Taking Stock

What does that mean? To take stock of something? According to my often used Mac dictionary app, the phrase means “to review or make an overall assessment of a particular situation, typically as a prelude to making a decision.” We often, perhaps more often than we realize, find ourselves at turning points in our lives. These can be the major, smack you over the head obvious ones, or the opposite— sneaky little micro adjustments we make without realizing we’re doing it. Those small moments can be as pivotal to your world as those that club you over the head. 

Here we are, on the cusp of a new year, a new decade and many are making their resolutions for this year to come. I ask you to do one better. I ask you to take a few quiet moments and take stock of your past year. Look at the majors that occurred, some will make you smile while others will make you grimace. What effect did these have in your world? How did it alter your course?  Look deeper at the little micro adjustments you might have made along the way. Can you recognize those little curves in your path and the ensuing change in course direction? Maybe you met a new friend through a friend that introduced you to an exercise class you now go to all the time! Maybe you injured your foot and no longer exercise like you did. What are the many cause and effects of your year. Those are the perhaps not so little pivotal changes that you didn’t seek, but happened to you anyway. Now what does that all look like to you? How does that make you feel, says the inner therapist? What happened that you are proud of? What goals did you stay the course with? Where did you drop the ball? How did you surprise yourself? Now look ahead, take a deep breath and look at what you want in this next year, knowing that there will be micro cause and effects along the way. How will you stay on your course to what you want?

Go deeper and look at what might be holding you back from realizing these small and large goals. What’s the drag bag that’s keeping you from getting there? For me, taking stock partly means looking at what negative feelings hold me back, and cutting the line and letting it go. Too easily we can revel in those hurt feelings and injustices to our being. It’s our little soap box we stand on and ultimately whine from. Can you let that go? Many can’t and I believe that might be the one singular thing that keeps us from making progress in our lives. We get too attached to the soapbox, because it’s easier to complain and blame than it is to deal with it. If you deal with it, or better yet, if you can find your way to forgiveness of the situation or action, you’ll have released a huge pile of B.S. you’ve unwittingly been carrying around, and make room for all sorts of fabulous things to happen to you.

This sounds really good to me. Bring it.

As I take stock of 2019, there is much to be grateful for. There were many wonderful moments, too many to count. I did much of what I wanted, but I know I can always do more. I can be more, and by being more to myself I inherently become more to those closest to me. I can challenge myself more often. I can be kinder. I can be more loving. I can find the beauty in my world daily. I can also recognize when I’m doing too much. I can forgive and make precious room for fabulous things to fill me up.

This will look different to you than it does to me. We all have our stuff, and we all have our dreams, hopes, and goals. While you’re celebrating the New Year, I challenge you to take stock of this past year, and turn some of that chaos into order. Let go of your hurts, and find a way to forgive. Forgive those that hurt you, not because you seek their forgiveness, but because it will lighten your emotional load. Forgive yourself if you haven’t met your personal expectations, it’s OK. Do all of this for yourself so you can find a deeper belief in yourself. Look forward to the micro and major changes you seek in your life, and if you want them bad enough find ways to make it happen. You don’t have to do this, you get to do this. It doesn’t all have to happen at once, change takes time. Be patient and remind yourself daily of what it is you seek and why. Show the universe you are committed to your future by setting these new habits into place, and above all love yourself for being the amazing person you are. 

Cheers to a fantastic year for all!

Gratitude is a Full Time Job

Gratitude is not for wimps. Given that we are fast approaching the holiday of gratitude, it’s going to ramp. We hear a lot about showing gratitude lately, or maybe it’s like when you get a new car, and suddenly you see that same car everywhere. I personally have had gratitude on my mind quite a bit in the past year. I have much to be thankful for, but I’ve noticed that the practice of gratitude doesn’t always come quite so smoothly. I am crystal clear on the idea of manifest reality and creating more of the good stuff in your world through setting intentions, and gratitude to the universe. The reality is, when you’re having a stressful time, or things aren’t quite grooving along, it’s easy to let your grati-guard down. Dig in deep. This is when it gets real. I believe many of us have techniques for managing this, but I’m going to share a few of my own. I hope something in here helps you when you need it.

  1. Before I roll out of bed, first thing when I wake, maybe even slightly before I’m fully wide eyed and bushy tailed, I take a long slow deep breath and draw awareness of the warm bodies next to me- the love of my life, and my furry little nugget of a pup. These bring me a great sense of calm and comfort. I’m quite thankful for their warmth particularly on chilly winter mornings!
  2. As I get up and start my morning routine, I take a moment here and there along the way to appreciate the little things. This is similar to adding “brushing your teeth” to your task list for the day. You need the no-brainers to check off and help that sense of accomplishment. I love hot water. Wow my coffee is delicious. I adore my insanely wonderful perfume. My back feels great this morning. Listen to those birds going berzerk!…easy stuff to have gratitude for, and just as important.
  3. Find something every day that makes you smile. I have preached this to my girls their entire life. Each and every day, find one little thing that you find beautiful, or adorable, or stunning, or funny- anything that makes you stop and smile. Being a color-centric person, this one is easy for me because I often stop and take in nature’s palette.
  4. When I’m faced with a particular challenge, and fear starts to grip me I look deep inside for that elusive thing called faith- complete trust and confidence that things will work out. This one is important to me. I now view these challenges as little or big tests to see what meddle I am made of. Faith is leaping into the day and knowing a net will appear. It forces me to be bold.
  5. Just like the start of my day, the end gives me a pause to take quick inventory and a quick mental list of how great the day was. Yes I was crazy busy and maybe dealt with some challenging clients, or spilled coffee on myself – whatever. That’s life. The day was still filled with beauty, I spoke with both of my girls, I laughed with my mom, I accomplished quite a bit and wow look who’s eating dinner with me! Winner!
  6. Show a lot of gratitude to yourself. Loving yourself, and being kind to yourself might be the top of the order. Without self-love, you really don’t get past Go. So, collect that $200 and get on your way down the Boardwalk. You are amazing!