Blessings to you in 2018!
I’d like to share a New Year’s story with you.
I went out this morning for my annual New Year’s Eve run on the beach.  I have been running since 1995 or so; back then I was living in San Francisco.
Can you imagine how different running here in flat, warm, sunny South West Florida might be from running the hills of one of the chilliest, foggiest, and oftentimes, dreariest, cities in the US?  Very. Very. Different.
So, what does this have to do with Cinderella?  And the New Year?
Well, back in SF, because my runs were usually long, and not always easy, as a way to distract myself from my discomfort, I would watch myself from the inside and often internally talk myself through the experience.
For instance, if I had a cramp in my side during my first mile and I wanted to go for six, I’d breath my way through the pain of the cramp, slowing my pace if I needed to, using all of my patience, and letting go of any expectation that the run would have any specific outcome, even if that meant being disappointed that I wasn’t able to finish the full six miles.
I found myself imagining that all I experienced in the course of each particular run was symbolic of whatever was going on in my life.  “Slow down, Carol.  Let go of expectations.  Trust that the experience you have is the one you need right now.  Allow life to unfold, while doing your best to take care of yourself.  It is ok to feel disappointed to not have the experience you wanted; and at the same time feel so grateful for the one I am actually having. “
This way of seeing my running expeditions created an even deeper signficance for every run I had, beyond the pleasure and health benefits of the physical exercise.  I felt guided and in the presence of something Greater than me every time I went out.
Since that time, although my runs are much more civilized here in Florida, I still run with an observer’s eye, and with a nod to the Universe: holding a desire to use all that I see and feel as information about me and my experience in the world.  I still feel guided and connected each time I run.
Today, I ran the boardwalk along the beach at Wiggins Pass.  There were a lot of people out celebrating the first day of 2018 like me, on the beach.  As I whizzed past the Observation Tower in Field 5, there was a woman taking a photo of a little boy and his grandmother, I’d guess; and in passing I heard the mom ask in jest, “Why could’t Cinderella make the basketball team?”  Her son, maybe 4 years old, replied, “Because she kept running away from the ball!”
I laughed out loud!  Whether or not that cute little kid understood the pun; after my giggle, I felt a gentle tap on the shoulder that there was a message there for me.
Cinderella believed that she was limited to the festivities of the night of the Ball only till midnight.  After that, if she did not “run away from the Ball,” she was told by her Fairy God Mother (hmm, an Old Story that her Ego was replaying?), that all of the magic of the evening would disappear, she would be restored to her less desirable self, and she would lose any chance of marrying the Prince and having a better life for herself.
And this is what Cinderella believed; and so she ran away from the Ball.
But what could have happened had she believed that the magic of the evening did not originate in the spell of her Fairy God Mother, but rather within her own being?  Perhaps if she had trusted the Essence of her Truest Self, she might not have been afraid to stick around after midnight.
Maybe, had she pushed through her fear, and listened to her own intuition, rather than the voice trying to protect her from stepping outside of her own familiar Story, her own comfort zone; who knows what Cinderella may have discovered.  Imagine the things she missed out on because she left in fear before the rest of this New Story could unfold.
Granted, Prince Charming did eventually find her, and loved her in spite of her impoverished life, yet who knows what Cinderella could have created herself had she stayed and faced her fear.  Think of all the new people she may have met and the grand experiences she could have been empowered to have with the courage it would have taken to stay at the Ball, even if her original clothes and shoes re-appeared; her imperfections revealed.
Maybe Cinderella would have understood how lovable she was despite her tattered apparel and discovered “the perfect fit” that was already there even before the Prince showed up with the glass slipper…
Today is the first day of this New Year.  Will you run away from the Ball?
What is your Intention?
Will you Commit to it?
How will you Take Action?
Can you show up in the face of your fear?
Will you let your Fairy God Mother “protect” you from the unfamiliar?
Or will you allow your Intuition to guide you and lead you into the Truest and Highest form your life could possibly take?
This year, don’t run away from the Ball; you just might make the Team!