Dara LevanBlog, Every Soul Has A StoryLeave a Comment

I contemplated my New Year’s resolutions for days. And then I thought deeply about the word “resolution.” There are several meanings beyond just making up your mind to accomplish a goal. And if we are being completely honest, who ever follows through with resolutions? I certainly do not!

So welcome to 2020! I decided to pivot and enter this decade with mindful intentions! For me, this includes specific shifts in how I will choose to live, learn, and love. I often write every moment matters; all we have is now. My inner compass is calibrated. My vision is clear. I am ready. Are you? Join me!

So how do I define intentions? I will share a few personal examples. And kindly email me at dara@everysoulhasastory to share yours!

Instead of “I will lose 10 pounds this year,” I intend to listen to my body’s messages and promptly respond to them. My physical body will be the strongest, healthiest, and most flexible it has ever been. I will nourish my body with nutrition, exercise, and rest.

Instead of “I will cross something off of my bucket list this year,” I intend to challenge myself both emotionally and mentally. I will breakthrough specific lifetime fears that have limited my growth.

As you can see, I have carefully considered how I will manifest a rewarding, meaningful year. Intentions, rather than resolutions, are more heart-centered and require a mindset shift. In fact, I didn’t wait until January 1. On December 31st, 2019, I decided to face a fear of nearly three decades. I appreciate my friends, Emily and Joe, because without their spirited persuasion, I may not have climbed this mountain! And yesterday I tackled this intention literally head on and face first! 

I believe it is never “too late” for anything. I awoke resolute in my intention to conquer this fear. The last time I attempted to ski was twenty years ago. I did okay. Then I fell off the chairlift! Yes, you read that right! Nobody taught me how to take off the skis, and as snickering preschool kids zipped past my mangled body, I made a RESOLUTION to never, ever ski again. It was mortifying that my now brother-in-law, father-in-law, and husband became a human forklift. I was done.

My husband and kids have become phenomenal skiers. I have joked for years that I am the only person who does not ski but who willingly leaves the Sunshine State in winter to spend two weeks in Vermont. I write, I walk, I rest. But after my freedom ride in July, in which I got back on a bike, I have become braver. (Please click this link to read it.  => https://daralevan.com/my-freedom-ride/)

I quietly deliberated if I could trust myself to fly down a mountain for the first time at 45 years old. I did not mention this to my family. I never thought I’d be able to summon the courage to actually follow through with this scary as sh** moment.

On the 30th, Emily said, “C’mon. I’ll show you the basics.” I rolled my eyes, warning her that would require an immense amount of patience. And I also told her friendships trump fear. I’d rather accept that I prefer stable, solid ground than wreak havoc on a relationship. Then Zoe said, “Mom, you can do this!” So I replied, “Why not? I always talk about embracing the moment. I need to try.” (The dialogue in my head was “I may die or become paralyzed, but at least I tried!”)

Shout out to Spencer from AJs Ski and Sports in Stowe, Vermont. He laughed at my self-deprecating commentary and offered some helpful tips as I tried on boots. His humor and relaxed vibe eased my nerves. And I also appreciate Emily helping me carry the poles and skis. I hadn’t even touched snow and just lugging the equipment was exhausting!

The next day, I slowly moved down the bunny hill three times, and I only fell once! The formerly sinister skis seemed a bit less scary. I could not for the life of me figure out how to take off the skis nor walk in them. And I had a petrified flashback when I fell one time. But as Joe said that night, “You had the biggest smile on your face when you wiped out. It was awesome.” His comment bolstered my confidence and determination. So I signed up for a three hour lesson on New Year’s Day. I felt both exhilarated and nervous. Here we go!

As we drove toward Spruce Peak, I fervently hoped my instructor would be kind and funny. I am beyond grateful for Phil (above) whose calm demeanor and witty personality encouraged me to keep going! When we first began the lesson, my goals were to learn how to get back up and to get off the chairlift without wiping out or panicking!

The afternoon far surpassed what I had imagined; I just wanted to end the day with all limbs intact! I am proud to share that I am not only in one piece, but I can’t wait to ski again. And Phil said, “You are athletic! You really did well; I rarely take beginners on the run you did!” Really? I momentarily regressed and made a snarky comment. He looked me right in the eyes and said, “I am being completely honest, Dara. You took to this easily.” 

I am deeply appreciative for Phil’s wisdom both on and off the mountain. As I told him yesterday, he impacted me far beyond the technicalities of a sport. And his perspective on life had depth and dimension. Phil was part of a breakthrough, and there is no turning back. I will continue this forward momentum and ascend in all areas of my life this year.

Here’s what I learned from my day on the slopes:
*It is never too late to conquer a fear.
*Progress is more important than perfection.
*Slowing down is necessary to catch your breath.
*Enjoy the ride because we cannot control it.
*Tiny shifts are all that’s necessary to vastly change directions.
*Whether climbing a mountain or skiing down it, take one step at a time.
*Trust and faith will fuel my future.
*It’s empowering and liberating to release the past.

Your engagement contributes to my mission of writing, connecting, and creating! I hope to awaken and inspire others…one word at a time. Thank you from my heart to yours for your loving, continual connection. And I wish you a year filled with joy, abundance, growth, love, and health! 

Through social media, my hope is to foster a caring and authentic online community. I look forward to learning about and writing YOUR stories. You can connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or email (dara@everysoulhasastory.com).

With love and gratitude,



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