• Courtney Ustrzycki

45 Ways to Let the 2020 Light & Love In

Originally created from elephantjournal.com, I read this a couple days ago and thought it was too good not to share. Wishing a healthy, happy and very prosperous New Year!


  1. Prioritize our self-care. Do the things that center us now, rather than waiting for when we are centered to do them.

  2. Say “yes” often but only when we actually want to. Speak “no” when we want to speak it, and let “no” be enough. Eliminate the word “just” when it serves as self-diminishment. Invite our own voice into the room.

  3. Allow and treat our feelings as guides. Allow ourselves to be exactly where we are within, exactly when we are there. Get more intimate with and curious about our feelings to see what they reveal to us.

  4. Welcome our exiled emotions; be it anger, grief, sadness, or joy, as the messengers they are. Allow their visits to bring pieces of ourselves back to us.

  5. Honor our embodied experience. Appreciate this as a connection to the divine. Remember our innate belonging to and within nature. Reconnect with the wisdom of our intuition.

  6. Evict the internalized patriarchal values. Honor that we all hold and need both the masculine and feminine energies within us to walk whole in this world, and wield both with care and reverence.

  7. Expose the constraining lies that we tell about ourselves. Loosen from and release the beliefs that steal our power. Feed the beliefs that empower and expand our being. Unapologetically express both our needs and our boundaries.

  8. Choose self-love and compassion over self-domination. When we do things, do them with the same energy we wish for them to carry into the world. 

  9. Fill our time with what truly animates and excites our being. Be more fully who we are, so that others may be invited to do the same. Embody and own our existence in this moment in this place in this time.

  10. Listen to the guiding voice that we hear from inside our core, in the many ways it speaks to us. Give that voice our trust and our allegiance.

  11. Release the old dramas and stories that we’ve now tired of reenacting and telling. Invite in the ability to retell the stories that we are living now. Drop all stories and be present to what unfolds.

  12. Live our lives according to our ability to dream a more loving reality than we’ve yet created. Become aware of the sacredness of our unique dreams. Hold their flames close to our hearts, growing in strength until one day we carry them into the world. And in doing that, find more of ourselves and each other.

  13. Owe nothing of ourselves to anyone, but give freely when we’re called to. Be generous and kind with our spirit. Risk the loss of our perceived safety. Take the leaps we ache for. Approach life from possibility.

  14. Revisit the contracts of behavior and patterns we’ve signed from fear. Tear them up, whenever we can. Release our personal grip on the social wound of shame. Let it go. Drop the energy vacuum of false guilt, the under-kick we give ourselves when we choose what we truly want.

  15. Let go of the skins that we ache to shed but still cling to. Break the chains of our own repeated, self-reductive narratives. Craft new narratives that feel like a home we can both live and expand in.

  16. Let go of every “them versus us” mentality. Keep our vision and our heart more open than the lowest common denominator of our instincts.

  17. Invite nuances into our perception, rather than attachment or rigidity. Invite ourselves again and again to open beyond the perceptions we hold. Be willing to see more where we thought there was no more to see.

  18. Know that we are always making meaning. Meaning is subjective and yours is often not the same as the person’s next to you.

  19. Fill all of our space instead of playing small. Take calm claim of our worth rather than hustling for it. Stop whittling down our worth by people-pleasing. Feel the power of owning our choices. Experience that our presence matters more than our productivity. Value the quality of our “being” more than the tick marks of our “doing.” 

  20. Cease to grasp for either love or recognition. Accept and allow all of our beautiful contradictions, and so those of others. Take off any masks that we hide behind. Be real and honest and kind, rather than just nice. Choose presence over pretense.

  21. Stop chasing a phantom self we think we need to be. Witness ourselves, lacking of nothing, in the full wholeness of here and now. Remember and revive the dormant parts of ourselves aching for expression. Validate, rather than trivialize the deep yearnings of our being. Call them forth to be lived.

  22. Be open to support; invite and allow ourselves to be supported. Practice receptivity as much as we practice action. Become even better, more present listeners.

  23. Drop the need to be understood or accepted by anyone. Liberate ourselves from the approval of others. Stop explaining ourselves. Give ourselves more latitude. Let fear be familiar company on our journeys, not the reason to stop them. 

  24. Allow for something being right to not always mean it is easy. Be willing to be wrong and celebrate our failures. Invite ourselves, again and again, back to begin.

  25. Be humble rather than defensive when presented with a real opportunity to grow. Hold ourselves as love even when, especially when, we’re learning. Discard our habitual apologizing, but do give our sincere apology when it’s needed. 

  26. Develop a vaster sense of our identities, beyond the narrow roles we play, no matter how much worth or safety they have given us.

  27. Notice where empathy is found and gift ourselves everyone who will be there to hold and support us. Also be honest when we cling tightly to our wounds as a social currency beyond the healing value of our sharing. Ask if we are making ourselves richer or poorer with it.

  28. Set intentions and pay close attention to our motivations in all we do. See more clearly the walls we’ve built around us, then brick by brick, dismantle.

  29. Ditch the perpetual cultural story of scarcity and not enough. Nurture and share our gifts, rather than denying or withholding them for the sake of ourselves.

  30. Value our heart and our gut more than other’s opinions. Begin even when we have no idea how it will go or where it will end. Watch for winks from the universe.

  31. Forget about figuring it all out by ourselves. Release control of outcomes and over the precise details of how everything happens. Banish our “shoulds.” Loosen our jaw. Keep breathing inside of uncertainty and the unknown.

  32. Let in the power of vulnerability as an ally. Dare to open when we want to close. Find a kind of softness that holds more inherent strength than any armor. Be willing to take our armor off. Let surrender find us.

  33. Be available rather than untouchable. Navigate disagreement with love and kindness, rather than avoid it. Respond, as much as we can, rather than reacting. Listen and then listen closer and ask, rather than assume.

  34. Notice when we are distracting ourselves. Go back to the guide of our feelings. 

  35. Know that right now is not how it all turned out—it’s simply right now. Attune our attentiveness to what’s good. In ourselves. In others. In life. 

  36. Accept that some apologies will never come. Give ourselves the love, the forgiveness, the witnessing we might wish for from others. Be radically accountable for our feelings, words, reactions, and actions. But not for those of others.

  37. Be willing to see through the lenses of our past that project into the present. Know the future we are toiling toward never matters more than now.

  38. Conspire with ourselves and our true desires, rather than self-sabotage and dismiss them. Express what we want more often than we express what we don’t want.

  39. Acknowledge privilege. Acknowledge differences. Acknowledge preferences, but do not hold others responsible to our preferences. Seek similarities. Be willing to meet eyes and have uncomfortable conversations. Focus on connection, not blame and defense. Choose being more aware over more right.

  40. Embrace the disturbances as revealing more of who we are to ourselves. Keep faith even when it’s not all happening on our timeline or when the universe flips a Joker card again. 

  41. Do not mistake our worry as action, or as helping. Instead, refocus our attention again and again on the path. Open.

  42. Know that we are often ready enough and it’s rarely just the right moment to our mind. Drop into our heart. Risk being too much, but finally more of who we are.

  43. Practice choosing expansion, rather than staying numb or comfortable in contraction.

  44. Let some things go. Let some things be. Let some things in.

  45. Come from a center of love, and when we trip over ourselves, forgive, wake up a little bit more, and come from love again.

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