There were some really engaging bits. For example, I liked learning about the right-ear advantage and how you might be able use (if you’re right-handed) to pick up up meaning vs using your left ear to hear more of the emotional feelings. It was new to me and an interesting concept. But overall, it was a lot of here’s why you’re not listening and here’s what happens if only you could listen better.

The author did a good job of making her case of how we’re not listening as well and why it matters. She had a lot of interesting studies and cited many resources. And if that’s all the book promised, maybe I would have rated it much higher. To be fair, it is the title of the book so maybe that should have been my hint.

“People’s inner voices have tremendous influence in part because they are perceived as louder.”

Even though the title only promised to tell me what I was missing and why it mattered, the blurbs promised that it would also teach me how to listen better. And this is where I felt the book failed me.

The continuous repetition of how phones, internet and social media is killing my listening skills and making me a worse person just got old. I was already bought in, but after multiple times, it just felt like she was lecturing.

I think maybe I could have tolerated that if there was more examples on how to actually be a good listener. She talked about “shifting” and “support” responses which I really liked reading about. Such illustrations around what you do when you listen poorly and how you could listen better were exactly what I was hoping the book had more of.

“In fact, smart people are often worse listeners because they come up with more alternative things to think about and ae more likely to assume that they already know what the person’s going to say. People with high IQs also tend to be more neurotic and self-conscious, which means worry and anxiety are more likely to hijack their attention.”

And in the end, because so much of the how was missing, the book felt more and more didactic to me as I read on. I felt I was being lectured at, scolded, and reprimanded. Her tone started getting to me and I couldn’t let it go. I was going to write: it might just be me but of course it’s just me. Book reading is a personal experience and this was my personal experience. I don’t read non-fiction as often as I read fiction but what I really love about non-fiction is that each time I read one, I learn something new, I grow, and I can look at the world and be in it a little bit differently.

This book did a good job of highlighting the importance of listening better. I’m sold. It did a less good job of how I could help bridge the gap and become a better listener myself. Maybe that can be her next book. 🙂

With gratitude to Celadon Books for an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.

Such a Fun Age (4 stars): This book peppered the internet over the last few weeks so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and see what I thought about it. What I found most interesting about this book is how light and breezy the cover and the narration are compared to the actual story. Well not even the story but the story below the story. On the surface, the characters and the plot also seem breezy, if maybe a bit on the neurotic side.

But underneath it all, this story is saying so much without saying it. This books covers issues around racism, savior complex, identity issues, socioeconomic disparities, choices we make around how we show up in the world and even parenthood. There are deep, serious issues covered without the author being heavy handed and the reader feeling like they are being lectured at.

The best part of the book is how 3-dimensional the characters are. Each of the characters is flawed but in all the human ways. Not a caricature. You can see how they are messing up and how they are making poor choices but you feel for them. You cringe on their behalf. You root for them and get disappointed in them, and expect better from them. Just like you would from real-world people. It’s a feat to pull off in any book, but exceptionally hard in a book like this, covering so many complicated societal issues.

I really enjoyed this one.

Recipe for a Perfect Wife (4 stars): This was a really quick read for me. Once I started it, I just didn’t want to put it down. The audio narration was excellent and I found myself attached to the characters right away. Even though I could see most of the twists coming (except for one) I still enjoyed all of my time with this story.

I liked Nellie’s story more than Alice’s just because I think Nellie was a bit more developed as a character and her motivations seemed a bit more clear. In the beginning of Alice’s story, it felt like she started lying or doing uncharacteristic things for no clear reason. Maybe out of ennui. It made it harder for me to connect with her. By the very end of her story, I did find myself cheering for Alice but still not as much as I would have liked. Alice’s husband was even more under-developed. He almost felt cartoonish to me.

Even though I can find many flaws with this book, I still found myself unable to stop reading it. Unable to stop caring about the characters. Unable to look away from the dark undertones of these housewives’ lives. I found it to be a very satisfying read.

And there we go, first week of reading in 2020.

Books I Read this Week 2020 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here. I am also tracking my books in real time on Good Reads here. If you’re on Good Reads add me so I can follow you, too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

Stories from 2020 – 01

This year I am planning to do something different than last year. Around last September, I stopped taking a lot of daily photos which then meant I also stopped scrapbooking. I have several of the Story Kit’s piled up. So I decided to switch gears a bit and see if I can use Ali’s prompts to tell my stories. I might (or might not) also turn them into scrapbook pages. In the meantime, I will just enjoy telling my stories.

Prompt: Joy – 03 | What do you do to create joy when you aren’t feeling it?

This was an easy one for me. There are many things that bring me joy: twinkle lights, candles, crackle of fires, hugging my kids, snuggling with my husband, being out in nature, going on vacation especially where I get to see unusual animals.

But water holds a magical place in my heart. When I am near the water and can hear the sound of the waves and see the endless blue, it brings me both joy and peace simultaneously. No matter how anxious or down I might feel, the sound and sight of water is like a wash of joy.

I am very lucky to have always lived near water. When I was a teenager in Istanbul, my then boyfriend and I would always go to this one spot near the water and city lights the night before any big exam so I could calm down and help center myself. I then lived in Pittsburgh, New York, San Diego and the Bay Area, all with their own bodies of water. (I also lived in London and Tokyo briefly, both of which are also near water.) Even now, years later, when I feel overwhelmed, I still seek the water.

During the dark months winter, I often seek out YouTube videos of waves or beach fires so I can hear the ocean, seagulls, and the crackle of a fire. While it’s not the real thing, it still brings me joy almost instantly.

Stories from 2020 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here. The prompts are from Ali’s Story Kits unless mentioned otherwise. I have started an instagram account for these, we’ll see if I keep it up.

Living Wild – 01

Weekly Intention: This is my first week back at work in a long, long time. I’d love to say I am ready and excited to be back at work, but truthfully I am not at all. I need more time off. I am really enjoying days full of relaxation, climbing, yoga and time with my family. I’d rather stay in this place for a few more weeks. But alas, real life is coming back whether I like it or not. So my intention this week is to stay as calm and grounded as possible. To create space and expansion and cultivate calm in my moments.

This month’s intention is:  Into the Wild: Start small. Make a plan for the steps you want to take and give yourself a lot of grace. Take a handful of steps. You got this. Ok I got this. My plan with this is to pick a small number of things. Walk 20 mins uphill as many days as possible, go climbing 2-3 times a week, do yoga. Breathe more. Do my PT.

One way I will show up this week:  I’d like to be open and listen more this week. Can I do it?

I will go into the wild: Hmmm. I’m going to mark 3-4 meetings this week that I can do as walking meetings. I will take one drive to the little lake by Palo Alto. And I will plan a hike for Jake and me this weekend.

This week, I will pay attention to: How I am feeling. Especially as I get anxious at work, I want to be tuned into how I actually am feeling so I can feel my feelings and see I can pay attention to what’s going on.

One new thing I will begin this week: I am going to do one day a week of cardio starting this week. I am not putting a time limit yet. Even if it’s just 5 minutes, it counts. Oh and I will try to see if I can move my desk to be a standing desk for some portion of the day.

One magic I will create: Hmmm… I am going to see if I can make my desk at work a bit more of a place for me to enjoy. I will bring some items to put on my desk. And maybe even buy a plant.

One thing I hope to release: I really would love to release the anxiety around being at work this week. I am going to actively work on it.

One thing I will join in on: I think I will see if I can find a hiking club nearby that I can join.

One area I will practice being open: I will practice being open at work. Listening better, being more curious, triggering less often.

I am looking forward to: Getting into some sort of routine. I am not thrilled about going back to real life but I do love routine.

This week’s challenges: Just going back to work and getting up at 6am again will be challenging.

  • Top Goals:
    • Work:  just get back into the groove of things. clean email. maybe write up nbu?
    • Personal: figure out a routine that works for me.
    • Family: make a plan with David and spend time working with Nathaniel.

I will focus on my values (love, learn, peace, service, gratitude): I will choose to learn over reacting, i will choose to love my life and make peace with what I can’t control. I will do service to my body by moving it often and well and I will keep track of all the moments of gratitude in my life.

This week, I want to remember: that life is magical and i am always learning and growing and looking forward to new possibilities.

Living Wild is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here.

2020 – Plans and Projects

I had regular goals for my blog for the last few years and that worked well for me. Here’s some of what worked well and what worked less well:

  • Art: I started the year with a bunch of painting and then moved to drawing a small sketch every single day, which resulted a new instagram account.
  • Like last year Everyday Magic and Weekly Reflection posts helped me stay connected to my goals, keep track of my intentions.
  • Stories from 2019 started out strong but around September I stopped scrapping for no real reason. Actually likely because I stopped taking photos. I have plans to go back to it all.
  • Reading – I read like mad this year. I joined netgalley and edelweiss and read 120+ books and listened to another 282 or so for a total of 402+.
  •  Moments of Gratitude: This also started out well and then fizzled out but I bought another journal for next year any way because I love it. I also ended up doing the OLW journal which I loved (alongside the OLW class itself.)

All in all, I feel pretty proud of 2019 and am looking forward to 2020. The format will be exactly the same cause it’s working for me right now.

  • Monday: Living Wild: This is the same as Everyday Magic posts I’ve been doing. I want to think purposefully each week and set goals, choices, projects for just that week. I try to write these on Sunday nights. These help me be more mindful. They will also help me identify ways in which i can embrace the wild a bit more that week.
  • Tuesday: Stories from 2020: My plan for 2020 is to take prompts from Ali’s Story Kits and write a story for each of them. I am thinking of possibly starting another instagram account for this one, too, but I am not sure yet. And then if i scrap, great, but if not, I have the stories.
  • Wednesday: Books This Week – I will talk about the books I read this week. This year, I will continue tracking them on goodreads.
  • Thursday: Joy of Art – I am going to continue to draw with the books for as long as it continues to be fun. I am also thinking of doing some projects like I’ve done in years past. Let’s see if I can pull it off.
  • Friday: Moments of Gratitude –  This is like last year focused on gratitude, and maybe a bit of the wild. We’ll see if i can make it happen better this year.
  • Sunday: Weekly Reflection: This, too, is the same as before. These posts help me to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work so I can set proper intentions for the following week.

Like in 2019, these are the only weekly projects I will commit to. And even these I might do more irregularly, we’ll see. These all mean something to me and I’d like to do them and I believe almost all are pretty doable. We’ll see what surprises 2020 has in store for me.

All of these might happen, none of them might happen. I might repeat projects. I might do wildly different things. I am giving myself grace while trying to keep myself motivated.

I’ve signed up for no classes this year. I’ve taken plenty in the past and still have many I haven’t done. I am keeping the Story Kit and signed up for OLW. That’s it for now.

Here’s to a wonderful 2020.  Here’s to doing more art. Here’s to making time to enjoy art. Here’s to learning new things. Here’s to practicing more. Here’s to reflecting. Being intentional. Creating a positive cycle. Here’s to going wild.

Unraveling the Year Ahead – 2020

  1. First, choose a word to guide you through the next 12 months. Pick a word that makes you feel expanded. Encouraged. Inspired. There’s no right or wrong answer so go with your gut. What’s your Word for 2020? Wild.
  2. If you lived and breathed your Word every day in 2020, what would be different for you? I would be much, much stronger. I would have spent more days/moments outside than inside. I would breathe the fresh air. I would be climbing a much higher grade. I would have conquered Whitney but even more so, to make that possible, I would have built a super strong stamina, strength, and discipline. I would be tapping into the wilder parts of my personality and trying out new ways of being. I would feel inside of my body instead of out of it. I would be trying new things, favoring adventures. I would experiment with who I am, who I can be, and how I can shift my sense of self-identity.
  3. If you truly embodied your Word every day in 2020, what would you do differently? I would go outside more, I would say yes to adventures, I would make sure to work out in some way or another each day, I would breathe in the air, i would try new things, i would hike more and smile more.
  4. What one thing could you do each day to anchor your Word into your routine? 15 minutes of exercise daily no matter what
  5. How does your word make you feel? excited, a little scared, ambitious, calm, like there’s something so much bigger than I am, fresh, adventurous
  6. List some ways you are already experiencing or embodying this Word: 
    1. I am climbing weekly.
    2. I am doing more walking meetings outside.
    3. I have changed my instagram to be more full of adventures and outdoor places that inspire me 
    4. I have taken and  planned many hikes this year.
  7. What could you do this year to bring more of your Word into your world? 
    1. Definitely more journaling
    2. One walking meeting daily
    3. Meditation
    4. Hiking
    5. Going to the Water
    6. Eat the wild, cook on the weekends
    7. Watch the Stars, learn about the stars, go visit a telescope
    8. Get a massage once a month
    9. Go to a hiking retreat (talk to Laura from work.)
    10. Draw Mandalas
    11. Do more Wildlife photography
    12. Learn about trees and birds
    13. Take daily Evening or morning walks?
    14. Stretch daily
    15. Uphill walking to help build stamina
    16. Climb trees
    17. Candles with smells of the wild
    18. Essential oils with smells of the wild
    19. Practice Feeling inside my body
    20. Listen to more Tara brach
    21. Listen to More opera and musicals
    22. Learn to build a fire
    23. Cook soup from scratch
    24. Draw the wild
    25. Go Fruit picking
    26. Buy some outdoors clothes
    27. Draw in the AM
    28. Go to bed early
    29. Take more photos
    30. Write gratitudes
    31. Take a Dancing Class with Jake
    32. Weekly Dates with Jake (outside!)
    33. Take 3 REI classes
    34. Make hiking plan
    35. Tell more of our stories
    36. Make Whitney plan
    37. Work with Nathaniel
    38. Start Family Dinners
    39. Learn to ride a bike
    40. Find a walking/hiking group
    41. Try 3 new things every month
    42. Write weekly emails on how you’re being out in the wild and trying new things
  8. Choose four extra words to support your Word this year. They could be anything from inspiring words to names of people to things you want to invest in…
    1. Currently leaning towards: release, magic, join, open, begin
  9. What are you looking forward to in 2020? Getting stronger, trying new things, staying in the growth mindset. Giving myself permission to try things and to fail.
  10. What are you feeling apprehensive about? That I won’t do anything. That I’ll stay stagnant.
  11. What life lessons are you taking with you into 2020? That I get to shift my identity. That being out in the wild brings me closer to peace and contentment.
  12. What area of your life do you most want to develop in 2020? Identity, willingness to try new things, new ways of being and showing up and trying, willingness to choose to go out instead of staying in.
  13. What part of yourself do you yearn to nurture in 2020? My body and my inner voice.
  14. Fast-forward to December 2020. You’re sitting in a café, musing over the last 12 months. Where do you want to be… 
    1. in your head? (work, dreams, goals) 
      1. Clear. Learned a lot of things, found some new tools. Own the space I’m in. I’m clear on what I want and what serves me well.
    2. in your heart? (relationships, family, friends) 
      1. Feeling grateful Really honoring the people I love, spending my energy and time on them and focusing on them so they know and can feel my love too.
    3. in your soul? (beliefs, practices, self-love) 
      1. At peace. Shifted my identity. See myself in a new light. Have faith in myself.
    4. in your physical world? (home, health, hobbies)
      1. Spending time telling stories, taking photos, drawing but most importantly stronger, really honoring my body with what i do with it and how i feed it. Really stepping into and owning this space.
  15. Okay, let’s take it up a notch. Use this page to describe what 2020 looks like in your ideal world. Be specific! What are your dreams for love this year? Work? Play? Where are you hungry for change? How do you want 2020 to FEEL? Use your answers from the previous pages to craft your ideal vision for the next 12 months. What would saying YES to your life look and feel like? Write out everything your heart desires for this new year. Be bold. I would be stronger, I would be spending more time outdoors than indoors, taking chances, trying new things, trying new ways of being, getting out of my comfort zone more often. Fostering new relationships and connections. Stepping into things that I am not sure of. Trying on being different than my tried/true ways. I choose brave. I choose wild. I choose the unknown. I choose adventures. I get better at climbing. I don’t let my inner dialogue squash me. I show up even when I don’t want to. Even when it sucks. Even when I am tired. I just keep showing up. And I keep making the good for me choice over the easy/short term choice. I live in the sunshine, swim the sea and drink the wild air!
  16. List 3 unhelpful beliefs about yourself you’re ready to release 
    1. I am not strong.
    2. I can’t change.
    3. I can’t get promoted.
  17. List 3 duties or commitments you feel ready to let go of in 2020 I need to clean out my calendar at work. This is my top one.
  18. List 3 skills you’d like to learn or improve in 2020
    1. Hiking and climbing and being physically stronger.
    2. Invest more in journaling, photography, drawing, and telling our stories. 
    3. Making some new connections.
  19. List 3 books you intend to read this year: as always, i know i will read many. 
  20. How could you bring more calm into your life (and head) this year? I think the combination of journaling, meditation and connecting with those i love will help. Self affirmations, wearing/eating what i love, hugging people i love will help too. 
  21. List 3 things about yourself you positively love 
    1. My energy (when i am not triggered, i am always so excited)
    2. My relentless pursuit in learning, growing, trying 
    3. My deep love for the people i love 
    4. That i am organized, reliable & dependable
  22. List 3 ways you could be kinder to your body this year 
    1. Resting more and well.
    2. Nourishing my body with the foods that help it flourish
    3. more stretching, massage, and yoga and doing my physical therapy.
  23. List 3 ways you could connect with loved ones in 2020 
    1. Weekly email with a friend is a lovely start for me. Also monthly in person meetings.
    2. Go to both book clubs more regularly.
    3. Call mom daily, nephews/sister weekly. 
    4. Make 1 new friend/connection a week.
  24. List 3 people you could extend compassion to
    1. My husband
    2. Myself. 
    3. And honestly, every single person in my life all the time. I just want to be kinder.
  25. How could you bring more love into your life this year? Then date nights, gratitude, thanking others, appreciating what I have, paying attention. Celebrating wins. Focusing on growth mindset.
  26. List 3 interests/hobbies you would like to explore more in 2020 
    1. Sketching + photography + journaling
    2. Hiking + camping + climbing.
  27. List 3 ways you could feed your imagination this year 
    1. Books! 
    2. Travel to adventures i haven’t had.
    3. Say yes to a many things I wouldn’t.
  28. List 3 ways you could bring more passion into your world this year 
    1. Just go out. 
    2. Show up all the time, regardless of how i feel.
    3. Do what’s right and not what feels easy
  29. List 3 dreams you would like to manifest this year (personal or professional) 
    1. Climbing Whitney.
    2. Getting promoted.
    3. Feeling a deep connection with my boys and my husband.
  30. How could you bring more creative energy into your life this year? 
    1. I’d like to be telling more of our stories
    2. I’d love to continue to draw and write about books
    3. I’d love to do more photography, especially if i’ll be outdoors more
  31. List 3 ways you could bring more mindfulness to your mornings 
    1. Exercise + meditation + calling mom in the mornings. 
    2. Journaling for 15 minutes (to set intentions)
    3. Sketching/Art for 15-20 minutes.
    4. Being outside more, stretching.
  32. List 3 ways you could bring more mindfulness to your evenings (I added this because I want to do both mornings and evenings.) 
    1. Stretching, removing make up and flossing in the evenings. 
    2. Journaling for 15 minutes (releasing and gratitude)
    3. Reading + disconnecting. 
    4. Taking an evening walk.
  33. List 3 ways you could cherish your home this year 
    1. Buy flowers
    2. Make fewer piles.
    3. Rearrange desk to serve my life as is now.
  34. List 3 ways you could connect more deeply with nature in 2020 
    1. This year is all about connecting with nature!!
  35. List 3 places in your city, town or neighbourhood you want to explore I have the same list as last year:
    1. All the hiking places near me!
    2. San Francisco, date nights, theatre. 
    3. The beach.
  36. How could you bring a sense of groundedness into your life this year?  I think the journaling and meditation will really help. I will go out into the wild. That always grounds me.
  37. Using your favourite tarot or oracle deck, draw one card for the overall theme of the upcoming year and then a card for each month of 2020. Tip: I like to shufle 3 or 4 packs together to give the reading even greater scope. If you don’t have any decks go to cards to see my favourite decks and app recommendations. I am not into Tarot Decks and I did this two years ago and found it not to be that inspiring or interesting. However, back in 2013, our January OLW assignment involved setting intentions and I really enjoyed that, so I thought maybe I can do that instead. 
    1. January: Into the Wild: Start small. Make a plan for the steps you want to take and give yourself a lot of grace. Take a handful of steps. You got this.
    2. February: Wild at Heart:  Take new chances with your heart this month. Try new date nights. Reach out to new people. Create new connections. Strengthen your heart with exercise. 
    3. March:  Wild Air:  Go outside. Smell the spring air. The seasons are shifting again and it’s time to try new things, new  places, take new chances. Pick one thing and go big. Drink the wild air. 
    4. April: Call of the Wild: Go on adventures. Venture out into the wild. It’s calling for you. Where are you holding back?
    5. May: Quiet Wilderness: Time to rest a little bit before things get crazy again. By the end of this month, you have parties, transitions, culminations etc. Use the time to add some quiet to the days and really connect with the peace of the wild, get grounded.
    6. June: Wild World: And here’s summer. Time to go big again. Travel the wild world. Take vacations. Bring the delicious, fresh wild into your home. 
    7. July: Run Wild: Settle into the summer. Enjoy the wild. Use the energy of the sunshine and the long days.  Step into it. Honor it. Bask in it.
    8. August: Wildest Dreams: Time to get organized again, transitions are coming, big ones this time. Get organized, plan, prepare and do what you need to do. Write down all your dreams. Make plans. 
    9. September: Embrace the Wild: Time to root and surrender. This is a hard month for you. Transitions are rough. But you also turn 46. It’s magical to get to have another year. Remember the growth mindset. Let go of your preconceived ideas and embrace the wild. 
    10. October: Wildcard:  October is a long month and not a lot of time off so you need to add a bit of wild to it. Add small bits of life and random wildcards into your every day. Give this month the kick it needs to make it a notch more unpredictable.
    11. November:  Touch of the Wild: you’re making it happen. Don’t stop now. The year is almost over. What’s one area where you can still honor your wild and precious life? Give love and attention there this month. You can do this.
    12. December:  Go Wild: And finally time to rest and relax and bask in your your one wild and precious life again. You’ve come a long way. It’s time to celebrate. Honor. Be grateful. Thank 2020 for all that it gave you. Fully bask in how far you’ve come so you can bid it farewell. 
  38. 2020 will be the year I finally shift my identity around what’s possible for me.
  39. I will nourish myself with the wild air.
  40. I will make more time for being outdoors. 
  41. I will recharge my batteries by being out in the wild, connecting with people i love, resting.
  42. This year I will open my heart to possibility
  43. I will pay more attention to taking incremental steps.
  44. I will learn more about:
    1. Letting go, noticing, making peace.
    2. Hiking
    3. Serving my body’s needs 
  45. I will release my attachment to parts of my identity that don’t serve me.
  46. I wish for 2020 to feel comfortable in my skin, my body, my soul.
  47. This year I will say NO to being too scared to try. 
  48. This year I will say YES to stepping into the growth mindset.

I wholeheartedly believe that everything is possible in 2020!

As always, I mention many of these same thoughts from last year and here, here, and here. I am pretty sure these themes have been in my life in some way or another for many years. I know that they will likely still be around in 2021 and onward. What I’d like to do this year is to make a dent. To move things forward a little bit. Every forward step I take moves me in the right direction and that’s all I can ask for.

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine stepping into the shoes of you from December 2020, one year from now. You are one year older and one year wiser and you’ve lived every day of 2020 fully and completely. You have a message of encouragement about 2020. There’s stuff you want to share… stuff you’re eager to tell yourself. When you’re ready, open your eyes, pick up your pen, and write a letter from your future self, starting with Dear Karen: I am so proud of you. I know that you showed up and tried. I know that even when you had moments of wanting to give up, you got up and tried again. I am so proud of how hard you try, how far you’ve come and how you show up again and again. Keep going, you got this!

2020 – Core Desired Feelings

As with all the previous years, I knew I wanted to pick my core desired feelings this year, too. If you want to know more about core desired feelings, please go to my post from 2016 and you can see the links there.

I did the exercise this year as I do each year but the words kept changing this year. As each time, I told myself to focus on how I want to feel this year. What are the feelings I am cultivating? If I get an offer of an opportunity, what are the questions I want to ask myself so I can make a decision around whether I say yes or no? How will I know if this action will make me feel what I want to feel?

I mentioned before that there’s a pattern to my words: I always pick something around peacefulness, something around being brave, something around being open, and then maybe a few new ones. So this year I was curious if I would break the trend.

Here’s what I came up with this year and what they each mean to me:

  • Leap: This is about leaping into the unknown. Embracing opportunities. Taking chances. Daring greatly.
  • Soft: I didn’t want to choose kind again this year. I liked the idea of being a soft place tho. For myself, for my kids, for my friends, for my husband. A soft, safe place to land. A soft heart. A soft voice. A soft word. I love the idea of soft.
  • Release: This is 2020’s equivalent of surrender. I love the idea of releasing things. Shedding layers of unwanted. Releasing the pain. Releasing unwanted beliefs. Releasing what’s weighing me down. Releasing myself.
  • Join: I’ve always thought of myself as an “other,” as a person on the outside. There’s much to unpack here and I can tell stories but the point is, I realized a few years ago that I will continue to be on the outside and continue to not belong for as long as I see myself that way. So this year, I will become a joiner. I will join in. I will invite others, I will join when invited. I will show up.
  • Delight: I wanted to hang on to the word magic so badly this year. I loved it so much. I also loved enchant or glee but delight ended up capturing the part of magic I really loved. That delightful feeling. I love it.

So there we are. I guess we still have a trend. Release and Soft are my peaceful words, join and leap are about being brave and possibly about being open, too?

I love all of these. Most importantly, I can immediately connect with the feeling I get when I say these words. I feel full. I feel content knowing these are the words I want for myself. They feel exciting and loving.

Here’s to a delightful year of joining in, leaping forward, landing softly and releasing the rest.