I haven’t written – not one word privately or publicly – in six months. It’s a little intimidating to be here now and going public with my grand plans for 2012.

Yet I am here and I am committed to a new blog and a new word for a new year.

I’ve taken on a new blog identity because I need to step beyond the limitations of my role as an erotic hostess to a blog that represents my journey as a whole. The Impropriety Society is only a piece of my life. It is my hope that eventually Radical Mystic will evolve into my bliss work as a facilitator of transformation, that sharing my story and the tools I use for transformation will attract those who need what I have to offer to their journeys. If you’re interested in the new blog identity, you can read my musings on being a Radical Mystic at the about page.

I don’t do resolutions on New Years. I choose a word for the year -  a word or concept I can filter all of my big and small choices through to nurture transformation in myself and my life. It seems appropriate to introduce this new blog with my new word in the new year.

If you know me at all you know that last year I chose the word Vulnerability and it kicked my ass (it’s a darned good thing I’m a masochist for God). The first half of the year was an experiment in vulnerability to everyone and everything. In some ways it was incredibly magical and I had more affirming connections to other people and spontaneous mystical experiences than ever before. In some ways it was incredibly painful and it led me to the theme of the second half of the year – and vulnerability’s shadow counterpart – Shame. I will be writing more about my experiences and the insights I gained into myself and others concerning shame very soon.

What’s amazing is that as hard as the year was, it ends with my healthiest partner relationship, a very happy and healthy daughter, a promotion and quality-of-life-changing raise, and the deepest sense of tribe and family I’ve yet known. That tells me I chose well.

My word for 2012 – Self-Love.

After the emotional roller coaster of choosing vulnerability, I decided I need to be gentle with myself this year. Instead of seeking big emotional and spiritual challenges in my relationships and in the world, I need to hold myself in tenderness for a bit. I’ve been living a whirlwind of evolution since my mother died three and a half years ago. I’ve looked every demon I’ve got in the eye trying to integrate the Invisible Girl and overcome the triggers that come from being the daughter of a Narcissist and cause my emotional upheavals.

I am finally understanding that the place I have stagnated in my conscious evolution is around loving myself. I work so hard to be healthy and strong in my relationship to others and the world around me. I strive every day to be a good mother, lover, partner, friend, and community leader, working on myself so that I cause less harm to others. And I am healthier and more loving than ever. I’ve made huge progress in my life in relationship to the outside. Yet, I still have such a terrible relationship with myself inside.

Besides the incessant self criticism that I am not doing/being enough, I have deeply ingrained patterns of self-neglect and avoidance. While I’ve danced with radical self care andradical self love, I’ve always done so in reaction to big heartache and then returned to my old patterns. My modus operandi is to create situations that cause me anxiety and discomfort. It’s as if I believe that I cannot have a life free of anxiety and pain.

I neglect my body more than anything else in my life. During my summer of radical self care in 2010 I lost 30 lbs and kept it off for over a year. I gained half of it back in the last 3-4 months. I’m also experiencing pain nearly every day again because I’m avoiding the (consistent) discipline I need to establish in diet and exercise. And I don’t even want to admit to the bad shape my teeth are in.

I neglect my car to the point that I experience anxiety it will break down every time I get it in it (near daily).

I avoid financial challenges from my past and live in anxiety on a regular basis that they are going to catch up with me (without giving myself credit for living without incurring any new debts for over four years). I make immediate gratification financial decisions instead of putting money towards the old debts or things that will make my quality of life better (like a comfortable mattress to sleep on).

I procrastinate on commitments at work, for the Imps and elsewhere, leading to self criticism that I’m not living up to my word. I put off or forget to make contact with people who reach out to me and then criticize myself for being flaky.

I neglect the steps I need to take to transition to the work of my heart. I avoided or neglected every connection I had in 2011 that could have led to transitioning into that work.

And I don’t nurture the things in my life outside of relationship that bring me joy – reading and writing, singing and dancing, spiritual connection and praying, creating art, etc.

While I was gentle with myself while facing my wall of shame the last six months, it looked like watching television and movies most of the time rather than doing activities that truly nurture my joy and stimulate my intellect, creativity, spirituality and physical health.

Like most of us, I treat others with far more kindness than I do myself. I am hard on myself for still experiencing grief over the loss of my mother and the wounding of my early life. I imagine I should be more evolved and healed than I am for how long I’ve been on the conscious path.

2012 – a year prophesied for significant collective transformation – will be my year for a self-love revolution. The places in my life I still experience anxiety and pain all have to do with how I treat myself. In 2011 I stood up for my value in my workplace and my relationships, now I need to stand up for my value to myself.

“Begin today. Declare out loud to the Universe that you are willing to let go of struggle and eager to learn through joy.” Sarah ban Breathnach

My declaration of self-love to the Universe today is that I am willing to let go of my self-inflicted struggles and eager to learn how to evolve through joy rather than pain. I will strive to change the belief that I have to hurt and the self-neglect that causes my anxiety and pain. I will strive to filter all of my choices through the concept of self-love.

In 2012 I will have a radical love affair with Me.