Reflections on the year gone by

Reflections on the year gone by

It feels almost unbelievable that we are already in December. Was it not January just a week ago? Nevertheless, as I move to tie up any remaining threads of my year, I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude for the lessons and gifts of 2022.

As someone used to juggling a mammoth long to-do list, most days are endless. But this year, I committed to creating spaciousness, grace and joy among the craziness going on in my life. As I did so, I embraced moments or processes of growth and change, which in and of itself is never easy. So, this blog is an ode to the lessons and gifts of 2022. In particular, these gifts are:

1: Embracing patience

I have to say that patience is something that I can cultivate in my work, but in my personal life, I often find it in short supply. If I want something or want to do something, I generally expect it would happen according to my timing. This year, I am most proud of the fact that I was able to sit with the discomfort of letting go and allowing things to come into being in their time. It has not been easy, but it was not impossible either. Sitting through it has offered many gifts. It has allowed me to see the dimensions of a situation that before, due to my impatience, I would always steamroll to get to the outcome I desired.

2: Fostering connection

I started the year with an expressed desire to foster a deeper connection in my life. Following Covid and the sense of isolation from many of the people in my life, I felt a need to have an in-person connecting space with people I truly care about. Having the privilege of travelling, spending time to nurture old connections, and being open to fostering new connections was both invigorating and deeply moving. Having moved cities just before the pandemic hit I experienced isolation in particular ways, such that I even believed that I was not good at connection. The past year proved to me that it is definitely something I value and am capable of.

3: Inviting collaboration

Another intention I expressed at the beginning of the year was to enter into work projects that were collaborative by nature. I wanted to collaborate with folks that shared my politics, and commitment to making work joyful, and those who wanted to focus on ways of working that aligned with our values. I am immensely thankful for the multiple opportunities I had to work with collaborators I already knew and admired, but also new collaborators who came to the space of collaboration with enthusiasm and generosity. Being able to acknowledge others in the collaboration, but also having others acknowledge me felt incredibly humbling. It allowed me to embrace my gifts and contributions to the spaces I work in.

4: Cultivating joy

As I consciously tried to counter the culture hyper-focused on productivity, I was able to allow myself to be fully present in my experience and embrace all the complexities of life. In being fully present, I deliberately created spaces and opportunities for me to plug into joy, whether it was in celebration (even of myself), or in seeking out experiences that I would always shelve for when I had more time. Instead, I made space and time for joy which feels somewhat counterintuitive but is necessary if you are rewiring your internal programming that is so focused on work.

5: Letting go

The most important lesson for me this year was letting go. I found myself in several situations where I had to let go. This meant letting go of my plans and allowing myself to adjust to other possibilities. Also, letting go of something when it was not working out so that I could create more space. Lastly, letting go of people or situations that no longer aligned with who I am committed to being. This often proves to be the most difficult one, but also the one that brings the most relief once I make a decision and act on it.