Hello, my friends. Soooo, I am wondering… how is it feeling for you right now? Are you settling into January? Getting a hold of the vibes + energies that are swirling around you?

I, for one, am realizing that I had no expectations for how January would be. I mean, I have only had my word (authentic) on my mind. So, in a sense I have only had a vision. Or intention. I haven’t made any plans or organized themes for each month (which has been very tempting to do). And, I haven’t’ done those things because I haven’t felt the inspiration to do them. I have just let my soul and the days guide me. That’s the energy I’ve been feeling.

To be honest, there actually has been a tiny part of me that’s been feeling a bit of pressure/desire/stress about organizing my thoughts about this year… planning exactly how I am going to live my life authentically. What that might look like and what kinds of spiritual/practical goals I have connected to my word. Because that’s what I usually do.

Create playlists. Choose themes for each month. Make photo challenges. Plan a blog series.

But, as I have said, I haven’t done anything. While I have felt a little weird because of the unfamiliarity of it all… this just letting it all go and trusting it all to arise as it will, I must say that it feels oh so right.

The bottom line is, instead of making plans, I’ve been just letting it be.

And in that being, as I have been reflecting (a little) on what it means to me to live an authentic life, I have gathered a few thoughts together + scribbled them down.

Basically, what I am understanding about the month of January is that it is a month for me to be slow. Which is exactly the opposite of how I have always approached the first month of the year before. Normally, I feel lots of excitement and action and frenzy with the beginning of a new year. And I did this year, as well.

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In some ways, though, I realize now that there has always been with a bit of pressure to go along with the excitement. You know… with that feeling that comes with a clean slate and new start, there is also the feeling that there is a lot to be done. And it’s time to get started! Don’t wait! Make your dreams come true! Cast your vision! Get moving on all of those things that you want to do! Make lists + plans! This is the year that it (whatever your it is) is going to happen!

All of that frenzy has suddenly become too much for me. Unnecessary. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love that excited, clean slate feeling. That fresh start, everything is possible feeling. But, those feelings do not necessarily mean that I have to get busy doing things immediately. And, somehow I have tapped into just really letting things be and realized that, for me, January should be slow. No pressure. No musts. No rules. No specifics. Everyone else can get a jump start on their new year + all of their intentions and goals. For me, I just want to feel the days. Just let them come. Knowing that as they pass, I will understand more + more about how my year will begin to shape up. I’d rather be in tune + aligned than jumping head first into the bandwagon of “make this your best year ever!”

So, why not take it slow + easy instead? Why not dive deep, set roots, and build a foundation first?

Perhaps this is what authentic living means to me.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t take action. It means that I take action intentionally. Authentically. From my soul. Staying true to who I am. Without any sense of obligation to a goal, an expectation, how things are usually done, or any other person.

And you know what? In letting things be, in not defining my year, in focusing on the present moment as it comes, and choosing positivity, I have actually created a list of how to live slowly + stay true to myself. Spiritual disciplines and ways to live authentically.

As I said, I am not against making goals and/or plans, but I am more focused on letting those goals + plans rise up from a vision and form from an intention… in their own way, in their own time.

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So, my friends, I now have a little rotating schedule that I want to use throughout the year. I am not sure that I am going to use it as a “schedule” or just let these 13 things float freely in + out of my everyday life.

There is a fine line between discipline + being stuck. What I mean is, there is a fine line between creating sacred moments + actions that add meaning to life and letting rules, expectations, and the word “should” suck the inspiration out of me.

So, how these 13 things will show up in my life is unclear to me right now. All I know is that my soul has made me aware of them.

With that said, I want to share with you my 13 ways to live authentically. 13 grounding practices that I hope to use throughout this year. 

(Of course there are more ways than these 13, this is simply what speaks to my spirit right now – what speaks to yours may be different. My intuition tells me to go with these.)

// make a vision board/mood board

//  make lists (make plans, set some goals, hammer out the details of what you want)

// buddy up (find a friend. your accountability partner. the person who kicks your ass + challenges you)

// get on the mat (meditate. get silent. listen to your soul. get to know yourself. be in the present moment + accept what is )

// open your heart (meet people) fight for something (or someone)

// believe in magic (live with the questions, dwell in the mystery)

// wander around (get outside. breathe fresh air. observe nature. take walks. hug a tree)

// light candles (create your own rituals to mark special moments. big ones like birthdays. and small ones like morning coffee time)

// feed your body (eat simply. go organic. have a cleanse. choose fair trade)

// practice sabbath (take a day off just for you. don’t do anything. engage in self care. sleep late. stay in your pjs)

// blow your mind (find a new author. reread a favorite book. pick up a new magazine. surf some new blogs. learn something)

// find your tribe (gather people together. say hello someone new. start a meetup group)

// dare to jump (follow through on challenge, do something new, YOLO!)

So, I wonder… what things are you feeling as we move into the second and third weeks of the new year? What kinds of dreams + intentions is your soul sharing with you?

If you need a little push or inspiration, then please subscribe to my new weekly newsletter… I may just be using these 13 practices as a theme for each week. Sign up + receive your first newsletter on Sunday – as a way to wind down one week + prepare for a new one. 

Sign up –> here.

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Until tomorrow (full moon post coming up!), my friends, love to you all.

xoxo. liz.