Now that the holidays are upon us, the end of the year seems to arrive so very quickly. If you are like me, you are rushing around trying to bring closure to many things that you started earlier in the year. The holiday shopping and planning alone is enough to keep you from spending time acknowledging all that you have done this year. And that is one of the ailments of living in the modern era—we are so busy rushing around that we fail to acknowledge and honor and celebrate the moments of our life (even if General Foods International Coffees encourages us to do just that).
Why is it so important to honor and acknowledge past moments? Well, life is made up of many moments and when you are always focused on the end game and don’t take time to think about the meaning of those moments, your life can seem stale or lackluster or like you are on a treadmill with no purpose. If you can, try to celebrate those moments as they occur. But don’t stop there. Here is a technique to increase your sense of awe for life and everything that you did during the year.
Making a list…(Sing along—I’m partial to the Springsteen version)
List the biggest things that happened in your life this past year. Grab a calendar if that helps jog your memory. Maybe you had a big birthday, perhaps you got married, got a new job, had a baby, adopted a pet. You get the idea. Those are really big-ticket items in your life and for some of them you might have had a big celebration. Even if you did celebrate them in the moment, maybe you didn’t fully take in their consequences.
Checking it twice…
But don’t stop there. Now add to your list all the smaller yet important accomplishments from your year. You went to yoga every week, you tried many new recipes, you changed your hairstyle, and you organized your clothes closet. You get the idea—all of these smaller accomplishments count too.
Finding out who’s naughty or nice…
Well, Santa may not be part of your celebrations, but stick with me on this analogy for just one more thought. Undoubtedly there may have been some not-so-wonderful happenings during the year that you don’t want to celebrate let alone think about. Yet they are important to process and understand (for more on this topic, see Living Full Out Means Feeling Sadness And Happiness). Take time to acknowledge all the experiences in your life—whether easy or difficult—and your life will be much more rich and textured. And consider all that you learned from life this year.
So now look at your list of all those great big and small accomplishments and say, “Wow, those were important and amazing experiences—I did so much!” By sitting down to reflect upon all that you accomplished during the year, you get another opportunity to feel all the deep emotions that you felt in those moments earlier in the year. You get to let them sink in deep into your soul and make you almost re-experience them for all that they mean to you. And they mean a lot! Rushing around in life, we tend to underestimate the importance of these events in our lives. But many of these are transformative moments, even if they aren’t at face value that big of a deal.
Give thanks—to yourself
So big or small, you deserve to give yourself a huge pat on the back for all that you have done in your life this year. You helped others, you created stuff, you supported your family, you made a child smile, you changed someone’s life by being there for them, you moved and started a new chapter of your life, you painted your house, you started school, you got your degree, you took care of your dog, you hugged those you love. You showed up for this great life with your unique talents and personality and heart and soul. You are an amazing and brilliant and capable person and the world is a better place for all that you have contributed this year. Thank you!
Give thanks—to others
And to reinforce the power of honoring and acknowledging, share your gratitude. For all those who were a part of your accomplishments during the year, go out of your way to tell them how much you appreciate their part in it. Perhaps they were there for you to cheer you on, or maybe they went out of their way to make your life better. The more you share in the honoring of moments in your life, the more we will all experience greater feelings of love, peace and joy.
I wish you a very special holiday season filled with magical moments and celebration.