Winter is upon us. As each new season brings changes in weather we have an opportunity to look at our life through different lenses. With weather shifts, our perspective on life may shift as well. Winter is the time to nestle in and sow deep thoughts during the cold and quiet time before spring arrives. And now as the end of year approaches, it is a perfect occasion to combine that deep introspective time of winter with a year-end review and reflection. One of my favorite end-of-year activities is my year-end wrap-up. I sit back with a cup of tea and my journal and my calendar and think about the year and all that I have done and learned and experienced.
Some years seem to fly by—actually most years do. But some years it seems like nothing much happened other than just living. But then when I take the time to look at each month and—with calendar in hand to jog my memory—note what events and activities took place, I am always surprised at really how much did happen. Oh yes, I went on several lovely trips this year with my mom. And I traveled some more with my husband and had wonderful times. And yes, I faced some difficult losses. And so much more…
Whether an experience during the year was painful or pleasurable, I always gain incredible insight from stepping back and taking time to reflect on what the gift was of that experience. Because there are gifts to be found everywhere in life, even if it isn’t apparent during the actual moment. They are gifts from and to the heart. For me this year was more difficult than most because of the loss of my dad and the loss of my cat, Anubis. Yet having to navigate the emotions that arose and the physical effects of grief also led to some wonderful things—blessings in disguise. I continue to learn so much with each year of my life. And perhaps because this year was tough, I learned even more. I get to incorporate and take all the new knowledge into the New Year. Change and growth, change and more growth.
So whether your holidays are underway (Happy Hanukkah), or arriving shortly (Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year), take some time this month to acknowledge all the gifts in your life while you wrap up gifts for others. Give yourself the gift of insight as you reflect on all the wonderful and magical moments of 2017.
May your holidays be filled with love from friends and family, yummy food and lots of celebration!