Hello, 2014!

I'm not really a resolution person, but 2014 is shaping up to be a pretty exciting year for us, so there are definitely some positive changes I'm looking forward to making. Life is kind of settling into place in the best way possible. 

That being said, one thing I want to focus on this year is being connected. And not in a "text you pictures of my dog once a week" kind of connected. I'm not great at staying in constant touch with people and as a result, I miss them! But I've noticed lately (especially after some complaints from my Cowboy) that even when I am connected, I'm not necessarily present. There is always a screen to look at and it has become and buffer and a burden to relationships. Here is what I will be focusing on these next 365 days:

Many of us shuffle through our days unaware of the distractions around us. From the first blare of the morning alarm to falling asleep in front of DVRs, we're constantly wired to some form of outside stimuli. Begin to practice stillness through the simple act of taking note: See how long you can drive without music or how frequently you change channels. Build in buffering boundaries, such as muting shows during commercials or going running without the headphones, to consciously limit how many directions in which you're mentally pulled. 

Next time you're with a friend, make an effort to give them your undivided attention. Leave your phone in your purse, or better yet, in the car. Untether yourself from social media, letting an experience have worth by being fully present for it, not giving it attention based on its popularity as posted in a virtual world. Actively fight the anxiety that comes from not knowing what everyone else is up to. We've developed an addiction (myself definitely included) to constantly "check in" when, in truth, those things can be far from relevant, and can usually wait. Focus on developing quality in the relationships you have at hand. 

Carve out time in your schedule to just be alone. Whether it's a dedicated vacation or late at night before going to sleep, allow yourself time to let your mind unwind. Get reacquainted with silence, engaging in your thoughts, acknowledging your feelings and dreams. Creativity is often sparked when our self-awareness is heightened, so let these moments be your reality check. 

A fruitful life is a felt one, so let's avoid the aimless fog and fix our grasp on the adventures ahead. 

Happy New Year! ♥

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