I am so eager for this new year. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so ready to create miracles and transformation in my life. It reminds me of how I felt as I entered the new millennium.
1999 was my senior year of college at the University of Oregon. I had just returned from a year abroad studying in Copenhagen, and I was ready to end my “college career” by living and giving it my all. I felt as though I was really coming into adulthood and ready to take complete responsibility for the trajectory of my life. I had figured out credit-wise how I could double major in Environmental Studies and International Studies, earn a minor in Scandinavian Studies, plus take a leadership course, ballroom dance, and two terms of yoga. I also had my dream job of working for the UO Outdoor Program, where I was the Environmental Coordinator and planned outdoor trips, lectures and services projects. And if that wasn’t enough I was accepted in the Greenhouse Network program to become trained to serve on a national speakers bureau (and in the spring spoke on three college campuses). I didn’t own a car and biked every day, meditating while cycling along the river.
With my spare time, I decided to volunteer for the Sustainable Business Symposium as the volunteer coordinator. This happened to be where I would meet my husband, Kevin. Without going into that whole how-we-met story, the pending Y2k felt like a huge time in my life, especially as I started a new relationship that I quickly felt would “be the one.” Plus my Grandma passed away over winter break, which is enough to make anyone want to make the most of their life. (On break I had shared with my incredulous family who ask “What are you going to do with that degree?!” that I would work for a nonprofit doing climate change activism in Portland…it was no accident that exactly what I did weeks after graduating).
My life was happening at a breakneck pace, and yet I felt in utter control of creating my own success. My youthful energy was overflowing with confidence, pheromones, and a feeling of buoyancy. Yet, more than all the rushing endorphins, I felt a need to listen to my calling and commit myself to practices that would make it possible for me to be a leader in slowing global warming. On the eve of Y2K I made three commitments that would forever alter the direction of my life.
- I decided that it was time for me to quit smoking marijuana. In high school, where pot was easier to get a hold of than alcohol, I had become an almost daily smoker: wanting to escape, find/express myself, and simply laugh at my adolescent life. After a year abroad to Denmark where I felt higher on life than ever before, but hadn’t smoked a single time, I began college committed to not being a smoker. But then when I returned to Denmark for my junior year that spring I made three best friends, and after the funnest week you can imagine in Amsterdam, I was convinced that life was just more joyful when you let yourself get high. Yet, even with everything that I had going for me that fall, I started to slip into the habit of smoking by myself, and as fun as it felt to get high and not take everything in my life so seriously, I also had this very deep feeling that if I continued to smoke that I would fail to accomplish my utopic dreams. I had also started to date Kevin, who I was convinced I would marry. Even though he had tried some bad Pennsylvania pot a few times, he made it very clear that he wanted to nothing to do with marijuana.
- I committed myself to learning/practicing yoga and tarot. When I was choosing my courses for my last year of college, I made the fateful decision to take two terms of yoga classes. The first was an intro to hatha yoga and then an intro to a more advanced kundalini yoga. I had never taken a single class or known anyone who had. Believe it or not, in the last millennium there weren’t yoga studios scattered all over the west coast and any yoga clothes were mail ordered from Gaiam. In the spring I also jumped at the opportunity to take a community tarot class led by Connie Bender, a mystic who read tarot at the Eugene Saturday Market and the Oregon Country Fair. I had done my first reading at a coffee shop when I was twenty and with my first Empress card, I was blown away by the truth that it revealed in my life. Then my Danish host mom let me borrow her deck, and I was hooked on reading as a spiritual practice to help me manifest my highest potential.
- I committed to sharing my love with patience and persistence. With a five week fresh relationship, where we had just consummated relationship on an UO Outdoor Program cross country skiing for a weekend at Sun River, I was ready to commit to taking our relationship as deep and far as I could. After having fallen completely in love my first year abroad in Denmark and dating another Dane my freshman term of college, the rest of my college romances were less than a month (with the exception of a secret crush on my neighbor/masseur…who I occasionally still fantasize about). I was frankly ready for love and willing to do whatever it took to make our relationship last. Thankfully, we really were meant to be (I gotten an astrological reading two years prior that foresaw that I would meet my lifelong partner the exact week I met Kevin…plus we actually first met at Cosmic Pizza). Even though our love story felt kismet, Kevin happened to turn 30 in early January and went through a mini midlife crisis where he tried his best to push me away. We didn’t know where life/work would take me, and he was convinced that I wasn’t really ready to settle down. My patience and persistence paid off, and by June we were apartment hunting in Portland, right after we both landed jobs in our field within a week of each other.
So, with my first thousand words of the year already written, I am recommitting to taking those same actions all over again. I’ll need another post to what I think that means and a whole year to make that happen. I look forward to sharing my year of miracles and transformation. 🙂
Peace and love and light to you in 2017!