I have been blessed to work with fantastic therapists and teachers in my day.
One of the most brilliant and influential of those is a lady named Kendra Cunov.
She believes strongly in the power of slowing. everything. down.
That particularly includes this time of year.
She advocates not only spaciousness in our day to day routines, but also ample pausing and reflections on the past year before we decide what we want to bring forward (or not) into the next.
We very often get so focused on where we want to go and what we want to change that we don’t celebrate where- and who- we’ve been.
In that spirit, she offers some very different inquiries for us at 2019 draws to a close. I answered some of these for myself, and frankly, I felt puffed up with pride and amazement at myself afterwards.
I’m presenting them for your consideration today so you can honor the bad ass you were this past year.
1). What do you want to celebrate about yourself over the past 12 months?
Maybe it’s that you ( mostly) kept your word not to yell at your children. Or that you appreciated something beautiful every day. Or that you spent more time time in nature, or added one vegetable to you meal or drank more water. Perhaps you ( finally) cleaned out THAT closet, or started moving your body in some way that felt good to you several times a week.
Remember, it does not have to be something major like a new house or job in order for you to jump up and down- although those are wonderful things to whoop it up for too!
2) What risks did you take over the past year?
Did you take a chance and start dating again after a break up? Maybe you had an uncomfortable conversation with someone that was hard for you. It could be that spoke in public for the first time or started a business, or left a relationship that you had outgrown. Or perhaps you went to therapy (again) or wore lipstick a shade brighter than you normally would.
If you really dig down, I bet you can find lots of things you did that were scary for you. And I will add that sometimes even thinking about doing the scary thing is a risk in and of itself.
3) What did you create over the last 365 days?
Oh man, I love this question. I created altars, blogs, safe spaces, rituals, pleasure, practices, tight containers to hold my practices, more openness in my body, laughter, memories, deeper friendships, soups, spaces for healing myself and others, beauty, and more simplicity to name a few.
How about you? You may have created a very tangible thing like a book or a song or a poem. Or it might have been more abstract like a morning routine, or time to journal or a space in your home to craft. Whatever it was, give yourself a bow for your for it.
4) . Without shame, blame or judgement, what worked well for you and what needs some tweaking?
Ok, the first part is really important. Take an honest look at what served, and an equally candid glimpse at what felt off as a way to gather information and course correct, not as a way to beat the shit out of yourself for doing something” wrong”.
Maybe you started taking yoga because you thought you “should” and realize that you hate it. Or that you don’t hate it entirely but would like to try a different studio, or not a go to a studio at all and try a home practice. Or you wanted to incorporate 15 minutes of reflection time into your day, but realized that you are way too tired to do it before bed. So, you decide to adjust that time to the morning when you are more focused and present. You don’t ( necessarily) need to throw the baby out with the bathwater, although you certainly can if something is not working for you at all.
The beauty of this question is that you can take what worked for you into the new year, and refine or drop what did not so that you feel more peaceful with your life.
And there you have it! I wonder how amazing you will see you actually are once you take the the time to ask!