We have reached the final month of this ragged year. I had hoped this year would be far better than 2020, but 2021 proved rough, painful, and confusing in many ways. Nonetheless, beautiful things also happened.
December is a good time of year for taking stock, for reflection, and harvesting of the year that’s nearly past. There are bright pearls to be found amid the slimy innards of the clamshells, lessons to be gathered to help light the way forward, sorrows to be mourned and released to make space for the new. It is like putting the garden to bed, harvesting the final fruits, cutting down the dead plants, covering the bed with mulch, so that it becomes fertile again for new growth.
These times call for slowing down and turning inward. They call for emptying out to make space for new visions, new dreams, new stories, new life. We need to collectively dream the new, in order to bring it into being. It is up to us to make a more loving, beautiful, sustainable, joyful world for all. And we can do it.
I invite you to take some time with a journal to go inward and reflect on the outgoing year. You might wish to do this in several sessions—answering one question below in your journal each morning—or you may wish to do it all at once, or in conversation with a loved one or friend.
With the questions below I share a few of my own answers to give you some ideas.
Questions to Help You Harvest Your Year
- What were the highlights of this past year? What are the moments and experiences you most treasure? When did you feel most engaged, lit up, or enjoying of life?
For me, some of the highlights were camping with my beloved—those precious days spent entirely outdoors, connecting deeply to the natural world, with a fire every morning and evening, and no cares or concerns.
And attending the Collective Trauma Summit online—the excitement and validation of learning about collective trauma and collective healing and how it dovetails with my work, both personally and professionally.
- What do you need to mourn, honor, and release? What was difficult, painful, hard, disappointing? Give the experiences and feelings space on the page and then choose to let them go, so they don’t become stumbling blocks in the new year.
One of the biggest things I’m mourning is another year spent largely cut off from friends, dancing, playing music with others, going to concerts and festivals, having parties. And how this has negatively impacted my joy and inspiration.
- What did you learn this year? What new skills or insights or discoveries occurred?
I am celebrating completing a course on book proposal writing. And doing individual healing work on my inherited trauma.
- What were your accomplishments? What did you complete or do? What are you proud of?
I am most proud of having completed a proposal for a book on creativity that I am writing. I also did an enormous amount of work on the book itself. It’s really coming together, and I will be ready to send the proposal out in the new year!
- What blessings came your way this past year? What was fortunate?
Our garden continues to be a rich source of daily blessings. Also, the monthly fire circles I host were rich and deep, and a strong community gathered to help carry us through these times. I was blessed once again to have amazing students and connections in my classes.
- Looking now perhaps particularly at your creative life, what did you get done? What activities, habits, classes, companions served you best? What inspired you most this year?
In addition to accomplishments already mentioned, I started assembling a new manuscript of poems and editing them. What helped me most was a book retreat intensive I participated in and the course I took. Also, partnering with a poetry buddy to give each other feedback once a month. And upleveling my creative studio with new bookshelves and a wonderful new chair.
- What did you not get done that you would like to complete before the year end or make a priority for the new year?
I did not get my new website done despite countless hours spent researching and planning it. Frustrating! I’d love to have it done by year-end but realistically it will likely take a bit longer than that.
Support in Creating Your New Year Aligned with Heart
I hope you find these reflection questions helpful and inspiring. When we take time to harvest the outgoing year, we clear space within so that we can plant new seeds for the coming times. It is a kind of inner decluttering.
If you would like support in going deeper in harvesting the outgoing year and visioning the new year, I would be honored to work and play with you in my one-on-one Mentoring program.
Together we will take stock of the year that’s ending and create an inspired roadmap to guide your coming year. A good roadmap aligns with your heart, soul, and spirit, so that your life shines from within. A good roadmap also has a balance of clarity and flexibility. In that way, you know the steps to take to reach your most cherished dreams. You’ll have a guide to stay on track. And you also can adjust to the unexpected, while not losing your essential heart path.
If you are longing for a more inspired, fruitful, joyful year ahead, I invite you to sign up for a series of mentoring sessions with me now. If you have dreams or goals and need some help, this kind of focused support can be priceless.
The first step is to sign up for a free Discovery Session here. We will explore what you desire, what’s been getting in your way, and whether we are a good match to play together in this way.