Since I started writing this blog in 2010, I’ve tried to establish a few words around each new year. It’s a way to decide what I’m going to focus on, what I’m searching for most–and mostly, it’s a grounding exercise to calm my mind during yoga, meditation or just a moment of stress.
Peaceful, grounded, stress-free. Dare, grace, balance. Recently, I met someone and asked what he looked for in the people that he surrounds himself with: people who are ambitious, and present, and kind, he replied. The words completely resonated with me: essentially, that was the type of person I wanted to be. I hadn’t been sure I needed a “new” mantra for 2014, but I also had been flailing a bit when it comes to defining what I wanted to achieve this year. I’ve also been throwing myself back into my yoga practice–committing to at least three or four times a week, a mix of traditional hot and power vinyasa classes–and I’ve felt like I needed a new focus point to keep myself in the moment.
Be ambitious, be present, be kind.
Be ambitious. Strive for challenge instead of comfort, excellence instead of complacency. Be proactive in making connections, seeking mentorship, establishing expertise. Even if done is better than perfect, it’s best when it’s perfect AND done. Don’t wait for opportunities to come: find them, make them. Know when to be easy on yourself and when to push yourself to do better. Define what success is in each situation, and reach it.
Be present. The best of all possible places is where you are right now. Reminisce on the past and dream about the future, but be present. Don’t take relationships for granted. Turn off my iPhone every night, stop checking my phone in the middle of conversations or while walking down the street. Don’t feel the need to Instagram every good thing that happens: savor those delicious moments of joy and beauty, and save them for yourself. Listen more, talk less. BE HERE.
Be kind. Be sweet to the ones that I love. Be more generous, with my money and my time and my efforts and my smile. Stop expecting something in return. Buy gifts when I see something that someone would love, send more mail. Tell people what they mean to me. Fear less, hope more; hate less, love more. Remember the fundamental attribution error, and give people a break. Hold the door, give up my seat on the subway, buy the round of drinks, laugh and laugh and laugh. Be how you want to be remembered.
Do you have a word or a mantra for 2014?