New Year’s resolutions: we love making them, right? We look forward to improving ourselves in some manner. Maybe it is to lose weight or find love. Or we just want to be a better version of who we were in 2022.
We believe by setting a New Year’s resolution we will get there. Does that work for you? Truthfully, it hasn’t worked for me. That said, each December 31st gives a space to hope for love and prosperity and a new beginning.
Last year, I did something different and created a gratitude jar. I didn’t assign myself any rules; I decided that only that when I felt gratitude, I would write it down on a sticky note and put it in the jar. I wanted to look at things that pulled me into gratitude instead of things that didn’t work out in 2022.
My first note of the year was in June “I talked to my nephew Mike D, and I felt we had pushed the reset button on our relationship.” Maybe it was just me because I got the feeling, he didn’t completely trust me, yet. I wrote “I am so grateful to have Mike in my life and offered him a position on Seventh Generation indigenous Foundation and Training (GIFT) seventhgift.ca board of Directors because of his involvement with youth. GIFT’s goal is to break the cycle of addictions in Indigenous communities within 3 generation. I thought he would like to be part of that movement. He turned down my invitation. We haven’t spoken since June. I think highly of him, he is a thoughtful successful businessman giving back by guiding and mentoring Indigenous youth though his company. I won’t stop hoping to regain his trust.
My intention for 2023 is to be open to all who are interested in having a relationship, even if we’ve had disagreements in the past. It is a new year and time to let the old year go.
Relationships came up continually in my gratitude jar for 2022. I reached out to a few people with a desire to create a better relationship with them.
It didn’t surprise me that in the months of May, June, September, and November, I expressed gratitude for my immediate family, and how much they supported me. I never take that for granted. In November, I expressed gratitude for my older sister, Mary and her husband, Ron for thinking of us on our 30th anniversary. I noted gratitude for my siblings: Jimmy, for daily texts, Rose for frequently phoning to check up on how I was doing, Mary for calling and giving me, family, health updates and Annie for telling me she thinks of her baby sister often. We always share laughter on these calls. And hubby for filling my kettle to make it easier for my morning tea, I am filled with gratitude when I think about all the little things he does for me, such as surprise me with Starbucks Chai tea, matcha tea, and cleaning up after dinner loading the dishwasher. Not to mention working hard to support the family.
I gave gratitude to Seventh Generation indigenous Foundation and Training (GIFT) which I founded for being my compass and giving me space for mental and spiritual growth. The GIFT Foundation also was a conduit to connecting me with my cousin and other family members as we developed our legacy course. Three out of nine board members are family.
My Empathetic Witness Podcast also expanded prominently throughout the year in my gratitude jar as I noted gratitude for guests who appeared on my podcast who gave their time and shared their knowledge continuing the conversation on Indigenous traditions, colonialism, trauma, mental health, diet, and addictions. I especially acknowledged family members who are on my podcast team, my granddaughter who is the editor and graphics designer, my daughter who is the researcher. My cousin, Leonard who gave permission to use his music, my brother Roger for his artwork. I am committed to recording 52 interviews in 2023 with phenomenal indigenous people. You won’t want to miss a single episode. Empathic Witness on Spotify.
My journey in 2023 will be guided by my pursuit of Awe. (happiness)
I bought four 100 Day Gong & Gratitude Journals for 2023 after reading Pedram Shojai, former Taoist monk and now physician of Chinese medicine. My fountain pens are cleaned and ready.
Gong is a Chinese term referring to a skill cultivated through daily practice. I simply commit to perform a certain action that will improve my wellness for 100 days in a row. If I miss a day, I must start over at day one. Before I start the journal, I need to ask myself what the one thing I time had to do that would bring me joy. I will use the Gong calendar to mark my progress by crossing out the box each day in my journal. I will reflect on the last 24 hours and write three things I am grateful for and why. I will use the journal to record the most meaningful experience I had in the previous day. Unlike the gratitude jar I will have everything contained in a journal which at the end of the year will be easier to read and see my progress.
May 2023 bring you much happiness, good health, and memorable adventures. You are the hero in your own journey. Happy New Year!