It’s still early in the morning here – the kids have gone off to school, the coffee is hot, and I’m tapping away on my laptop under a cozy duvet, made warmer still by the dog-weight of Guinness, who is sound asleep beside me.
I feel gratitude.
It’s been a record year for my business. I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with a wide variety of interesting and influential women. I surpassed my own financial goals. I wrote three pieces that I’m really proud of – here, here and here. I worked really hard to have each of my clients consider how their work not only impacts them as an individual but also strengthens their position, influence and privilege to allow them to positively impact different collective issues (racism, sexism, wage inequality, climate change etc.). This shift in my coaching lens has helped me solidify what I stand for: Through our work we can meet our own needs for fulfillment (success, money, recognition etc) and absolutely use our positions, influence and privilege to be in service of the communities that need us.
I recognize that this has been a good year for many of us individually, but it’s also been a tragic year for some. We’ve witnessed the devastation and loss of life from mass shootings, flooding, hurricanes, raging fires and earthquakes, and watched unprecedented political decisions unfold to create ongoing uncertainty.
I’m sensitive to the bad things that happen, whether near or half a world away. I empathize deeply, and find it very hard to reconcile the both/and. The human experience is full of contrast;
it can be so good and so bad at the same time. And I truly wrestle – in mind, heart and soul – when I meet so much good and so much bad, simultaneously.
As I close out this year with reflection and pause, I want to express deep gratitude for my friends who push forward on the frontlines of social justice. And for those who are actively working to solidify what you stand for. I have witnessed so many of you taking action on what’s within your grasp, speaking out against injustice and becoming part of the resistance. You’ve channeled your time and energy into making this world a better, stronger, more loving place by leveraging your own privilege, experience and positions to help others.
My Ask for 2018 (of you and of myself): Let us continue to think critically about our impact and take every opportunity to adjust our approach to be more inclusive, thoughtful and conscientious, EVEN when the events or injustices of the world don’t appear to affect us directly.
As 2017 comes to a close I believe we need to take time to reflect on what we’ve learned, what we’re proud of, the difference we’ve made in the lives of others, and also, to think critically and intentionally about what’s next.
I believe 2018 requires us to be even bolder; to be more courageous, active, and committed. It’s time to rest our eyes on the horizon of what’s possible, to pay attention to where we’re needed, and to bravely answer “I’m ready” to what’s calling us forth.
If you’d like to reflect with guidance, find time to cozy up near the fire with these questions. I *highly* recommend sharing your answers with others… there’s a lot of power, and magic, in being witnessed.
Reflection on 2017:
What did you take a stand for in 2017?
What did learn about yourself in 2017?
What did you learn about your work?
What are you most proud of in 2017?
If you had one ‘ do-over’ in 2017 what might it be?
What one word sums up 2017 for you?
Claiming Bold Goals for 2018:
What do you most want for yourself in 2018?
What do you most want for your work?
How will you commit to having your work impact not only you as an individual, but also the collective?
What is your one, true, BOLD goal for 2018?
What’s important to you about this goal?
What will you do, specifically, to achieve this goal?
There is no doubt that we will meet both good and bad again in 2018. When you meet with the good – I encourage you to enjoy it, give thanks, and find a way to spread it around. When you meet with the bad – reach out, find your tribe, and stay strong in community.
My very best wishes for the final days of 2017, and the first days of 2018. I hope you find a few moments for quiet reflection alongside a warm dog. Trust me, it’s a very good place to be.