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The down & dirty on women's wellness
Starting with hope
Starting with hope
January 1, 2021
January 1st this year feel like I need to tiptoe cautiously into it. It feels less like a rainbow & more like a “falling rocks” sign blinking at me from the road’s shoulder as I veer around a bend. January 1st feels less like a new beginning than it has in the past & more like a continuation of trepidation. I am hopeful, but my optimism is more cautious than it has ever been. 2020 ran us all through the wringer. Repeatedly.
Each year, when we see you in the clinic around the New Year, we ask you to provide us with a word that summarizes your hopes, dreams, aspirations, visions, ideals for the coming year. Last year, my word was growth. This year, my word is hope, which seems moderately contrived, but which does sum up what I feel when I look down the winding road that will lead us through this journey to the end of COVID’s harsh reign.
I feel hopeful that our collective scientific community will continue to study & learn about the SARS-COV2 virus & how to best battle it. I feel hopeful that we will understand more about the virus. I feel hopeful that my fellow small businesses will rise like phoenixes, that we will not just find ourselves in a post-apocalyptic world, surrounded by Walmarts & McDonaldses. I feel hopeful that our country, too, can rise: to the occasion, to the calling, to its duty as a true Superpower. I feel hopeful that we will be able to resume life as we knew it before, that we will be able to see your faces & bare our own freely, that I will see smiles beyond people’s eyes. I feel hopeful that we will be able again to enjoy events & occasions, that the fear that plagued 2020 will dissipate. But, I also feel hopeful that we will have learned from this catastrophe & that we will move through the future from a COVID-informed perspective, knowing that we are not immune, powerful & wealthy as we are as a nation, from disaster beyond our control, knowing that we need each other, knowing the meaning of unity, of community, of collective efforts.
As I think about the word hope, I am setting my intentions for the New Year, not just for what I would like to manifest, what I dream of watching unfold around me, but for what I would like to embody, what I would like to enact. I would like to be more hopeful on a daily basis. I would like to see the positive. I would like to embrace each day, & so I will endeavor to remind myself regularly throughout the year of this word, this hope.
Intention is important because it draws us into the present moment & calls upon us to reflect insightfully on our actions & how they are impacting outcomes, how they are affecting our experiences of the world. It may seem mystical & unscientific, but intention actually has a tangible, measurable effect on outcomes, event when it comes to your health. Mindfulness activities are a form of intention. Intuitive eating is a form of intention. Actively outlining your priorities is a form of intention. Dialing in your intention & becoming clear on your intention helps you develop a vision & take action from a place of power & integrity. Intention alone, however, is not enough. We must align our actions with our intention. I can have an intention to eat more healthfully, but I can also choose not to act on that intention because I like gummy bears. If I do not commit to acting in ways that align with my intention, I undermine the purpose of setting my intention, & what I intend will never manifest. As you take your first strides into the New Year, I encourage you to consider a word & to set your intention around the word.
Once you have your intention, consider your actions. I don’t encourage resolutions because they often lead to a sense of inadequacy or failure, but I do encourage you to take this anticlimactic moment we find ourselves faced with this January 1st of 2021 to think about how you would ideally like to live for the next 365 days & devote yourself to taking action that will help your year (and your days, hours, minutes, seconds within that year) feel better for you than your last.
Good riddance, 2020! We all made it through. Welcome, 2021. Let’s see how good you can be.