At the beginning of December I was already looking forward to New Years. There's something so beautiful about having an external invitation, like a holiday, to pause for reflection. Most years, my husband and I spend an evening journaling-- using questions such as:
- What was the hardest part of this last year? How did I respond?
- What do I want to celebrate from this last year? What did I accomplish, where did I grow, and what am I proud of? How can I foster even more gratitude in my life?
- What did I lose this last year? Have I grieved those things fully? Is there anything I want to do right now to honor those loses or let go?
- Where do I hold angst, stress, guilt, or frustration? What might I do now to go into the New Year with less of those feelings?
And then I inevitably pick a few words. A theme. An intention.
I don't do goals. I do feelings. What do I want more of in my life? And I name a word. Or two or three. :)
Past words have included: gratitude, traction, abundance, courageous, and connected.
Then, from there, I can better make decisions about what would help me experience those feelings. It ensures that I never set resolutions based on obligation or guilt, but based on pursuing the things I want to feel.
Entering my 2014
This year, in early December, as I was already scheduling a few weeks out to block off an afternoon for reflection, I pictured myself sitting in a group of women.
Just thinking about us all having a place to share our reflections and witness each others losses and celebrations thrilled me! I sent invitations out.
And yesterday afternoon I sat in that circle I created. I don't think any of the 9 women who came knew more than 1 other person in that circle, and most of them didn't know anyone else. But as always happens, because humans crave more meaningful conversation that we typically get, magic ensued.
What a joy to be able to not just journal on my own, but then to also share some of my reflections with others. And to hear their stories. To resonate. To be inspired. To process out loud. To hear myself get clearer as I shared. To celebrate each others wins. To bear witness to their losses. To collectively decide that we want to enter a new year with more clarity and less fear, doubt, and uncertainty. We committed to live lives of love in 2014, instead of acting out of fear, and we chose it together. That's powerful.
So this year when I chose my words, it wasn't just written on a page, but it was spoken out loud in a circle of supportive faces. I spoke mine and they spoke theirs.
What would you say if you were in that circle? What do you want more of in your life this year? (Here is a partial list of feelings words to see what jumps out at you!)
Is connection on your list? Or, what about acceptance, belonging, appreciation, inclusion, mutuality, or affection? Or maybe Frientimacy-- the intimacy of close friends? Does one of your words include inviting more love into your life?
If one of the hungers of your heart involves being connected to others-- whether that be making new friends, repairing some old relationships, or developing some friendships into deeper and more intimate experiences--I invite you to join me this Friday night (1/3/14) on the free call I'm leading.
If one of your themes has to do with friendships, surrounding yourself with good friends, then I hope you'll carve out an hour at the end of this week to give yourself the pause to start thinking how to turn that word into reality.
Yesterday, as these women left my home... they just kept saying, "Thank you for organizing this... I needed it, but would have never done it on my own." That's true for most of us.
So I extend the offer to you, to sit in a virtual circle with me this Friday! Give yourself the inspiration and information you need to attract more meaningful connection in your life.
If you have a phone line, then you have a circle of women waiting to be with you. :)
Activity Idea: A couple of years ago I came across Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map who does something similar but she adds some brilliant questions that I now answer after I pick my word/words: What can I accomplish/experience this year to help generate these feelings? What can I do this quarter....? What can I do this week...? What can I do today...? Brilliant. Reminds us that even drinking one green smoothie or sending a card to a friend might move us toward our word.
In the meantime, leave a comment sharing some of the words you're choosing for your 2014!