Next, write a letter of thank you to yourself for all your accomplishments. Be authentic in your gratitude and really drink it in to your body as you write it and read it. What is the felt sense of having accomplished all these things?
Then, take the list of things you want to see manifest in 2017 and create a powerful vision statement from it. Commit to reading this statement daily for the next few weeks and refine it as you go so that it resonates so deeply with your soul, you awaken bursting with excitement about the coming year and where you're headed.
My vision this past year included travel, and as you know, I'm currently traveling in Thailand and Myanmar for a few months. While I didn't know this would be where I traveled, it seems to have arrived in a somewhat magical way and produced a deeper joy than I thought possible, as I've gotten to meet Jim's new granddaughter Zia Soe Leonardis Wright. This picture of her and me represents this sense of reflection meeting future.
Since I've skipped being a parent in this incarnation, being called grandma just didn't feel like a good fit. Yet, I've reached a time in my life that is filled with reflection--of choices, inner development, and wisdom from living 50+ years. I've decided to adopt the Burmese name for grandma, pwa. It just sounds better to me. So little Zia will know me as Pwa Nanni-ma. (Not sure where the Nanni-ma is coming from, but I like the sound.)
This little joy is inspiring me to commit to deepen my mindfulness practice in the coming year. I've experienced and witnessed how mindfulness and compassion practices reveal the simple joy at the core of our being. Zia radiates that joy at 4 months old and I want to commit to revealing more of that in me the coming year.
But, as you'll read in Seven Ways to Overcome Being a Meditator of Convenience, I have some work to do to shore up my practice.
I'm currently in the cradle of the traditional roots of mindfulness in Thailand and Burma. Most of my teachers learned from the Thai forest tradition, so my hope is to sit an extended retreat when Jim and I settle in northern Thailand after the holidays. Extended periods of practice can bring a quiet deepening that can't be reached while engaged in the hustle and bustle of day to day activities.
But, in the meantime, while traveling is busy and my schedule is not consistent, I can put to practice some simple tips that can help steady my practice.
JoAnn Saccato, MA is a mindfulness teacher, author, life coach, educator, and consultant in Northern California. She is author of Companioning the Sacred Journey and the forthcoming Mindful and Intentional Living: A Path to Peace, Clarity and Freedom