|Sometimes we are the rock|
Sometimes we are the wave that crashes against the rock
and sometimes we are the lighthouse - a beacon of light while just weathering the storm.
What 2019 has taught me is that none of these roles, the rock, the wave, or the lighthouse, is more virtuous or brave than any of the others, nor is any of these roles more wicked or cowardice. I have learned that ALL of these roles are so incredibly important in our journey as we try to make a difference in this life, and to leave the world around us in a little better shape than we found it.
I have learned that the natural ebb and flow of life assures that we will have ample opportunities to show up in each of these forms to wield the power that each represents, and to leave our mark on the things we care deeply about. I have learned it is up to us to decide what is truly important to us, to determine what we are willing to do for what is important, and to show up accordingly.
|In 2017 and 2018 my "word for the year" was ChangeMaker.|
|In 2019 I assigned myself the word "Persevere".|
The lessons presented to me in these years have been life changing.
The past three years have presented multiple opportunities for me show up as the Rock... Here are a few examples:
- Supporting my husband and family as we all grieve the passing of my father in law.
- Being solidly there in support of each of my children as they find their own way in this life, allowing them to make their own mistakes and learn their own lessons as they go.
- Being the safe place and fierce supporter of my daughters as they learn maneuver through the cruelness that is sometimes synonymous with being a young girl in this world, while helping them unapologetically hold others accountable.
- Supporting my husband as he found his way back to peace after a long, bloody, ruthless, and well fought battle with the darkness called depression.
- Holding sacred all confidence entrusted upon me, even with friendships or relationships that are no longer prominent in my life.
- Standing tall as our family made lifestyle changes resulting from the harsh economic climate we are currently living in.
- Standing firm in the protection of the legacy being created in the non-profit organizations I am a part of.
I also got to be the Wave...
- All the times I spoke up and advocated for the Arts and for Entrepreneurship within my community.
- Sharing previously unspoken parts of my story with a room full of people at a speaking event all while sharing alternate ways the conference attendees could show up and support those they love.
- The time I stood, broken but completely unbowed in the presence of my abuser when the preference of many would be for me to never have spoken up at all.
- Set an example for as well as acknowledge and celebrate with my children as they continue to make decisions for their lives showing that they are unwilling to compromise their own values - for anyone.
And the Lighthouse...
- Setting an example of love, kindness, compassion and acceptance - daily - to my children.
- Initiate the outside support required to see our marriage through rough waters.
- In my capacity as a leader within a few community organizations I was required establish and maintain peace.
- Using my words/experiences/ramblings to empower, inspire and encourage others who may be facing similar circumstances.
- My continued desire let people know that they are loved by distributing Love Bombs at every market we attend.
In 2017 thru 2019 - in alignment with my years as "ChangeMaker" I amped up my volunteerism. I signed on to 5 different organizations, not because I just wanted to volunteer, but because I wholeheartedly cared about what each organization stood for. Through my volunteerism, I was an integral part of the planning and execution three major yearly events in my community. During this time of increased volunteerism, in my capacity of Chief Visionary Officer of Fearless hART, I managed to achieve a 28% growth in each of these three years.
In alignment with 2019, my year with "Persevere" I managed all of this while facing a turbulent time in my marriage, in a harsh economic climate, with a husband who was struggling with his mental wellness, and with a house full of teenagers who continued to rely on us every day...
Yes. I can honestly sit here and reflect positively on all these accomplishments over the past three years. We have been pushed and pulled and stretched in ways I would have never imagined. It is only by the grace of our good deeds, by the power of our commitment, and by the graciousness of our inner circle that we made it through any of this. These reflections leave me feeling SO tearfully grateful for the life I have, and for the people I get to share it with.
But here's the thing... While always worthwhile, there isn't much about many of our growth experiences over the past three years that could be called "easy". There were trade offs along the way... as there usually is when we have really full plates. I think we all know that when we say "yes" to something and add it to our plate, we are, by default, saying "no" to something else...
As I reflect on these accomplishments, I am also reminded of the fatigue, the self doubt, the anger (the sometimes rage), the fear, the resentment, and the sleep deprivation that often accompanied - and sometimes fueled - the drive and determination to achieve them.
It is no wonder I said goodbye to 2019 in the midst of a cold/flu virus and a series of debilitating migraine headaches, and said hello to 2020 with a little time in the hospital and a lot of time in my bed trying to get healthy.
I am so dang ready to claim "Centred" as my word and intention for 2020.
I am starting this year off physically, financially, and emotionally detoxed and ready to reacquaint with my own internal guidance system. This year will be more focused self-compassion, self-care and my own mental wellness.
It will be about removing some of the items on my overfilled plate by pairing down my directorships on various boards from five labour intensive boards to three that are manageable. It will be about stepping away from being part of organizing two major community events, and being wholeheartedly a part of organizing one.
2020 will be my year of slowing down, digging deep, setting healthy boundaries, protecting and nourishing my mind, body and soul. There will be meditating, writing and creating all the new products patiently waiting for my time and energy. There will be stillness and contemplation and growth and yoga.
In my world, 2020 will be about:
- less mindless scrolling and more intentional reading
- less rushing and more stillness
- less chaos and more zen
- less pleasing others and more taking care of my spirit
- less yes and more no
- less feeling obligated and more feeling inspired
- less of "what's going on out there" and more of "what's going on in here"
- less meetings and more family game nights
... And laughter. In 2020, there will be WAY more laughter.
It needs to be said, however, that no matter my plans, declarations or intentions I am fully aware that things can change in an instant. I am not sitting here expecting a smooth and calm year because I declared it so. But I can say that with this new perspective, I will be better equipped for whatever may lie ahead.
No matter what, I will always be ready and willing to show up as the Rock, or the Wave, or the Lighthouse at a moments notice.
I wish you all a very Happy New Year, and I hope that your 2020 is absolutely everything you want it to be and a lot more.