As part of my spiritual practice at the end of every year, I answer a set of key questions to honor and celebrate the year.
So far, we’ve covered three (click on the question to read the previous posts):
Question 1: What surprised you this year?
Question 2: How did you grow?
Question 3: What made you feel alive?
Today, I share with you the fourth question as you reflect on this past year.
What can you celebrate?
Bring to mind the months from January until now.
Contemplate the changes and growth in the different areas of your life, from relationships to your health, your career to your finances – breathe it all in and reminisce.
What were the milestones?
What accomplishments did you make?
What experiences make you look back and think, “Wow, that happened!”?
Celebration is a form of gratitude. You get to breathe in and breathe out a life-affirming Thank You!
Celebration marks a movement in a journey where you started off at one point and achieved reaching another point.
From a spiritual perspective, celebration reflects a spiritual journey as well – the journey of you becoming more receptive to good.
Before any good can show up in your life, there must be a part of you that is open to receiving it and that believes you are equal to it.
It’s a simple concept.
Imagine someone trying to hand you a gift and your fists are closed and your arms are crossed.
No matter how much this person tries to give you a gift, if you are not ready and open to receive it, you won’t be able to accept it.
That’s how the Universe operates.
There is an infinite storehouse of good always wanting to make itself more available to you.
Your ability to partake of this good is dependent on your own consciousness of receptivity.
If you can think of one thing you can celebrate this year, then that means you enlarged your consciousness of receptivity.
Celebration is a signal that you have become more open to abundant good in your life!
Here’s the other spiritual lesson about celebration.
When you openly celebrate and acknowledge the good in your life, you affirm to others and to the world around you what matters to you.
You say to the Universe, this is what’s important to me and I want more of this in my life.
And guess what? The Universe, always listening, takes note and says, Yes.
So take a moment now and celebrate. And be comforted in knowing that there is an eternal and infinite Presence that is right there celebrating with you.
For my next post, I’ll share the final key questions to help you honor and celebrate this past year, and it’s about taking your reflections and looking forward to next year.
I hope you’ve been keeping notes. These first questions are building up to these final questions that will help you feel more complete with this year and open to possibility for this coming year.
The spiritual practice of reflection is one of my important regular practices, especially as I complete a cycle. With reflection, you get to see where you started at the beginning of the cycle and you witness how you’ve been transformed.
In my last blog post, I mentioned two different ways you can use to reflect on this past year.
One way is to do a chronological review, and another way to reflect this year is to examine the different areas of your life.
You could read more about those two types of reviews here.
I’ve put together six key questions to help you reflect more deliberately and to help you honor and celebrate this past year. For the last blog post, one of the questions was “What surprised you this past year?”
Here are two more questions to add to the list:
How did you grow this past year?
Thinking through each month of this past year and in different areas of your life, how did you grow?
One of the best ways to acknowledge growth is to uncover the lessons you gained from your experiences.
Whether you had challenges or accomplishments, you most likely picked up a few key insights and were transformed by your experiences.
If you can, write some of these lessons down. Ask yourself how you’ve grown as a result of these experiences.
How are you different now than when you started out the year?
I asked one of my clients recently about how he grew since he started working with me. In the beginning, he said he felt as if he were in a slumber. He wasn’t clear where he wanted to direct his energy, and he didn’t feel particularly enthused.
Within a few weeks of working together, he realized he was able to tap into his own passion and to say yes to the inspiration that his heart was naturally guiding him to experience more fully.
Now, he feels more purposeful and in flow with the rhythm of Life itself.
Purpose and flow are good indicators that something is working in your life. This leads to the next question to help you honor and celebrate this past year.
What made you come alive this year?
As you reflect on this past year, where do you feel the juice? What made you feel fully present in the moment?
Aliveness is a quality that speaks to your own uniqueness.
You are a unique expression of life. You show up in the world in only the way that you can.
As a result of your uniqueness, your joy is also unique to you.
When you recognize what brings you joy and that feeling of aliveness, you open up your awareness to a greater understanding of what brings you meaning in the world.
Where did you feel an energy and zest to life?
The stirrings in your heart are signposts to the real you.
For these last weeks of this year, I’ll be sharing three more questions that help you to honor and celebrate this last year. Keep a journal with your responses to these questions. They’ll help you as you’ll eventually be looking into next year.
With this year drawing to a close, there's a natural tendency to reflect on all that has happened this past year.
As part of my own yearly practice, I ask myself a set of questions that help me to honor and celebrate the past year.
This article, and the ones I will post over the next three 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:
As you reflect back on this past year, what surprised you?
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 during this past year 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 this past year, I invite you to dig a little deeper and answer these questions:
Surprises are one of the great reminders that Life unfolds in ways that you might not imagine.
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 three posts, I'll share other questions that will help you to reflect on this past year. If you can, please save your responses and recollections because we'll be building upon what you came up with here.
Joselito is a spiritual life coach helping people create a purposeful, spiritual path to career and financial freedom.
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