On Joy

At the end of last year, I had picked 3 words for 2017. They are Faith, Create and Connect.

Now I’ve decided to change the last one to JOY.

I have been doing this “3 Words” thing for few years, (like my friend Chris), but this is the first time I’ve decided to change one of the words after I’ve picked them.

I’ve written about the Tea Leaf Reading I went last week.

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2016 Year in Review and My 3 Words for 2017

We didn't get Christmas tree this year. This is what I ended up doing.
We didn’t get Christmas tree this year. This is what I ended up doing.

Wow, 2016, what a year. I bet many people just cannot wait for this year to be over. This being the last week of 2016, I thought it’s time I wrote my annual year in review.

Just like for many people, my 2016 was a challenging year. I don’t mean this to be complaining. There were plenty of great things that happened this year as well, but this year was definitely the “work” part of Hero’s Journey. I know there is a reward at the end of these challenges, and I am willing to work for it, but man, it sucks to go through the actual “work” part. That’s ok. I am old enough and know better to quit.

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2015 Annual Review and My Three Words for 2016

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2015 is coming to an end and it’s that time again to reflect on the year.

2015 was a much better year than 2014, or 2013 for me. Still challenging , no doubt about that, but much better. I can see things improving year after year and it’s a great feeling to know the worst is behind us. (For now.)

I turned 40. My son graduated from high school and started studying theatre at University. Did some really interesting projects. Had some good, heart-to-heart conversations with friends. Really got into cooking with New York Times recipes. Really interesting year, to say the least.

Four things I learned this year:
1) Art is essential in your life.  I joined the board at Intrepid theatre this year, and got to see many, many shows. Loved most of them, and cried at almost every show. I met some brilliantly talented people and learned the importance of believing yourself and putting yourself out there, on a daily basis.

2) Things are not always what they appear.
This summer I found out someone I looked up to was a complete liar. I wasn’t the one directly affected by this person, but more than anything I was heartbroken for this person, and the family and friends this person was hurting, because it wasn’t something *I* could go in and fix. It was a disappointing experience but a  good lesson in life.

3) Importance of community
I turned 40 in May, and that month I joined a gym. I have worked out at least once a week ever since. My average is two days a week. I’ve learned two days a week workout will not make me lose weight, but I know I gained strength and I’m grateful for that. I made a lot of new friends at Fierce and the community they offer has been a great inspiration for me. I know it’s such a cliche, but because I made friends there, that motivates me to go every week.

4) Where there is a will, there is a way.
It’s such an old saying, and until recently I almost laughed at this idea. But I did accomplish few things this year that seemed impossible to me at first. I love that saying, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Well, I’ve done a few “impossible” this year and now feel confident I can take on seemingly impossible challenges.

I met some wonderful people all through the year and made some great new friends. To me, that is the most fulfilling thing in my life – to connect with people in a meaningful way. So, thank you, for being in my life.

My word of the year 2015 was CREATE. I also had sub-words -COOKING and COMPASSION. I think I did pretty well. I launched a video podcast in Japanese (still working on launching the English version soon). I wrote, knit, and drew. I re-confirmed that I was a writer more than anything, and I’m planning on continuing creating.

I LOVED Rising Strong by Brené Brown and again vowed to make this my life’s work to practice Wholehearted Living and share this idea with people. I’ve started a Facebook group for Japanese people who wish to discuss this, as she is not yet known well in Japan.

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Photo credit: CintheaFox

My words for 2016 are CURIOSITY, COURAGE, and BELIEVE.

Curiosity-I saw this video by Elizabeth Gilbert couple months ago, and it struck a chord with me. I’m a Hummingbird. I tend to have many interests. I also read her latest book, Big Magic, which reaffirmed my belief that creativity is essential. I couldn’t think of a better word for me for 2016.

Courage – I find this a bit overused word these days, but it’s actually something that is hard to practice. Brené Brown says “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.” This right here is my reason enough to practice courage next year.

Believe-This also comes from something I learned this year. I have plenty of wishes but maybe until recently, I didn’t really believe I could achieve them. Next year I will fiercely believe that I can, and I will.

Well, that is it for me this year. Do you have your word(s) picked for next year? Share in the comment below.

Thank you for reading, and wishing you a peaceful and prosperous new year.