Hello and Happy 2019!
Growing up in the northeast, winter was a time of numbing cold and gray skies. Although sledding was fun and the first snow was always exciting, there were many days of early darkness that encouraged rest and quiet times. Now, I live in Arizona and at present we are experiencing an unusually cold spell where the temperatures have dropped to freezing. Memories of reading books by cozy fires, watching squirrels jump bare tree branches, eating nourishing stews and being inside looking out at the all-embracing darkness have come back to remind me of the value of winter….and the importance of slowing down to reflect, enjoy and gain new insights at this time.
Winter is the season of regeneration. Yet often because it is the start of the New Year there is a push to claim goals and start making things happen before time is given to reflection, stillness, musing and checking in with one’s heart for true desire and meaning.
Do you give yourself enough time to listen for what you really want?
Nature teaches us the value in slowing down so we can get clear about what we want to create and more importantly, why we want it. Winter is a time to reflect and do some deep listening. We know that even though the ground can appear barren, a lot is at work below the surface. Plants use the winter dormancy to put their ‘house’ in order. For example, proteins are broken down and remade and cell membranes are maintained. In winter, plants are preparing for the spring and the emergence of visible life. We can do the same by taking time to reflect and put our own ‘house’ in order.
How will you use your time, energy and resources in the coming year?
Will you align your goals with your deepest values?
Here are two reflective exercises that will help you ‘prepare the ground’ for your upcoming year.
Look back over the year of 2018 and make a list of your most meaningful moments. What stood out for you this year? What was most meaningful for you? This list is not about having to be grand but more about what you really cared about. One of my most meaningful moments in 2018 was time spent with my grandson right before he went to bed, and hearing him tell me, with all the intensity of a 6 year old, an injustice that went on in the playground that day. Another was a surprising and unexpected hike in the high desert with a friend. We walked through unusually high grasses, past a flowing creek and tall cactus in quiet and awe. There was also a highlight experience of overcoming a challenge that was on my list.
As you reflect and write your answers out, notice how you feel. Paying attention to what you care about and what filled you up in 2018.
What did you learn?
As I looked over my list, I was reminded how important having time and space for moments with family and beauty are in my daily life. It fills me up. It surprised me that on my list was how I enjoyed overcoming a particular obstacle. I realized that doing it let me draw on a variety of skills that I really enjoy using. Prior to making this list, I had seen the how hard it was to meet the challenge but I had not recognized what I appreciated and enjoyed about it. So I learned, I like a good challenge. What about you? What does your list tell you? Any surprises? Do you see any patterns?
It’s hard to create more of what we really care about unless we can define or understand it. Use this exercise to help you gain clarity around what you really care about. You might be surprised by what comes up!
Preparing for 2019
Make sure that you have undisturbed time and quiet space to reflect on these questions.
What do you want to experience and/or achieve in 2019? Imagine you have unlimited resources and plenty of time. What do you want? Make a list of everything, of all of it.
Now look through the list and pick 3-5 goals for 2019.
Take the time and write out the action steps required for these goals. What do you need to do to make this happen? When you see what is required, be honest with yourself, do you still want this goal? Do you have the desire and drive to do what this goal requires? If so great! If not, give yourself permission to look again. Sometimes when we see the reality of what’s involved in achieving a desired goal, it loses its appeal. And if we check in with our hearts, we discover we really, honestly are not willing to do what is needed. Be honest with yourself and know that if you are not willing and if for some reason this goal does not speak to your heart, let it go. Something else is waiting for you. Have the courage to let go of this, create the space you need to listen to your own truth and trust that you will know what’s next.
Rarely do we give ourselves time to muse, reflect or internally debate about goals. It’s nice to have the freedom to see what all is involved before making a commitment or allowing the shoulds or others expectations to influence our true desires. Trust yourself.
If you have you been curious about life coaching and how it might help you create the positive change you want, I hope you will reach out and we will have a chance to talk. I have been coaching for 21 years now and what I see often is that fear can get in the way of living the life we really want. But it doesn’t have to. There is a great inner strength and courage found in our hearts. When we pay attention to what has heart and meaning rather than get tied up or entwined with the fear, self doubt and worry, we can tap into this courage. The word courage itself comes from the French word, ‘coeur’ which means heart. When we are courageous enough to listen to what we really want and then take the first step, it’s amazing how support comes in and things start to happen. This has happened over and over again in my life and I’ve learned that when we trust ourselves, others and life, we are incredibly well supported and doors open.
I’d love to meet you! Give me a call at 602-870-0060 or email me at Victoria@wayofdiscovery.com to learn more about Personal Leadership and Life Coaching. The call is complimentary and will give us a chance to meet and give you a chance to experience a bit of coaching. And, most importantly, it will let us know if we are a good fit. The power that comes from coaching comes from the trust that is established. It’s important that we be a good fit so the energy, time and focus is on gaining clarity, creating, overcoming obstacles and taking the next steps forward so you can create the personal and professional life you really want.