10 “Rules” Going Into 2017

Aaminah Shakur
3 min readDec 30, 2016

As they say of the Pirate Code in Pirates of the Caribbean, these are “more what you call guidelines than actual rules,” but they were conceived of as advice to my own self first and foremost. After discussing things I wanted us to leave behind in 2016, I started to think about what did I want to bring with me into 2017. I don’t do “resolutions” or believe in arbitrary “changing my life” scenarios, but I do believe in periodically reviewing my own inner workings.

One of my plans for creative growth was making a prayer/wish project. Inspired in part by Yoko Ono’s Wish Trees, and in part by my tribe’s practices of prayer ties, I wired up a downed tree branch on my front porch and began writing these rules (and other wishes, goals, prayers, and mantras) on strips of fabric that I then tie to the branches. Over time the branch will become covered with fabric in a variety of colors and with all of my wishes.

Here are the ten “rules” I have created for the upcoming year.

Listen to your intuition.
Get right with your own self.
We are our own hope & saviors. We have to be. (With gratitude to the example Carrie Fisher set for us. Rest in peace.)
Be the most you. Be more than they expect. Be “too much.” (Again, inspired by Carrie Fisher’s life.)
Let someone love you well. (That someone can be yourself, or accepting love from another.)
There are enough reasons for righteous anger. Don’t hold on to ego anger.
Don’t waste energy trying to fit into anyone else’s vision of you.
You are so much more than your “productivity.” Redefine success for yourself.
Embrace change. Finding your place/people/purpose doesn’t mean it’s all & for forever.
Focus more energy on what you can be part of building/creating (but choose thoughtfully.)

#2016Sucks, but maybe, just maybe, if we get ourselves together and make a plan, #2017Rules.