As I find myself reflecting on where I am now in relation to the start of the new year and the intentions I had set, I can’t help recalling how I felt a little like being tossed out of a tornado as I left the holidays behind and looked ahead. As I stood just inside the threshold of 2019, I felt the need to once again ground myself in where I was going and what I hoped to create in this new year.
For me, January can be a complex month. It feels like another transition during which I want to pause, recognize a new beginning and, with consciousness, choose my direction. Now, three months into 2019, I again hit the pause button to re-evaluate this new start and my trajectory.
How do I do it? I choose to be thoughtful. I like to plan with intention while releasing expectation of outcomes. I connect to the essence of my goals while leaving lots of room for the look of my success. Now, as I look back over these past three months, does the road I’ve traveled align with my intentions? I allow my beginner’s mind to enjoy the expression of my intentions, releasing any judgments, either internal or external, of how things appear. I instead celebrate the ways in which I’ve succeeded and simply recalibrate when I notice things have deviated more than I like.
For example, one of my goals for the year was to find new and different ways to share myself and my coaching with others. I wanted to feel filled with ease and free of stress. I wanted to feel in my skin, be my authentic self, be free from the expectations of others. I wanted to spend a large portion of my time doing what I love, coaching. I wanted to steer clear of what others might perceive to be potential things I must do, such as online marketing campaigns or making presentations to large groups.
As I started this year, I chose to do a bit of writing for a wellness magazine in an effort to share myself in an honest and authentic way. I gave gift certificates for coaching as presents, enabling me to do what I love while opening possibilities for new clients. And I began to think about the ways in which I could lend support to new managers as they navigated the pathway between Individual Contributor and Leader.
As I continued exploring possible avenues to pursue as I reached toward my goals, I reminded myself to stay connected to the things that come naturally to me and are effortless. I thought about my ability to connect with others one on one or the way in which I listen carefully to what others are saying and reflect it back in an accepting and thoughtful manner. I thought about my desire to help others truly recognize all that they are and bring that to their many endeavors in life, be it professional or personal.
When I started to feel my ease slipping and a bit of anxiety creeping in, I saw a red flag and paused. I noticed something going on that ran counter to my intent. I asked myself, “What is it I need in this moment to help me shift my perspective from one that served as an obstacle to one that was confirming and empowering?” Then I gave myself what I needed. I knew if I tried to muscle my way through, the quality of my work would be somewhat compromised and would feel like trudging through thick mud.
In these moments, I turned to my toolkit, which includes a wonderful 20-minute yoga nidra meditation. I love this specific one because it includes an invitation to choose a powerful phrase, specific to where I am in that moment, creating an intention for how I want to see myself. This phrase is repeated at the beginning and end of the meditation and somehow manages to seep into my subconscious, continuing to support me long after I’m done.
Upon reflection, things are going well. Although, to date, giving gift certificates hasn’t yielded as many new possibilities as I had hoped, as I dipped my toe into a more professional social media platform, I’ve made some wonderful new connections and am enjoying new and blossoming relationships. I gently extended myself to others in a way that felt comfortable and authentic, honoring the essence of being heart-forward in style. And, as I write this piece, I am finalizing the details of my new corporate offering, from Individual Contributor to Leader.
Life is filled with transitions, both big and small. Although we can often come across standards or best practices in our lives, in the end, we are individuals traveling our roads to something new. We are unique in our makeup and needs.
As you reflect on where you are three months into turning your own corner of a new year, how might you like to be thoughtful about what you are reaching toward and how things look from this new vantage point? What is coming easily to you and how might that further your intentions for the rest of the year? What supports you and how do you know when you need to pause and reconnect to what’s important to you?
If you find these questions marinating within as you go from here to there, allow the pensive time to be the soil for your seeds of expanding new beginnings and possibilities.
Wishing you a continued good year and wonderful things for 2019!
This article originally appeared in Westchester Wellness March 2019. Download the PDF.