“How often does five Mondays in February happen?” my math-minded husband asked me. He wonders about these things, and has likely calculated the answer since this question came up in our conversation last night. I, on the other hand, don’t have the patience to try to figure something like that out (or, let’s be real—the skills). Instead my mind registers, “February 29th; Leap Day!; a 29th day for a month that usually only has 28; less common than most years and eSPECIALy special since I’m in the midst of PY35!”
A day like today has the ability to get us feeling the carpe diem energy of life, to inspire us to make new and different choices for ourselves. Do you feel that? That swelling in your heart and soul? If that’s what happens when you merely consider making new and different choices, can you even imagine what happens when you follow that feeling and take action to make the kind of choices that nourish your spirit and rejuvenate your outlook on life?
We tend to protect ourselves from letting our hearts guide us by judging/doubting/shutting down/detaching. It happens fast and sometimes furiously, so we spew remarks like, “What kind of hippy dippy shit is this? Show me the outcomes, show me the numbers. Show me the proof.”
I can offer you some proof if you think it’ll help. First, you have to understand the principles of a Power Year, some of which I’ve found to be annoying yet necessary:
A Power Year code of conduct establishes what you WILL do and WON’T do during 365 (366 in my case) days of living. This code is practiced every day, some days are more successful than others, and that’s okay.
This can be really hard. It requires disarming and being vulnerable—two things that I have found to be equally uncomfortable and rewarding. Willing to do what, you wonder? Willing to incorporate new information into your life instead of ignoring it. Willing to align your values with your actions so that they are real values instead of only ideal.
Be ready for hard work
By hard I mean not the quick ’n’ easy way that our culture tends to favor; hard work requires me to reflect instead of online streaming whatever show; hard work means having difficult conversations; hard work means forgiving and renewing relationships; hard work means having the courage to create my own path instead of walking down someone else’s.
I’ve practiced those principles for eight months now, so here’s my qualitative proof for you doubters. I’m surprised and delighted at where they’ve led me. I dismantled the system of living that wasn’t serving me and have rebuilt it in a way that allows me to feel the feels—to be vulnerable. Researcher Brené Brown says that “Our rejection of vulnerability often stems from our associating it with dark emotions like fear, shame, grief, sadness, and disappointment…Vulnerability is [also] the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity.” Historically, I’ve been TERRIBLE at being vulnerable. That just means the remaining four months of my PY35 are going to be hard work—I say BRING IT.