My New Year IPP (Inner Peace Plan)

 “There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.”  ~  Henry David Thoreau

We all may have differences in what gives us a feeling of freedom, sense of spaciousness, experience of joy.

To that end, my Inner Peace Plan for the New Year is to:

  • Jump into freezing water on a below-freezing day to test the theory I’m awake and alive (Polar Plunge) before heading back to the desk to cover for a colleague’s vacation because I can’t turn down an opportunity to earn money.
  • Focus on what allows me to experience greatest joy.
  • Lean into a deep sense that my greatest joy, freedom and spaciousness are experienced both in meditation alone and during time in nature away from other humans, rather than try to suppress this as “abnormal” or a personal “failure.”  Some day I will succeed at funding that long walk, my own vision quest and best therapy:  Pacific Crest Trail or traversing my state’s or my country’s width on foot, even if not during 2016.
  • Begin this week a 6-month full marathon training schedule to provide structure to get off my boot and by June complete my own 26-mile walk.  Or maybe 28 or 30 miles since not part of a sanctioned event.  Who knows?  Who cares?  No port-a-potties, no fueling stations.  Just me and the road and all the water I can carry and stash.
  • Embrace and remember to radically accept each moment with all perceived shortcomings and brilliance.
  • Continue to shift my felt sense from “I want to escape my body” to being okay existing in it.  My icky body sense does not seem dependent on fitness levels, weight on a scale, appearance in a mirror, or intimacy with another human, so I can only continue to observe its patterns and work with it.  It does disappear most often when I am outdoors.
  • Continue to explore opportunities to spend more time in nature without sacrificing ability to support self and child, in volunteer capacity to benefit the natural world and/or humans.
  • Continue moratorium on dating unless Healthy walks into my life.  Healthy passes me on the trail quite often but 99% of the time attached to a dog or a partner.  My immune system can’t hack the former and my ethics can’t hack the latter.
  • Remove myself from Facebook.
  • End my TV subscription.
  • Complete an unfinished knitting project.
  • Listen well to my daughter each and every day.
  • Meditate minimum of an hour a day, using this book by a teacher local to me as a year-long guide:


The last time I consciously started a year with intention to work toward inner peace was a decade ago.  A year which showed me one near-death calamity after another, as if to say:  “Here’s how you work on inner peace.  As all hell breaks loose, demons are screaming at you, and everything is stripped of you, you will learn what to do.”

Here’s hoping 2016 can set a new precedent for an alternate way than total disaster to work consistently toward inner peace, healing, and happiness.



I admire and am inspired by this individual’s journey to heal from more trauma than I can imagine into creating her own story and sharing her beautiful light.  (My room is adorned with Molly creations.  Maybe some of the light will point me toward my own).

Molly Hahn, Imagine the Possibilities

About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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