The wisdom that emerged for me in 2018 and solidified in 2019 was integration. I proved to myself that I didn’t need to leave any of my parts behind. I can be a mindfulness teacher and I can freelance as a product manager. I can start a business and become a writer. I can be stronger and happier by integrating all the Zeynep’s that I am. I can harmonize all my different work around a common core purpose of nurturing everyday wellness. This learning felt to me like a healing of old wounds, and this is how I intend to live the rest of my life. I look at it as a slow movement over the course of long years, rather than a sudden change from one year to the next.
I am also grateful for learning that there are always solutions when it comes to financial health. I spent a year being supported by mechanisms I didn’t know existed and providing for myself financially in my business (through mindfulness and product work) without the existence of established structures (company, managers, colleagues) around me. This was a wild experiment; I am grateful to have discovered that I love it and I feel more like myself in it even with all its difficult parts of feeling alone.
I also learned this year that I am never alone. Thanks to my ongoing mindfulness teacher training, I am understanding more and more that I am always connected to the world, to others, to the wisdom and the presence of the universe. I am surrounded and supported by amazing people I get to call friends, family, students, teachers, mentors and colleagues. They pave the way for me, inspire and align me in more ways than I can describe. They love me the way I am. I learn to love myself through watching them.
The hard moments of 2019 were the moments where I felt lost, anxious and fearful. The moments when I kept obsessively asking: Am I on the right path? Am I doing a good job? Is this good enough? Am I good enough?
As I embarked on some journeys for the first time (teaching mindfulness, creating a business), my performance anxiety increased, and so did the “soul sadness” I feel for this inner violence. This year I practiced more self-compassion than I ever did. I sense that I am, so much more than before, stepping fully into who I am and appreciating myself for who I am, although I know this wound will take some more years if not a lifetime to heal.
My intentions for 2020 are many.
I intend to go to spoken word on Mondays at Chat Noir
, and soften as I listen to brave souls reading their beautiful poems. I intend to spend more time with poetry
, write it and share it more. I intend to keep writing essays, stories, letters
, as well as producing videos, podcasts, meditations
. I intend to widen my community
of poets, writers, producers and creators, increase my output and develop my skills
I intend to keep tenderly reflecting on my relationship with dance. Dance is a conversation I’m having with the 12 year old Zeynep inside of me. I intend to continue the conversation. Whether or not we dance this year, we’ll see. For the first time in my life, I don’t want to rush or pressure her.
I intend to develop and deepen as a mindfulness
teacher; I intend to teach mindfulness to many more people in many more ways. I intend to do my first weeklong meditation retreat
. I intend to visit Plum Village
. I intend to grow Mudita
, my community
. I intend to incorporate more yoga
into my practice. I intend to get closer to being a clear forest pool
so that I and others around me can live fiercer lives
I intend to cook more at home, especially for lunch, for it grounds me to touch vegetables and food. I intend to dress myself in clothes that give me color, power and joy. I intend to find a reading nook to retire the day with a book rather than Netflix.
I intend to find more financial balance, save and invest more.
I intend to swim 500 meters in sidestroke and backstroke without stopping.
I intend to explore living and working spaces: Paris, Istanbul, South of France, South of Turkey. I intend to turn spaces into an anthology of my life and find a space continuum between all the places that make me, me.
I intend to create connections
, invest in relationships that nurture me the most
, and forgive
in relationships I suffer in the most. I intend to get closer to loving unconditionally
all that there is in human form; I intend to learn how to make trees out of people
. I don’t intend to give up on anyone and I intend to let people go
and let people be
as a way of loving them more.
I intend to keep exploring how to heal my female cycles. I intend to find more sexual play and freedom. I intend to keep falling in love with my partner, going to sleep and waking up with a deep gratitude for his existence. I intend to continue to find joy and celebration in the realm of our love. I intend to stay open to all the different partnerships I have in my life, rather than being laser focused on this one and suffocating it with my expectations.
As you can see, none of these intentions pertain specifically to 2020. Some are very old, some are new, and they are all on the continuum of my life. They are how I will know I am on track.
What are your best intentions for 2020? What are you most grateful for and practicing self-compassion for regarding 2019?
If you take a moment to reflect, maybe quietly with your coffee and journal, or maybe with your loved ones and smiley faces, I’d love to hear from you. Finding everyday wellness is a mutual and collective act. It happens mostly in our conversations.
Our new year workshop in Paris could not happen due to strikes. If you’d like to join us on January 4th to do these practices and to make your 2020 inspiration board in a cozy group, let me know here.
May this year bring you closer home, may this be the year you fall in love with life, may your peace, good fortune, love and kindness multiply, always. ✨
Happy New Year!
With love and light,