Editor’s Note: I am honored to introduce you to a new member of our TSN team, Cat Li Stevenson. Cat is an exceptional writer – transparent, authentic, and self-reflective. This is an extraordinary piece from her as a gift to us for the New Year. I loved and savored every word. I hope it will inspire you to reflect and contemplate your truth in welcoming a new marvelous year.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
As we bring a close to 2010, I decided to take a new approach to how I’d invite the New Year into my life. In prior years, I would laundry list every over-achieving goal that would bring me closer to the perception of “perfect.” In reflecting on check marks next to certain goals of the past, I honestly cannot attach a purpose behind what that particular accomplishment did to truly serve me. Once I removed the glitz of the curtain—the appearance of the goal—behind it was nothing more than the yearning of fulfillment I had began with.
What I thought I knew was—that with each accomplishment—this would bring me closer to the perfection theme I sought out in my career, physical appearance, friendships, bank account, family, and spirituality. I practiced this redundancy for the past several years without realizing that this “perfect” I pursued was never defined by the reality of my own authenticity.
So, with this knowledge, I decided to take inventory and evaluate all aspects of how my days are spent: the way I wake up; the time I spent commuting; the environment of my workplace; the interactions I have while running errands; the friends I surround myself with; how I expense my mental energy; how I use my heart; and, ultimately, what I was left with at the end of each day…
It was at the arrival of the inventory of my emotions at day’s end where I realized the huge disconnect. After a busy day of tasks, I’d still feel incomplete. Something I deeply value is the zing of inspiration I receive from the creative flow of energy, but realized that because of all these overreaching goals, I was rarely left time for the one thing that truly served me. Instead, my days were often consumed by overcommitted tasks that would leave check marks in a planner filled with to-do’s, and lead me blindly closer to this so-called “perfection”. But, in my reality, they were only distractions to the one purpose I felt a connection to.
2010 vividly showed me that the stumbles of our day, the imperfections—both big and small—are what make each day worth experiencing. It is through imperfections that we experience defining moments, chance encounters, and synchronicity that lead to discovery. Imperfections are the foundation for our unique space to begin growing organically.
With this awareness, it has framed how I will approach and envision my 2011 year. While I’m still in the beginning stages of crafting, so far, this what I’ve come up with: the commitment I will make today is to relinquish an idealistic definition of perfection that has bubbled up empty goals, with only a façade of meaning. I can, then, wholeheartedly make room to embrace true commitments that honestly serve who I am; even in all of its imperfection.
This awareness of releasing the crowdedness of goals, which have unconsciously rolled over from prior years, is my biggest step in laying the groundwork for 2011. I wish each of you an amazing, authentic space to grow in, as you plan for the New Year…
Open Call to Writers
Do you want to share something you learned recently? Perhaps a challenge you overcame? Or a thought that inspired you? We are opening up the floors of Think Simple Now in accepting new, unpublished, self-reflective writing from you. We want to hear your stories, discoveries and learning through everyday occurrences that triggered a deeper reflection. Interested? Read more here.
About the Author
Cat is an idealist that finds meaning and inspiration in all dynamics of her day – the strangers that become new friends, the synchron-destiny that reveals a little about the mysteries of life, the self-discovery, laughter, and transformations that happens on this adventurous journey.
For her day job, Cat is a corporate banker, and real estate agent, and nutrition coach. She embraces mind-body wellness; waking up before sunrise for yoga & meditation and closing the evening with a jog with her best running buddy – her super-fit hubby, who was also her high-school sweetheart.
Someday, she wants to write a book, live in another country, serve the impoverished, take a year-long spiritual retreat, and start her own beautiful family. But for now, she wakes up each morning with the intent to be grateful, live purposefully, gracefully, and balanced with no wasted moments.
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