Last week Lee wrote about the importance and power of reflection as the year draws to an end. He mentioned how an essential part of creating a new beginning, of looking ahead and planning, is pausing to reflect on where we are and how we got here. So our theme for the month of December is Reflection.
When we start reflecting on our past year, it is so easy to see what we’ve missed, promises we made that we didn’t keep, goals that were not reached and so on. And yes, reflecting on challenges and acknowledging our regrets is important, so we can learn from them and move forward in a positive way.
But I think for most of us, acknowledging our successes is more important. Most of us are wired for the negative. Our brain, by design, is always ready for worst-case scenarios to protect us from harm. We have a highly developed sense of what went wrong, what is wrong now or what might go wrong. If we want to wire ourselves differently and teach our brains to build positive pathways, acknowledging what was or is good is critical, including the successes that we ourselves had.
We already spoke in detail about gratitude and its unbelievable power on our well-being last month. Gratitude for all we’ve received is incredibly important, but this newsletter’s focus is a slightly different take on acknowledging the good. This is about the goodness in us! It’s acknowledging how much good we did this year and how much we gave to our relationships, to our work life and our communities, big and small. It’s seeing ourselves in that light that will inspire more greatness in our future rather than only looking at our failures and intending to do better next year.
I just did that as a participant in the most recent New Beginnings Day Workshop that our Leadership Training participants led about a week ago. They had us look at our achievements and successes of 2017, in all areas of our life and then share them with a partner. At first, I felt some resistance, but once I got going, I could have gone on for much longer than the allotted time. It started to be fun! Waves of lightness and joy came over me and I saw my own greatness—not from an egoic standpoint but from empowered humility.
I accomplished a great deal this past year. I spread a lot of love in the world, supported many people in their journey, and initiated and sustained multiple positive projects. It felt so good to acknowledge that to myself and my partner. It also was wonderful to hear my partner’s accomplishments and see him light up. The whole room felt elevated and we all saw a glimpse of what is possible when we truly own who we are.
So, I encourage you to take 1-2 hours in the next few weeks and simply write down what you accomplished in 2017. Make lists of all areas of your life: your health/relationship with your body, your family life, your love life, your friendships, your work or occupation, your hobbies, your creative expression. No accomplishment is too big or small. And when you think you’ve run out of successes, go deeper! I promise you there is more! Dig it up, be willing to search for it, and you will see how much goodness came through you this last year.
Please share on our FB page. We’d love to hear your successes! Plus you writing and sharing your successes might remind someone else of theirs.
Happy Self-Acknowledging, everyone!
Love and blessings,