As our “time out of time” continues, how are you preparing for the fresh start of a new year and a new decade? Today and tomorrow, I would like to share a couple of resources to inspire you.
If you’ve been visiting here for a while, you know I have mentioned this one several times before. At the risk of boring you with repetition, perhaps this finally may be the time that you make of this year a gift, strictly and only for you.
Here’s how it works. What if your Faerie Goddessmother appeared, waved her magic wand, and gave you one year to do exactly what you have always wished you could, if only you had more time? What would you do?
That is the premise of The Gift of a Year: How to Give Yourself the Most Meaningful, Satisfying, and Pleasurable Year of Your Life, by psychotherapist Mira Kirshenbaum. For one year, you do something that makes you feel great about yourself and your life. Just for one year, out of all the years of your life, you give yourself permission to put yourself and one small (or big) desire first.
I love that Mira is incredibly passionate that women (especially, but men, too!) should commit to this gift to ourselves. It is obvious that, based on years of experience in her practice, she believes that it is utterly necessary, if we are to save our sanity, even our very lives.
When was the last time you did something important, just for you? Not yet another self-improvement New Year’s resolution. And not because you needed it, like buying new shoes. But simply because you wanted to?
Her book is filled with examples of women just like the rest of us, who are too busy, over-committed, stretched thin, juggling everyone else’s needs, and yes, with monetary challenges (at least occasionally). Yet following her clear, concrete strategies, they all found ways to give themselves one year of meeting some of their own deepest needs.
I promise that if you will read her book, and follow her simple, clear instructions, this time next year, your life will feel very different for you, in joyful ways that you currently may only barely know you need for it to.
It can be as simple as one woman’s decision to take a year long time-out from the dating scene (after yet another heartbreak). Instead, every night for one year, she came home from work, turned off the phone, poured a luxurious bubble bath, and read. You won’t believe how this one small, simple choice ended up completely changing her whole life!
Or your special year can be big, like the trip to India another woman chose. She did not travel the whole year, of course — this is about real people, remember? But she gave herself a year to save some money, plan her itinerary, make contacts, learn some history and even a bit of Sanskrit. It all culminated in her magical trip of a lifetime.
If you need help seeing why you are entitled to give yourself an entire year, Kirshenbaum will help you, in her smart, straightforward, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny style. If you are wondering how you will take care of the practical issues (like how to get time and support from your family, for instance), she has a no-fail blueprint for nearly every situation.
And what if you are so stressed and exhausted that you don’t even know where to begin? You need this gift most of all, and the book offers examples, quizzes and checklists that can resuscitate even the most depleted soul.
Whether your year is a treat, or a life-saver, join with the growing number of joyful people who are giving themselves at least one year, and emerging forever changed and energized as a result.
In the ways that only your secret heart of longing can know, may this be your most Happy New Year!
The Gift of a Year:
How to Give Yourself the Most Meaningful, Satisfying, and Pleasurable Year of Your Life
by Mira Kirshenbaum
Published by Penguin Group, Dutton Books
Copyright 2000ISBN: 0-525-94529-6
Available used, or in many libraries.