(This was originally posted in the December issue of Live Love and Eat magazine, available digitally on Amazon. It is being posted here for you, my Eat. Live. BE. readers.)
As I write this it's actually mid-November. So to prepare for this article I've set aside some quiet time, cozy'd up with my favorite winter drink, put on some
soft, uplifting music, and sat myself down to write.
It's what I wish for you, this December.
To purposefully set aside some time for yourself, alone, no kids, no relatives, no cooking, no shopping, no cleaning, no wrapping. Just you, and your thoughts. To reflect.
Reflect on the past year, without judgement, but with a definite purpose. Appreciate it, let it go, and set new sights on the year to come.
New Year's Resolutions...Does any of this ring a bell?
For many years, December got the best of me. Too busy, too emotional, and then there it was, New Year's Eve. Suddenly one year was gone, another beginning and I wasn't feeling grateful, or accomplished, just stressed about what I hadn't achieved. And, I was bringing all of that with me into the new year. Ugh. That was no way to experience life.
I'd followed the typical Resolution Syndrome, where I would willy nilly make resolutions, no time to reflect, just force. And, the worst part of all, was that my resolutions were always about fixing what I didn't like about myself. Lose weight. Stop eating crap. Get more fit. These goals weren't bad in and of themselves, it was the reason behind them, the way I created them, that set them up to be failed.
I never took the time to appreciate where I was, how far I truly had come, all the love that had been had over the past year. I just barreled head first into the New Year, vowing to make things different. Stress, anxiety, force, willpower. Sheesh!
But today, it's different. I created my own little ritual to allow me space to reflect, appreciate, let go, and envision who I want to BE. If you'd like to try, click here to download my end of year Reflection Worksheets. Use password liveloveeat
Reflect with Purpose
So, how do you go about reflection with purpose?
It begins with a journal, or notepad, and your calendar. Whether you use a paper calendar or digital, just begin by reviewing your year, month by month. Reminisce, smile, cry. Whatever comes up for you, it's ok. Are there some overarching themes? Let it all come. Let it be. Write it all down. Just don't let it consume you. You'll be letting it go. This is reflecting with purpose.
SO, every one of us has the GOOD and the HARD. Right? Notice I did not say BAD? This is because everything that happens to us, happens for us. I'm sure you've heard that before, and many time it's difficult to understand. But, if you can allow yourself to be open, you can see the lesson, and appreciate how it has allowed you to grow.
Wait? No growth happening over there? Ok, try stepping outside of yourself, look at YOU dealing with the HARD from an outsider's perspective. Can you see it now?
Remember, this exercise is meant to be light, purposeful. Not everything can change for you overnight, but this is a step in the forward direction.
So, be thankful. Thank God, The Universe, your vibrational energy, for all that you received in 2016. Appreciate the lessons learned, or yet to come. And appreciate all the little anythings. Those anythings are everything.
Let It Go
As you'll find in my worksheets, this is the part I like best. By now you've written down the moments from 2016 that were GOOD and HARD. You've hopefully written down the lessons received.
Now, all alone, you may have to get up from your quiet spot in front of the fireplace, wrap a blanket around y