A brand new year

A braind new year. | Clean

This post isn't about my cat.

But I'm worried about her. My-stomach-all-in-knots kind of worried.

She's been sick for two weeks. Really sick.

Stumped vet and teaspoons of broth kind of sick.

Wake up in the morning and hope she's still alive sick.


I'm doing the best that I can for her.

Every day.

And yet I wonder how this knot I've been carrying in my stomach serves either of us.

I'm taking good care of her, yet I'm making myself sick at the same time.

Why do I do this?


In other (seemingly unrelated) news, I've recently been on the receiving end of two angry outbursts via social media.

(Stick with me for a minute. Because this will tie back to the cat and that knot in my stomach and yes, a fresh start in the new year in just a moment.)

Both outbursts were very random, came out of nowhere, and left me feeling vulnerable and wounded.

And they both left me wondering why on earth people lash out like this – to strangers or loved ones, in person or anonymously.


And then I realized – – their anger and my anxiety are one in the same.

Both are big emotions that hijack our bodies and our minds.

Both feel largely out of our control.

And both have a profound effect on our health and happiness and even our relationships.

A brand new year | Clean.

We each have our achilles heel.

That thing we do, day after day, that doesn't serve us, or that down right undermines our success and joy.

For you it might be a short temper.

Or a need to be in control.


Or habitual irritation.

Maybe you're always the martyr.

Or always need to be right.


So what if this New Year instead of resolutions we simply acknowledged what we struggle with?

We owned it.

We searched for the gift hidden deep within.

We set an intention to move along a different path, one small and mindful step at a time.

A brand new year | Clean.

What if we pulled it out into the light and said, "This is hard for me. I'm working on it."

Whatever burden you carry, what about lightening it just a bit in the coming year?


Because within each of these struggles are real feelings that need tending.

And often old wounds as well.

As in:

If you have a need to be in control of every situation, maybe your life has felt out-of-control for a long time.

If you are a perfectionist, maybe you picked up the message that if you don't do it all just so then you're worthless.

If you are hard on your kids, maybe you carry fears about their future.

If you constantly worry (ahem) maybe it means that are very sensitive and need to acknowledge that yes, the world can be a big and scary place, but also that things almost always turn out okay.


As for me, I'm reaching for a feeling of safety.

I'm asking myself what the worst possible outcome is that I'm worrying about, and then make a plan to move through what is – as well as what might be.

I'm reminding myself that things almost always turn out okay.


And I'm also reaching for compassion.

For those around me who are in the thick of their own struggles and lashing out through their words or actions.

I'm finding forgiveness and reaching for goodness in this brand new year.

What about you?

Is there something you're ready to pull out into the light this year?






16 thoughts on “A brand new year

  1. KC says:

    I’m proud of you Rachel. You didn’t let those outburst bring you down like some of the ones in the past have. Keep on leading with light lady. You are a beacon for us all. Happy New Year.

  2. MamaAshGrove says:

    Oh, Rachel you said it all so well for me.
    I am so sorry about the bullying- it makes me sick and sad to see how easy it is for others to bully via social media, and how frequently and easily it occurs. There seems to be a desensitization of others’ feelings online. The thing is, we never know just how our words could affect someone- how it could affect their day, their whole year, even their life.
    Your blog is a source of kindness, peace, and love. Thankyou for your words and your time here.
    I also wanted to offer you big hugs concerning your cat. I know how you must feel, we love our cats so very much. I am hoping this is resolved for you all very soon, and peacefully.
    THe best of new years to you all,

  3. eidolons says:

    Sorry – the part of this post I latched onto was about your cat. Offering you my biggest hugs. We’re going through a similar-but-different medical thing with one of ours. It’s heartbreaking. And infuriating. *hugs*

  4. Radha says:

    I definitely have things I struggle with that need light shone on them. So much so that I don’t exactly know what they are!!
    I believe any harsh energy felt from another being is them acting from their stress.
    Nothing more.

    May we all be happy,healthy and peaceful.
    May we all have the courage to face the darkness and the humility to know everyone’s doing this in their own way.

  5. kristin says:

    your words of wisdom bring such comfort to situations that may otherwise cause such frustration. thank you Rachel…it is always a joy to read your thoughts here. i always try and ease my own knot by imagining what the life or mood of the other that causes it may be. (for example, whenever a driver appears on my bumper-obviously driving waaay over the speed limit, it’s easy to feel frustrated…”Hey! I have kids in the car!!”…instead, I pretend they are rushing to the hospital because they are in labor, so I simply move over, and let it go) as with your cat…maybe part of her illness is that she senses how it affects you…she senses your sadness. I wish you well in the healing…both with your cat and against the ill words of others.

    Warm blessings to you and your family in the New Year!

  6. Knitting Mole says:

    I can’t imagine anyone having/showing any anger towards you except if they are coming from a place of insecurity. Desiring the wonderful, kind, peaceful life that you share with us every day. I know I would be a bit jealous of it if I also didn’t know the “power of cropping”! So there is no reason for me to think you have a better life than me. Cause we both crop out the bad and keep the good! (especially on social media!)
    No need to worry my friend, just send loving happy thoughts to your nay-sayers and your cat 🙂
    Warmest wishes to your family in the New Year! Let there be light!!!

  7. Karen C says:

    It is so good of you to not let the negative nellies affect you in bad way, but rather affect you to send love and light to them and everyone else. One thing I have learned is that I never know what is driving another person to act in the way that they are, so I try not to take it personally. This keeps my reaction to them in check most of the time.
    I hope the situation with your cat resolves itself, whatever the outcome may be, so that you can move past it and not worry yourself any more. We love our furry critters too, and it is so emotional when they are not well.
    Many blessings to you and your family in the coming year!

  8. Jessica says:

    Beautiful. I appreciate how your writing cuts to the marrow of what is truly important. I am sorry you were attacked by people. I think some people don’t believe enough in themselves, so they attack people that they perceive as having it all together. I wish you a 2014 filled with joy, laughter, and a healthy kitty. Love to you and your family Rachel!

  9. Penny says:

    These are such perfect words to start 2014. I’m absorbing them into my heart. Thank you.

    Sending your sweet kitty love. Whatever her journey may be, she is lucky to be sharing it with you.

  10. Krista Lawlor says:

    Thank you, Rachel…for your willingness to be with uncertainty and discomfort, and to live with honesty, and ultimately with love. Because doesn’t it all come down to choosing love over fear? (at least as much as we can, and being gentle with ourselves and with others when we fall short of that ideal).
    Wishing you all a year filled with love.
    with gratitude,

  11. Deborah says:

    Thank you for this, Rachel! I’m just now learning to acknowledge my problem with anger. I have self control in so many areas, that it’s hard for me to admit. I am seeing an anger management coach which is helping tremendously as I process going through a marital separation as a homeschooling mother of 3 small children. Thank you for your encouragement this New Year and blessings to you!

  12. renee~heirloomseasons says:

    Dear Rachel, Love to you and your kitty and your sensitivity (I have two in my family who just feel the whole world so intensely..)
    Compassion is good, it can help us to let something go, rather than taking it personally and trying to figure out why a person has to be so mean.
    This year I need to work (more) on not trying to do it ALL, and certain areas where my desire for perfection is not serving me or my family well.
    And the safety and security. We want to know for sure, the way, the answer.. but we don’t always get to!
    Wishing you a wonderful positive full of hope and happiness year ahead!
    With love,

    p.s. and now more LOVE to kitty….

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