Try This New Year's Reflection, First.
This is an invitation to a writing reflection during this turn of the year, an invitation to honor the woman you are. I wrote an article two years ago about the value of reflecting rather than (or at least before) resolution or intention setting. Too often, we jump to what we want to be or have or do. We forget to recognize ourselves in the mirror, along the way. We forget to mark the sacredness of our own journey. If you want to live more true, recognize the truth that already lives in you, and how you've already been living it. If you want to live by your heart, look at how you've followed it, already. If you want to be brave, look at the bravery of the woman you already are. But most of all, allow yourself this. This now. This you. Below is an excerpt about resolutions and reflections. I invite you to pause a moment to honor the journey of a woman you are. If you like, grab a pen, and answer some of these questions. You'd be amazed what you might reveal.
On New Year's Resolutions: ... I’ve wielded them as whip, kick, trampoline, energy drink and guiding torch.
I’ve used them to plant a flag on a new territory of me.
But what if—before we began to think about making resolutions—we each paused for a moment to recognize our evolution?" ... If we don’t stop to acknowledge what this little leg of the journey has brought us, then we deny ourselves the awareness and appreciation of learning what we’re capable of—of being, doing, feeling, learning, changing or accepting. ... Tell me what you put your heart and attention to and what you found was within you and around you, already. ... Before I make a single resolution, here’s what I’ll ask of myself this year:
In what ways did I step into myself, or free myself, or show up a little more?
What moments did I gift myself completely to?
In what ways did I touch or help other people? In what ways did I let them touch or help me?
What was I brave enough to learn—even if perhaps the lesson wasn’t invited?
What was I brave enough to start or persist with or commit to—even if fear was at my side?
What was I brave enough to walk away from, or admit, or stop doing—even if it was hard?
How did I open up my perspective or defy my comfort zone? What new influences or experiences did I expose myself to?
What curiosities did I follow? Were there some “firsts”?
What did I learn about what enlivens my heart, what matters to me in this season of my life? Or did the season change?
What beauty or challenges did I let be brought to me, did I receive?
What did my most challenging moments teach me? What did my heart’s fullest moments reveal?
How did I show myself I could practice courage? Forgiveness? Caring? Trust? Loyalty? Humility? Faith? Kindness? Confidence?
What did I create? I may have instigated a smile, wrote a play or had a baby.
With what energy did I engage with my life and with the aspects of it? What kind of relationships did I foster?
In what ways did I grow as a woman and a human being?
What has begun to intrigue or draw me, what changes are already in motion?
- - - The above is excerpted from my 2015 elephant journal article, "Before You Make A Single New Year's Resolution, Read This."