Reflecting on this decade, 2019 hasn’t been the easiest for our family. The most significant reason being that I lost my dear dad suddenly in June.
The circle of life is an amazing thing, because shortly before we lost him, we had wonderful news of a new life beginning. He knew about this new life, though he was sworn to secrecy at the time.
And earlier this month I held that little bundle of joy in my arms as my first grand child, a beautiful little boy, entered our world.
One circle of life completed just before another one opened. As my dear friend Tessa describes it, the comings and goings of life.
We are always blessed no matter what is happening in our world, though it may not feel like it at the time. Even though I have grieved deeply for my dad this year, his passing has been the catalyst of great change for me in more ways than one.
Throughout our own circle of life we have cycles. For me they feel like personal chapters in my own book of life. And at the end of this particular year, we all complete the cycle of a decade.
A lot can happen and change in ten years. There would have been challenges, achievements, joy, sadness, loss, gains and lessons among many other things.
The focus most of us have is quite often our achievements and more recently what we learn. But the whole purpose of both is in who we actually become in the process. Our lifetime is all about growth and development to be who we really are.
I’m not sure who said this, but I read once, “At the end of the day it’s not the achievement of your goals that matters most, it’s who you become because of it”.
And if I can add more to this, I would say it’s the things that we don’t achieve or have that helps us in who we become even more.
I have a firm belief that we enter each lifetime with the intention to have certain experiences to enable us to expand within ourselves. This belief definitely helps me deal with the sad and not so pleasant experiences.
And I feel this is why each year and each decade is filled with a variety of experiences. This includes things we do and don’t want as we live in our physical world.
We actually gain more growth from the difficult experiences and challenges. And if we don’t stay aware, we can miss the insights that can assist us with that growth.
That’s why at the end of each year I like to do my own personal ritual of reflection for the whole year.
This process will be slightly different this year because we are completing the cycle of a decade. I will be looking at the last ten years and here are the key areas I will reflect on as this year draws to a close:
Take a good long look at who you have become
The amount of personal growth you can acknowledge in this part of the process is quite often astounding. It begins with looking at who you were at the end of the last decade.
Looking at photos of you taken at that time will help you with this.
Travel back in your mind’s eye to December 2009. See where you were living, who was in your life, what work you were doing and the skills you had. Notice what you did with your spare time, the kind of person you were, your values and qualities, your strengths and your behaviours.
Now come forward to December 2019 and notice the kind of person you are now. Acknowledge the strengths and skills you have. How you have developed within yourself, what you value now, what qualities you presently have. See where your relationships may have changed now. You may even be living somewhere new or have a new career.
Write down how far you have come and really acknowledge yourself for this.
Acknowledge the contributing challenges in the last decade
It’s easy to say we just had a hard year and hurriedly dismiss it as we welcome in the new, expecting things to change.
The thing is, because we gain more growth from the challenging experiences, it’s essential to acknowledge how they have contributed to our growth. As we do this we can gain more insight to help us in the next decade.
Now you have noticed just how far you have come in your own growth, consider the challenges you have encountered along the way. See how they have contributed to your growth. Notice the strengths and qualities you have gained, the values you have embraced.
Maybe they taught you inner strength, resilience or courage. Possibly they taught you how to forgive or let go. Perhaps you even learned how to open your heart and be vulnerable.
Acknowledge those challenges and write down how they helped you grow.
Celebrate and embrace your achievements
Our achievements and the things that go well are often where we develop our confidence, self-belief and self-worth. So it’s important to also reflect in this area over the past decade.
An achievement is also where you have stepped out of your comfort zone regardless of the outcome. This is because it gives you a fabulous example of your capability to embrace uncertainty, which is all about courage.
And again this is where you gain the most growth, because stepping out of your comfort zone is not easy.
Write down all your achievements over the last decade. Include in this all the times you embraced uncertainty to do something new. Make a note of the qualities and attributes you gained from your achievements. Acknowledge how they have helped you become who you are right now.
Be grateful for the last decade
Ten years of life is a wonderful gift. I always think of my beautiful mum when I say this because she passed many years ago. She had 51 years of life and was always grateful and happy for every moment.
There are so many people not alive physically today, who are missed greatly. That’s why it’s so important to acknowledge our gift of life with all its highlights and challenges.
If we want a problem or challenge free life, we are on the wrong planet. This life is all about embracing every part of it and growing from it. This is not always easy to do in the moment, but it’s essential that we do at some point.
Be grateful for the last ten years with all the joy and sadness you may have experienced. As you notice what or who you have lost, appreciate that you once had it or them and give thanks for that.
Give thanks for the growth you have gained and who you have become. And be grateful for every moment of your life.
At the end of this decade
I know my life has changed dramatically in the last ten years. 2009 is when I made a decision to live in Cairns and sold our home north of Port Douglas where I raised my boys.
Even though I lost my dad this year, he actually came back into our life ten years ago. He then moved to live near us the following year. Because of this I was blessed to have a very close relationship with him during the last few years of his life. This also helped me develop greatly within myself, because having an elderly parent also holds some challenges.
Starting my own business too during that same period helped me grow and expand incredibly. My kids also grew into adults and left home. There have been so many changes and I am not the person I was ten years ago.
As you reflect on this last decade, be really honest with yourself. If you see lessons you never fully learned from during that time, be kind to yourself. Notice where you can gain from them now.
Focus on and embrace the wonderful person you have become. And you will notice even more growth and expansion as you move forward.
I send much love to you and your loved ones this Christmas. Wishing you an incredible decade to come.
If you would like to be walked through this visualisation process I am holding a FREE DECADE REVEUE ONLINE MASTERCLASS. This is being held for my community this coming Thursday 19th December at 6pm AEST. CLICK HERE to join my community and you will receive an invitation to register.