Reflecting back on 2013, it has felt like a roller-coaster journey, interweaving new shoots of inspired creative expression with periods of intensely challenging personal growth. One moment feeling uplifted by life and making great strides forward, the next feeling dumped in a big hole facing right into another layer of healing work that I can’t skip over.
Having seen the pattern, I no longer feel surprised by this as I now recognise it as the natural and healthy way we grow beyond the ‘edges’ of our comfort zones, especially when we make a decision to following our inner calling to step up and realise our creative potential.
People keep saying to me ‘hasn’t 2013 been a challenging year?’ and ‘there’s been so much uncertainty afoot!’
Yes, I’m sure we’re feeling wild planetary influences and the systemic effects of some extreme chaos in the world around us. But I also think this epidemic of ‘life challenge’ is part of our process of ‘waking up’ to who life is asking us to be.
What I’ve noticed within myself and others, is that there no longer seem to be intermittent periods of transition but rather one constant process of unraveling our true self expression as we navigate our way to sharing our authentic gifts and unique contributions with the world. If we’re conscious of this process it brings a new lens through which we can appreciate our personal leadership journey, no matter how daunting life seems to be.
Much of what I do with my clients helps them to do just that: to become more conscious of the inner journey of growth that life is asking us to evolve through in order for us to experience the creative potential of who we really are.
Instead of looking back and dwelling on the difficult stuff that we’d rather have avoided, we can look back and gather the extraordinary learning gems from our experience, knowing how perfectly they have been guiding us to the precise development we need. We see how the patterns that have held us back have also been leading us to the key leverage points for our transformation.
When we begin to recognise our lives as an evolutionary journey, the purpose of which is to be and express who we really are, this lens becomes more natural to us. It becomes easier to take the courageous steps that would normally throw us into stultifying resistance, knowing that the challenges we meet will be good for us (providing we have the proper support to navigate them).
So as we near the end of 2013, I invite you to take a look through this evolutionary lens of appreciation and get curious about what the roller-coaster has been like for you.
What were your intentions when you began this year’s ride? Where have you flourished and found new ways to express the real you? Where have the biggest challenges been emotionally, physically or otherwise? What conditioned patterns have surfaced more clearly for you? Where have you begun to grow beyond the edges of your comfort zone? What are you able to appreciate and celebrate from this year, whatever shape or size?
Give yourself some time to step back and reflect on these questions and notice what clarity comes to you.
Most of the healing experiences of my journey this year have helped me to see where endings in my life have been messy or unresolved. The process of healing has involved closing some of these ‘open loops’ where something in the past has been left incomplete and where my energy has been ‘leaking’, often without me realising.
For example, the way I finished my last major business partnership 17 years ago had left an open loop that needed to be closed. Because I hadn’t fully received the gems from the painful challenges I’d experienced in that collaboration, I continued to be unconsciously effected in a way that made it very hard for me to step into new healthy collaborations. Now that I am beginning to transcend this pattern, a new experiential pathway is being woven, consciously.
So perhaps you might also consider what endings need to be made conscious and marked in some way for you. What do you need to let go of? Where might there be open loops of incompleteness that need to be attended to so that you don’t leak your energy? What has ended this year that you may not have fully acknowledged or given enough space to complete well?
Trust what emerges as you contemplate these questions and think about what you can actively do to ‘mark’ or finish any endings and enable release. Even a simple ritual such as burning a piece of paper with what you are consciously letting go of written on it, can be a powerful act of completion. Anything you do with a sacred intention to complete and let go will make a difference.
This is a powerful time of letting go in nature: descending into the dark, nurturing womb of the earth to release the old and gestate until the birthing of the new. We know the flow of these cycles of endings and new beginnings that are within us as an integral process of life. The more conscious we can be of this natural process the more it will aid our own healing process – gathering the gems so we can release the old with love and appreciation. Then dreaming into the future and birthing the new.
As you contemplate your 2013 and find the gems from your experience, remember to add a large dose of self love and appreciation for everything that you have navigated, however imperfectly you perceive your actions.
I’m thinking of you now, appreciating your engagement with me today, wishing you much love for a wonderful festive season and a very Happy Old Year!