Reflecting on the LIGHT

How did you all do on your intentions for 2015? My word for the year was LIGHT. It was easy to choose. It seemed like the theme of light was everywhere, and heaven knows, I had already been drawn to the image of lanterns for a year prior to choosing the word. It came to me over and over and I was excited to pick it. It felt right. And it felt necessary, based on what I had just been through and what I knew I was facing in the early part of the year. I knew I needed light more than anything. 

  Copyright C. Martin 2015

Copyright C. Martin 2015

My word for 2016 is not coming so easily to me. But I'll get to that later. Until then, here's how I did with LIGHT. (My updates are in italics.)


Dwell on the light. Be willing to examine, then (most importantly) let go of dark, heavy emotions. Choose emotions that help my soul feel light. Choose foods and portions that help my body feel light. Choose constructive ways to express and explore the darkness. Take life less seriously. Let go of the weight of the past. Let go of physical possessions I no longer need or want. Let go of outdated expectations.

A lot of this happened, almost on its own. Change came fast and fiercely and I often had no choice to but jettison one thing after another - whether it was possessions, thoughts, emotions or living situations. I still struggled to let go of the heavier parts of what happened and I don't think I succeeded at all with taking life less seriously. Although...I did try. (Did you see my deer hat?


Get back to my meditation practice. Give thanks before every meal. Connect more. Pray more. Lead by example, not by the statement of opinions.

Oopsie - didn't do much meditating, despite it being on my list every single day of the year. I had a very hard time, especially in the first half of the year, being quiet and facing the sadness inside me. There were times when the losses I had experienced were overwhelming, and the best I could do was knit while watching Netflix. But that was a way of finding light for myself in a dark time and I'm ready to try this one again.


Get down from my head (and all the over-thinking) and allow myself to descend, settle into and rest in this physical world, exactly as I am in any given moment.

I did a lot of grounding work this year, and really tried to focus on my body. Sometimes, it fell by the wayside, with the hectic schedule I had, but I stayed committed and continue to be committed to really grounding into this physical experience of life. 


Look for the joy in every moment. Believe that the birthright of every living being is delight. Allow the experience of letting delight into the most mundane tasks. Give in to wonder. Be a source of delight to others – bring joy into the life of every living being.

There were many times when it seemed delight was too far a reach for what I was going through. But I made this one a Core Desired Feeling for 2015 and kept it on my radar, so it popped up at deliciously unexpected moments. 


Set clear intentions and always keep priorities in mind. Less internet surfing, more living life. Less people-pleasing, more serving. Remember the good stuff, forget the bad. See the good in others and myself; don’t focus on the flaws.

I worked very hard at setting intentions and goals at the beginning of 2015. I often forgot about them for long periods of time, but I knew they were guiding me all along because I ended up achieving almost all of them - which is saying a lot, considering where I started from. Forgetting the bad...need to work on that one some more. But I am seeing the good more and more.


Say yes more. Give myself permission. Just do it.

I'll admit it: I was kicking and screaming a lot with this one. Sometimes, the universe basically pushed me into situations in which I didn't have a choice but to "just do it." Giving myself permission, however, was my favorite part of this one. Permission to feel the way I feel - it's wonderful. I have, however, noticed that people do not tend to respond to this well. I often remove myself from situations like that, because sure, I can feel however I want to feel, but so can another person and I'm 100% willing to respect that and make space for both of us. But it has brought up some interesting feelings and conflicts that I haven't quite sorted out yet...


Keep working on leaving a small carbon footprint. Don’t give up on eco-activism. Find a way to contribute to a worthy cause. And…try to stop butting into other people’s problems.

I'm still working on this one. Especially that last part. Oh, isn't it fun to play Savior? Super annoying to everyone else, no doubt, but it's such a damn good distraction. I've been doing very well with not phsyically butting into anyone's problems, but I still use up valuable mental real estate thinking about stuff like that and "if they would only...," and "if I could only help them...." Yeah. That's gotta stop. 


Be a happy, light-filled presence. Contribute to the energy of a room by putting my best self forward. Expand my energy field to encompass everyone nearby. Smile more. Find joyful things to talk about. Find common ground. Share.

I can't say I did super well with this one. I didn't feel happy for most of the first half of this year. I didn't feel like putting my best self forward, either. I often still felt like hiding. And did hide. But I kept smiling. And I made it a priority to try to contribute to whatever group I was in, rather than be a heavy weight. Work in progress!


Ask for help more often.

Oh jeez. I may have almost completely failed at this one. I had a very hard time "taking up space" this year and this was one of the ways I diminished myself - by not saying, "Yes, I need help." This is part of a bigger issue (the Invisible Woman Syndrome) that I'm always working on. 


Act more, speak less. Face fears with faith. Light up the dark places. Help others – give them light by which to see. Never allow fear to dictate my choices. Put myself out there. Step out of the comfort zone.

I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone - but mostly because I was forced to! The universe was happy to contribute to my growth this year, and made sure I addressed most of these bullet points on my "Light List." I hope that I helped others, but honestly, I feel like this was a year filled with such radical change for me that I feel I mostly took care of my basic survival needs and not much more. 


Forgive. Reach for the light. Remember I have a choice between light and dark, always. Take the well-lit road, or take a lantern down the dark path. Don’t get distracted by the darkness. Pray for the light. Commit to the pursuit of light. Don't fight the light.

Always, always, always, I'm reaching for forgiveness. Especially after the events of the past 15 months. There are times when I think it will be impossible to forgive three people in particular, but I remind myself that it's still early in the process (some of this happened just a few months ago) and that I don't have time or energy to carry around the weight of my resentment. I won't stop praying for the light, for the power to forgive. I will always work toward this goal. 


Remember who I am. Remember who made me. Remember the light from which I come. Remember that I am the light of a certain someone’s life always and forever, unconditionally.

I see more and more light every time I look in the mirror. I am seeing my Divine self more often. Hold on, I say to myself. Hold on to this vision when all you can see is your flawed, human animal self. There is always more behind this imperfect costume. 

How did you do on your 2015 intentions?