What will you be “consuming” in 2023?


Well, to start… let’s consider the news.

It’s jarring on a good day. The worry of “what’s next” can be crippling, but as a news junkie, it’s hard to stay away. I gauge how much I hold my breath during the news, and that’s my signal that my limit has been reached. The adage, “you are what you eat,” certainly is true, but it’s also what we watch, hear, and read. In essence, we become the company we keep.

What do we want for ourselves in the new year? It’s all good to talk about less anxiety and more harmony, focus, and kindness… but how do we get there? Intention is powerful, but just wanting it might not be enough to make it so.

From my perspective, habits and mindsets are cultivated.

A world of drama addicts surrounds us. The " infotainment " world is shock, awe, and crisis centered. Our own biology (central nervous system) becomes accustomed to what we feed it. If we give it a steady diet of drama, our adrenal glands will keep us bathed in emergency hormones of cortisol and adrenaline and keep us hyper-alert, ready for battle, and on edge. A system used to that sensation feels bored, apathetic, and perhaps depressed without that input. Our systems were not made to be continually in this state of neurological hyperarousal. We all know folks who are so used to lives filled with drama that when there isn’t any happening organically, it’s created.

So here we are, a new year. We are (for better or worse) getting used to planet Earth as a place where COVID is dealt with and managed, as it might be going nowhere fast. We have adapted, as we always have.

On a micro level: what’s happening inside the sphere of influence we all have in our headspace? What is my intention for the new year? Are there things I should have on the front burner that I don’t? Are there pressing issues that I keep avoiding? Unpleasant things that I choose not to think about, deal with, and resolve?

2023 is the year of awareness and internal consideration.

There is so much we cannot control, yet we still spend inordinate amounts of time thinking about, discussing, and obsessing over. So, let’s dare to take inventory as we move through the first month of the new year.

An excellent place to start is to clean the metaphorical eyeglasses and have a good look. We look at what’s good, what works, what we are proud of, and what we cultivate in our lives and worldviews. We can make space for more if we think of our hearts and heads like storage containers and see the new year kick-off as an opportunity to exchange some storage contents.

Could we start by tossing a few things we know we don’t want, need, or like? Easy enough. An old grudge or resentment. Hard feelings from something we can no longer recollect. Bad driving habits. Swearing. Selfishness. You know, the easy stuff. (Okay, no change is easy). But some are easier than others.

If it were spring, I would use the “weeding out the crabgrass of our inner selves,” but since we are many months from a good weeding metaphor, let’s stay with the storage container. We may have new things to put in, but first, we must make room. Getting some junk out of that psychic backpack we are all carrying around could be the greatest holiday gift we receive, and we can give it to ourselves.

There is plenty of petty nonsense inside most storage containers. In this effort of the purge, we may find that we are giving our inner selves a good workout and might even decide that we can do more excavation than intended. The year of the purge. What might that mean for you?

To me, it means opening to the possibility of what’s new.

With the death of the matriarch and patriarch of my Manchester family this year, Ed Parsons and Christy Parsons Corley, a chapter of my long-time Manchester family, is closed. I treasure what was and always will. I am challenged now with making room to hold what was and treasure what is and what might be.

Inner work is always challenging, even when it’s easy. BUT...it’s always worth it. So, give yourself the best gift you could get this year. First, pick three things that need tossing from your storage container. Then, recycle what you can and dump the rest. You’ll be glad you did.

Happy 2023!

new year's day, senior living, anxiety, harmony, eating, food, christy parsons corley, ed parsons