A Year of Magical Thinking

DenaJanuary 20, 2014

Stay close to nature’s heart, and break clear away once in awhile, and climb a mountain, or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. –John Muir

It amazes me how quickly and intensely my life changes when I set my mind to positivity and health. When the new year started, I shifted my focus inward. I had been suffering — physically, emotionally, and spiritually — and when I shifted my focus inward, it became clear why I was suffering. Change was necessary. So I changed my diet; started exercising; stopped tolerating negative behavior from others; and spent more time on my self and my happiness. Within days, my world began to shift for the better.

It is not entirely easy. With change comes challenge. As I rid my body & soul of toxins & negativity, there is a cleansing that occurs, a detoxification. It can be uncomfortable but it is necessary for positive change and the benefits appear quickly.

One of the most important books that I have ever read is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I read it in 2007 and it stays with me to this day. I lent my original copy to a friend and she never returned it. She told me recently that she just couldn’t, that she had begun to live by it and couldn’t part with it. I understood and ordered a new copy for myself today.

The book is wisdom. It contains the most simple and true advice that I’ve ever come across. When I put it into practice, my life literally changes shape. It alters my thoughts. When I live by the four agreements (rules) I am happy and healthy. Here are the four agreements with a brief summary (from the book) of each one.

1. Be Impeccable with Your Word — Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally — Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions — Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best — Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

I had forgotten about the four agreements. I drifted away from them. Life got in the way and a million other thoughts and focuses took their place. But now, in shifting my focus inward once again, I remember those four agreements and the wisdom that guided my life once before. I am happy that I have found my way back. I am going to dedicate this year to keeping these four agreements close to my heart and in the front of my mind.

I took these photographs the other morning when I let Bella out for her morning potty run. It’s been so cold that I don’t typically go out with her. But on this morning, I was captivated. The previous night it had rained hard. Soon-after the temperature plummeted and the rain froze to everything forming beautiful ice crystals. When I let her out, the morning sun was shining through the rain drop crystals and it took my breath away. I threw on boots and ventured out with my camera. It was exactly the reminder that I needed. My other goal for the year is to get close to nature. It’s not easy during the long, cold winter — but sometimes the Universe throws me a magical morning like this one and it leaves me in awe and wonder.

  • Focus inward.
  • Practice the four agreements.
  • Stay close to nature.

Happy Monday, friends. xo

Comments (6)

  • dragonfly

    January 20, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Photographs illustrating your text in this post – hats off!!!

    1. Dena

      January 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks so much, love! xo

  • Suzy

    January 20, 2014 at 8:42 am

    I definitely have to check out this book! My book is The Secret and like you, I’ll find myself drifting and then pick up this book and everything just works out again.

    1. Dena

      January 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      I can’t believe that I never read The Secret. I know so many people that swear by it. You have to check out TFA… it’s really amazing. 🙂

      1. Suzy

        January 29, 2014 at 10:30 am

        You can actually watch the documentary on Hulu for free.

        Another book you might want to check out is The Way of the Happy Woman

        I just picked this up again recently and I forgot how awesome this book is. That’s where I learned about body brushing: )

  • Andrea

    January 21, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    These photos are spectacular. Truly, truly amazing. And your words…hit my heart so hard. Thank you!

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