This was a tough year. A year ago a pivotal relationship of mine ended, a relationship that I invested heart, spirit, and mind into for over 5 years. I felt like I have been unwinding from that relationship and rebuilding my inner sense of self on a daily basis.
Early in the year, I also embarked on home improvement projects that turned my south side Chicago condo into a construction zone for 10 months, including contractors coming in and out, ongoing negotiations, dealing with insurance, and working with my condo board.
Here at Tiara, one of my projects was to champion the refresh of our website, which meant dismantling and rebuilding our brand, engaging with new resources, and building a platform for a stronger online presence.
Basically, it feels like everything has been a mess and under construction.
As the year comes to an end, I feel a sense of pride in my ability to grow, deep gratitude for my circle of friends and family, and, quite frankly, an impatience at how many things are not done!!!
Yet I know that if I focus on what’s not done, I will feel depleted, behind, anxious, and self-conscious, which is a disservice to the amazing life I am leading.
Although this year has been tough, it’s also been magical. I have traveled across the world, I am part of a phenomenal business, I am connected to incredible people, I get to hang out with fantastic young people and kids, I live in a building and neighborhood I love, and I am supported by people who I love, and who love me back.
In order to gracefully end this year and create an opening for a fresh start, I came up with this 3-question process. It’s new to me, and I’m finding it to be an inspiring, energizing way to bring this year to a close.
1. What dreams have come true?
When you answer this question, consider your whole life. What did you used to dream of when you were a little child? When you were younger? Allow yourself to notice everything that has come true in your life. For example, I used to dream of having a dog — and I now have a great one. I used to dream about having a Macintosh computer — and I love my MacBook Air. I have had dreams for my friends to accomplish their goals too, and some of them have come true too.
2. What dreams do I let go?
It’s also quite refreshing to declare some dreams complete that did not come true. There’s no need to hang onto these any longer. I used to want to own horses on a ranch. Not anymore! I used to want to be an Olympic gymnast. That dream has past too! Some dreams may be a bit challenging or emotional to release. Consider putting them in the next category if you still hold them in your heart. You can always dream.
3. What dreams could I have for the future?
This question is worded this way on purpose. At this point, allow yourself to daydream a little, without feeling any pressure at all to commit to a wish, dream, or goal. Just repeatedly ask yourself, “What dreams could I have for the future?” See what comes up.
For example, I could have the dream of living in Paris for awhile, or expanding on my tattoo, or finishing my bathroom. I could have the dream of being able to do my favorite yoga practice on my 100th birthday. I could have the dream of riding my bike across the country. I could have the dream of taking my dog on an adventure every week so I don’t waste a minute I have with her. I could have the dream of what it will be like to be Aunt Betsy as my friends’ and sisters’ kids go to college and start lives of their own ….
There’s no need to be rigid about this process. Weave it into your daily routine. Let it simmer. Take your time. Be grateful and present to the magic that has happened and let the new visions start to stir.