Reviewing and reflecting on the prior year inevitably brings us face-to-face with missteps, blunders, and (still) unfinished projects.
It would’ve been particularly rough for me after my ‘make-it-so’ year had it not been for many serendipitous make-it-so moments. And one of the biggest lessons I learned:
Many worthwhile endeavors take longer than you imagined they would.
And that’s okay. I am one of many who are grateful that Leonard Cohen didn’t give up on Hallelujah. Sometimes it takes one more revision to find the right tone, edit out the fluff or find the last special song for the playlist.
And then there’s its corollary:
Sometimes you get what you need (and more) from good enough.
For example, taking a five minute photo or dance break can be just as rewarding as that hour photo walk I wish I had time for every day. The latter can fit into the rhythm of each week. Hint hint.
There’s more to say about what I learned during my 365 daily dance project; technically, I failed to dance every day to one whole song as I initially defined it. Still, for me the focus was a huge success; full story coming soon.
Today is about watching the blooper reel with compassion.
Take some time to reflect on your lessons from 2014. They’re as likely to come from what you celebrated yesterday as what haunts you today.
If you can, get out in nature. It will give you perspective. Be comforted and inspired by the magic and rhythm of winter (or summer), of which you are a part.
Write yourself a love letter. By hand. On beautiful paper, a fun postcard or a sheet of loose leaf paper.
Praise yourself for what you celebrated yesterday. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you made and for what you didn’t (yet) accomplish in 2014. Note what you learned. Suggest how you might do things differently in 2015. Conclude with love and affection.
It’s important to use a nurturing voice, not a harsh one. If you’re still cultivating that for yourself, use the voice you use when talking to your best friend, your child or your pet. That’s how I started, before I transformed my harsh inner tyrant to Tinker Bell.
What do you most need to hear to feel cherished by yourself?
Seal, address and stamp it. Then mail the letter to yourself today or in a week or two.
When you receive it, savor reading it, as a letter from a cherished loved one.
Then tuck it away to discover again later in the year. Perhaps put it in the pocket of a jacket you won’t wear again until spring. Or if you have a tickler file, cue it up for Valentine’s Day, your birthday or a challenging time you know you know lies ahead.
Or when you de-decorate your house, pack it away with a cherished ornament. And when you read it next year it will be a love note to your future self.
Bonus Tip: Before you mail your letter, dance with it. Tape it to you pole. Tuck it into your favorite lap dance chair. Pin it near your heart. Then dance to a song makes you feel cherished and hugged. Some of these songs may inspire you.