Soft Intentions + Curious Baby Steps for 2017

Looking Ahead to 2017 | Ruby Josephine
Looking Ahead to 2017 | Ruby Josephine

There are many things this year that are hanging tantalizingly in the air just out of visibility. While certain large decisions are pretty much settled- being married, being based in Tangier, the planted seed of this website- there are a lot of unknowns going into 2017. Dance, my personal work, travel ideas, and a couple other large life-changers (that I don’t want to jinx just yet) are all swinging around, waiting to drop and burst into what I hope will result in new adventures.

Because I have come to see how suddenly life can surprise you, I never make too many permanent statements as regards to my new years resolutions. I prefer soft intentions, background vibrations and goals in the form of curious baby steps. Being unashamedly my mother’s daughter through-and-through, I have begun taking a page from her book by starting out my 2017 envisioning with a single word. I spent the good part of a day writing down every word that popped into my head until one stuck and felt right.


I suppose technically vibrant is more commonly used and I found plenty of  online debates on whether vibrance is a legitimate variation of the former adjective, but when it came down to it I just liked the ance at the end because it felt more twinkling, less abrupt. Mary Oliver says in A Poetry Handbook, “words have not only a definition and possibly a connotation, but also the felt quality of their own kind of sound.” So vibrance is my word of 2017.

Therefor, my ultimate top-of-the-tree goal is to bring more vibrance to everything in life. I want to bring more vivacity and authenticity to my dance and writing work, even more luminous care and focus to my marriage, conscious positive energy to all of my relationships and friendships, and keep following the glimmering wave of creativity that has been gaining momentum these last couple months.

Ruby Jospehine |

Under this tree-top of vibrance stems other more specific intentions, such as cultivation of knowledge and interests, focusing on productivity over “busy-ness,” and balancing health and how to work more efficiently from home. Finally beneath these spiral the little details- the reachable specifics. This is the year I finally want to become not just conversational in moroccan Arabic, but literate in the classical reading and writing. I also am determined to learn calligraphy. I already have a beautiful set of pens and ink gifted by my always-artistically-supportive parents so I really have no excuse not to try. Among these new interests I would also like to get yoga certified (or at least put in some hours towards it), improve my headstand/handstand inversions, travel somewhere with M that we both have never been, read at least 3 books a month and develop and redesign this blog, which is in fact already in motion (!!).

For the past 2 years I have merged all of these intentions, goals, and details into one portable mind map to slip inside of my moleskin planner for the year so that it’s always with me if I need a mental refresh. There have been years when I look back at the wishes and intentions I set in January and see with surprise that they have absolutely no relevancy in my life anymore, and that’s fine. That can be great actually, because it means that so much growth has happened that old wishes have been discarded for new and, let’s hope, more shiny ones.

Looking Ahead to 2017 | Ruby Josephine
Looking Ahead to 2017 | Ruby Josephine

So with that, I hope that the major surprises of this year are good ones and that any bad ones can be handled with as much grace and robustness as possible. I hope that this intention set here can move me forward in a thoughtful and conscious way, being present in every moment. I hope the same for anyone reading this- I would love to hear about how you usher in the new year, as well. I hope 2017 holds vibrance for all of us. 

Cheers to the unknown.