Ah, how often is what we imagine different than reality?
I’m spending a week in Bali before a journey to India. My vision: finishing up my book in the tropics while sipping fresh water out of a coconut. The reality: spending my days too exhausted to think, coughing furiously and blowing my nose every fifteen seconds. Not so pretty.
But, I am in the tropics, a beautiful place to be sick.
As we close out 2018, let’s gather in both the triumphs and the face plants, and celebrate both the grace and the grit. Because there are lessons abounding, waiting to be noticed.
At the end of each year, I take a few days to go through my calendar and write down the good, the bad, and the ugly. I make lists. I review what worked, what didn’t work so well, and what failed miserably. I hold myself accountable with love and curiosity. And then I start dreaming the new year.
This year I spent my 40 hours of travel and layover time on the way to Bali (pre-lung and sinus cooties) working through a book a friend sent me called Your Best Year Yet. Lots of great questions. Lots of introspection. And the result is a one-page list of guidelines, focus, and ten tightened up goals for 2019.
But this clarity would not have come if hadn’t taken the time to really listen to my overall intent for 2019.
You see, I initially thought my intent was “expansion.”
I’ve spent the past five years creating a solid foundation for my teaching and writing. A re-vamped website and membership site. An amazing team of women. A project manager that helped our team get clear on our communication, planning, and follow through skills. Lots of trial by error and learning through doing. Numerous new systems and systems to run the systems.
So for 2019 I thought, well, we are ready. Let’s see what we can create together!
Expansion seemed like the logical next step.
Except it wasn’t.
Luckily, I’ve learned about setting intent to not get fixated on thinking I know what is right, or best. I get an insight, and then I wait for confirmation or adjustment. And in this case it was adjustment that showed up.
While leading a visualization for a class recently I had an aha moment; oh, my intent is not expansion, it is integration!!!
Totally different feeling sense.
So my final 2018 advice is from recent experience: listen, then listen again. Don’t think you know what it is going to look like. Be open to change. And lean into the lessons.
For me getting sick was a reminder to, of course, slow down and integrate. I wanted to go straight from teaching into writing, during and after my “short” travel from Santa Fe to Bali. I had hopes of writing on the plane, during my layovers in NYC and Amsterdam, and the moment I touched down in Bali. It all looked so good in my head.
But no. Instead, I have slept, and slept, and slept some more while my body processes whatever virus is currently having its way with me.
The gift: once I stopped fighting and freaking out about I AM NOT WRITING!!! I HAVE A DEADLINE!!! I HAVE TO WRITE!!!! I settled into being the best sick person I could be. I let go. I honored my current weak and snotty reality. And four days in, I woke up in the middle of the night in a state of grace (well, if grace had a wicked cough and kleenex everywhere.) I had enough surrender and enough distance to see the perfection of said illness and the necessity of NOT WRITING.
Because the best writing, and the best living, comes when we are empty of preconceptions of what should be and open to the moment.
So for 2019 may we all get empty so we may show up with reality and release into the grace of whatever moment we find ourselves in.
What’s your intent for 2019? share with me on my FB author page, I’d love to hear!