It’s the beginning of July. We are halfway through the year. Sit with that statement for a moment. Stop what you’re doing and let that realization sink in.

Did you ever imagine we’d be quarantined? The word “quarantine” has become part of my daily conversation. It’s as if an invisible force struck a match and lit our world on fire. Social media is ignited with intense posts and comments, which trigger fear and anxiety.

I keep hearing and reading about “enough with 2020.” Just like an uncontrolled wildfire, there’s a collective energy burning through our well-being. It is scary and unpredictable. It seems the blaze won’t be extinguished anytime soon.


Between brief episodes of emotional eating and uncharacteristic outbursts, I’ve carved time to revisit my New Year’s resolutions. It’s tough to tune out the global ranting and raging. Negativity is fueling the fire.

So I’ve decided to pivot. Rather than be resentful about the first 180 days of this decade, I am grateful for the silver linings. I am making conscious, daily decisions to turn off and tune inward. It is a daily challenge because I am a connector. For me, disconnecting is difficult. Yet it’s increasingly necessary for my inner peace and wellness.


I’ve pondered the word “resolution” beyond the simple definition of accomplishing a goal. And if we are being completely honest, who follows through with resolutions anyway? I certainly do not!

I decided to enter 2020 with clear intentions instead. For me, this included specific shifts in how I choose to live, learn, and love. I often write that every moment matters; all we have is now. My inner compass was recalibrated on January 1st. Yet here I am realizing it requires a radical reset.

Instead of “I will lose 10 pounds,” I pivoted and focused on overall health. I will 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 it with nutrition, exercise, and rest when needed.

Rather than “I will cross something off of my bucket list this year,” I intended to challenge myself both emotionally and mentally. I will conquer fears that have limited my personal growth. And I have and continue to do so.

As you can see, I carefully considered how I’d 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 attempted an activity that’s terrified me for nearly three decades. I tackled this intention literally head on and face first; I skied for the first time at 45 years old.

I felt like a warrior after conquering that mountain. Empowered, energized, and invigorated, I released deep-rooted fears with each run. And yet these days, I find myself having moments in which I literally cannot breathe.

Today I encourage you to join me and revise your intentions. There have been lessons learned during these first six months of 2020. Perhaps some of my initial intentions and vision were short sighted? But who knew we’d be living with the coronavirus and social distancing!


Worry awakens me and disturbing dreams disrupt my sleep. My son, who will be a freshman in college, is leaving the nest during this pandemic. My elder fur baby is declining. It is too much at once. And I know I’m not alone.

So I make a conscious choice to kindle gratitude rather than fan the flames of fear. I think about the gift of even one breath, especially now during this COVID crisis. I appreciate every sunrise and sunset now more than ever.


I have decided to create a new list of intentions for the next six months of the year. Here they are:

1. Rather than resist the present, I am choosing to learn from whatever presents itself. It is beyond clear that much of life, especially now, is out of my control. And while that totally unnerves me, I am committed to surrendering.

2. I will get comfortable being uncomfortable with instability and uncertainty. This impacts how I care for my children and other family members. It also affects taking leaps professionally and personally. I am ready!

3. I’ll write not just from my head but also from my heart. I now understand that living my truth requires digging deep and sharing openly. This will be woven within the threads of my words.

4. Vulnerability will foster a deeper connection with myself and others. This is a tough one for me! I am a private person. As I continue to write and speak my truth, I am grateful for the depth of honest, authentic dialogues.

5. Trust and faith will anchor me. What does this mean? I’m a proficient, professional worrier. It’s a total waste of energy. It’s time to let go and surrender. I will remain grounded even when our world is rocked.

6. If not now, then when? I will live more consistently by this mantra. I am no longer waiting for “just the right time” in my personal and professional life. This forced pause is a profound wake-up call. This isn’t a fire drill — it is real.

I don’t have it all figured out. I’m still grappling with unexpected jolts of panicky inner dialogue that feel foreign to me. Sometimes I seriously don’t recognize the thoughts that throttle my head. And then I remind myself that every day, every hour I can, and I will, revise and rewrite my story.

Connect with Dara Levan at [email protected]  
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