I’m sitting next to a very old and elegant woman on a plane from Dallas to New York. Assuming that she needs company, I start a conversation. She turns out to be a ninety-eight-year-old former Ziegfeld girl who is on her way to dance in an AIDS benefit on Broadway with her hundred-and-one-year-old friend from chorus girl days—something they’ve been doing since the tragedy of AIDS first appeared. Humbled by this response and looking for advice on my own future now that I’m past seventy, I ask her how she has remained herself all these years. She looks at me as if at a slow pupil. “You’re always the person you were when you were born,” she says impatiently. “You just keep finding new ways to express it.”
What if, instead of buying into all the “new year, new you” hype and external noise around you, you practiced the radical act of allowing yourself to be who you really are, imperfections and all? What would it be like to rest and trust in knowing that who you are is enough? (I understand if this feels like a tall order but for a moment, imagine this possibility…)
To take a moment to tune into yourself, I invite you to try this: Place one or both hands on your heart. Take some full deep breaths. Relax your shoulders and release any tension on your out-breath. Now ask yourself:
What matters to me?
What do I want to let go of?
What do I want to give myself permission to do? Or not do?
What’s one way to express who I am this year?
What comes up? I’d love to hear.
May you stay true to you this year.