Happy holidays to you! I hope this finds you warm and well, steeped in the company and traditions that delight you most.
I want to propose that we all give a very special gift to ourselves this holiday season. One that is hard to know how to identify and even harder to know how to give.
Permission to be who we are. To write what we write. To live how we live. And to come even more authentically into balance with the constellation of desire and demand by which we live our lives.
Historically, I have chosen a word for the year. But the parting of ways with 2013 seemed to call for something a bit more substantial. As I stand at the threshold of 2014, I have chosen instead a mantra: I am allowed.
Even in the past week as I’ve started saying this to myself, I’ve surfaced stories I’ve lived by—about how being pleasing to others makes me a good person. About how keeping certain secrets keeps everyone safe. But I am a writer. And telling my truths will not be pleasing to everyone. And secrets are the opposite of safe. I am allowed to write my way through it all to whatever stories await me in that untravelled territory of self. And you are allowed, too.
Somehow, this new sense of permission has surfaced several childhood passions that once gave me ballast and great joy. As a little girl, I spent endless hours in my pink bedroom playing Donna Summer songs on my handheld tape recorder and making up endless dance routines embellished with leotards and baton twirls. I’ve given this practice up along the way as adult life has required greater and greater specialization and left me smaller and smaller margins for play.
I am calling this primary passion back to the stage of my life this year. I will choose a Song of the Year and make up a dance routine to go with it. Maybe I will invite friends to help me choreograph it. Or maybe they’ll dance their own “I am allowed” dances. We’ll do a dance performance. Maybe it will be in someone’s bedroom. Maybe it will be on a stage. All I know is: It will be. I will dance. I am allowed.
What will you give yourself permission to do in 2014, and what mantra will you live or dance or write by?