January 11, 2022

The biggest One-Word Lesson of 2021.


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Well, 2021 is over and the year was…full.

I’ve had my fair share of celebrations and peak moments as well as my fair share of “this-is-so-painful-when-will-this-be-over” moments.

In other words—2021 was chock-full of learning.

When I reflect back on what my personal “curriculum of 2021” has been, it amazes me to no end.

I wanted to share one of my biggest learnings here with you; it’s a little bit of an obvious one, but sometimes the obvious learnings, when taken in deeply, are the most powerful.

This lesson of 2021 (it’s actually a constellation of learnings around the same topic) has been an important one for me as a human, as a parent, as a friend, and as a practitioner:


Have even more compassion for all you’re going through.

As a people, we are still going through so much. We’ve all been holding a lot for almost two years now, and there is a collective trauma that is real.

There is nothing at all wrong with you if you are feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed, triggered, dysregulated, frustrated, and beyond. It is not out of the ordinary to feel that way right now. You are still whole and complete exactly as you are.

Even if you haven’t been touched directly by the events of the last two years…you’ve still very likely been impacted. We all have been, in one way or another.

The first year, it was easier to spot and easier to “accept” the impact in some ways—there was conspicuous shock, fear, grief, and emergency response.

For many people, though, year two has been more quiet, and yet, in some ways, has had a tougher impact.

The impact of ongoing stress is showing its face.

Again, I know this is obvious in many ways. But I share it so you:

>> Can locate and name where you are.

>> Remember to have lots and lots of compassion for yourself.

>> Remember to take good care of your nervous system.

*Do not underestimate this one; it’s huge. This has been a big learning for me this last year. Even though I’ve known for years the importance of tending to my nervous system, the lesson has been integrated so much more deeply, and I am so grateful for it.

>> Remember to normalize your experience a bit (that takes away shame and self-judgment).

>> Remember to love on yourself.

I also share it for those who are practitioners and working with clients (and really any all humans interacting with others) so you can:

>> Remember that your clients have likely been impacted as well and that they may be more prone to be triggered, to get a little more caught in their fears than usual; they may also need to take things slower than usual and prioritize space over action.

>> Remember that even if your clients are more triggered or sensitive, they too are whole and complete exactly as they are (as always, your job isn’t to fix anyone; your job is to hold space and to see and hear and love).

>> Remember to have compassion for others and compassion for yourself as you hold tough space for others (and do what you can to mitigate the triggers—using all of your trauma-informed skills and knowledge—but also be gentle with yourself should a client get triggered).

Your good work is more important than ever. Your solid presence and your impeccable skills are needed now more than ever.  Your ability to hold transformational space with mastery is needed now more than ever.

As we move into the new year, my wish for you, dear one, is that you learn even deeper compassion for yourself, that you find even deeper respect for taking care of your nervous system, and that you feel confident as you lead your clients and your groups through these times and toward their goals.

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