Updated: Feb 22
Despite some challenges, 2021 brought its share of the good stuff also. There is much to be thankful for in both the complications and the hopefulness of this last year. As we usher in a new year, it can be helpful to take a few minutes to think about how we’ve responded to ordinary moments, engaged in our relationships and reacted to the experiences of our days. The New Year brings with it an opportunity to reflect on what we are grateful for, what we want to be intentional about looking forward, and what we want to create more of in 2022:
• What brought joy? Delight? Optimism?
• Who showed up for me and how can I nurture these relationships?
• What risks did I take that made life more satisfying? What did I avoid, at what cost?
• Have I extended compassion and generosity to myself and others?
• What narratives have helped me to be successful (in the broadest sense) and what stories have I been telling myself that are limiting?
• Is there some place I need to consider a change of heart?
• What contributions have I made in the service of others?
• What helped me to recover from setbacks and missteps? What contributed to my resilience?
• How to do I want to engage others? What do meaningful connections look like to me?
• What did I learn about myself in the last year and what I can do to bring forward my best?
As I looked back at 2021 what was most clear to me, was that all the very best in the last year was in the context of community and connection. The most satisfying moments came through affiliation, affinity and turning toward each other - personally, spiritually, professionally.
This wasn’t always easy. There were moments when I wanted to retreat. My baseline is connection though, and I can’t help thinking that if we could all turn toward each other more often, attend to each other and our communities collectively, I think we would be better for it. Each of us has a story worth telling and worth listening to. Something valuable and compelling to share. A perspective or experience worth trying to understand. Our engagement invites mutual respect and accountability, greater empathy and compassion, and shared purpose.
A favorite author, Brian Doyle, has always claimed that each of our stories are simply prayers of incredible power. He writes that whenever his spirit is low, “without fail a story comes and thrums [his] heart until [he] is bruised with joy.”
I love this. We need each other, our stories, and our communities right now. And it wouldn’t hurt to have our hearts bruised with joy either.
Happy New Year, Good Health & All Good Things in 2022!
Thank you for the stories you've shared.