2020 was a massive year—absolute astonishing—and restating the obvious about all of the negative…well, we’ve given it enough attention.
So I am seeking and revealing the good.
Did we have wins?
What were the bright spots, powerful lessons, and takeaways?
I am quite certain we all had some—or, at least one. Let’s seek out the gifts and lessons 2020 offered us individually, as well as in our families, community, country, and world. That’s a wide range; however, our positive impact can be felt globally if we open ourselves to it.
Join me on a journey of what shone in goodness, this year.
2020’s greatest lesson for me has been to embody the essential. My wins are directly correlated to choosing and respecting what is essential. What was absolutely necessary, extremely important?
Our health is number one; it’s of mission critical importance. When we have our health, we have everything! We can do anything when we have a solid foundation of physical and mental well-being. Each day, I prioritize my health with nourishing food, oodles of water, movement and meditation, personal development, and a cold shower. Yup, that’s a new addition to 2020—five minutes of freezing cold shower every morning.
“Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.” ~ Winston Churchill
Family is my bedrock. Though I have virtually never taken time with my kids “for granted,” I never thought I would be kept from seeing them due to a global pandemic. They are my light, my why, and my inspiration to make this world a better, more just place for all. So I have doubled down on my efforts, intentions, and actions for them; and so have they for me. I cannot be who I am without my parents, husband, kids, and closest cousins’ love and support.
“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” ~ Barbara Bush
Friends! Friends! Friends!
Oh, friendship is gold. Each one is like a dazzling, precious charm on a necklace that encircles, protects, and makes me a more beautiful human inside and out.
“Friendships between women, as any woman will tell you, are built of a thousand small kindnesses…swapped back and forth and over again.” ~ Michelle Obama
“We should always have three friends in our lives—one who walks ahead who we look up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then, one who we reach back for and bring along after we’ve cleared the way.” ~ Michelle Obama
Community & Connection
Community and connection are critical. 2020 made us learn how to be and do so in a new way. The power of technology has been a huge blessing: tech is a platform on which we can all stand. Online teaching, working, and gathering has allowed us a way to be in direct relationships. Zoom, Facetime, and all social media platforms have made it possible to celebrate, grieve, work, learn, grow, practice, and gather. My 501c3 nonprofit organization, Embody, pivoted in March to an 100 percent online presence. This helped us reach way more people to practice yoga and meditation than we ever could in person, furthering our mission more quickly, still with meaningful connection and a powerful impact.
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” ~ Mother Theresa
“The best education I received was working with people in the community on a grassroots basis. Because what it taught me was that ordinary people, when they are working together, can do extraordinary things.” ~ Barack Obama
Mindset creates our world. Waking up each day is a gift, and choosing a positive attitude is a powerful barometer of how a day, a week, a life will unfold.
“My teacher Jim Rohn taught me a simple principle: every day stand guard at the door of your mind, and you alone decide what thoughts and beliefs you let into your life. For they will shape whether you feel rich or poor, cursed or blessed.” ~ Tony Robbins
Gratitude is grounding for the soul. Digging deeply to say thank you for life and all of its lessons is the path forward guided by hope and enthusiasm for the future. There are not enough words to thank those who put their lives on the line each day to keep us safe during a pandemic; doctors, nurses, and all those in the medical profession. Give gratitude for those who continue to grow, tend, and harvest food and to the educators and administrators who continue to teach and mold our young ones. Let’s thank the parents who withstand the day-to-day grind, and shout out to grandparents and extended family and friends who step in our lives to help when we need it most. Offer praise to the scientists who sought to find a vaccine and for those who are helping to distribute it in an ethical manner. And to so many more: We. Are. Grateful.
“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” ~ Maya Angelou
Our world needs a reboot. We need educated, evolved, compassionate leaders who care about the welfare of all people now more than ever. You and I are not off the hook. Everyone is a leader in our own ways. Never before has voting, social activism, volunteering, and kindness been this critical. Our civic duty requires us to vote not only by casting ballots, but also with time, money, attention, and personal mission. We each have the power to influence the world by leading our lives based upon our own morals and values, while inspiring others to do the same.
“The true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own. Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest.” ~ Simon Sinek
Generosity is what carries us during difficult times. Giving and doing for others, especially when we may be feeling sad, stuck, or afraid, helps take us out of our own story and into empowered action. Giving is the joy of living!
“One of the most basic things to understand is the more you share something, the more it grows in you. Share whatsoever you have and it will grow; cling to it, become afraid of sharing, of friendship, of love, and it will shrink. Life knows only one law and that law is of expansion and sharing.” ~ Osho
Habits define not only who we are but also who we become. Choosing specifically how to structure each day sets the foundation for the life we will live, the future we create.
“Everyone must choose one of two pains: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” ~ Jim Rohn
“For every disciplined effort, there is a multiple reward.” ~ Jim Rohn
Sleep is nonnegotiable. Prioritizing sleep affords more consistent energy, focus, creativity, ability to problem solve, and keep a positive mindset.
“It’s not just work hard and play hard, but rest hard.” ~ Jim Kwik
We have all been forced to look at our current financial situation, assess where we are, how we got there, and get creative about the future. Money is no joke; it demands respect and gratitude. Have you been respectful and grateful with your money?
Money is a powerful tool, which has the ability to build and heal or corrupt and destroy. As a nation, we are not given the luxury of looking away from what we don’t want to see. Like it or not, money is essential. We must face reality.
“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.” ~ Seneca
My year of grace project has been an anchor to keep me moored when the seas of my life raged around me. Grace is the power I explore each day to learn, grow, and transform into the best version of myself. Grace is beautiful; grace is an ass-kicker.
“Grace will hold you every step of the way.” ~ John Friend
The environment is our only home; we must take care of our great Mother Earth.
“Humanity is now standing at a crossroads. We must now decide which path we want to take. How do we want the future living conditions for all living species to be like?” ~ Greta Thunberg
Love, Love, Love
Love is the answer. Love is the mystery. Love is the challenge. Love is the win. Love of self, friend, as well as enemy. Love will heal us, our nation, and our planet.
“525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes—how do you measure,
measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In
inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes—how do you
measure a year in the life? How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love.”
~ “Seasons of Love,” Rent
These and so much more are essential to me. 2020 has been one powerful year that will never be forgotten. Let’s build bridges between people and nations, creating a healthier, happier planet for all by sharing what we know.
What has shown itself essential to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts and lessons from this year in the comments below or submit an article too. It’d be a pleasure to read your takeaways too.