The one question you need to ask yourself
How do you want to feel in 2023?
Happy first Monday of the year 🤩
The holidays can be exhausting, so I hope you've spent time with people you love dearly. Extra credit for relaxing and recharging with your feet up.
On this vacay, my family of five has forgotten the meaning of the word "bedtime." December was a blur of non-stop family activities and new toys. Then, we rang in the new year at the beach, and there is sand everywhere.
Moving on from 2022 and entering 2023 feels like a fresh start — but a fresh start for what?
There's one question I use to help clarify that.
On January 1st of 2022, I had no way of knowing what I'd face over the following 364 days. My father's emergency heart surgery. Trips to Minnesota, NYC, and Colombia. Transitioning to a new job that turned out to be a bad fit. New friends that are a great fit. Salmonella. So many colds. Going back to working out at a gym. So much therapy.
What about 2023? What will happen in the next 52 weeks? It's a toss up, and I have limited control over only some of the ingredients that go into making the year what I want it to be. So, instead of focusing on what will happen this year, I'm focusing on something else: feelings.
To do that, I ask myself this question:
How do you want to feel this year?
Thinking through how I want to feel in 2023 helps me craft situations where those feelings can emerge.
But it isn't an easy question to answer. Knowing how you want to feel requires reflection and self-awareness. With as much honesty as I could muster, I pondered these questions in silence, both in prayer and on paper:
- How did I feel last year?
- What moments did I enjoy most / least?
- What was I feeling in those moments?
- What didn't I feel that I am yearning for?
And here's what I came up with for 2023.
When I joined a gym in October, working out next to other people felt strange. After over a decade of exercising alone at home, I felt so exposed. I wore a black cap and AirPods to block everyone out, but, even then, I was acutely aware of my presence within the larger space occupied by so many humans.
As much as I tried to drown out my surroundings, one woman in particular captured my attention. Wearing ginormous headphones, she was always dancing and singing and waving her arms to the beat of the music only she could hear. And it looked like she could care less.
That is who I want to be this year.
I've been referring to this new year as "2023 free." My number one priority for the next 12 months is to feel free—of my fears, of my limiting beliefs, of my self-imposed constraints, of guilt, of my false self.
This year, I want to feel free to go for it.
Because I'm not dead yet. There's still time to take leaps of faith, rip it up on the dance floor, and laugh until it hurts.
This year, I want to feel free to live with the volume turned up.
Of all the feelings out there, peaceful is the most delicious.
I'm human and routinely feel the normal, unpleasant human emotions of anger and frustration and sadness, but I want to grow in my ability to default to peace.
Since I started my contemplative journey nearly a decade ago, I have felt the fruits of peace in my life, but I want to continue growing in that direction.
In life, curveballs are a given. Just today, I threw one myself by giving my notice at work. The magic is in staying centered and peaceful, no matter how wild the pitch.
Life is too short to spend time, energy and potential being governed by our undirected psychological impulses.
That's why, in 2023, I want to stay closer than ever to my center.
As I near 40 and JJ nears 50, the legacy we'll each leave behind has been swirling around my brain. I know what I want mine to be: love.
Just this morning, on a long walk to the gym, I made a point to smile and say hello to each and every person I passed. As I did so, I made sure to smile with my eyes, with my entire face, with my liver! (If you know, you know.)
I've grown in my ability to extend love to others, and I felt it deeply this year. I organized playdates for my children's friends and gave each visiting child as much love and kindness as I could muster. I connected with them on their level—and it was so lovely. At work, I made sure to offer as much praise, appreciation and gratitude to each person I collaborated with—and it was also so lovely.
The more loving I am, the better I feel.
In 2023, I want to feel loving toward everyone around me: my family, my friends, and strangers I cross on the street.
Conclusion: free, peaceful, and loving. No matter what random problems pop up this year—and pop up they will—I'll do my best to create experiences and situations that make me feel the way I want to feel.
Now, it's your turn.
How do you want to feel in 2023?
I invite you to take some time to think about or, even better, journal about the kinds of feelings you want to bathe in over the next year.
We have limited control over the events that will unfold over the next 12 months, but in the words of Mario Andretti:
Don’t look at the wall. Your car goes where your eyes go.
As one of the most successful drivers in the history of motorsports, I trust that he knows what he's talking about. 🏎
Because once we know where we want to go, we have a much better chance of steering our lives in that direction.
Your year matters because you matter. Make this year yours by steering toward the feelings you want most.
That's it for today, friends.
I'll be back next week with more on doing the inner work to create a better, more joyful life.
Sending you the best vibes for an incredible 2023 ✨
— Marcella ✌️
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