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I know it’s all about New Year, New Me right now – but I’m not falling for that this year. I’m finally happy with who I am. I may still find myself struggling to love myself, but I know who I am and why I exist and I believe that we are each, individually, created perfectly for our purposes. I’m happy with who I am – it feels good to say that, give it a try.
I don’t want to change who I am, I just want to be more ME. I want to be me – at peace. That’s my mantra for the new year. That’s the vibe I’m striving for.
After a very intentionally slow December, I have found myself deeply in love with the possibility of peace in my everyday life. Room to breath is a terribly underrated privilege and I think we should all be more mindful and respectful of that. I’m sharing today my recent thoughts and ideas for bringing more peace into my daily life, and with it, more love & joy as well.
Bringing in the Peace.
Transcribed with Descripted: Listen to the audio here.
Welcome back friends. It’s your host, Brittni Clarkson. Welcome back to The Meant To Bloom podcast. Happy New Year. How are you doing in this beautiful new beginning? This year feels really different and I think a lot of people are on board with this. I remember growing up everyone was like, oh, resolutions.
Resolutions. My New Year’s resolution. And then we realized, you know, in the two thousands we started realizing that, hey, New Year’s resolutions aren’t really working. Let’s stop doing those. Let’s do like a word of the year or like, you know, new Year, new you, we’re just gonna recreate ourselves. We don’t need the whole resolution, we’re just gonna do everything.
And in past years, I’ve always done like a word of the year, like 2021. My word of the year was, and what happened – Meant to Bloom was born. That was a beautiful year. That word of the year really stuck and was great last year. I don’t remember picking a word. If I did pick a word, it didn’t stick, but this year, going into the new year, I, you know, I took a break from the podcast.
I took a break from working. I had a couple scheduled interviews. I did a couple little things here and there, but I really wanted to pull back pretty much all of December and just. , kind of live my life and just go slow and realign, spend a lot of time with my family, and that’s what I did. And so coming into the new year now, wow, I’ve had a taste of peace, and that’s what I, that’s what I want.
So my vibe for the year that I am choosing is peace, and that’s definitely going to be present. Every conversation I have basically, and I wanted to kind of talk about over these, these weeks away where I haven’t been recording anything for you guys. Kind of what’s been coming to my mind and a book that I read, I think two years ago, might have been last year, but I think I read it during 2020 actually.
This book came to mind a lot. I did not go back and reread. because it didn’t feel necessary because I, I know the, I know the meaning behind it still. But this book is called Wintering by Katherine May, and I just wanna read to you like the inside, jacket of this book. This book came to me in one of those Barnes and Noble trips where you don’t know what you’re looking for, you just know you’re going in and looking for your next read.
and it wasn’t even like on display as like the top bestseller or anything like that. It was just on the shelf where it belonged. The only copy of this book, and I just, I didn’t know I needed it when I found it. And as I read through it, I knew this was a powerful message that I needed in my life at that time.
And you know, I need it in my life again. Still. And so I wanted to share with you a little bit of this, but it’s called wintering. And the subtitle to that is The Power of Rest and Retreat In difficult Times and honestly, sometimes difficult time doesn’t have to mean a difficult time. You know, it doesn’t have to be something traumatic or big or life changing.
A difficult time can simply be, gosh, I’m feeling tired right now. You know, we were sick for what? Like all of October and November, we just kept passing different illnesses around the family and it was rough and I didn’t get a lot of sleep, and I could feel that. And going into December, I was like, I am just exhausted.
I am sleep deprived, running on coffee, exhausted. I am, you know, screwing up my internal systems by not eating right, by drinking too much coffee, by not sleeping, not getting enough. and I could just feel I needed rest. I needed retreat. I needed to quiet down my brain and I needed to just be for a while.
And that’s what had me thinking about this book was, Hey, I learned these concepts a while back during some difficult times. And so I wanted to read that inside, jacket sleeve to you, whatever it’s called. And it says
“an intimate. Revelatory book, exploring the ways we can care for and repair ourselves when life knocks us down.
Sometimes you slip through the cracks. Unforeseen circumstances like an abrupt illness, the death of a loved one, a breakup, or a job loss can derail a life. These periods of dislocation can be lonely and unexpected for May. (That’s Katherine May. The author of this book) her husband fell ill. Her son stopped attending school and her own medical issues, led her to leave a demanding job.
Wintering explores how she not only endured this painful time, but embraced the singular opportunities. It offered a moving personal narrative shot through the lens shot through. The lessons from literature, mythology, and the natural world May’s story offers instruction on the transformative power of rest and retreat.
Illumination emerges from many sources, solstice celebrations, the door mice hibernation. CS Lewis and Sylvia Plath, swimming in icy waters and sailing Arctic sea. Ultimately wintering invites us to change how we relate to our own fallow times. May models an active acceptance of sadness and finds nourishment in deep retreat.
Joy in the hushed beauty of winter, and encouragement in understanding life as cyclical, not linear, A secular mystic. May forms a guiding philosophy for transforming the hardships that arise before the ushering in of a new season.”
And I think that we get so, we get so like Gungho and right on with the New Year, and it’s the wrong timing. Honestly, if we’re looking at the cycles of nature. We are in the beginning of winter. We’re not supposed to be blooming right now. So maybe take, take this wintering as a time to take those seeds that are planted, those ideas you have, the things you hope for in the future, and don’t align them with the new year.
Align them with, you know, a different season. It’s okay if you know what seeds are planted, right? It’s like, I know this seed is, you know, I want health in my family. I want peace in my life. I want, you know, I want to get a raise at work. I want to uplevel something somewhere. And it’s okay if you know what seed is planted and you acknowledge that you’re in winter and it’s not time for that to blossom and bloom and just grow and thrive right now.
Like, it’s okay if you still wanna go slow. Nature demands a slowness right now, and I always envision this. like being an arrow. When you know what you want, you can see your target, but before you call your shot, you have to breathe deeply. You have to calm yourself, you have to get your eyes on the target, and then you have to pull that arrow back and align and.
before you shoot. And I think a lot of times with the new year, we get all like, oh, new year. Time to go, time to go, go, go. And we’re not ready for it. And that’s why we feel like we fail at our goals that we assigned to the new year. And that’s why we’ve abandoned resolutions altogether, like as a society basically.
And moved on to, you know, different ways of looking at it is because, when you just hit the ground running, go, go, go, and you don’t know where you’re going and you don’t know how to get there, and you don’t know where you are right now, you just burn out. You’re going too hard without knowing where you wanna go and where you’re starting.
You get what I’m saying? Like you’ve gotta stop in a line. You really do. And I discovered in my little wintering, in my taste of peace, that that’s what I want more of. And I really wanna be ruthless in pursuing peace in my life, not just for the next year, but this next bit, you know? I do like to take the new year, the time to reassess, well, what did the last year look like?
What can I change? What can I do differently? How can I adjust? Where am I, where am I going? It’s a great time for setting intentions. It’s a great time. It’s just a great time for resetting things. And I have been spending the last little bit after I really rested and I got through the holidays as easy and simply as possible.
Like I got lucky. I didn’t have to host any huge meals that were like a big deal. So that was really fun, but I got that taste of peace and then I started kind of trying to align my days with what I wanted. And it made me realize there’s things from last year that can’t come into the new year, and for me, that meant spending New Year’s Eve mopping my kitchen.
Because that is the one chore that I have put off time and time and time again, telling myself this limiting belief that I can’t mop the floor with my kids home because my kids like to just run through the wet, they’re little, you know, two, four and six boys and they like to just, go running full speed through the kitchen on the wet floor so that they can slip and fall because that’s hilarious to them.
Yeah. So that’s not fun for me. And so I convinced myself I can’t do it with them around. It’s like, okay, maybe I can’t bust out the Steam mop and get the entire floor wet at one time. But you know what? I can go through and spot mop while they’re home. I can dry behind myself and do little increments at a time.
And that’s what I did on New Year’s Eve because they were all home. I just stopped with the excuse and I said, this room’s not gonna feel good until I get this floor. I’m not gonna be at peace here until I get this floor clean. And so I did that because I did not wanna bring not just the messy floor into the new year.
I didn’t wanna bring the habit of making excuses into the new year, and especially as a mom making excuses saying, oh, I can’t do that because I have kids. I have always called such a BS on that, and it’s still something that I have struggled with. It’s still some, it’s still a limiting belief that comes up saying, I can’t do that because of my.
And it’s just not true. There’s a lot of things you can do with your kids or you know, you can figure something else out. If you really wanna do it, you’re gonna do it. And the problem was, I didn’t wanna clean my kitchen floor, but I’ve got to a point where I’m pushed up against a wall and I want the piece of having a clean floor.
And if I have to do it myself, then I have to do it myself, but that’s, that kind of leads me to this next point, is that I discovered. Requires action. Peace isn’t just, I’m gonna pull back and be quiet. It’s not just I’m gonna go take care of myself and take a bath and ignore my problems. Having true inner peace many times means taking action to get it.
I realized just the other day as a memory popped up, I’ve been doing Declutter Like a Mother with Allie Casazza, the life minimalist for this is my sixth year with and it’s only her seventh year doing it, and oh my goodness, I have her course Your Uncluttered Home. I went through and listened to the whole thing.
It’s great. I love her method. I love her. I adore her so much. She’s my, one of my favorite people, to be honest, but you’d think that my house would be decluttered by now because I have all the knowledge. It’s easy for me to let stuff go. I can do it. I’ve done the mindset work. But you know what? You still walk into every single room in my house and there is clutter.
There are literally three rooms in my house that are more cluttered than functional space, and they’re in my offices too. One’s my bedroom and two are my offices. that’s not conducive to an effective lifestyle. That’s not helpful with anxiety, that’s not helpful with maintaining, you know, maintaining a healthy mindset and mental health.
Good mental health. It’s not conducive that Clutter causes anxiety. It is very much linked, and I’m not gonna go into the scientifics of it cuz you can Google it and I know that. I’ve known that for six. and I’ve strived to unclutter my home for six years and I haven’t finished it yet. And so now here I am realigning and realizing I have to do that.
I’m not gonna get to a new place in my life if I’m still facing these same obstacles every single day. My house is a lot better than it used to. I’ve gotten a lot better at hiding the clutter from myself and shoving it in, you know, rooms that guests don’t see, but it’s still there and I know it, and it’s still mentally affecting me.
So if I want peace, I’m gonna have to take action to make sure I get those things taken care of.
That was something I didn’t know until recently, is that. Requires action. It’s not just always backing up and getting quiet, and I wanted to share with you, since peace is my word of the year, in case that’s what you’re striving for too, and you wanna really stick along and hear all this. Um, I did some journaling on what peace means to me and what I’d have to do to put more peace in my daily life and what I have to ditch to keep peace.
And so I wanted to share that with you a little bit. My journaling, some of the definitions of peace that I found on the internet are pieces of state of tranquility and quiet, but it’s also freedom from oppressive thoughts or emotions. So there we are overcoming our negative thinking. That’s part of peace.
It’s harmony and personal relationships. It’s freedom from disturbance both outwardly and inwardly within your soul. And shalom, the Hebrew word shalom often translates to peace when we’re reading through the Bible, but what that really means is soundness, health, prosperity, victory to be whole. To live well, I saw that and I was like, yes, peace.
I am subscribed. That is, I will ruthlessly pursue peace for the rest of my life, if that’s what that means to be whole and to live. That’s what we’re really here for. Yeah. So then I started thinking, okay, so how do I get peace into my daily life? Knowing this definition of peace, that peace isn’t just simply quiet and calm.
It is that fulfillment in your soul. It is avoiding those negative thoughts. It is finding health and prosperity and victory and wholeness. So how do I get that into my daily life? Some of the ideas I wrote down are gratitude always first and always gratitude, stretch. to avoid the physical stress, right?
Because don’t I hold physical stress and tension in my body, and if I can stretch and help release some of that like literal energy out of me, that’s gonna help me be at peace. I’m not gonna be as tightly wound up and irritable in my relationships. It’s just gonna be better all around, right? Some of the things we don’t think about all the, drinking enough water, eating nutritious food, sleeping well, that all goes along with the physical wellness. It goes along with health. It goes along with living well, prosperity, um, taking time to listen to people and respond, not react. calmness and peace. Following through on my promises to myself, especially, I’m great at being a people pleaser to everyone else.
I’m not great about pleasing myself and following through with the things I promised myself, like six years in on decluttering. Still haven’t completed the actual physical process of decluttering. And we’re gonna do that because I’m gonna keep the promise to myself this time and I’m telling you to hold me accountable.
So let’s do this. Seeking quiet moments and avoiding distrac. I spend a lot of time on my phone, a disgusting amount of time, staring at that stupid little screen, and I don’t wanna do that anymore because it’s not peaceful, it’s not rest to stare at my phone. It’s not restful, it doesn’t feel good, and all I’m doing is distracting myself from doing what I know I need to do.
It’s procrastinating. Um, because I don’t wanna face the stress of completing the task. I don’t wanna do, so instead, I will postpone the stress to a later time when I don’t have time to do the task. , it makes a lot of sense, but you know, that’s how we do it. Using my affirmations with a zero tolerance for negative thoughts, doing things I love with the people.
I love choosing peace, love, and joy. Every opportunity we make. How many choices a day? Like 30,000 or something like that. And like, I don’t know, 300 of ’em are conscious decisions. How many times a day can I choose? How many times can I make the choice that will bring more peace into my life? Even if that means taking action and doing something I don’t feel like doing, so that I can have peace when it is done uncluttering my home because clutter is not peace.
It is anxiety. And anxiety is the opposite of peace, at least inner peace. Yes, keeping systems simple and resting often I tend to over complicate, don’t we all I get really, I used to always get so gung-ho about ideas and I would create this huge plan that involved, you know, it, it would break everything down and it would be this great plan to accomplish things.
But the system was not simple, so I didn’t stick to it, and I got bored with it, and I got overwhelmed by it, and I got distracted and I just didn’t do it. And then back to square. I’ve got this great plan that I’m never gonna follow through on. Keeping systems simple, keeping my calendar open with lots of white, white space.
I don’t like running around doing stuff every single day. I don’t like having appointments every single day. I don’t like that. I like having Do-Nothing Days, days where I have nothing planned for the day at all. And then I just do whatever that day requires of me. And that feels so good to me and I love doing that.
And sticking to a schedule flow, like a rhythm of the. That’s what’s gonna really help me bring peace because I desire structure, even though I hate being very well scheduled, if I have a simple kind of structure that lets my day flow, like time blocking. It just works better. It is more peaceful.
Everyone in the house knows what to expect when we’re following a pattern of the day, you know, anchoring different habits to different points of the day. Like every time I do laundry or you know, like every time I have lunch, I’m gonna start laundry. That kind of thing to keep you in a flow so that you’re not getting stressed about everything else.
Those are my simple tips for putting peace into my daily life, and I know they weren’t really organized and outlined. like my typical podcasts are, but this is literally me just reading my journal notes to you right now, and then I list out what can’t coexist with peace. Let me tell you about that.
That is self-hate, low self-esteem and negative self-talk. How can you be at peace when you’re not at peace with yourself? That is something that, I’ll be honest, I’ve struggled with. I was. I was just thinking about this, some shower thoughts the other day about how, you know, there’s people in my life who tell me they love me all the time, and some of these are unexpected people that I didn’t actually think would ever be really in my life.
And they’re telling me that they love me, like I’m one of their favorite people. And I’m like, how can they be saying that? How can, how can this person love me and like actually mean it? Like, I’m un fathoming that and then it hit me. I’m like, because I don’t love myself. Here I am back at being, you know, 17 year old Brittni, not loving myself.
Do you ever fall into those habits in those traps where you just kind of realize some, like out of the blue, just like I’m not loving myself. Time to do the inner work again, digging back in, fallen back in love with yourself. Cause that’s the only way you’re gonna have. It’s not selfish to love yourself because you’re supposed to love others the way you love yourself.
And if you don’t love yourself, how are you ever gonna love others? How are you ever gonna accept love from others? It’s gonna screw with all your relationships. If you think that no one can possibly love you, and you think that every time they tell you they love you, that they’re lying. What else can’t coexist with peace, laziness and distraction and procrastination.
Spending all dang day on my phone, distracting myself from doing the things that I need to do that would bring me peace and stress, anxiety, depression, those things cannot live with peace, and I know the things to do to avoid them. It’s just a matter of doing them and not forgetting, you know, getting sucked into hyper fixating on one idea or thought and forgetting everything else, so that that all just flies out the window, right?
I’m clinging to this affirmation. I am an enneagram type nine, which makes me the peace maker. I hate confrontation. I crave peace more than anything else in life, therefore, making peace. My word of the year here, my vibe for the year is a great idea. Yes. My affirmation that goes along with this is that I am the peacemaker of my own soul.
I can try to make everyone else at peace all day long until I’m blue in the face, but if I’m not at peace, it’s not gonna work. You can’t give what you don’t have. If you don’t have love, if you don’t have peace, if you don’t have joy, you can’t give it to anyone else. You’ve gotta make sure that your light is shining if you’re going to share your light.
Yes, my friends, I love you so much. Thank you for being here with me. Thank you for sticking around. I am so happy to be back cranking out podcasts for you guys. Happy New Year. My loves. I hope your holidays were fantastic and wonderful, and I really look forward to this next year with you.
Hi, I’m Brittni, a mom who’s determined to share my light, wisdom, and joyfulness with every mom. My desire is that every woman knows she is worthy of ease and joy and finds the encouragement and motivation to pursue her best life possible.
I live in rural Oregon with my husband and 3 sons. I never dreamed of being a boy-mom, but now I can’t imagine life not surrounded by toy dinosaurs, race cars, and fart noises.