New Year: how's it going?

I’ll have to admit when I sat down for our January 2nd Badass Mama’s meeting, I so thought we’d be discussing goals for the New Year. I’m one of those people that’s often gleeful about the prospect of a fresh start, a calendar ripped out of the cellophane and tacked to the wall, the word “January” in bold print. But that’s not where Jenni led us.

We didn’t talk resolutions or pretend a new number suddenly meant the world had changed. Jenni brought up three questions I hadn’t considered when pondering 2017. What’s already awesome in your life right now? What’s working well for you? What’s going OK?

What the what? My brain tinged. Rarely do people ask what’s going well for me, much less what is outright awesome. Why not realize many things are going OK even if I wish that they were going awesomely well? My often tight chest muscles felt fresh air waking them up. It’s so much easier to breathe deeply and touch those stuck places when I approach them with good news first. It’s like that mantra I use sometimes, “All is well right now.”

Jenni narrowed these questions into categories as we pulled out our notebooks with the covers that read “#badass.” Then she led us through categories and gave us time to write. How is your health already OK, working well for you, or outright awesome? How is your partnership already OK, working well for you, or outright awesome? How is your relationship with your kids? Your home? Your finances? Your systems and order? Your creativity? Your emotional health?

I felt like I was sizzling and humming as we wrote. Sometimes my thoughts barreled out and sometimes I needed to sigh many times before I found an answer worthy of writing it down. My relationship with my kids contains lots of play and laughter lately; that’s awesome. We eat well enough most of the time and sometimes we dive deep into too rich or too salty food. Um, working well and OK. Systems? Is my system of achieving a total office mess then taking a big chunk of time to unwind all that clutter already OK? Possibly.

Joy struck me when Jenni asked how our creativity is going. Ironically, I thought, oh, I have a completely awesome system for tapping into my creativity. I’ve got creativity in spades and I have a system of order for it, too.

Around me, I felt everyone moving up and down that elevator of emotion that coincided with our answers. After we finished the writing exercise, we discussed our outright awesome answers. When I held back from saying I’m a creativity expert, Jenni encouraged me to claim it. I admitted my expertise and wore it like a sun around my neck. How rarely I give myself the satisfaction of knowing I’ve figured out one way to be well in the world.

We talked about what’s working well and what’s already OK. Some of us joked about what’s already OK, like, yeah, I guess it’s OK that I need a shovel when I clean up my office and I randomly find stuff in my piles that inspires me. Soon enough, the hard laughter turned to tears. A deep sadness erupted from one of us. Right after we joked about ugly tears, this sadness deepened into a rushing river of tears and emotion. With our quiet witnessing, we built a raft around our grieving friend, one with no words, one that felt tangible and strong.

Then, as earlier, I noticed how my chest reacted. It pulsed with empathetic sadness and a wish for this badass mama to know we were all right there with her. Her deep sadness and unleased grief rolled over and around and through us. After she let what felt like every last tear (for now) out of her body, we wrapped up our circle. Our new badass mama year had begun.