As we step into the fresh beginnings of 2024, I find myself reflecting on the past year with a sense of deep introspection and gratitude. Today, I want to share with you some of the most transformative practices I embraced in 2023, practices that have not only enriched my life but also set a foundation for the year ahead. I hope these reflections resonate with you and perhaps inspire you to consider, what were the best things you did for yourself in 2023?
Reflections of 2023
Embracing the Natural Rhythms of Life – 2023 was a year where I truly aligned with nature’s clock. I started waking up with the sunrise and winding down as darkness fell, soaking in the morning sunshine to energize my body and soul. I shifted my eating patterns too, enjoying hearty breakfasts and lunches, while easing into quieter evenings with less screen time. This simple change in routine brought a profound balance to my circadian rhythm, enhancing my overall well-being.
Choosing Knowledge Over Distraction – In a world increasingly dominated by digital noise, I made a conscious decision to reconnect with my lifelong passion: the written word. As a former librarian, my heart has always been called to both writing and reading. Over time, I found myself inadvertently drifting away from this daily practice, lured more and more into the quicksand of social media. It was a subtle shift, but one that gradually pulled me away from the tranquility and depth found in the pages of a good book.
Realizing this, I made a deliberate choice to step back from the digital world and immerse myself once again in reading and writing. Each book I opened, each story I delved into, was like a reunion with an old friend, bringing immense peace and joy. My year was not just adorned with books, but was a journey back to my true self, averaging a novel a week and enriching my days with insightful non-fiction gems.
Favorites like Brene Brown’s ‘Atlas of the Heart’, Emilia Hart’s ‘Weyward’, and Sharon Blackie’s ‘The Enchanted Life’ were more than just reads; they were gateways to new perspectives and deeper understanding. These books rekindled my love for the written word, reminding me of the power it holds to inspire, educate, and transform. This renewed focus on mindful reading and writing has been a source of profound contentment and has once again become an integral part of my life’s rhythm.
Daily Communion with Nature – Rain or shine, each day found me walking amidst nature. These walks became sacred rituals, offering clarity, emotional release, and a profound connection to the earth. This daily practice has become an essential part of my life, a non-negotiable commitment to my physical and spiritual health.
Living in Harmony with the Seasons – I’ve deepened my practice of living in sync with the earth’s cycles. From adjusting my diet to seasonal produce to aligning my work and rest patterns with the natural energy of each season, this practice has brought a harmonious rhythm to my life.
Cultivating Life in My Garden – Gardening has always been a source of joy for me, but in 2023, it took on even greater significance. Growing vegetables, fruits, and medicinal herbs not only nourished my family physically but also provided immense mental and spiritual fulfillment. The connection to the food we eat and the medicine we use has never been stronger.
Deepening My Herbal Practice – Focusing on native medicinal plants, I’ve expanded my garden and knowledge, integrating these powerful natural healers into our daily lives. This exploration has been both a learning journey and a way to honor the earth’s gifts.
Surrounding Myself with Positive Energy – Last year, I made a conscious choice to be around people who uplift and inspire me. I’ve stepped away from toxic relationships, choosing instead to invest my energy in connections that resonate with my own beliefs and interests. I’ve made some amazing friends through this blog. Some who I am able to connect with in person and others who have become pen pals. I love that I have been able to form relationships with others whose ideals align with mine.
As I shared these reflections, I realized that 2023 was not just about the actions I took, but also about challenging and reshaping my beliefs around success, productivity, and self-worth. At 50, with a loving family and a life rich in experiences, I’ve learned to honor my unique path and the gifts I bring to this world. The journey of self-discovery and healing is ongoing, and I am grateful for every step.
Now, I turn to you, my dear friends. What were the best things you did for yourself in 2023? How have you grown, and what practices do you wish to carry forward? I would love to hear your stories and reflections.
Here’s to a year of continued growth, deep connection, and living in harmony with our true selves and nature.
Remember, every step we take towards understanding ourselves and nurturing our connection with the earth is a step towards a more fulfilled and balanced life. Let’s make 2024 a year of mindful living and heartfelt connections.
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