This blog post, and the ones I will post over the next few weeks, contain these very questions I ask myself at the end of every year. I encourage you to join me by setting aside some time every week to contemplate and journal your answers to these questions.
Here's one of the key questions:
What surprised you in 2016?
You probably started off this past January with a set of intentions and knowing that certain things would happen. Maybe you had a particular goal to accomplish. Perhaps you had a travel destination planned.
As usually happens, though, surprises emerge. Unplanned events, major upsets, significant delights...all of these are elements in the cycle of Life itself. So...what surprised you?
There are a few different ways to reflect on your surprises. One way is to do a chronological review. Bring your mind back to January and recollect the events that happened in your life. Then move to February and so on. You can look through your calendar as you do this if you need some help remembering all the things that happened.
Another way to contemplate your surprises in 2016 is to examine the different areas of your life. These include: love, relationships, career, home, creative expression, wealth, finances, health, spirituality, service, community, travel, self-care, education, politics, world affairs, and many others. You can make a diagram of these words and see what happened in each of these areas of life.
As you reflect on all the surprises that showed up for you in 2016, I invite you to dig a little deeper and answer these questions:
- How did you respond to these surprises? The point here is not to judge, but to bring a greater awareness to how you respond when the unexpected shows up.
- What gifts or lessons are you seeing within these surprises?
Surprises are one of the great reminders that Life unfolds in ways that you might not imagine. Past does not always equal Prologue.
There are infinite possibilities always revealing.
Lastly, see if you can uncover a sense of gratitude for these surprises, particularly for those surprises that may not feel so good. If anything, the "not-so-good" surprises create an opening for you to respond and to show up in a greater, more loving way.
For the next few blog posts, I'll share other questions that will help you to reflect on 2016. If you can, save your responses and recollections because we'll be building upon what you came up with here.
I'd love to hear what some of your surprises were in 2016, and what gifts or lessons you are seeing within these surprises. Please feel free to share in the comments below.
I’m putting together an online class called “Vision Your Best 2017.” If you’re interested in getting notified when this program is available, fill out the form here. You’ll also get notified of the early bird special.