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Appreciating The Gifts of 2014

There are a lot of coaches and mentors sharing their New Year’s rituals like coming up with a theme, or choosing three words to guide you through the year.    This year I’m doing things slightly different.    

At the beginning of last year, I knew I wanted deeper relationships, more intimate conversations, and to be more present to my family.  I received what I asked for abundantly! However, there were some unexpected surprises that the year brought that were a result of the intentions I set.  Those surprises are the hidden gifts of 2014 that I want to take the time to not only appreciate, but to celebrate!

Celebration #1 –   Discovering that I am a HUGE success!

I’ve lived a fairly interesting life by most people’s standards, and yet I always felt that I was chasing an elusive ghost called “Success.”   No matter how much I did, or how much I accomplished, I never felt truly successful… until this year.   This year I heard myself saying on a number of occasions, “I feel successful because I listen to my inner guidance.”  

Before this year, I had adopted a definition of success that didn’t leave me feeling successful.  The definition of success that I’ve been using up until this point is, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”  This definition of success is about pursuit.  It makes perfect sense that I wouldn’t feel successful unless I was chasing some dream that was ‘out there’ somewhere separate from me.   Hearing myself express my success as a function of my ability to listen and follow my inner guidance was a huge shift for me.

I had been taught to separate success from guidance, so in my mind my I was never successful.  I would pursue a worthy ideal and when my guidance would give me a new direction or inspiration to slightly shift the course, I’d listen and shift.  I have met the most amazing people, had amazing life experiences, enjoyed deep love, and pretty much get to live the life of MY dreams because I listen to my inner guidance.   And every time I didn’t complete what I started, because I listened to my guidance, I felt like I had somehow failed.   This year has taught me that my ability to listen to guidance and to act on it IS my success.  So no matter what I do from now on, as long as I’m listening to my inner guidance and not ignoring it, I’ll know I am successful!

Celebration #2-  Letting Go

This year I let go of more expectations regarding other people and I’m settling into more acceptance.   I have been practicing forgiveness for the past 25 years however the new levels of “letting go” are bringing in a new layer of awareness about how our expectations affect how we feel and how we heal.   I’m more and more mindful of the expectations I have that prevent me from allowing or receiving the fullness that life has to offer.  

This was a huge year for letting go.   I let go of a lot of things I really loved but weren’t exactly making me happy.    I’m much happier now.  I also let go of a lot of things that I people said I “should” do.   The more I let go, the more freedom I have.

Celebration #3- Learning to Appreciate Myself

This is an ongoing pursuit of mine; the pursuit of self-appreciation.   Earlier this year I was asking my inner guidance how can I help my clients really ‘get’ that they are amazing and understand that things are so much easier than we make them.  I received a clear message, “You can’t make them, however here are 24+ ways to activate your DNA.”    According to my guidance, we activate our DNA by appreciating ourselves without judging or trying to figure it out.   I decided to start practicing what I’ve come to understand as “The Sacred Art of Self-Appreciation”   2014 was the year I learned to truly appreciate myself.  This was not the easiest thing in the world for me to do because I harbored so many inner judgments.  Not pretty.   I started a Facebook group at the suggestion of a dear friend and mentor of mine and I invited a few friends to join.   I posted at least a few times a week since March about what I appreciate about myself, my gifts, my work and it has been the single most transformational thing I’ve ever done.    I’ve learned that I am so much more powerful than I ever imagined and I’ve learned that it is not easy to appreciate ourselves.  You’ll hear a lot more about this in 2015.

There are so many gifts that 2015 brought me through my commitment to appreciating myself.  It would be hard to list them all.    The biggest gift is that I feel more alive than ever.

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