2020… What a year! Some of us have really struggled with the upheaval and challenges. Others have found joy and growth through being forced out of comfort zones (or discovering new, more meaningful ones). Still more of us have probably had a mix of the two, with good doses of fear and anxiety thrown in. One thing is for sure: life looks a lot different today than it did a year ago.
For many years I’ve committed to sending off the old year with deep reflections on what I’ve accomplished and what can improve, and welcoming the new year with intention. This year, I feel that practice is more important than ever. It matters that we recognize the ways we’ve thrived through difficulty, that we fully accept where we need to grow, and that we create things to look forward to.
One thing the craziness of 2020 has given us is the opportunity to not just “go back to normal”, but to create new normals for ourselves and our loved ones. What better time to get really intentional about that than a new year?
No matter what 2021 brings your way, you have the choice to show up for it as the CEO of your life. Taking the time to really reflect back and imagine forward will help you get on that track.
Below are the 6 questions I ask myself every December, along with my answers for this year. I hope these inspire you to ask yourself these (or similar) powerful questions and to be completely open, vulnerable and courageous with yourself in how you answer them.
Q: What do you not want to bring forward in 2021?
Emotional blockages. Emotions can become like a blocked faucet. If we don’t clear out the blockages, we can’t expect the water to run smoothly, and sometimes it ends up spraying in all different directions, making a big soggy mess.
It’s the same with our emotional well being. If we bottle up negative feelings, turn away from them, try to ignore them instead of confronting them… We get blocked. Our emotions don’t flow freely and smoothly, bringing their messages then moving on. Instead, we get overwhelmed, burnt out, and those difficult feelings we keep shoving down end up spraying out into other areas of our lives.
I’ve experienced a few blockages this year that I’ve worked hard to clear. Difficult feelings are part of life and part of our wholeness. They don’t have to cause blockages. This year, I commit to using mindfulness techniques to continually bring myself into the present, noticing what’s coming up for me, without judgment, so that I can confront it, move through it, grow from it, let it go, whatever I need to do to keep that faucet running.
If you’ve been struggling with emotional blockages, one technique I find really powerful is a fire ceremony to literally burn those emotions as a way of working through them. If you’re looking for something unique to do this New Year’s eve without leaving the house, a fire ceremony might be the perfect new tradition :)
Q: What lessons did you learn?
To create from everything. From chaos, from disappointment, even from nothing. Seeing people come up with all kinds of unique ways to connect with each other, discovering new hobbies, reimagining their business models, helping each other succeed… It has inspired me in countless ways.
In my own life, I’ve had to get creative and flexible in how I connect with clients and run my business. At home, I’ve been dealing with stalled kitchen renovations that have us washing dishes in our bathtub. Life is different in so many ways and it has taught me that I really can create from anything, if I’m intentional about it and conscious about aligning with my values and purpose.
I’ve also started learning about oneness and grounding techniques – the deep impact of purposefully reconnecting with the Earth and the Universe in times of chaos. When the world around me seems to be spinning out of control, practicing grounding literally brings me “down to earth” in a way that calms me from the inside out.
Finally, I’ve learned that the more I accept what is, the more things can change. For example, if your partner is messy and you’re always complaining about the mess, chances are small that they’ll change their habits. But, if you accept their messiness – fully and without judgement – the energy of that acceptance can be powerful enough to allow them to change their habits on their own. The tricky part is completely letting go of the outcome. Maybe they will change, maybe they won’t. That’s not in your control. What will change and what is in your control is how you use your energy.
Full acceptance of ‘what is’ gives us back all that energy we waste on things we really can’t control. That’s when change happens.
Q: What were you most proud of and grateful for this year?
Getting certified as a Conscious Business Coach and completing half of the Co-Active Coaching Leadership Program (the second half has been delayed by Covid, but that will give me more time to fully reflect on what I’ve learned and experienced so far).
I have learned so much through these trainings, primarily in terms of self-acceptance and what it really means to accept ALL parts of myself – the good, the bad, the messy…
I’ve also developed my self-authority, which I’m discovering is powerfully fueled by radical self-acceptance. I’m stepping into myself, my uniqueness, and my woo woo more and more.
Q: What do you need to forgive yourself or others for?
I need to forgive myself for all the times I wasn’t at my best during this pandemic. There is no guidebook for this kind of thing and we’ve all had to find our own ways through. There were times when I gave in to discouragement and sadness. But all of that is simply human and it’s important to forgive, accept, and celebrate the humanness of ourselves.
In a similar vein, I need to forgive others for simply being themselves. Let’s face it, people being true to themselves might trigger us. And that’s okay. Honour the human in them and in you. See their gifts, their needs, challenges, objectives… accept that there are things you simply can’t see or know. As for what they triggered in you, see it as a roadmap for what you need to heal – a gift of growth.
Q: What are your intentions for 2021?
To own my woo woo, fully. I am currently studying and by next summer will add Energy Medicine Practitioner and Health Coach to my toolkit.
This is a part of myself I’ve hesitated to bring forward in the past. I know there are a lot of conflicting opinions out there. But it’s part of who I am and stepping into my wholeness with courage and vulnerability means bringing all of me forward.
Fully embracing and growing this part of me will really create an even more holistic approach to my coaching as I will be able to work at all levels: emotional, physical, mental and spiritual.
Q: What word will be your 2021 theme?
Dr. Alberto Villoldo is a medical anthropologist who studied healing practices in the Amazon with the Andean shamans. He said, “Until you glimpse non-ordinary, invisible reality, your brain will remain biased toward doubting ‘what’s out there.’ But, when you experience Oneness, the sense of separation dissolves, as you perceive yourself to be an inextricable part of the larger whole.”
My theme word this year is intended to remind myself to lean into the Divine through meditation, grounding, and trusting that the Universe has our backs and what is meant to be will be. The more I lean into this, the more at peace I feel within, the more alert I feel to the possibilities outside, and the more confident I feel in helping others uncover their own paths and step into their wholeness. I’m excited to discover what a year of oneness will bring.
Are you ready to become the CEO of your life in 2021?
Connect with me ;-)
Wishing you joy-filled holidays!!