Normally at this time of year I'd be planning some kind of weight-loss program, thinking thin thoughts, trying to cut down on the booze-and-junk-food power duo I like to call my weakest link.
But this year I've resolved to work on the inside: my inner bitch. Most of you don't know her, but for those of you who do, I am so sorry.
Before I get started telling you about my bitch-busting plan of action, let me clarify. If you stand up for yourself but things get out of hand, you are not being a bitch. When you criticize someone's driving, lame outfit, personality, lack of talent/style, you are.
I do both the former and the latter, and know there's only room for one type of righteousness in my life. I decided to axe the critic.
Here's what prompted me to check my head. My friend Michelle graced me with this little anecdote. Once, waiting in line at a fast food place, she told the woman taking her order that she'd like the same thing her friend had just had. The woman looked at her and, in her best Jerry Springer snap, said, "I don't know your life." And she was right. Mind-reading was not part of her job description.
This response resonated with me. It's true, we don't know each other's lives, and I remembered some of the unending insensitive remarks I'd made in the past, like, "How can that person be so stupid?" Well, what do I know? Maybe they suffered head trauma at the hands of an abusive parent.
It all made me reconsider who I was and what I knew, and the answer was not as much as I thought. Once you know for absolute sure that you know nothing or half of nothing, man, does your heart soar.
I retired my judger hat and got to work being a kinder, gentler, cooler, more open-minded person.
I tried yoga. But cursed with a cynical - not to mention immature - attitude, group stress-relieving made me roll my eyes. Same went for working out at home, at the gym and with a personal trainer. Know what saved me? Cosmetic acupuncture.
I wrote about it this past fall, and it was the only time during the entire year - other than stints at the hospital with ailing loved ones - when I shut my phone off. Time stood still. And how could it not? I was lying down in a dark room wearing a towel, with pins stuck all over my face and body. No washroom breaks, no sneezes. A flinch could be dangerous.
Vanity forced me to meditate. I lay there quietly, enjoyed my endorphin rush and did not have a single thought in my head the entire time. Not one.
Anyone who knows me will appreciate that all that inner quiet was unusual for me. I was finally at peace with myself and the world. I thought of the smart, gentle people I respect and love most and resolved to be just like them: grateful, compassionate and forgiving.
Coming from a fashion and beauty background, I consider this the biggest irony. It took me looking like a bona fide Hellraiser on the outside to start extinguishing the demon within.