Sunday, December 20, 2015

Viva Sankalpa!


As 2015 lurches its way towards the finish line, I must say I’m relieved it’s almost over.

I haven’t written much here this year. I have kept myself busy with other writing projects, but I’ve had little to say in this forum because although 2015 was a year I was free of depression, a good part of it I would file under “Sandpaper To My Soul”.

2015 was filled with medical problems, nothing serious, thankfully, just chronic and annoying. Let’s just say Chicago’s physical therapy community and I have spent a seemingly endless amount of quality time together. Combined with friends also experiencing medical problems (#funtobeold), and friends who ceased to be friends, most of 2015 felt like an uphill trudge. I had some significant friendships come to an end this year; some were my decision, some were by mutual decision, some simply faded away without much comment. It all added up to an overwhelming feeling of loss, a theme of failure combined with a calendar full of doctors’ appointments really gave my freshly minted joie de vivre a swift kick in the ass.

Spoiler alert: It all turns out fine!

I’ve been thinking about when I first moved to Chicago in 2009 with zero plan except to “find myself”, whatever the fuck that means. I was lost, to be sure, but the cosmic Lost and Found can be a real bitch to navigate, particularly with faulty tools. I was filled with anxiety and sleeping poorly, so I turned to doing yoga nidra for awhile in an attempt to chill out. Yoga nidra, for those of you who don’t dabble in groovy crystal deodorant scented self improvement, is a state of consciousness where you are nestled between being awake and sleeping. Your focus is on being present and aware of the world inside you by following a set of audio instructions. Yoga nidra is translated as “yogic sleep”, the goal is to be deeply relaxed but still alert in a state of super alpha calm. In all honesty I would typically fall asleep halfway through the practice, which was perfectly fine with me as I needed sleep more than I needed to be a zen master of the universe.

Part of the practice is to focus on your “sankalpa”, which is a singular goal, an intention, a resolution that you repeat three times. When initially deciding on a sankalpa, I went back and forth on whether to focus on finding another romantic relationship or pushing myself as a writer. Both seemed imperative to my happiness, but I chose to concentrate on the writing as it seemed like an area I had more control over. My sankalpa was to put my energy towards being the best writer that I could be, not to be rich or famous or published or anything quantitative, but to be committed to always be striving to improve.

Even as a majority of 2015 proved itself to be a big helping of THE STRUGGLE IS REAL AND BOY DOES IT SUCK, I did make earnest efforts to fulfill that intention to the best of my ability. I feel content that I wrote and performed some of my most challenging material this year and that in turn brought me unprecedented connection with the rest of the world. I am forever in awe that I am surrounded and supported by people who believe I can do anything. I still marvel at what was seemingly impossible to hope for a few years ago is now happening. I did a TEDx talk in November which will be available to be viewed soon, and it was some bucket list business. (eternal snaps for Jill Howe for including me)  I had to admit in the last few months that even in the face of crushing loss and medical drudgery and a general haze as far as feeling emotionally healthy just to have life continue to kick sand in my face on the regular that I made my sankalpa a reality and THAT IS SOME GLORIOUS SHIT, Y’ALL. I can honestly say that I am truly happy in a highly sustainable way for the first time ever. EVER.

Thanks to all who have loved and supported me thus far. Without you, I’d be nowhere. I am eagerly awaiting 2016; I already have 3 shows booked and it will be the year that I get to pursue my other sankalpa, because I don’t have to choose between romantic love and creative success as a singular focus anymore.


My other promise for 2016 is to minimize my time with technology and just use my eyes and my brain to capture experiences.

Enjoy your holidays. Let us go forth and make 2016 our best year ever. I'm in such good spirits these days, I'm almost excited to turn FIFTY in August. 

Let the record reflect I said almost.

Peace out until our paths collide.

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