This photo will either look to you like a narrowing road or a path of opportunity. Expand this image to your life. As the year comes to a close, do you see your life closing in, or can you picture a path opening up to a new adventure? For some people this can be a sad and lonely time of year. Year’s end usually brings about a whole lot of feelings - mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual - as you reflect on your year during this time of reprieve. Sometimes it can be a lot to process, but generally, and the way I see it is, if you let it, the beginning of a calendar year can represent new hope, renewal, and shift in the direction of growth.
December is the perfect time of year to take a moment to really grasp all that happened in your life over the past 11 months, whether good or bad, happy or sad, momentous or minimal. A years a long time and it’s worth remembering in order to be able to grow. It’s also a time to let things stagnate a bit, a time to spend close to loved ones and regain your spirit and strength for the next 11 months ahead.
If you’ve read my post from last year’s new year you’ll know I love to conjure hope and momentum for the future by looking back on fond memories and achievements from the previous year. Leading up to that, however, I like to take some down time and enjoy the last month of the year by being really present and in tune with how I’m feeling. I really enjoy December, what with it bringing Christmas and a lot of time with family and friends. Plus, there’s snow and holiday music, crafts, and baking. So much to enjoy! But, with all the activities, there’s also rest to be had, especially if January brings heightened priorities.
This December, I’m going to use these key actions to help get my head on straight for 2019:
Write down what happened to you, for you, and through you. Remember everything and live in the feelings of your memories, both good and bad, so you can grasp how they make you feel. If you had an awesome year with a lot of career, social, and familial development, then build upon that. If you struggled to find your way, make ends meet, or connect with others in a meaningful way, decide why these things happened and get ready to turn them on their head.
From reflection, let the feelings you discovered ruminate. Find where you feel them in your body and become hyper-aware of their reactions. This could lead to you uncovering some emotional connections to your physical body you never knew existed, helping you take charge of your physical state by rebalancing your emotional state.
Do whatever feels right, but make sure it serves a purpose. It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit and live in the mindset of, “just one more, the holidays only come once a year”, or “I’ll worry about it in 2019”, or even “I gotta live a little!”. These thoughts are okay to have, but without balance they’re bound to let you live in a downward spiral of depleting energy and emotional stagnancy. While building yourself back up, be cautious not to burn yourself out or break yourself down.
This actionable item is really important to me. I see it as pertinent to regaining your strength, power, wisdom, and motivation for the new year ahead. It’s certainly okay to splurge during the holiday season, but keep yourself in check. Looking back to those feelings you feel from reflecting on the current year gone by, make sure your actions ahead are going to rebalance you instead of keep you living in whatever feelings you want to change moving forward. It takes work, but dang it’s worth it. You’ll enter 2019 with a lot more hope and connection to yourself than you thought possible.
This is where you get to decide how you’ll grow upon who you are. Remember that the world and your circumstances don’t make you who you are, you do. If you want to change in a particular way, make sure your actions and reactions are well thought out and in line with where and who you want to be. As George Costanza would say, “It’s the year of George!”…or whatever your name is. Own it and live it!
The past year presented me with a lot of personal challenges and growth opportunities, some great, some not so great, but all meant to teach me bigger lessons. Since so much came down the pipe, I’m feeling the need to sit back and immerse myself in my feelings around what went down in 2018, which will lead me to discover what I want for 2019. My focus will be on my health, my emotional growth, and JMC’s growth and development.
Since this is my last post of 2018, and to give you an example of how to put this all into action, I’ll indulge for a moment. Here’s what I’m looking forward to addressing:
My health was tested this year as I saw certain recurring issues become exacerbated to the point of annoyance and impedance of everyday life. It’s time for me to woman-up and work on my skin issues, blood sugar and hormonal imbalances, and the systemic root causes so I can get right once and for all.
It’s funny how when certain things about my health come to light, I get so petrified that it debilitates me. This, as you know, is not good. This puts me in a state where I’ll retreat back to my old beliefs about health and healing (very Westernized thinking) and forget all I’ve learned in school. That is, until the fear goes away. It’s okay to be scared, but it’s best to use that as fuel for good and not to shut down and lose faith. I know better than to not trust in myself and all I know, and to use the resources I have at my disposal that resonate with me to heal.
My Emotional Growth
My emotions were so up and down this year that it started affecting me physically. My brain was clogged with thoughts about relationships in my life, my career, finances, and my internal struggle of whether to move back to Ontario, that it affected my day-to-day. I couldn’t focus and I was starting to see a lot of minor irritations flare up (see above). I also went through a big break up this year and as most of you will probably know, a break up can throw a person for a loop, make them feel disconnected, lost, and less confident.
I knew the state I was in, so I started connecting to myself again emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I journaled a lot, meditated, took long walks, and talked to myself to keep a healthy dialogue flowing. At a time when I was feeling super disconnected from myself, I was also starting to realize more about who I truly am. This is why I need to keep growing in this manner, even though I know I have a lot more work to do. It’s time to go deeper, older, and more thoroughly into my behavioural patterns in relationships and work, if only to keep growing and overcome repeating challenges. The world has a funny way of presenting the same situation over and over again until the lesson is learned. These are the lessons I’m dying to uncover.
JMC’s Growth and Development
This is the most exciting aspect to me. Personal growth and development is internal, whereas business growth is external and includes all of you! Upon moving back to Ontario, I chose the take some time to regroup and reflect on where I wanted to see my business go in the coming years. What I discovered was a commitment to things I didn’t know I’d gravitate toward. Things like food insecurity, food growth and food systems, community support and development, and education, all with a big picture focus.
Education has always been a part of my goals, but now so more than ever. This includes educating myself about the realities of these challenges, but also educating others about proper nutrition and lifestyle changes applicable to all levels of all age, income, and ability. I’ve never cared more about getting the message out there and changing the way food is treated in all levels of society. You can look forward to seeing more curated and timely content in my blogs, interactive workshops and live events, as well as online interaction and education.
You can also look forward to seeing more education around Essentrics and regular class schedules. As I grow my teaching practice I look forward to watching you all grow and change as you find your flexibility and comfort in your own bodies.
I’ll leave you with this…
Think about how you want to live your life in 2019. How you want to feel, what you want to experience, who you want to share it with, what mindset you’d like to adopt, and how to make that happen. This can apply to all aspects of your life - work, family, health, extra-curricular, finances, environment, spirituality, and family and friends.
I’d also like to remind you to take a broader look at your health. Ask questions and really understand what’s going on with your body, feeling intuitively which methods of healing feel right for you and developing strong relationships with your health care providers - everyone from your therapist through your massage therapist.
You can provide yourself with the guidance you need, you just need to search within yourself to know where to go. Taking time to listen to yourself instead of blindly grasping at things and people external to you can really help. Others will be there when you need them, but you have to be ready to listen and know how to apply their knowledge.
Enjoy the rest of what 2018 has to offer, folks. Happy holidays!