There are a lot of ways in which people set goals, resolutions, intentions or promises for themselves. One approach I really like and heard from Gretchin Rubin’s podcast Happier with Gretchin Rubin is: choose one word and that will be your theme for the year. I think this is a great option if you find New Year’s Resolutions or goal setting to be overwhelming.
A couple years ago, my one-word theme was self-investment. The intention I had was to commit to behaviors and actions that aligned with investing in myself. I started taking Skillshare classes, I listened to podcasts that focused on personal development, I went to yoga every Sunday morning, and I attended social events to expand my network. With this approach, I felt there was more freedom to define how self-investment looked like to me. If this sounds like something you’d like to try, I highly recommend it!
In my last post, I primarily shared my highlights of 2019. I accomplished and experienced many great things in the last 12 months, but sadness, confusion and shame also plagued my being.
I was in a committed relationship with an individual who provided stability and space for me to grow. A significant portion of my time and energy was given to this relationship; however, it was a failed investment. He betrayed my trust and broke my heart. It took me several months to accept what is and to move on with my life.
For half the year last year, I had a temporary job and no benefits. I couldn’t help but compare myself to my peers and friends on social media. Many went on to grad school and obtained their graduate degrees. Others became globetrotters or started their careers in a profession they loved. What the hell was I doing? There were many moments I resented being a single mother due to the limitations of my life path.
I also moved back into my parents’ home and I became without a vehicle when my car broke down. I relied heavily on my family members, from borrowing their cars to sharing storage space. I felt like a complete failure– a burden. And I was sorry to my family for taking up space.
*Inhale – Exhale*
I am not a victim, I told myself. These things are happening for me, not to me.
With the hope that I show up as the best version of myself, I have three intentions for 2020:
1. I will protect my energy.
Last year, I had several encounters in which emotional pain manifested in my body: it would go numb and I would feel sick to my stomach. It was then that I discovered my empathic abilities, being able ” to understand and share the feelings of another”. After speaking with a spiritual healer, I learned that I need to take care of my “psychic hygiene” or my energy. Is what I’m feeling, mine? This was a question I learned to ask myself at the end of each day. If what I’m feeling is not mine, I give myself permission to let it go.
For those of you who know me personally, know that I love helping people (especially family and friends) and giving my time. In order for me to protect my energy, I am establishing boundaries and saying “no”. I will conserve and protect my energy because I want to show up as my best self. So, don’t be offended if I kindly reject your invitation to an event 😉
2. I will practice self-compassion.
We all know the saying, “we are our own worst critics”. I am no exception to this. When I was making the decision to leave Rylee’s father, I thought about the perceived shame I’d bring onto my parents. I wouldn’t be seen as the woman who got out of an abusive relationship in order to save herself and her son. Rather, I would be labeled the “divorcee” and seen as that poor single mom. My parents, on the other hand, would be less respected by the “Hmong community.” I had only negative things to say to myself: I am bringing so much shame to my family, and I am such a disappointment. I am not a good Hmong daughter. Divorce and single parenthood is becoming more common in the Hmong community; however, it is still a hard pill to swallow for many, especially the older generation. Fortunately for me, my family supported my decision to leave and to secure our safety.
There are so many factors at play that conditioned me to think this way, like patriarchy (but that’s a story for another day). Moving forward, I am throwing my middle fingers up in the air, and I will be my own best cheerleader! I will tell myself that it’s okay to disappoint people. It’s okay if my actions do not reflect a “good Hmong daughter” – what does it even mean to be a “good daughter?” It’s okay to be flawed– I’m human!
3. I will make taking care of my mind, body and spirit a priority.
Taking care of others is second nature to me. I almost always never say no to my family and friends because I’m reliable like that. I’m a Taurus after all. 😉 On a more serious note, I am making room in my life for ME.
I’ve been learning to sit with my thoughts and to enjoy my own company. I intend to meditate more, journal more, and listen to myself more. I’ve also been more conscious about what I consume and how it affects my body and energy. I will choose my health by continuing to give my body the nutrition and physical exercise it needs. Lastly, I will nurture my spirituality through a consistent yoga practice. 🙏🏼
This year, I am choosing me, my well-being and my success. I am unlearning toxic behaviors and expanding my consciousness. Why don’t you join me?
Love & Light,