At the end of each year, I choose a word as a guide for the next year. Last year the word was, “wholehearted.” When I chose it, I had no idea of the impact it would have on how I lived my life!
In February, I began to realize that I wasn’t living wholeheartedly; I wasn’t paying attention to the very things I teach my clients. Things like “If you don’t like the life you are living, you can change it!” and “Take care of yourself, you deserve it!” I also realized that I needed to walk the talk – do those things and believe those things for myself as much as I did for my clients.
And then, a huge, crushing disappointment happened that left me feeling powerless and broken. It went to the very core of what I’d been working toward for years, of what I thought I was supposed to want to be. It literally doubled me over in grief and pain. And, it showed me that trying to live up to other’s expectations meant I wasn’t living my life on my terms.
I decided I’d had ENOUGH of being broken because of what other people said about me or denied me. It was time I stopped being the “good girl” and lived into the deepest sense of me!
So, it started with something small – like wearing eyeshadow. It made me feel good, even pretty. So, I started adding other things, being intentional about growing my private practice, paying attention to self-talk, and taking care of my body.
The little things began to add up. Transformation happens in a series of small, positive steps done with intention and discipline. My life began to change as I was taking charge of my life, not just letting life happen to me. I began to really look at each area of my life - self-care, relationships, and self talk, identifying what was keeping me from living in a wholehearted manner.
This is what happened once I lived into last year’s word:
I valued myself enough to take care of my body – Taking care of my body is honoring it! (I actually like vegetables. Who knew!) Losing 64 pounds helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin and more confident taking speaking in front of people. I’m also better prepared to live a long life with more stamina and energy than I was before. For me, that was important. If weight is not important to you, that’s great. We all have to do what works for us.
I got blue and pink hair – I’d wanted it for over 35 years and it felt like “coming home to the me that was inside” when I finally did it. My unicorn hair is fun and vibrant, just like me! Wholeheartedly embracing me meant taking a walk on the wild side.
I became a better professional - The authentic me helps my clients to be more authentic and take care of themselves better. I’m living by example, reminding others that change is possible, takes work, and is worth doing.
I got deeper relationships – Wholeheartedly being me allowed me to be wholehearted in loving others. I knew who I was, so I stopped seeking so much approval and was able to just “be.” I opened myself up to giving and receiving love in a way I‘ve not done before.
I was free to reach out for help – Working this year with a coach who specializes in relationships has been life changing in that it changed my relationship with myself and with others, including being okay with my needs and desires. It reminded me that we all need help to be our best – even counselors, coaches, and therapists need help!
My word for 2019 is EMBRACE. This is the year I am embracing the life that started with living intentionally, wholeheartedly, and joyously all that I am, and all that comes into my path.
What’s your word for 2019? I hope that you will EMBRACE this new year, too. I believe in you!