December 7th, 2019
My Dearest January 1 2019 Self,
The end of the year is approaching fast. Recently you realized it was not a year ending, but actually a DECADE and that actually blew your mind for a second. Many are starting to think ahead to the next year (and DECADE) and making plans for a better future filled with possibilities, intentions, goals, hopes, and desires. Years past, at this time of year, you were that planner, that dreamer … eyes always ahead looking at the horizon driven by the possibility of further movement. But not this year … this year, I am choosing to sit and give you the gift of reflection.
January 1, 2019 Self - I want to write you this letter from a place of love. I want to talk to you about the year that is ahead and about to unfold.
First and foremost, please know that YOU MADE IT!!! - you are still kicking, actually quite comfortably enjoying a cup of coffee by a fire you started in your favorite room in the house. So all is well there! Your health is ok - no major issues although you have gained some weight that does not make you feel good on the outside or the inside - your Dr. is also not happy about that and you know how he calls you out on things like that. You are currently reading a book called The War of Art (by Steven Pressfield) that is introducing you to the term RESISTANCE - this is helping you get over the hump of going to the gym … we shall see what happens on this front. I believe in your ability to follow through on this!
So, this year … this was NOT an easy year my dearest and yet, it has been a beautiful year for your soul and your spirit. Believe me.
The overriding emotion for the year will be that of “treading water” and feeling lost. You will discover that this is a very uncomfortable feeling for you. It challenges both your need for control and achievement … treading water is like employing energy without getting anywhere. You view this as futile, wasteful, frustrating … it will be a source of pain, doubt, anger, despair and darkness for you. You will be told to be patient - you will be told this a LOT - and you will nod and rationally “understand” but it won’t make the feeling of inadequacy leave you. THAT is NOT how you work … you are accustomed to doing and seeing results … what is this bit about spending energy (and lots of it) to get nowhere? This will be the theme for you and it will consume a lot of your thoughts, feelings and emotions. This will also drive you to ACT and take action. First, out of desperation - you want the feeling to stop, so … what if you did this or that … you will take action and that my dearest will bring a year of MANY firsts for you.
For the first time you will openly share the internal “struggle” and tension that you feel. The message will be greeted by surprise at first - people experience you as confident, positive, full of light and insight. You will learn that you can be both darkness and light - that both truths can coexist (Bottom of the Pool by Andy Andrews will teach you about “something can be true and still not be the truth” ).
For the first time in a long time, you will apply for jobs - and you will get rejected. You will feel defeated and question everything about yourself and your capabilities. Which will lead you to your next first …
For the first time in a long time, you will invest in your own self-development. Initially you will read A LOT of books. You will start with topics familiar to you and that you have a passion for like customer loyalty which will then lead you to culture, employee engagement, leadership alignment and the importance of organizational purpose. This will lead you to start taking webinars and re-engaging in platforms like LinkedIn for further learning. You will encounter a new community (Humans First) and you will reclaim your light in belonging.
You will put yourself out there through podcasts and live video recorded conversation. It will be scary and you will feel intimidated and yet … you will say “yes, I’m in!” every time and look back and be proud that you were BRAVE. You will go to networking events - yikes! - and agree to zoom conversations to deepen connections and learn more about others.
You will experience disappointment from others. Things will happen that will make you angry and hurt - really hurt. You will feel disrespected and unseen. But my dear, that experience will be temporary and it will not have any long lasting effects.
You will join Twitter!!!! Hahahaha. I know this is going to sound like - are you sure about that? BUT trust me … it will be a wonderful platform for you where you will enjoy lots of conversation and will make deep connections in a few short months (you can thank Gary V. for that, as you joined after reading the Thank You Economy and his push for us to play the game where the game is being played).
You will listen to PODCASTS for the first time and fall in love with learning through listening to conversation - your favorites will be Value Through Vulnerability, The Higher Purpose, and Lead From The Heart - and you will develop connection and friendship with the hosts of those podcasts - how awesome is that?
You will create a website all ON YOUR OWN and a blog! You will invest in Executive Coaching and discover all kinds of things about yourself. You will learn the concept of needs as a means to honor ourselves as opposed to being high-maintenance. This will take some time but I see hints that it is starting to take its roots.
You will start to change the people you surround yourself with and most importantly the opinions you start to seek and listen to - Brené Brown’s work will be a pivotal point for you in this regard - you will seek the advice for those in the arena with you and for you. And the words “courage over comfort” will resonate when you feel like you are making decisions to maintain the status quo because that offers the least resistance.
You will cry - a LOT - from deep pain as you keep trying to uncover its root - like the weed in the yard you want to eliminate but the root is so far down you really have to dig deep to get it all. In those moments, you will always feel the light of someone there with you and you won’t feel alone but they will be painful. I am still digging at the root.
You will finally read the Alchemist - by Paulo Coelho - and you will understand how actually things DO find you or you find them at the right time.
You will be a good friend and you will keep investing and enjoying in current friendships as well as reconnect from people from the past and even get to know people that have been in your circle (mainly through work) for some time and will become great beacons of light for you. You will also meet incredible people who are like-hearted and with whom you find instant connection and shared love, respect, and admiration.
As the year comes to an end, you will be at the doorstep of peace. You will know the hole of despair and get into it from time to time, but the stay does not seem long. You will recognize that part of the challenge was your own assumptions and expectations as to what the “journey” was supposed to be or look like. You will start understanding that clarity begins as a deep certain feeling on the inside and that through actions that feeling continues to grow (light) or dampen (darkness) and that most of the time words are not available to articulate that clarity and they may not even be necessary. Words don’t have to come first and then action … Clarity is not a destination … even the idea of a destination is a fallacy as there is nowhere to get to. Clarity is that sense of peace in your heart that shines bright when your actions are in congruence with who you are.
My dearest I, treading water IS what keeps you from drowning - treading water means you are alive and that is worth ALL the energy you have. I love you and I'm proud of you.
I will be here waiting for you at the end of the year.