I have been anxiously awaiting the end of this year to not only move past the challenging time, but also make space for a new and much healthier 2018. The challenges of my body have definitely taken priority in my life this year and I am ready to move on. I chose the word BOLD for the year and I love looking back and seeing how it showed up in my life. I have done this process for many years and I usually quite surprised to see just how the thread of my chosen word was woven into the tapestry of my life.
As I begin the process of reviewing and reading my 2017 journal, I found that asking myself some contemplative questions is a good starting point to start the inward journey.
* How did your love for self, life and others, show up this year in the different areas of your life? Through the process of healing from hip surgery #2 that was 12/30 of last year and preparing for hip surgery #3 I learned deep lessons in self-love, as well as for others. I learned to set boundaries with myself and others as I learned to navigate new territory in the way of resting more and saying yes to other more. I also learned to love life on a much more intimate level by experiencing the depths of chronic pain. I watched my youngest son go through one of his hardest experiences and that offered me another layer of motherly love–balancing love and also allowing him to find his own way.
* How did universal love and love from others show up for you this year in all that came your way? I received love in so many ways both tangible and unseen yet powerfully felt. I received financial help, nurturing meals, encouragement, love, time and countless prayers. The greatest gift of love came from a complete stranger when I received tissue from a cadaver to help reduce my pain–this was the ultimate gift of love.
* What did you learn/accept/heal/transform about yourself this year? I learned to accept about myself that I am not interested or likely ever capable again of the physical activities that once filled my soul. I am content with a short and slow walk. My personal yoga practice has become much deeper, and much less physical. I transformed my willingness to say yes to ME and to let go of the patterns and wiring that caused exhaustion and a breakdown of my body.
* What blessings did this year bring? One blessing came in the form of a black and white kitten that has filled out home with joy. Another blessing showed up in learning to BE rather than DO.
* What personal strengths did you discover, apply, or develop? I developed grit like not other. I always knew that I was strong and edged on being a badass, but this year I dug deep into the marrow of my being and found grit. I applied this in dealing with pain and adversity of my work schedule and self-sustaining ability. I discovered that there is also a deep satisfaction in saying yes to myself.
* What new skills, insights, or wisdom did you gain? New skills that I gained was an increase in my confidence and my ability to stretch myself in a BOLD way. I let go of worrying about what others thought and instead, going for it! I said yes time and time again to me and my dreams!
* What served as a catalyst for healing or transformation that you can now be grateful for, even if challenging at the time? The catalyst was/is accepting and handling chronic pain and the life-changing events, while also turning them into moments of grace.
* What can you forgive yourself for? I can forgive myself for not always honoring my body in the past and for taking for granted health. I can forgive myself for being so stubborn and strong-willed that I spent years not receiving what I now know I am totally worthy of.
* What and who else can you forgive? I can forgive my father for never really telling me that he was proud of me. I realized through the wisdom of a client that I never really told my dad I was proud of him either…..karma?
* What can you let go of (limiting belief, attachment, attitude, grievance…)? I can let go of the disappointment I feel about my father. I can also let go of the attachment I have had of healing faster than my body dictates.
* What achievements and accomplishments can you acknowledge and celebrate? Through the process of being forced to have down-time and heal I had plenty of time to study and test to pass and become a Certified Brain Injury Specialist! This was a huge exam and something that I was not required at all to do but I chose to do so that I would learn more to apply to my clients. By being diligent–and mindful–I was able to pass the exam and get my credentials.
* What ‘lessons’ did you learn? I learned that it is absolutely–without ANY doubts–imperative that we as humans learn (and do so with love) to receiving. That I am not weak or unworthy when I say YES. Just the opposite is true.
* What and who are you grateful for that happened this year gone, and why? I am grateful for the person who died who chose to donate their body so that I could be in less pain. I am grateful for the skilled surgeon who compassionately did his work on my hip. I am grateful for the people who loved me and supported me through this really challenging year. I am grateful for the teachers in my life that show up week after week to share Yoga with me. I am grateful for the generosity of others. I am grateful for the opportunity to grow and to keep seeking.
* What or who can you let go of? (This may include a pattern, grievance, person, belief, attitude, emotion, attribute, behavior, story, situation, judgment (against self or other), habit, and so on) I have learned this year that I can let go of the need to always be responsible and instead, be a bit more joyful. I have learned that it is okay to worry less about being capable and worry more about being present. I have learned that the days of over-exercising and abusing my body served another version of needing control and that to loosen my grip on that need will result in a great freedom. I have learned that stigmas and stereotypes rarely are accurate. I have learned that I am stronger than I thought possible while I also witnessed a sense of vulnerability that I didn’t know existed.
* Where did you courageously step outside of your comfort zone? I stepped out of my comfort zone by allowing people to help me. Instead of thinking that I had something to prove by doing it all myself, I said yes to others helping me. In that process I learned that it is absolutely okay and in fact, it is richly rewarding to allow others to give.
* What did you absolutely LOVE that happened this year? This year I LOVED my family, my home, my time visiting my momma, my backyard, my work, time in nature, traveling to Taos, removing the wallpaper in my old childhood bedroom, nurturing friendships, getting clear about many difficult situations, but mostly I LOVED saying yes to me and coming into a stronger and more self-assured Stacie.