Yesterday I danced among the painted ruins, channeling my inner Wednesday Addams (as is the current dance trend, per the Netflix series) and feeling free.
I thought about authenticity and what I want next in my life (on what was my very first day as an empty-nester, as my younger daughter just moved out for good). The details don’t matter. Making room on the path forward does. Here are four ways I do that, which may be helpful to you as well:
1. Make room in your car for a bike (of course). Driving sucks the life out of me. I hate its disconnect from humanity. I mostly use my bike (often in combo with mass transit) for transportation, but there are still some places I drive. Here’s my way around that. Whenever I drive, I try to stop a mile or two (or twelve) before my destination so I can ride my bike at least part of my way that day. I often also stop at trails I know along my common driving routes if that’s a better way to get my daily miles in. It helps.
I meet nice strangers, see art, dance and play in public, enjoy nature, visit local businesses, have time to think/meditate/pray, do hands-on research for my work, and have fun (which matters now more than ever) — all while taking a positive climate action. I keep a bike in my car at most times for this purpose, and often lately it’s the folding bike I’m planning on taking Round America with a Duck.
Maybe it’s not a bike for you. Maybe there’s something else you want to do more often, or that more effectively represents your values. How are you making it handy and convenient to do so?
2. Make room in your day for new things. I discovered I was spending six hours a day on social media (five minutes here, five minutes there adds up) — and yet I was struggling finding time to read books and also follow some of my emerging interests (right now, I’d like to take watercolor and hip hop rollerdance classes). I’ve been making room so I can dive in more in 2023. Over the past year, I’ve quit Facebook, Twitter and now (yesterday) Instagram (although I still have my Today’s Nice Stranger account). I’m quitting LinkedIn December 24th — you know it’s time to go when your profile says: wildly creative, feral and joy-based. I’m migrating to a more creativity-focused networking site. (Yes, Tik Tok stays — consider following.)
To kickstart 2023 (Virgo that I am), I re-launched my creative studio, 7 MPH. I’m taking a cartoon-drawing class today from a frequent New Yorker magazine cartoonist (I want to incorporate cartoons into my new book). I’m also about to move on from the refugee sharing garden I created and have been tending once a week for a year and a half — I’ve built fertile soil, harvested and shared tons, and it’s just about ready for a family new to the USA to take over (I’ll do a compilation of TikToks from the whole journey soon — it’s been pretty cool). I’ve reached my goal. It’s time.
Time is a nonrenewable resource. What do you want to leave behind in 2022 so that you open up some time for something new? What steps are you taking to do so?
3. Make room in your heart for new relationships. I have “circled my wagons” a lot, especially during COVID. I realized many of the people in my life don’t share the passion and purpose that is driving my life forward right now. I have “blessed and released” many people from my life and am ready to form some new relationships more representative of where the pull, pull, pull of gravity is taking me.
I am especially looking to connect with more artists, mavericks, creativity-first thinkers and outside-the-box do-ers at this crossroads-of-change in our world-in-crisis — is that you? I want to be more artistically challenged and supported, as well as find new ways to use our collective talents for good.
What do you want from your relationships? Are you getting it? How can you make changes that center your needs and next-steps better?
4. Make room in your soul for a higher power. My higher power and I have an extremely tight relationship. My philosophy of “trust the journey” is deeply rooted in my spirituality. I find that being in nature reinforces my belief (and awe), and I find myself more authentically on the path for which I am intended when I make time each day to immerse myself in it.
And so, in 2023: More sunrises. More stargazing. More wandering aimlessly along rivers and among my beloved golden grasses swaying in abandoned lots and beneath power lines. More of my God, and trust in my journey.
There are lots of ways to define your higher power. What’s yours?
And so, that’s that. Happy holidays. Peace (and peas) on earth. See you here — and while traveling at the speed of bike — in a fresh, new year. Keep taking leaps of faith, in whatever way that has meaning for you: