Hope for a Joyful and Empowering New Year!

Taking my goddog Max out for a morning stroll and not being able to help but gaze into the deep blue sky.

By Bryan Garcia (he/him/his)

If you are reading this, then you’ve made it. We’ve crossed that finish line into the year 2022 and can now open our arms to embrace all the good, growth, and healing that will come with it. It’s yours, take it! You didn’t make it this far for nothing. If you are still breathing, then that can be considered nothing short of a miracle. Especially as queer people of color, taking one more turn around the sun with everyone else here on earth is not a given. Our ancestors have paved the way for us to be able to hope and strive for more life each day than we are able to. 

So what now? 

Despite anything else going on outside our doors that we may or may not have control over, we can do our best to shift focus over to what we do have control and that can make the difference in what type of year we have. So if that means, feeling empowered because you can choose what radio station or playlist you listen to on your way to work or decide what lunch you pack up and enjoy outside in the fresh air, or who you call up in the evening to share your thoughts and good moments of the day with. Choosing to make this year one of experiences and memories that you create or at the very least, co-create can be something wonderful to look forward to. You know, those tiny ripples that tend to have profound effects? Whatever you decide, OWN IT! 

Resolutions or Not, Here I Come! 

The start of a new year is also a time when some of us may feel obligated to make plans for changing into who we feel like we “should be.” My therapist so wisely once told me to, “Stop Shoulding Yourself.” I was like, “Come again?”.Once I realized that they were not being unprofessional, it made a lot more sense. I’m not obligated to do anything different this year if I don’t want to. No one is holding up these unhealthy and unrealistic expectations for me other than myself. I can drop them if I need to and be okay. So, while resolutions tend to not work since they focus more on goals and the external or what could be short-lived rewards, an intention focuses more on the journey within yourself that leads us to alignment with our purpose. So make and set one or not, just remember to be kind to yourself as you are moving through them. 

Don’t Forget to Live

You were made to enjoy life. To live it. That means days at the park under a shady tree lying on a blanket with your favorite snacks and a book or just staring at the sky. It means binge-watching that favorite show or a movie marathon with your best friend and a coffee table full of yummy chocolate, candy, popcorn, and chips to munch on. Or taking a walk around your favorite part of town and pretending you are a professional photographer shooting images for an upcoming magazine article or a gallery opening displaying your work. The things that are not measured in how “productive” you were or how much money you have made – these don’t determine your worth. 

Laugh It Up with allgo! 

Is laughter really the best medicine? Some tend to think so. Did you know that laughter can lower your stress level by decreasing the hormones that cause it? It can also improve your immunity and increase the antibodies that help fight off infections in our bodies. It also releases those feel-good chemicals (endorphins) that our bodies naturally create. Temporary relief of body aches and pain can also be added to the list of benefits. So make it a goal to have a good laugh every now and then, or as often as you can! Watch that funny YouTube video, meme or Tik-Tok that you never get tired of and laugh until you just can’t anymore. Another way to invite more laughter into your life is by way of Laughter Yoga! You might be thinking, “Laughter Who?” Yes, it is a real thing. This practice is a mind-body exercise that involves a group experience, some movement if you feel comfortable, clapping, direct eye contact with others, child-like playfulness, and deep breathing to produce joy in the body and a room full of laughter. We at allgo invite you to start the year off with some laughter. 

We will be hosting a virtual Laughter Yoga Session on Sunday, February 6th, 2022 from 2 PM to 3 PM CST. We invite you to come experience the benefits of laughter in community. You can register here: https://bit.ly/allgolaughter  

So, what are you looking forward to this upcoming year? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @allgoqpoc.

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