Starting 2015 with Gratitude

Happy New Year!!

So, how did you ring out 2014 and ring in 2015?

  • Snuggling with your family while watching a movie
  • Watching fireworks with hundreds of others from your community
  • Sitting under the stars
  • Staying in and taking care of yourself

All excellent, living daringly ways to ring in the new year! 

My New Year’s Eve was full of challenge, relaxation, creation, and reflection. I started by going to Lake Park and shooting arrows for an hour-and-a-half. One of my Yule gifts was new arrows (thanks, Mom!), since I already broke many of the ones I initially bought in early November. (Lesson? Don’t buy super cheap arrows. Fiberglass splits if you hit anything hard. Lesson learned…) It was nice to get out and give them a test run. It was overcast, cool, and threatening rain, but it felt nice to be outside.

IMG_1388

After a few months of shooting archery, my grouping is getting better!
And I love my new hat, which I got for free on Listia.com. 🙂

 After shooting arrows, I returned home, took Willow out, and made some lunch. This consisted of a tasty chicken quesadilla, made with the chicken I roasted on Sunday, and some tasty, fresh green bell peppers and onions.

Chicken

Roasting a chicken on a regular basis is part of my money saving plan for 2015.

After lunch, it was nap time. I read some of my book (Paulo Coelho’s The Valkyriesa thrift store find!) for a few minutes. Willow was at my feet, already snoozing away. Rusty, my tortoiseshell cat, came over and nestled in the crook of my neck before I dozed off. I imagine that we were quite the cute trio.

After my relaxing nap, I worked on some writing projects: a little blogging, a little work.

After a bit of creation, I decided to tackle the entries of my gratitude jar. I put in a movie (The Princess Bride) and began sorting and reading the entries in my gratitude jar. Over the course of the year, I wrote 297 entries. Last year I wrote 139. As with last year, I decided to burn the entries. There are just too many to keep them. Too, I think keeping them just through the year is exactly the right amount of time.

gratitude jar contents

That’s a whole lot of things to be thankful for!

With burning the entries, I think of the Pagan Rule of Three. This idea suggests that the energy you put into the world returns to you three-fold.

I don’t know if I believe in this idea, but I still like it. (And I like burning things. )

Gratitude bonfire

Burning my gratitude entries. It’s like a mini-bonfire in my studio apartment!

In support of the idea, I’ve been doing the gratitude jar for two years, 2013 being the first year that I did one. 2013 felt flat, but the previous years from 2009-2012 felt better and better each year. This just wasn’t true in 2013.  But at the end of 2013, I reflected upon each of the 139 entries I created, I reflected upon them, and then I burned and released them back to the universe. And, you know what? 2014 was a damn fine year. Ups and downs, sure, but overall a fine year. I can’t say that this is a causal situation, but I figure my little ritual can’t hurt.

I will say that research supports that counting your blessings can lead to a happier life (here is a great book to get you started). So even if me burning the entries doesn’t directly contribute to my happiness, the simple act of putting gratitude on paper probably does.

Since I created and released 2 times the entries for my gratitude jar in 2014, I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings! 

On this first day of the new year, I am drinking coffee while finishing this blog post. I’m looking out my patio door at a cloud-covered, cool, Tampa day. In a few minutes, I’m going to make eggs the way I like them (on English muffins with soft yolks). I’m going to write and paint. I want to ring in the new year with creation and gratitude. I want to focus on leading a wholehearted, vulnerable, true life. (Of course, this has been my Living Daringly resolution for a long time, but it’s baby steps all the way.)

My other resolution is to get a handle on my finances. I’ll have a new job starting with the new year, so there’s never been a better time! (If anyone recommends any apps or other methods, I’d be happy to learn of them!)

I wish my friends, loved ones, and anyone else reading this post, so much happiness in 2015. As with 2014, I wish you a year that feeds your soul, challenges you, and offers plenty of opportunities for personal growth.

And, I would love to hear your stories about living daringly: the big and the small. They are all important!

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