One December long ago, I was recovering from trigeminal neuralgia – – which is basically nerve pain coming down the side of your face. My pain traveled to the back of my mouth where my teeth meet my gums. There rested the pressure of a fire hose with no outlet.
My pain wasn’t just the physical kind. A key relationship appeared to be at its end. In addition, my income was terribly down due to the physical and emotion pain within.
As I spent time at home that December, I found a blog series that helped you reflect upon the last twelve months. After completing the process, your hard work brought you to a word for the year, a vision board and goals. I particularly loved the process because it included lots of paper, colorful pens and a path toward growth. As many of you already know, these are a few of my favorite things (as the song goes).
The Long Journey of Healing
The following January, I began my two year long counseling journey. I had so much learning to do over those two years that I didn’t pay any attention to words for the year or an annual vision board. Initially, I spent a lot of time laying down the pieces of my life and finding my voice again. I let God and the counselor help me rebuild my faith. I learned many tools to help with anxiety, depression, expectations and the hard things in life we go through.
A few years later, I circled back to Lara Casey’s blog and followed her steps for annual reflection. Her process has become an integral part of my new year practice. Lara Casey is a fantastic lady, full of authenticity and lots of colorful pens, stickers and pretty paper (all for a purpose). She recently sold her business Cultivate What Matters. My friend Sara and I both use her tools and find that we do more of what matters in all areas of our lives.
Today, I’m sharing the fruit of my reflection of 2022.
I asked and answered all of the questions below:
- How do I want to grow in 2023?
- What is holding me back?
- What are my passions and desires?
- What lessons from 2022 can I build on in 2023?
- What good things from 2022 will continue in 2023?
- What am I grateful for?
- What’s the big picture?
These questions come from #powersheets (Cultivate What Matters)
I reflected on all of the areas below:
- Rhythms/Spiritual Disciplines
- Marriage/Significant Other
- Home (Meals, Décor, Rehab, Hospitality)
After all that, I came up with a few important truths for 2023.
I am taking with me the sense of AWE God showed me in the summer of 2021. Instead of being the master of my own life and helping God make all the things happen, I aim to live by this mantra.
Be Still. Be Present. Let God Point the Way.
After experiencing so much disappointment in 2020 and 2021, I am channeling the endless optimism that I was once made of. I aim to key into my younger self with this mantra.
Believe Again in Endless Possibilities.
And, finally, I am throwing off some guilt I’ve been carrying a long, long time. Like a few decades worth of guilt.
All Parts of My Life Matter.
Part of me wants to end this paragraph right here. I don’t need to say what we both see, know and feel.
I see you seeing your reflection in the screen in which you are reading this. You hear the words. All parts of your life matter. The silent parts of yourself emerge. The parts that you haven’t set free because duty calls.
Duty calls is the first layer. Other layers exist too.
I’m not that good at _________________.
So and so will never agree for me to ____________________.
What a waste of time ____________________ will be.
It’s too late in life to start _______________________.
Others will think it’s dumb if I ____________________.
You’ve concluded that that part of you doesn’t really matter.
Today, I am here to say that
All Parts of Your Life Matter.
You were made to be physically healthy and strong.
Your mind was made for work and relief from work.
You are an equal in your marriage or relationship.
Your children need to know you are real and imperfect and you can let them see that.
You need friends and extended family with you and for you and time to build that is important.
God wants you to have what you need and more when it comes to finances and resources.
Your home is a place of peace and hospitality and it’s okay to put time to that end.
Your career, your calling and your ministry all glorify God and you can spend time on all these things.
You were made for hobbies and skills that make no money or have no end except your pure joy.
As you look at your reflection on the screen in which you are reading this, acknowledge what you see, know and feel. Let the silent part of yourself emerge. Don’t stuff her away or head off to duty calls. Let her speak. Let her have a moment to speak her vision. Then, with all of your bravery and honor, start finding
- The colors that represent her voice
- The words that tell her truth
- The people that will love and support her
- The things you will do to bring life to her vision
- The things you will change to create space for this glory in you
Put all of these things on a cork board with cute pins.
Put up the cork board in a place you can view every day.
You have now created your vision board.