I am a woman who loves rituals and routines. My favorites surround the beginning of the New Year. I begin by reflecting on the year that has passed, using prompts I have collected over the years from numerous retreats and workshops. Once I have taken stock of the year that has passed, I am ready to start dreaming of the future. Usually, I spend all day at home on New Year's Day in my pajamas. I read. I write. I think. I dream. I record my dreams on paper... so I can remember them. Then, I pray, and ask for God's blessing.
As part of this year's reflection, I set out to list 25 things I am proud of accomplishing in 2016:
This morning, I caught an early flight from Raleigh-Durham to DCA. I am returning from a short but highly enjoyable visit with my older sister and her two (teenage) kids. I have spent all but one Christmas over the last 16 years with them. In all those years since my nephew was born, my sister and I have assembled numerous train sets, dollhouses, and baby carriages--and wrapped hundreds of presents from Santa. We all were a bit wistful a few years back when my niece finally decided she no longer believes. I am so grateful to have these two spectacular young people in my life. They are loving and affectionate, and have eased most of the disappointment of not being a mother. I am grateful for another Christmas in Carolina, along with these things:
Over the course of the last year, I have embarked on the Simple Abundance journey. One of the most important tents of this path is gratitude. My daily gratitude practice (reflecting and writing down five things for which I am grateful) has helped shift my thinking. Typically, a half-empty kind of gal, I have become more of a quarter-full one. No matter how difficult the last year has been, I have managed to find at least five things each day for which I have been grateful. Over the course of 300+ days, I have built up a reservoir of optimism that I never previously possessed. I am grateful for my quest to find Simple Abundance, along with these things:
I just celebrated my 42nd birthday. I am proud of my age—for how healthy and fit I am aside from the ongoing lupus stuff. My face is free of lines and has a hearty glow most of the time (exfoliating weekly helps with that). I can run three miles, leg press 90 pounds, and do an vigorous, hour-long, vinyasa practice. But there is a price to all my healthiness: All my doctors refuse to listen to me when I tell them I may be at the beginning stages of menopause.
I turned 42 this week, and am grateful for another year lived on Earth. This one brought its fair share of ups and downs, but I have tried hard to see the silver lining in even the most challenging of situations. Here's what I am celebrating this week:
Crystal Moore began her wellness quest in 2003 after being diagnosed with lupus. Her quest has led her to embrace yoga, faith, exercise, healthy eating, and relationships. Share her journey.