Yesterday was the 1st of December. I mean, Holy Moly, how did that happen?! I feel like I was hosting my New Year vision boarding party just yesterday and now, here we are, in the last month of the year, preparing to say goodbye to 2016, and hello to a whole new year of wonderful possibility. But, 2016 isn’t quite over yet, and I plan to make this month count, so here’s what I’m leaving behind, what I’m calling in in December, and the guidance that will help me make the last month of 2017 a beautiful one.

So, let’s start with what’s gotta go. First and foremost is:

Validation Seeking—this shows up in my life in so many insidious, little ways and I’m ready to be ruthless about rooting it out. No more asking others, explicitly or implicitly, if I am making the right choices, if I can create the things I dream of, or if I’m okay. No more looking to others to tell me that I’m enough, that I matter, and that I’m worthy of love. I’m over it. Done. When these impulses arise, I will acknowledge them and hold them with tenderness. But I will also remind them that I can find these things internally through meditation, reflection, time connecting with nature, and a tremendous amount of self-love, and then sit with them until they dissolve.

The second thing on my let go list is:

Playing Small—I don’t know when I learned to hold back, minimize my gifts, self-deprecate and self-sabotage, but the un-learning process begins now. I am ready to let go of inaction or paralysis under the guise of perfectionism. I am ready to shine as brightly as I can, no apologies. This is scary shit for me, but it is most definitely time.

The last, and possibly most challenging, item on my list of things to let go of is:

Reactivity—man, Don Miguel Ruiz would have a field day with me. Something I have really noticed over the past year is how often I make assumptions, take things personally, and generally create more suffering for myself than is necessary by being reactive. Catastrophic thinking, taking the bait, and resisting the present moment need to go. For my happiness. For my sanity. For my ability to be who I came here to be.

Ok, now on to the (more) fun part—what I want to call into my life in this last month of 2017 (and really, for the rest of my life). Number one on that list is:

Nourishing Creativity—just thinking about the possibilities lights me up. Neighborhood exploration, urban foraging, beauty hunting, photography, creating beautiful sacred spaces in my new home, infusing the process of making meals with loving intention and playfulness, and writing things that are purely for my own self-expression, with no intention of sharing them or judging them in any way. Oh, it’s gonna be good.

The next thing that I want to cultivate in December is:

Healthy, Loving Boundaries—this is going to mean developing a much stronger connection to my body, my spirit, my heart, and my gut. Listening to what they have to say. Recognizing their needs and then responding attentively. It means diligent self-care, staying committed to honoring my truths, and disengaging from situations or interactions that don’t feel nourishing. It means saying yes, only when I mean it, and saying no when that feels right in my core. It means speaking up, lovingly, but also firmly.

And the last thing on my list of things to call in is not new, but most definitely still deserves lots of space in my daily practices is:

Ease—I am getting better at this, but I’m not going to lie. It is still challenging. And yet, I can feel my edges softening. I notice the little moments where I might have found myself frothed up with impatience and angst (traffic jams, delays in my work life, challenging social interactions), but instead choose to breathe and focus on what is working. I will continue to dig into the grounding practice of gratitude, the cultivation of stillness and equanimity, and my faith that everything in my life is happening for me, for my growth and highest good, and in the way that it is meant to. I have no doubt that this alone has the capacity to completely transform my life.

I have also been relying much more heavily on channeled guidance lately. This comes in the form of insights I receive when I’m out in nature, signs that pop up in my daily life that just can’t be ignored, and messages that come to me through my animal medicine and vision quest tarot cards. As I was sitting with my December intention, I asked what guidance I will need for the month ahead, and these were the cards I pulled.

Eight of Fire is all about insight. It’s about productive communications and effortless sharing. It’s about spontaneous changes and moving on. It’s about speaking honestly, openly, and from the heart. This is a call for me to gain inner clarity so that my interactions with others are both transparent and straight-forward. There is no need to complicate things with explanations, blame, or manipulation. When I know who I am, what I stand for, and what is important to me, and honor those things with a quiet confidence, I can more easily pave the wave for the kinds of interactions and opportunities that I seek.

Bat is about rebirth. But before you can be reborn, you first must die. Of course, we experience subtle forms of death all the time when we organically shift and evolve. Our identity changes and we lose a part of ourselves. We move and we say goodbye to lots of little pieces of our life. We quit a job or end a relationship and we have to discover ourselves once again. What matters most in these processes is how gracefully we embrace the loss. We can kick and scream and fight it, out of fear of the unknown, or we can trust that there is something even better waiting on the other side, and walk forward with peace in our hearts. I know which one sounds better to me. And as I say goodbye to 2016 over the next month, I know it will be time to allow many different parts of myself to be put to rest, so that there’s room for the parts of me that have been waiting to emerge.

It’s been a truly incredible year and I’m looking forward to savoring every last moment of it before the next one begins.