BLOG_2020_12_17_Taking Stock

Taking Stock

17 DECEMBER 2020

Ancient Romans named the month of January for Janus, their god of gates, doors and beginnings.

Always pictured with two faces—one looking toward the future, the other back at the past—Janus is a fitting symbol for the turning of a new year.  

As we step through the doorway at the end of this year many will want to slam it shut! Will a window open as a result? That’s up to you!

Going from one year to the next, it’s natural to do as Janus does: look back and ahead. I suggest that instead of just reflecting on the past year or making New Year’s resolutions, consider using the last two weeks of the year to also take stock of your life.

  • Who are you?
  • What do you believe?
  • What do you really need?

When we discover who we really are, we stop living on auto-pilot and start to live with intention, focus and purpose. Knowing our “Why” and then taking actions to fulfill it provides us enormous opportunities to invite joy and happiness into our lives. Our choices become clearer. We begin to make active choices in our life, instead of making excuses or passively living with the status quo. 

Here are a few questions to get you started.

Have a journal or some way to record your thoughts (writing by hand keeps you in touch with your breath and your heart. If you are like me where you have been trained to think rationally, logically and avoid emotion, this exercise can be challenging. Take your time to get in touch with your heart – this is where the transformation takes place.  A glass of wine might help too.  Then revisit this exercise every couple of days to see if you discover anything else.   I’ve also given you some examples of my experiences at the beginning of my transformation to help you get the juices flowing.

  • What is aching to be expressed? (I thought of it as something was aching to get out but I didn’t know what it was at first)
  • What needs healing (I needed to forgive myself for the breakup of my marriage.)
  • What unique gifts, talents and skills do you bring to the world? How are you using them, or not? (I wasn’t feeling fulfilled as I knew I had so much more to give – again I didn’t know what it was at first – that came much later.)
  • Who do you need to forgive? How about yourself? (For me it was important to understand the situation from the other person’s perspective – it was much easier to forgive when I could empathize with them.) 
  • What beliefs are holding you back or getting in your way? (Money and success definitions were a big block for me!)
  • What can you let go of in your life? (I had attachments to what I thought should happen rather than allowing things to flow – I wanted to control everything and as a result, I became happier when I allowed life to evolve – it took me to a place I would have never thought I’d be – but I’m so happy I gave up that control!)
  • What makes you happy? (Being self-employed, helping to empower women entrepreneurs, having personal freedoms and experiencing continuous life long learning!)

Please don’t forget to consider the vital information the other “parts” of yourself are giving you. When you use only your head, your experience of yourself and the world is more limited. For instance:

  • Listen to your body. What is it telling you? When someone yells at you, does your stomach tie up in knots? Do your shoulders stiffen when you’ve been too focused on fulfilling others’ needs and ignoring your own? Notice the messages your body is giving you. It usually knows something is wrong before your brain figures it out.
  • Check in with your heart. The heart is the home of what is most alive in us. What does your heart have to say about your job or your business? About how you spend your days? Does it need more play time? What, according to your heart, really matters?  Can you have bigger impact by thinking through your heart?
  • Listen to your intuition, your “gut". Your intuition speaks volumes, but often gets ignored. What is this voice saying now?

Don’t forget to notice what you already have that is working. Acknowledge and give thanks for the gifts and the beauty and the miracles that are in your life right now. Write them down. Add to the list every day.

This exercise will only work if you dig deep and are honest with yourself. So, tell yourself the truth. Now is the time to start being honest about who you really are. Encouraging those unlived parts of ourselves to emerge can provide an exhilarating sense of discovery and optimism for the New Year and beyond.

Undertake the above exercise with a close trusted friend...

  • It can make it more fun and they can often “see” us when we are not yet completely honest with ourselves. It also helps to get their perspective in “seeing” us.

  • We often do not acknowledge our greatness and are too quick to judge or express the “inner critic’s” opinion.

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