Why reflect and celebrate?
Amidst the busyness of day-to-day life, it’s easy to become distant from those parts of ourselves which we hold most dear. We can often feel a disconnect with our lives, values and intentions.
And with the new year, new decade, it’s an opportune time to take stock. Recalibrate.
So here are my reflections for the year that’s been. I start with gratitude.
There were many who shaped my 2019. Partnership, collaboration “doing stuff with people”, and endings/beginnings. These were my themes for the year.
To those good friends who supported me, challenged me, held me in my vulnerability, inspired me to be more than I am. Thank you. There were many introductions to so many wonderful new worlds, friends, and experiences like movie singalong nights, grief dinners and joining new communities.
I’d like to thank all those who put their trust in me. Particularly in my work, and creative passion projects – there’s so much to be proud of for 2019:
I started the year with my workplace values challenged, and my heart’s hopes. As I resigned from a high paying (and stable) job, I did so knowing I was true to my integrity. I recognised a toxic work culture when I saw it. Not resigned to working in a broken system, I resigned. I chose my health.
And whilst the grief of a Thai goodbye still visits, I dive courageously into hope for more for my heart. Mixed with the sadness of a loved parent lost, the anticipatory grief for another has challenged me to grow something from the losses.
I started, completed and launched the memoir of Bob, my Matter of Life client. He was not family or an existing friend to me so this represented a huge step in my small business. It was outside my comfort zone to invite my friend Anoush to collaborate on this work that is dear to me. But this reminded me how enriching partnership can be – achieving more than what can be done alone.
Last year I facilitated my first Home Body conscious dance classes with Jono and the support of friends like Megan, Anoush and Judy. This has been a massive dream of mine for a few years now. It’s been a huge edge to enter into a new dance of holding space, and to ‘step off the cliff’ with such a lovely fun guy like Jono was double joy.
And what an extra hoot to organise a Climate Silent Disco with friends Alex and Jono. This was spontaneous, this was exciting! I felt we were expressing our shared grief, anger and despair in ways that not only made sense but invited others in.
In all this I need to shout out to all the amazing communities I’m a part of that have nourished, challenged and inspired.
Campfire continued to unlock boundless creativity and warm the heart like no other space. Thank you Luke Hockley for creating a space of welcome belonging, and to all who have shared in campfire spirit. The Art of Grieving was a great chance to meet others, share in art and normalise the feelings in loss. And whilst my Common Circle met only a few times, it nonetheless helped illustrate the passions.
After a long courtship I finally became a member of The Weekly Service and attended the winter gathering of delights. Exploring more intentionally what it means to be in community, I also took on a Comms role and learnt about storytellers, including coming face to face with deep adaptation to a dying ecology.
Week in, week out, Open Floor dance continues to make the invisible visible – a deep well of embodied presence in all the joys and sorrows of being alive!
Held by the labyrinth
Dot in the middle is
Awakening through connection
A new life breathing
Surrounded by nature
Fertilised by grief
Same colour as yesterday
Forever. With. Me.
I ‘book ended’ my 2019 by attending the Harvest New Years Retreat again. I did so with some hesitancy, as the memory of how awesome the first one risked eclipsing a sequel. But in all my years of new year’s celebrations I just couldn’t think of a better way to mark the transition. I went. I wasn’t disappointed.
It’s enabled me to engage in this level of reflection, made possible through the care of Jake and Henry in creating such a tight community, and creating spaces to listen to the natural landscape – inside and out.
I’d like to thank friends who entrusted me to hold them in their pain, confusion and not knowing. It’s your example that expands the heart and places treasure there to share.
Finally, I’d like to thank the part of me that took risks in stepping towards my dreams. Much gratitude for that bit of myself that didn’t give up in the face of fear, uncertainty and disappointment. That part of me that showed myself compassion when habitually it had been the opposite.
I’d like to thank the love in my heart.
Planting seeds for the year ahead
As I call in perseverance, intimacy and collaboration into my 2020 there will be opportunities for growth to come – new and existing relationships, my new weekly conscious dance class, and space and time to grow business passion projects.
Building on gratitude for a full year last year, I look ahead with courage, fire, clarity, strength and resilience.
I pray that you find courage
In your beautiful heart
May warmth, kindness and compassion for self
Always reside there
When things get hard, overwhelming, scary and confusing
I pray you find trust to surrender
To what may unfold beyond you
And the strength and focus to act decisively and clearly
With that you can grasp and shape
I pray that you continue to surround yourself
With people that nourish, inspire, encourage, challenge and support you
I pray that you do all you can to nourish these key relationships
As you create riches together
Which are not possible alone.