I hope that everyone had a fun and safe New Year!

For many people the new year is a time to reflect on changes that we want to make as individuals, which is why we create resolutions. Resolutions, though we don’t necessarily need them, are a good way to set the intent for an auspicious year, whether it’s goals we want to achieve, or things that we simply want to improve on. I used to have pretty lofty goals when I was much younger, but nowadays, I like to keep them a little more simple, and a little more within my personality. So just like every year for the past few years, these are my resolutions:

To want less things, have less things, write more, experience more, help more, love more, give more, and forgive more.

When I woke up yesterday on New Years Day, I took a peek at my phone and I noticed a Facebook notification from one of my friends regarding one of my life events that occurred on New Year’s Day 2006. It turns out he was referring to the day that my one and only vocal jazz album was released. I finished recording that album in 2005, but wanted it to be released on New Year’s Day 2006 as my resolution to become this “great” artiste.

It was so long ago when I was a jazz vocalist, a lifetime ago, and it was just a quick little snapshot of what was to be a long journey to find my way in this world. That little snapshot though, was a microcosm of all the hopes and dreams I had since childhood, to – for once – feel like I’m a part of a larger community of the world by contributing art as I knew how. I had a ton of fun, and met a lot of amazing people (some with whom I’m still friends), but in a disappointing end, I realized that my personality (amongst several other factors) just wasn’t suited for show business, and my musical career ended like it began: in utter obscurity.

Moving on from that, I learned since then that as a loner and an introvert, I’m more suited for the endeavors of the lone artist. Like now, my clinical practice here at Purple Cloud is a sole proprietorship, and my favorite artistic hobby is writing. The most important lesson I learned after my “failed” jazz vocalist career is that the rat race for external validation can be a very unhealthy thing for many of us in ways that can lead us into disappointment, resentment, and depression.

You have to have lofty goals, to dream big, to take big risks, and to earn your achievements and to make them yours; to cut yourself from stone. But it must be done in the right way. It must be done out of pure love (like me now, as a person truly passionate about healing others), and not vanity (how I treated my musical career).

So if you’re looking for a healthy New Year’s Resolution… then do what you love, not because you think that others might respect or love you for it, but because you know that you’ll develop a deep and utter love of doing it. Draw/paint the things you want to see, write the stories you want to read, perform the music that you want to hear. Exercise because you love it. Eat healthy because you love how it feels and the way it tastes.

In the end, it’s not what others think, it’s how genuine you feel about yourself. It’s how genuine your path is. And in that in itself, the right people, and you will know who they are, will love you for simply you being you.

And as my Qigong master Michael Lomax tells me, “Thank you for being you.”

That’s one of the greatest compliments anyone has ever given me.

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