Reflection Questions for the New Year

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” ~Soren Kierkegaard

  

This is the perfect time to reflect upon this past year.  Are you ready?

To prepare, take a deep breath, slow down, and grab a cup of coffee or tea along with a journal or notebook to write in.  As you go through the reflection questions below, write down what comes to you after reading each one.

There is no right or wrong answer.  Making judgments and having negative thoughts are not part of the plan. This is an exercise for you to use to make positive changes.

  • What did you learn this year about yourself and in general?
  • Pick 5 words to describe this year.
  • What or who brought a smile to your face or warmed your heart this year?
  • What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
  • What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
  • Who came into your life this year?
  • What or who did you let go of this  year?
  • With whom were your most valuable relationships?
  • What effect did this past year have on your emotionally, spiritually and physically?
  • In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
  • What was your single biggest time waster in this year?
  • What was the best way you used your time this past year?
  • What was your greatest accomplishment this past year?
  • What do you want to continue into the New Year?  

Did you find this exercise helpful?  I’m always looking for feedback. Please feel free to add a comment below. 

Wishing you an amazing 2017 full of endless possibilities! 
 

Creative Courage

As hard as it is to admit it, I’ve been stuck.  Several years ago, I lost my “virtual” voice.  My writing, blog posts and social media pages came to a halt.  I found myself in the middle of an unpredictable storm.  At times it was hard to walk through it.  Eventually the storm passed and the skies cleared.  Emotionally, it felt like my foundation had been cracked.  I needed to rebuild.

Since then, a part of me has been caught in a cycle of overwhelming fear when it comes to writing.  I have allowed the fear to hold me back. The ideas and words have continued to come to me every day.  This is nothing new.  Some people feel an urge to exercise, shop, eat, paint, dance, etc…  I feel the urge to write.  Then morning turns to night and nothing is released. Oh how I’ve longed to pick up the pen or type on my keyboard once again. 

As far back as I can remember, I have been creative.  Writing has been my passion. When I was a teenager, writing was my form of therapy for quite some time.  Before I was able to speak my truth, I wrote my truth.  It felt so freeing.  It filled my spirit and gave me purpose.

Through this experience, I’ve learned that my creativity and “inner-writer” never left me.  Somehow, the fear crept in and kept us apart.  It deflated my courage, sense of security and self-worth.  My inner-writer has been patiently waiting to reunite.  My creativity was not as patient and took another route.

When the words were unable to find a way out, my creativity connected me with Coloring.  About a year ago, I bought a couple Meditation Coloring Books as a different way to get back into meditation.  I loved it!  I ordered dozens of coloring books, packs of markers, gel pens, and when the creativity was really flowing, Prismacolor pencils.  Coloring gave me a chance to put the pen to the paper again and create.  What a beautiful process it has been.

I have felt a shift from within.  I started working with a Life & Business Coach a few weeks ago.  It reinforced what a powerful process coaching can be when I’m ready to change.  One of the “ah-ha” moments came when my Coach helped me see how much my creativity was connected to my authentic-self.  By tapping back into my creativity through coloring, I reconnected to a place within where my inner-writer was waiting.  It was time to reunite.

I took a deep breath and asked my Higher Power to take the fear away.  I felt love in my heart.  I let go of the false beliefs.  I felt the courage and inspiration come back to me.  I released the negative thoughts and doubts.  I gave myself permission to live in my truth.  I embraced my creativity.  And I wrote this blog post!

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Take Heartfelt Action

img_7165This week has felt like a wild roller coaster ride.  Emotions were running high with unforeseen twists and turns. It’s time to recenter. Let go of all negativity, dark energy, emotional walls and thoughts that do not serve the greater good.

Join in embracing our democracy. May we all come together and stand united to lift one another up. May our hearts remain open and filled with love, light, peace and hope. Let’s focus on what part each of us can play to make our home, community, state, country and world a better place.

The election is over, the reflection can begin.  Give yourself permission to be right where you are. Connect with your feelings. What have you learned about yourself and others through this experience?

Thoughts become things. Focus on the positive ones.  It takes practice. It’s a mindful choice. Each one of us can look within to determine if what we are putting out into the world is coming from a place of love or fear.  Are your words helpful or hurtful?

Take heartfelt action.  What can you do today to contribute towards the solution?  It can be on a small scale.  A random act of kindness goes a long way.  Listen to a friend who needs to be heard.  Smile at a stranger.  Check on an elderly neighbor.  Let a car in front of you during rush hour.  Hold the door for someone.  Let your loved ones know how much you love them.  Give a compliment.  Pay it forward.

You are not broken

Messages surround us every day.

Taking a walk the other day, I came across what appeared to be graffiti. As I got closer, the message became clear. “You are not broken.” It stopped me in my tracks.

For so many years I thought I was broken and could not be fixed. I lived in self consuming misery. I was the eternal victim and didn’t understand why.  I believed the lies that I told myself. The problem was the source of my advice. My mind!  It was my self centered, fear based thinking that led me to believe I was broken. When I was ready to change, my life took a turn for the better.

If you feel broken, I’m here to tell you feelings are not facts. Just hold on. Life is a series of ups and downs with lots of twists and turns. You will learn from it all. Just step back and get out of your own way. You are not broken. You are a beautiful spiritual being. You are loved.