When I reflect back on 2011, I see a bunch of foggy days wrapped up tight, stuffed and oozing out like a burrito from a food truck. It may taste delicious all and all, but the sight…well it ain’t for sore eyes.

In 2012, I want more. I want to rediscover meaning and purpose and passion. I’m tired of settling for status quo. I’m fed up with telling the same story that everyone has told before and continues to tell over and over again. It’s time now to begin authoring my own life.

This bubbling brook began forming months ago. But it was reignited while I was in Sedona and heightened when I returned to Hawaii a week ago. While I was working and attempting to juggle seeing friends and family, I had a profound dream. I don’t remember what it was about or who was in it. But the message was clear:

“You need to survive this so you can write about it.”

The “this” the voice was talking about doesn’t matter. It could be the stress of the holidays, my fears, my health. But the decisiveness of the message and the feeling it left-a sense of hope and inspiration is what’s most important to me.

If you’re feeling worn down and out and have been thirsting to live, not just survive, you understand. You’re ready too.

One of my favorite songs these days is Shake It Out by Florence and the Machine. In it, she sings:

“it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back”

It made me wonder what devils, what fears, negativity, criticisms, are holding us back from living a life of meaning. And can we shake them off if we are aware of them? Will we choose to continue to walk on the same path that’s been cleared for us? And will we die that way? Or will we take a chance and be brave?

Avoiding the Well-Trodden Path

My husband and I went hiking this weekend. But we went late. And the directions on the map were unclear. The quickly setting sun was making my heart palpitate. We were lost. We couldn’t find the well-trodden path and we would soon lose the sun. So we threw our hands in the air, put away that map and made our own path. The experience was scary and yet invigorating. As we walked along the side of the mountain and heard what sounded like owls or cows (they all sound the same in the dark), I realized that all I needed was faith and intuition. We’ve gotten dependent on our technological tools to guide us. Perhaps the answer to living a more meaningful life lies inside of us. Perhaps we had our own inner map all along. But we’ve lost in along the way with cell phones and GPS, with cars, with experts telling us what to do. We gave up the thrill of our lives for the stability of a non-life.

If you want to live with meaning in 2012, toss that map you have in front of you. Take a risk. Follow your heart not your wallet. Yes it will be scary. Yes there will be bumps in the road. Yes there will be cows and owls and scarier things to persuade you to stop and get back on the “right” track. And you can choose to live that way. But since we only have this one life right now, why not consider just for a moment, what your life could be like…if you just took a chance?

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