Welcome to the new year, your best year yet…the year you are unstoppable! Here are my thoughts on getting geared up to build your own dreams in 2013.
To all those with self-defeating dialogue in your heads–a new year has begun! You know what I am talking about, the internal voices that say “you can’t…,” “you shouldn’t…,” “you’ll never…,” or the classic “it doesn’t matter.” What do you think you could do if you shut down all the naysaying in your head? My guess is….a lot! For 2013, how about ringing in the new year by shouting out a loud, resounding “Stuff it!” (Except the voice that says, “You’ll get arrested”….you can still listen to that one.)
I tend to ride a continual cycle of inspiration, motivation, elevation…then deflation and resignation. Why? I don’t know. But I am sure I am not the only one.
Let me illustrate: Little Purple Barn took me a long time to launch. The voices telling me not to were so much louder than the one saying “go for it!” Why? I have a binder stuffed with pages of brainstorms, rough drafts of blog posts, sketches for projects. I have more than enough brain fodder to keep my fingers flying over my keyboard for months. If I typed every night instead of sleeping, I still wouldn’t have time to keep up with the topics that fascinate me. Just this last week, I wrote down tag lines for posts on:
- foraging and wild crafting,
- raw dairy,
- sugar-free challenges for children,
- trail mix recipes,
- jerky recipes,
- Tomato powder (summer in a jar!),
- my superfood collection,
- Go-Go soap making (a recipe I dreamed about with Goat milk and Goji berries in it!)
- reducing waste,
- a comedic sketch of public restrooms,
- movie reviews of 6 different documentaries,
- principles of edible landscaping,
- a feasibility sketch for family sized solar power,
- perennial vegetables,
- sprout cookies,
- sprouted flour,
- and a draft for a DIY fitness program that could replace your gym time.
And it’s a holiday week! I drift off to sleep at night with project ideas spinning in my head. What on earth would make me hesitate to launch?
My passion is sustainable projects, things that involve my family, heal the earth (or at least relieve some of the burden) and improve health. It is a wide niche I’ve discovered and I find more and more to embrace around every corner. So many things to try! So many things to research! So many things to aspire to! I found something to be passionate about.
So why would these voices tell me not to write, not to share, not to talk about all these things? Why would they point out that a million other people have done it better, longer, and with credentials I don’t possess? Why would these voices tell me I am wasting my time and yours?
Like I said, I don’t know, but no good will come from it.
And so I say to them “Stuff it!”
I feel better already.
Now, instead of a frustrated year of writer’s block, I get to turn my passion into a website…a blog to share ideas, victories, and even failures. A place where people can share ideas and encouragement. I get to explore endless topics of things that light me up, things I think can help improve quality of life. 2013 unfolds with endless opportunity to learn and teach my kids at the same time. That sounds so much more fun than resignation!!
What are your voices telling you not to do? What is holding you back? What do you want? This new year, tell your critics–inside your head or out–to stuff it. Then get moving! Here are some tips to get the positive voices talking louder than the negative ones…
Whenever I get discouraged thinking I can’t have an impact, I look online or visit with others and find out I am not alone. All across the globe, people are working to make their part of the planet better; the effects ripple, resonate, vibrate worldwide. Somewhere, someone loves to do the same things you are passionate about. Find them, let them inspire you. I love Facebook for this reason. I put a call out for help and suddenly, people from around the world are offering their best advice. Don’t miss out on the Purple Barn page (ahh, a shameless plug) It’s a fun place to pick up some tips or share your own. The more the merrier!
You hear so much on the news of horror and hatred (see my post on Sandy Hook), but I find a simple discussion in the check-out line or at the post office is enough to reaffirm my faith in humanity. I have met kind, intriguing people in the most random places. Shout out to my favorite Denny’s waitress who has been off sugar for a year and lost 60 pounds! She makes me feel like maybe I am not crazy to sweep the white stuff out of my pantry. Shout out to my new friend Marty, who gave me a crash course on solar panels and taught me about the ancient origins of soap making, all while in line at the NPS store. I bought two feed pails for my goats, but came home with so much more! When I start to feel disconnected or fearful, I find a simple smile and “how are you?” are usually enough to turn it around. (Except for the occasional run in with grumps, like the Uterus Hater at Trader Joe’s lol)
When I start to feel my passion fade, or my enthusiasm wane, the quickest way to reignite it is to share it. It’s like that old familiar charge you got in grade school on show and tell day. Grinding sprouted wheat may start to feel mundane until I start telling someone else about the live enzymes, the vitamin C content, the full range of exciting micronutrients and reduced gluten content in sprouted bread. Or the tediousness of reusable lunch-ware might get to me until I explain to one of my kids where plastic bags and forks end up, or where they came from. Then suddenly, it is once again an honor to scrub crusty peanut butter out of a Tupperware. You can’t light someone else’s fire without fanning your own flame as well.
There is a lot of support, encouragement, and motivation offered in others, but ultimately it comes down to you. One of the biggest reasons I blog is to keep myself excited about sustainable practices, to keep myself accountable for my actions (hard to order at McDonald’s after a blog post about factory farming!) And even on the occasion that people mention I’m making too much work for myself (what, you don’t milk goats twice a day?), I am too far out there (you’ve never eaten a mealworm, really?) or I’m just plain insane (no, I don’t drink diet anything), I let it roll off knowing I can slow down and worry about it or I can go to bed spinning with more ideas for exciting new adventures. Yeah, I know which one sounds better to me!
Whatever you’re gearing up to do…good luck! May this be your best, bravest, greenest, happiest, most productive year yet!