|Here’s what I like about you.|
(It’s a long list, so settle in.)
You can do impossible things.
You prove that every day.
You’ve suffered setbacks
in your career and relationships
and learned how to course correct
and declare a do-over.
You’ve experienced unimaginable losses
and a devastating amount of shame.
You’ve lost a parent, a child,
a sibling, a spouse,
a friend, a pet,
or they’ve lost their way,
and somehow you’ve
found the faith to love
and offer support again.
You have taken risks
that nearly broke you
and still struggle with
for not knowing better.
You’ve been misunderstood
and yet you remain
open to what’s possible
even when it requires you
to risk it all again.
You do the necessary hard work.
You go in early,
and shovel snow
even when you know
no one else will attempt
to venture out.
You’ve bought more self-improvement courses
than you’ll ever complete,
but you don’t let this stop you
from seizing new opportunities
to invest in yourself
and build a better world.
Your body has betrayed you.
You may have experienced
a threat to your health
that brought you face to face
with your own mortality.
You’re getting older in spite of
your ageless attitude,
and inimitable shoe collection.
Somewhere along the line you started
working overtime instead of working out.
You occasionally overindulge
and binge watch entire seasons
of your favorite shows
all in one weekend
when you could be
clearing out the clutter,
attending a CrossFit class,
or preparing healthy meals
for the upcoming week.
But you believe Mondays
are like New Year’s Day,
so you begin again
and vow to do better.
You worry about the world
going to hell in a hand basket
and secretly suspect it’s
weapons of mass distraction
that will ultimately lead to our undoing.
You fear that folks have forgotten
how to talk to each other,
think for themselves,
follow their guidance,
or stand up for what they believe in.
So you make sure to vote
even though you know
your neighbor will vote differently.
You smile at strangers even though
they may interpret this small
act of kindness as stalking,
and you speak your truth
even if your voice shakes.
You are brave when bravery is required.
You are resilient even when you are bone tired.
You weave a spell with words that soothe the soul.
And you sing despite your reputation
for making up your own lyrics.
You are more than the sum of your parts –
even though all your parts are perfect in their imperfection.
You are always evolving.
You are still learning.
And so you remain a mystery –
even to yourself.
You see life differently.
You are wildly creative
which makes you
You hug trees,
flirt with babies,
let your dog occupy
the choicest spot on your bed,
let your cat commandeer your computer
(to allegedly manage her Instagram account),
and let baby goats jump on you during yoga.
You orchestrate the elements,
bend time, and defy gravity.
You feel deeply so you hurt easily.
You know intuitively so you act instinctively.
You keep these gifts hidden so you can
blend in and not out yourself as
the force of nature that you are.
Your curiosity keeps you questioning the status quo.
Your attraction to the extraordinary
summons you to sacred sites.
Your generosity makes you magnetic.
Your vulnerability makes you irresistible.
Your dancing makes you legendary.
Your sense of humor makes you the life of the party…
should you ever stray from the sanctuary
of your studio, library, garden, or kitchen.
You bloom where you are planted.
You are a sensual creature who insists on honesty
wherever you can find it.
You are a meaning maker
with an appetite for adventure.
You are a citizen of the world,
a renegade, a revolutionary,
a rebel with a most compelling cause.
You are a visionary, a shapeshifter, a truth teller,
a way shower, and a light worker.
You are grounded in this world
but not exactly of it.
You are a Spark of the Divine.
Made up of stardust and moonbeams, you are.
You continue to surprise and delight.
Because of that, I’m all in.
I’m devoted to helping you get
from where you are now to where you want to go.
Because I want more for you than you dare to want for yourself.
And partnering with people I adore as much as I do you
is what I’m most grateful for thisThanksgiving.
THE “HOLIDAZE” ARE HERE!!
If you are triggered just hearing those words,
then it’s time to tap!
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) can help you
not simply survive this season,
but quite possibly thrive!
Join me for a FREE tapping session on Friday, November 26th.
We’ll tap at 3pm and 7pm EST.
Or, if you’re super stressed, tap twice!
Register here to get the Zoom link.
You’ll get my
“Top 10 Tension Tackling Tunes to Keep You Humming
Through the Holidays”
just for registering.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved all things “woo-woo.”
From feathers to sticks and stones to drums to oracle cards to divination guides, I was fascinated with how these tools could transform an ordinary experience into an extraordinary one.
And for almost as long, I’ve felt a sense of “poo-poo” about incorporating these tools in my professional work. Like they aren’t “legit”. “They shouldn’t be taken seriously.” “I should just consider them a hobby or something I entertain friends with.”
But not using them disrespects the gift. Because you see, these transformational tools are my medicine.
Unfortunately, the creative gifts we unapologetically accept when we are young are the first to be sacrificed on the alter of adulthood.
It took me years to embrace my creativity and unique way of knowing as the incredible gift it is. I can finally acknowledge how incorporating this supports my health and well-being in ways that have just as much to do with the bottom line as meeting a sales quota.
It has taken me even longer to see that my decades in the desert struggling in silence and solitude to come to terms with my quirky way of seeing the world and experiencing life were actually preparing me for the journey I’m now on. This shamanic adventure is one that demands that I reclaim the gifts I abandoned in my misguided attempt to blend in with the conventional crowd.
We are wired to want to belong. We are social creatures who need community. And with that comes the need for approval, acknowledgement, achievement, and evidence that we are okay.
So we sometimes give up what we know to be true about ourselves in order to fit in with everyone else.
If you’re not the average bear or color outside the lines or move to the beat of a different drummer or are a free-spirit (as I was often called), life can be more challenging.
But it can also be extraordinary.
We all have unique gifts. Whether we’ve honored them or abandoned them in the past, they are needed now.
It is time to excavate them from wherever they may be hiding and share them with a world that hungers for human decency, compassion, understanding, insight, consciousness, forgiveness, light, and love.
If that requires me to bring out my drum and singing bowls, my crystals and oracle cards, my talking sticks, flower essences, spirit animals, and Divine Assistance Team, then so be it.
Maybe when I embrace my woo, you will embrace yours too.
Ever wonder what it would be like to use your gifts to transform an ordinary life into an extraordinary one?
Join me this week for a FREE Master Class
Embrace the Woo
Thursday, June 27
at 8pm EDT.
Plus get a behind the scenes look at
The Academy for Practicing Everyday Alchemy
coming in September.
The only thing you need to do to participate is
download the free Zoom app at https://zoom.us.
Then just sign in and enter the
Meeting ID 517 495 633
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org ahead of time
to get your free guide to Embrace Your Woo.
Love is in the air.
At least that’s what card companies, chocolate factories, and flower shops would have us believe around this time of year.
Of all things to believe in, love is certainly a noble and worthy cause.
As someone who has never been married and spent my fair share of Valentine’s Days celebrating the unconditional love of my dogs, I could give you a million reasons why romantic love is overrated.
But I won’t.
Because as cliche as it sounds, love makes the world go around.
The problem is not with love.
It’s with our limited view of what it should look like, feel like, or how and when it should show up in our lives.
If you are like me and Hozier, “I fall in love just a little, oh a little bit, every day with someone new.” Or something.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the one I am with. Because of that, my cup runneth over with love..
So I am looking to fall in love just a little bit every day with someone new because there are so many people in need of love. No one may have noticed the tiny tears in a person’s heart. No one may have noticed the way a person is lovable, adorable, vulnerable, creative, generous, surprising, kind, or appears to be broken.
When I do, I let my love open the door.
Whether that be through a smile, a reassuring word, a gentle touch, or just keeping my mouth shut when I might be tempted to criticize or judge. Often times these things can mean more than diamonds, flowers, candy, or over-the-top declarations of love.
And I don’t limit myself to people.
I especially love trees and have no shame in wrapping my arms around their trunks whenever I have the chance.
And, oh, I do love my animals.
I love ideas.
I love art and music and poetry and delicious food.
I love to sleep.
I love my snow pants because they allow me to be warm and comfy in winter weather. And they create a softer landing when I fall off my skis.
I love creating something out of nothing and transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.
None of that can happen without love.
So I will continue to be a hopeful romantic and believe in love and all the ways it dares to shows up in the world against all odds.
And I will send a whole heart full of love to you.
P.S. I would love to know what you love and what songs about love you love. Please add your playlist of love songs in the comments below.
Since the snow continues to accumulate here in Iowa I thought I would try my luck at skiing on Saturday. My niece wanted to ski and Bob’s nephew wanted to snowboard and because they still think of me as the hip and crazy aunt who will try anything, I could not disappoint them.
I’m not really sure why I thought I could ski since I haven’t been on skis in over 20 years and I’ve never once had a lesson. Maybe it’s the subliminal messages the Winter Olympics athletes are sending us to get out and act like an Olympian in our own lives.
By attempting to ski I learned about myself, fear, fun, and falling down. As much as I like to think I’m able to listen to my body’s wisdom, my head hijacks whatever is attempting to communicate through my extremities at the first sign of danger.
In my case, this happened as soon as I slid by boots into the skis and attempted to maneuver over to the bunny hill. The ability to put one foot in front of the other without falling over suddenly became a monumental task.
“What was I thinking?” became the only thing I was thinking. Until I fell and then, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” became the predominant thought.
“Take off your skis!” Kat advised as I pondered how my knees and feet might work in unison with skis pointed in opposite directions.
“You can do it!” Brad encouraged.
And I did.
After a successful run down “Rookie’s Ridge“, I moved on to the “green” hill where I wiped out a couple of times and skied right into a snowbank.
I think it takes most people 3-5 minutes to ski that slope. I’m pretty sure it took me 35.
“Come on, Pen! Try going a little faster,” the young ones quipped. It sure seemed like I was moving at top speed when I skied into the snow bank.
Luckily Kat and Brad were more patient than I ever expected them to be. They even acted like they knew me when I came careening into the chairlift area.
Did I have a fabulous time? A humbling time would be more like it.
In my mind, I still believe I’m their age. It always shocks me when my body reminds me this is no longer the case.
But courage begets courage. I’m not sure I would have even agreed to try this had I not just started a mastermind group called Practicing Everyday Alchemy and been buoyed by the support and faith of a fearless group of amazing alchemists.
Every Olympian has an entire team behind them encouraging, supporting, training, and seeing them through their toughest and most glorious moments. Why wouldn’t I put a similar support system in place when I take my leap into the unknown?
Having just read an incredibly insightful book by Shawn Achor called Big Potential, I wouldn’t attempt anything worthwhile without assembling a star system that allows me to not only to tap into my potential, but the bigger potential of everyone in the group.
It’s often the tiniest of actions that catapult us out of our comfort zone and into what I call our evolutionary zone. Sometimes it’s heading to the slopes. Other times it’s passing on dessert or an alcoholic beverage. It could even be cleaning out a room in order to create some breathing space.
What courageous acts – big or small – have you taken lately?
Who makes up your star support system and allows you to shine your light in new and adventurous ways?
Please share in the comments below so we can celebrate your moments of magnificence with you and those who made it possible for you!
Today’s Sunday Summer Stretch Series episode is all about showing up.
Yesterday Becca and I went on location to the site of our Tapping Into Your Wellpower retreat to film this week’s episode. Ironically we recorded twenty minutes of video that mysteriously did not show up in my iMovie library when I came home to edit, forcing me to use the only five minutes that did show up.
What I’m noticing as I produce the Sunday Summer Stretch Series is that the right (and often exasperating) experiences show up at the exact right time to illustrate the point I am suggesting you pay attention to.
Clearly, it’s a case of physician, heal thyself.
For example, last week we talked about structure. On the 4th of July – a day that had the potential to throw a lot of people’s structure out the window – I found myself feverishly outlining Sunday Summer Stretch Series topics through September and creating a structure for each episode.
Some might say that should have happened before I even started, but let me assure you, if it would have, you would not have seen Episode 1 until next summer.
Sometimes, I just have to “Leap,” as Les Brown says, “and grow wings on the way down.”
Showing up in Boston in the middle of a blizzard in March to attend Ignite Your Power was such a leap. At that event I invested in a year long coaching program that has transformed the way I show up for my life and the people in it.
It wasn’t that I hadn’t had coaching or heard similar stuff before. Like you, I’ve consumed copious amount of content either out of curiosity or fear of missing out.
However, I seldom contributed to these conversations or left comments, even when the information totally rocked my world or changed the way I looked at something. I figured someone else would surely comment and the author wasn’t interested in my opinion.
Until I started creating my own content. Now I realize feedback and comments are the lifeline of a thriving community.
Writing can be a very solitary pursuit. Or it can be a call and response feedback loop where I put out the call and you respond or you toss out a question or a comment and I respond.
Showing up changes everything.
You can stay in your head where it’s safe, you’re surrounded by intelligent life forms, and your eccentricities are considered charming.
Or you can risk being seen.
You can risk being exposed for being human, being a bit unorganized, messy, or otherwise imperfect. You can be accused of anything from fashion faux-pax to intentional ignorance of the laws of defensive driving or good grammar.
I used to lament that my superpower was invisibility. Now I’m determined to turn that around and I am committed to showing up and being visible – imperfections and all.
As Barbara She said, “Isolation is the dream killer.”
I used to pride myself on being fiercely independent. Now I know the real honor is to be a part of a community. If you are reading this, please know I am thrilled to have you as part of mine. Many of you have been quietly reading for years, never letting out a peep.
Today I’m going to nudge you to just check in and say “I’m here” in the comments below. Or simply like this or share it with someone who might benefit from reading this. Because showing up – even in small ways – matters immensely and I’d love to let you know.
Here the link to today’s episode on Showing Up in the Sunday Summer Stretch Series.
It’s that time of year when students of all ages are graduating on to bigger and better things. In my family alone, we have three graduations in as many weeks.
After a couple of decades of being out of school, my sister just completed her Master’s Degree in Student Leadership. Her daughter is finishing her last week at SCAD and will be heading out to California to start her creative career with a hat maker. And my nephew just graduated from Illinois State University and is on his way to Wyoming with his girlfriend to experience a summer working at Yellowstone.
Oh, the thrill of the open road and a new chapter!
This is the promise of new beginnings. Anything is possible.
The reality is that new beginnings are available to us at any time, although we sometimes need a little pomp and circumstance before we’re officially ready to roll.
I prefer to start without the fanfare.
I tend to launch before I know what I’m getting into.
Because if I knew what would be required of me to do half the things I long to do, I’d never do them.
It’s too daunting.
The learning curve is too steep.
If I knew how ridiculous I would feel prior to feeling fabulous or smart or trendy, I would never conjure up the courage to connect or create in all the ways that really light me up.
If I knew how much time, energy, and effort would be required to learn something people half my age were born knowing, I’d be tempted to use the “I’m too old for this” excuse.
But it’s that attitude that ages us faster than anything else.
The thing is, before we can get there from here, we have to go through the I-have-no-idea-where-I-am-or-what-I’m-doing place. No one talks about this place because once we get where we’re going and know what we’re doing, we often erase limbo land from our memory.
It’s human nature to want to forget our ineptitude or gloss over the obvious errors in our thinking or the epic failures we didn’t anticipate.
But these often make the most memorable stories and become the beginnings of our greatest adventures.
Countless success stories start with the adventure that went awry, the chance meeting that wouldn’t have happened if all had gone as planned, or the random recalculating of an accepted hypothesis that resulted in a scientific breakthrough.
There is an urgency about getting to the Promised Land, wherever that may be. We want to start out making top dollar. We want to instantly become an internet sensation. We want everyone to know our name. We want to succeed in business without really trying.
But there is a necessary learning curve. This is that magical time when we are humbled and frustrated and overwhelmed and filled with uncertainty that’s only occasionally sprinkled with awe and amazement and enthusiasm about what’s possible.
It’s this grace period when we get to fly under the radar, make mistakes, and hone our craft before we get pummeled by public perception.
It’s when we realize how lucky we are not to have our dreams realized before they are fully formed.
I recently came across a book titled “What’s In The Way, Is The Way.” This echoes the idea we’ve been tossing about in my coaching program that the life we’ve lived so far, with all its trials and tribulations, has provided the precise experiences we need to succeed.
Whatever impeded our journey informed our journey and placed us in the perfect position to offer the unique contributions we can today.
So, graduates, as you saddle up and ride off into the sunset, remember it’s the detours, flat tires, the missed turns and the learning curves they afford that hold the real gifts.
I have no doubt you will get to your Promised Land with the flair and finesse that only you possess. Just remember to embrace with grace the path that leads you there.
I’d love to hear what you are graduating from at this juncture in your life. Please leave your comments, insights, or advice for fellow graduates of all kinds in the comments below.
Yesterday I attended the funeral of a dear friend. She was the first one to “like” a blog post or leave a comment on my “latest and greatest” idea, no matter how wacky or weird it was.
If we’re lucky, we all have at least one person like my friend Linda who makes us believe in our own brilliance by reflecting it back to us.
Ours wasn’t a likely friendship but one that developed by working together. We didn’t work together for hours on end but in the odd hours when everyone else was asleep or had gone for the day or the week.
You see, Linda was the caretaker of our building. She was the invisible hand that kept the floors and windows clean and everything in operating condition. She would usually come in around 4 in the morning and spend a couple hours at our building before heading to her full-time job to put in another 8-9 for the day.
In her “free” time she made quilts and took in sewing projects and did all kinds of odd jobs for others.
She was a worker bee.
About a year ago Linda got bone cancer and embarked on the only route she deemed acceptable – the grueling road to recovery. She was an extremely private person so at first she simply withdrew. I’m sure she thought she could handle it without bothering anyone else and be back to work in no time.
But that was not the case. She had a long battle ahead of her and she was forced to fight it full time.
Once as I was driving her to the hospital I remember thinking, “This is really happening to us. We are no longer immune to cancer. It’s no longer something other people deal with.”
I got a glimpse into the impact a diagnosis of a debilitating disease has on a person. She, of course, was not going to let it get the best of her. In fact, like many people who have had cancer, it seemed to bring out the best in her.
Despite her declining physical condition, emotionally and spiritually she seemed to simultaneously harden and soften. Harden to take on the fear and uncertainty and soften to allow others to help. This brought about a kind of acceptance and letting go that comes with finally understanding what truly matters.
During the service, the priest admitted that he didn’t know Linda. I thought about how lucky I was that I did. As he fumbled his way through a reference to some Twilight Zone episode meant to comfort her family and friends, I consoled myself with what I did know and love about her.
While he surmised she loved being an aunt, he had no idea how much she loved her “kids” Rick and Rachael, the cats who shared her life. He made no mention of how mechanically minded she was or how, despite her fragile physical form, she was in the midst of a full DYI home renovation that had her excited about her future again. He failed to mention her lucky streak at the casinos or her love for Manny’s pizza.
He had studied her obituary but knew nothing of her life. He hadn’t had the opportunity the rest of us did.
As the priest offered the congregation communion, I imagined Linda finally communing with Michael Jackson, whom she admired more than any other performer. She told me once she’d love to have his music played during her funeral service but didn’t think it would go over very well.
So I came home and honored my friend the best way I knew how. “Alexa,” I commanded my AI device from Amazon, “please play ‘Man in the Mirror’ by Michael Jackson.”
Let me just say Alexa has ever understood or responded to any of my requests before. I believe she’s in cahoots with Siri who has the same problem. But today she responded, “Okay, Penny. Playing Man in the Mirror – the Immortals edition.”
Then I moon-walked around my kitchen, celebrating the life of my friend.
In my effort to be more visible, to show up more fully, and put my whole self in, I’ve decided to make a series of videos called A Penny for Your Thoughts.
Each week I will explore a topic and invite you to join me in this grand adventure. You are welcome to send in topics as well as your own videos.
If you are under 30, I’m guessing you’re totally up to the challenge and wondering why it took me so long to ask.
I can say with some amount of certainty that if you’re over 40, the mere thought of making a video is enough to cause a panic attack.
I know this because making videos is terrifying for me. It absolutely unnerves me. Possibly because the Invisibility Cloak I got for my 40th birthday has become a bit of a security blanket for me by now. And most likely because when a writer becomes visible, it’s a total game-changer.
No one notices my crooked teeth, thinning hair, thickening waste, or messy kitchen when I’m writing. Everyone notices when I show up on their computer screen.
Videos = Visibility = Vulnerability
You know those dreams – nightmares, really – when you show up to a big event but somehow have forgotten your shirt or pants or find yourself completely naked? That’s what it feels like to make a video.
But it’s also the best way I know to let you see my passion, my quirkiness, my commitment to my craft, to lifelong learning, and to you, my faithful reader.
I’ve been blogging for 6 years now. I thought we might be ready to take this relationship to the next level. What do you say?
Okay then. Strap in. Adjust your helmets. It’s going to get interesting. And hopefully, even fun.
I know it’s a little hard to hear the audio part with the music. I’m using Adobe Spark and tried to turn the music down as much as I could but I couldn’t figure out how to delete it during the video segments when I was talking. Clearly, I needed to use a microphone.
I promise the videos will get better as I learn! 🙂 I am also open to any of you video wizards giving me tips and suggestions. You know who you are! I’d love to hear from you. Contact me at email@example.com.
My niece Kathryn is a college recruiter for SCAD. Because she is a floater, most of her time is spent on the road or on a plane meeting with students from coast to coast. When she told me where she was heading this week, it didn’t take long for me to rearrange my schedule so I could accompany her to the place I called home for 14 years.
Although it’s been almost 7 years since I’ve been back to Santa Fe, I go there in my mind every day in some small way. From the architecture to the music to the art to the landscape, Santa Fe has shaped me more than any other place.
Walking into the lobby of our hotel (pictured above) it all came rushing back to me. This is my happy place. Everything is artfully designed, from the way a fire extinguisher is disguised behind an exquisitely woven twig panel to the details on the doors, the paintings on the walls, and sculptures and sconces that guide us around the grounds.
The curator not only payed attention to the craftsmanship in these pieces of art, but he or she fully expects us to appreciate it as well.
And I most definitely do. The city provides a smorgasbord of visual delights tucked in the most unsuspecting places.
More than any other place, this place holds the magic for me. Things happen here and conversations take place that don’t anywhere else.
Yesterday’s foray into my favorite shoe store, On Your Feet, was a case in point. I told Kat this wasn’t your average shoe store. It was a Cinderella shop where slipping into the right pair of shoes could shift your whole story line.
At first we were just caught up in the array of beautiful and comfortable shoes. Then we were captivated by our salesperson Jennifer who is as fascinated with self-discovery as I am and had a daughter who graduated from SCAD. We had an instant connection, became fast friends, and exchanged email addresses along with a promise to return later in the week. (So many shoes. So little time.)
It reminded me of a similar experience six years ago with another salesperson at the same store who sold me a pair of hiking boots and become a confidante and friend in the process. I wrote her a thank you note and was rewarded with a sweet response saying she received my note on her wedding day and it added to her happiness.
As we walked the plaza, we connected with a Native American named Noel who shared the story behind his jewelry pieces, what they represented, and how to properly take care of them. Instead of merely an exchange of money, our interaction was an exchange of energy. I will carry that energy with me each time I wear his earrings.
I told another vendor I lived here for many years and he said the words that melted my heart. “Welcome home.”
Yes. My heart is home here.
While Kat met with students, I went to the Southwest Reading Room at the library. I used to love spending time there writing. Yesterday was no different. I wrote until my computer threatened to lose power.
Then we went to Harry’s Road House where the roadhouse tostada and coconut cream pie were waiting patiently for me to indulge in their timeless appeal. After finishing 21 days of cleansing on Sunday, this was a welcome treat. I even got a glimpse of Harry. It’s comforting that some things don’t change.
The sun was shining, the mountains were majestic, and the pace of a tourist town in off season perfectly matched my mood. It made me realize why taking the time and making the effort to return to the City Different is so essential to my soul.
Today adventure calls so we’re off to the trails to put our hiking boots to good use.
What about you? Where does your heart feel most at home? Where is adventure calling you? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.
When I lived in Santa Fe, I used to housesit and dogsit for people. When a friend’s mother passed away, she asked if I would stay at her mother’s house until she and her sister decided what to do with it.
This was no ordinary house. This was a gorgeous ranch with a guest house in one of my favorite places on earth. I was sure everyone was mistaken and I was really the one who had died because this was my idea of heaven. The days I got to spend in that home among so many beautiful things were unforgettable.
My friend’s mother was a remarkable woman who had crafted an astonishingly elegant life for herself and the friends, family, horses, and canines that kept her company.
One evening as I sat on the porch watching a spectacular sunset the idea occurred to me that I couldn’t hang on to this place or this experience any more than my friend’s mother could. The only thing I could do was fully appreciate the time I had there.
This is why I’m so protective of this time at the end of the year and seem obsessed with making sense of the year coming to a close. I’m acutely aware that, as the classic Seals and Croft song goes, “We may never pass this way again.”
So I want to make sure I’m present for it. That I don’t rush through it in my desire to move on to bigger, better, faster, or flashier. I want to take my time and give it the attention a full year of my life deserves. I hope you’ll do the same with yours.
With that said, I’ll take you through the rest of the Year in Review template and tomorrow I’ll give you a different one to look at the year ahead.
What were the products that rocked your world? Every year there is at least one thing I wonder how I ever lived without. Usually it’s an upgrade or improvement to something I use every day. It could be as simple as a new electric toothbrush, slim velvet hangers, a new skincare product, or an app that reminds me to meditate, move, or feed the fish. What are those things for you?
Who were the people who rocked your world? Just as there are products you can’t live without, there are people who make it all worthwhile. It could be your yoga teacher, your rabbi, a rock star, a writer, your next door neighbor, Alexander Hamilton, or the dog-treat-dispensing bank teller. I was inspired by so many people that this will have to be a separate blog post for me.
What books, blogs, movies, music, concerts, conversations, or workshop/seminars/coaching programs/retreats changed the way you think and feel? The thing I like to remember is I am only one thought away from a new perspective and a few dance moves or dog walk away from a better mood. As much as I like to think about things, I don’t act on them until I feel something. Often times I need a nudge in the form of reading material, listening material, phoning a friend, or giving in to the unbridled enthusiasm of two dogs who think they are going for a w-a-l-k.
How did your relationships change or shift this year? Did you get engaged, married, divorced, have a baby, lose a loved one, start a business, hire a coach, fire someone, rekindle a romance, move to a new neighborhood, or retire from your job? When your circumstances change, usually your relations shift as well.
What health, fitness, food, or spiritual practices did you try, tweak, test out, or keep up this year? Maybe you took up archery or turned into a total foodie, much to your surprise and delight. Maybe you started a hip hop class or became a Buddhist. Maybe you did a 21-day cleanse or tried acupuncture. Or maybe you suffered a debilitating illness that turned your world upside down and forced you to do everything differently. How have these new practices defined you or allowed you to reinvent yourself?
What is the smallest change you made that had the biggest impact? Did you start meditating for 5 minutes in the morning or stop drinking soda? Did you start leaving love notes in your spouse’s lunchbox? Did you take up taekwondo with your kid? Did you give up lattes for Lent and never looked back?
And finally, what were your greatest contributions this year? Maybe you spent a Saturday afternoon being a bell-ringer for the Salvation Army. Maybe you took 3 carloads of career ready clothes to Dressed for Success. Maybe you sponsored a child, saved yourself and your children and left an abusive relationship, or fed some local families during the holidays. Whatever you did, make a note of it. It mattered.
Tomorrow I’ll look at what you want to call in for 2017. But for today, take your time and tell me about your year in the comments below.