It’s that time of year. To reflect on the year behind us and to set our intentions for the upcoming year. Reflecting upon what we have learned makes us deeper, and richer, and expands our consciousness. This is all part of our growth as humans and as American novelist William S. Burroughs said, “When you stop growing you start dying”.
It is true. We are in constant cycles of death and rebirth in our lives. Think about your relationship with your work – it’s constantly evolving. Changes are always occurring with different problems to solve, applying our skills in different ways, developing new skills, or interpersonal relationships that stretch us. Our relationships with our loved ones are constantly evolving, too. As we have all experienced, there is always ample opportunity to improve communication! Ways that have worked before – no longer do and we must find new ways.
I like to begin every year by creating a theme or intention my year will be about and then reflecting on that word at the end of the year. I look at my journal and ask, “Did my year match the theme?” Often the answer is “Nope”! It is a good reminder that we have control over very little in our life, despite our thinking mind’s efforts to solve every perceived problem.
My theme for 2022 was “Connection”. Yet, upon reflection, it was quite an emotionally lonely year for me. 2022 had me dealing with some core aspects of my life that needed change and they were overdue for a change, so some aspects actually needed to die. I realized though all the loneliness, I found a deeper connection to myself. So, it truly was a year of connection, but definitely not in the way that I had envisioned. While the loneliness was very difficult at times, I’m much stronger and committed to myself and my happiness.
Here are four questions that I am using this year, including my annual theme question.
- Looking back on the last 12 months, did my year have a theme or emphasis in a particular area? How and Why?
- What did I learn this year?
- What am I most proud of?
- In what areas of my life (work and personal) did I have to let go or say, “I just don’t know”?
I have never regretted the time I have taken to reflect upon my life. These exercises have made enriched my life and so I encourage you all to go somewhere quiet and take time to wrap up 2022. You deserve it.
“For all that has been, I thank you.” For all that is to come, Yes!”
— Dag Hammarskjold