Mino Oshki Biboon! (Happy New Year! in Ojibwe).
Winter is a time of rest and reflection, according to our Anishinaabe ways of knowing. As the glow of the holiday season fades, it is incredibly important we take steps to take care of ourselves in the winter months.
A new year also means new beginnings. Some people look at the new year as a clean slate - a fresh start. I like to take this time to reflect on the past year, and to set new intentions for the upcoming months. Instead of resolving to hit the gym every second day, or finally stay on top of my growing laundry pile, I have found that setting smaller "mindset goals" (or intentions) to feel more attainable for me in a period of change that often accompanies a new year.
I have decided that now, in 2023, my intentions are:
- to spend more time with my family. I have reflected a lot on how important my family has been to shaping my identity, and how busy adult life can be. It seems easy to postpone visits or celebrations, always resolving to "be there for the next one" or "maybe next weekend instead". I intend to take more time to really question my excuses, and make more time for the people in my life that matter more to me than re-runs of Game of Thrones and getting on top of housework.
- to be a good pet parent. I have two fluffy little creatures that spend most of their time napping next to me or pestering me to wake up at 3 am to give them attention. Working partially from home means I spend a lot of time with them - however, I'm not always present with them in those moments. This is something a lot of us can relate to in a post-COVID world. This year, I intend to find more enriching and exciting things for us to do together.
- to allow myself to take up space, and let go of shame and guilt surrounding this. I think that women are told their whole lives they are meant to be small - physically and figuratively. There can be a feeling of insecurity or unworthiness that creeps up when we take up space - whether that is in a professional setting, or the world of social media, or simply walking down the street. I am a 6 foot tall Anishinaabekwe - a visible minority and a woman. There are a lot of societal pressures weighing on my shoulders as I move through this world. I think it is important we reflect on these subconscious feelings we carry with us, and give ourselves permission to let go of any expectations regarding these.
- finally, to take time to do silly, pointless things that make me happy. I am a BIG fan of self-care. It is critical to my sanity at this point. Guided meditations, true crime podcasts, a quiet night beading by myself or a long walk with my pup are all my favourite ways to spend my downtime. However, something this business has taught me is its important to follow the things we want to do that aren't necessarily branded "good for you" by Instagram gurus. By this, I mean doodling on scrap paper, or dancing alone in your kitchen to Shania Twain, or spending a minute getting lost in a Wikipedia spiral about an obscure reference from a TV show. These activities sometimes make us look up and go "what am I doing? Shouldn't I be doing something more productive/good for me?". However, I think letting ourselves follow that little spark of creativity and curiosity is just as vital to our mental health as our deep breathing and daily affirmations. Maybe getting in touch with our inner child is that one little thing that's missing from our lives.
What are your intentions this year? Do any of the ones I listed resonate with you?
Let me know! I'm so curious to hear your answers.
As always, with love,
Leading Eagle Woman