Engagement

If you’ve been perusing the likes of Facebook and Instagram this holiday season, I’m sure you’ve witnessed the ubiquitous engagement photo.

Just engaged!
Just engaged!

And while it may sound sarcastic, I sincerely do wish all who are on their way to betrothal a hearty congratulations. Seeing all these engagement pictures got me thinking about self-marriage again. I guess it’s a “phenomenon” in Japan. But, the first time I ever heard of it was through Aya De Leon’s account in the book Quirkyalone.

Contemplative Pose #1.
Contemplative Pose #1.

I knew I wanted to do something different this year for my New Year’s resolution/goals. Something connected to aliveness, celebration, and perhaps a mini photo shoot. Something I could share with another living being and not just come incense and a candle.

Me and my sister
Me and my sister

So, on New Year’s Eve, I and my sister headed to the beach for a sorta-impromptu New Year’s Eve celebration, an engagement with our lives as they are and as we desire them to be. (Fun fact: did you know millions of people honor the Yoruba goddess Yemoja near water on December 31st in Rio de Janerio all dressed in white? Guess, I was on to something in choosing the beach and the white dress….)

DSCN0489First we listed our gratitudes. I have to constantly work on being grateful for my world as is. It is not easy. I watch and read the news after all. And though I know that the world can be a cruel, cold place, there is still so much that I am thankful for each waking moment. I record a gratitude in my journal each day before going to sleep. It is a practice that has slowly become a habit.

Like this.
Like this.

Then, we listed our desires. We listed the smallish ones and the outta this world wishes. We listed our heart’s longings and the tiny things we craved for. My list included travel to distant lands and to be able to one day make good money from my creative ventures.

No desire was too small or big.
No desire was too small or big.

We ended with listing our intentions for the New Year. We made these specific and doable. One reason we fuck ourselves over in the New Year is to make these outlandish claims on what we can actually do. While I believe we have more power than we think, we need to be real with ourselves in light of our commitments and limitations.

I try to keep my intentions small and measurable (no easy task). There is a weird magic in the dance between desire and intention that I have witnessed in my own life. There are SO many times desires come true without my effort. So, this year I want to honor that by not getting all turbo with my 2016 intentions.

Desire
Desire

We finished up our ceremony with quiet meditation. Then we went and ate Thai food and brought in 2016 dancing to Drake. It was a good day.

I sincerely wish all of you connect with your gratitude, desires, and intentions for this New Year.

It’s very tempting to veer towards either doing waaaaay too much or deciding to give no fucks at all. I have been in both positions in New Year’s past. I’ve been there: I have longed for a cinematic reversal of my “boring” life. I have sneered at the new crowds at the gym as I waited on an elliptical machine. I have been the person dismally looking around come March like WTF happened?

I like the place I am now: saying thanks, dreaming big, and then listing the steps I am absolutely willing to take.

No matter what you did December 31st or January 1st, it’s not too late to connect to what you want for your own life. To forgive and recommit. To be engaged.

Happy 2016!

What do YOU want for your life this year?
What do YOU want for your life this year?

Onward,

Hannah

 

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