2016 is coming to a close. Ah, a year that showed us how unkind people can be, how intolerant to other’s opinions the general population is and how much fear there is around us. The year also showed that the impossible can happen; whether that be a team that hasn’t won a world series in over 100 years or someone with zero understanding of the law, constitution and policy becoming President. We saw a lot of things in the year that surprised us. We had terrible terrorist tragedies in places where we should feel safe; we had untimely deaths of many celebrities and artists. It may be a year many want to see close.
I practiced my year end review again. I spend 5 minutes timed on each of the following buckets just allowing myself to write without judgement; learnings, surprises, failures and successes. Then I review them and go back to what my intentions for the year were. It is a great way to take stock of the year and set my intentions for the new year. This isn’t about judging me or being harsh about the things I may not have done. It is about understanding them, what blocked me, what got in the way as I grow and evolve for this year. It is also about celebrating the things that I felt good about, the successes and the surprises! A friend of mine told me he didn’t like the “failure” bucket and didn’t generally think about things that way. I shared with him that my thinking is simple. I don’t judge that I failed at something, I do look to see if there is something in the learnings from that failure, or is that what my intention is for the new year? Turn that failure into a learning. I think I got comfortable with this a couple of years ago when I realized that all greatness comes with failures. That is how you learn. You fall off the bike a few times before you learn to balance well and ride. You learn what you need to do differently from those failures. Practice is about taking what you aren’t doing well and learning how to do it better, to compensate, to release whatever is blocking you. At least that is how I think about this and it has changed my sense about failure in general. I used to have this hyper sensitivity to failing something; I failed in marriage; I failed at something I tried. Oh whatever! I tried, I didn’t get it right. Did I learn from it? Have I grown from it? That is what is important along with never giving up! And I don’t. So I’m good with listing my failures as long as I understand my learnings. I’m not sure he agreed, I told him you don’t have to list your failures then! Do what makes you comfortable, be true to you. That is a lesson I have gotten better with over the year, be true to you.
As I moved into 2016, I was focused on a few things. I wanted to continue to build a better relationship with myself, I have always been very judgmental of me and negative and have been working to change that. 2016 was a year that forced me to really focus on my relationship with Suzy; to not beat myself up quite as much. This was challenging but through a lot of time alone along with using my tools and gurus, my relationship with me continued to grow. I let go of a lot and I learned a lot. I also learned that isolating myself too much isn’t good for me. I need to be around people more than I was in 2016. I took isolation to a whole new level this year! One of my intentions moving into 2016 was to not be the fixer of everything, and I fixed less. I realized that it wasn’t up to me to fix everything and didn’t try. And I wanted to do more with my writing. I began to explore that during 2016 through my writing retreat and learning more about the craft of writing. That will be the big goal for 2017, to continue to hone my craft and get my writing out into the universe more. To let my lessons help and inspire others. To evoke emotion that helps people move through issues, and to not feel alone. I have felt alone for too long and want to help others know that they are not alone.
So, one of the big failures of 2016 was not having a romantic relationship. I am no closer to that now than I was 364 days ago. I didn’t even go on a date in 2016! Not one! This is a major intention for 2017, to allow more love into my life especially with a partner. I know that the work I have done on me over the last few years has allowed me to get better at receiving love, my heart is open more. I also know that I needed to get to a place where I was judging me less, so I wouldn’t judge a partner harshly. I am in that better place and I think finally a good partner. I want someone special to fill that place in my heart and in my life. I want a partner in life. The learning that I realized from this failure is that 1) my confidence is still a bit rocky so I don’t put myself out there; 2) although I know I am worthy of a healthy loving relationship, I don’t take chances; 3) trust is still an issue for me, especially words and actions matching up. So these will be things to work on in 2017.
As I think about the year, it was rocky, personally and professionally. It was a year of growth. Of getting better with letting go and starting to let things be. I climbed those rocks. I slipped and fell at times but got up, wiped off the dust and kept moving forward. I learned a lot in 2016. On to a new year, and new challenges, learnings, surprises and successes; with a few failures built in to learn those lessons and grow. So as we move into the new year, here is something I found that resonated with me:
Think Positively. Let go of past mistakes. Make new friends.
Stay away from toxic people. Use your talents.
Don’t hold back. Do good deeds. Speak up
for yourself. Know your worth.
To end the year taking stock and begin the year with some intentions, is what growth is all about. Keep growing, keep learning and keep loving! To all, Happy New Year!