January 2004, Message of the Month

Open Heart - Artwork by Kelly Winter Here we are in 2004.

Take a moment to reflect back on 2003 and truly acknowledge all the things you have accomplished. Give yourself an honest accounting. It could be you mastered a new skill, got the courage to ask for a raise, saved some money, worked on your parenting, or even found the courage to leave a relationship or a marriage. Taking the time to acknowledge who we are and what we've accomplished is so meaningful and truly sets a positive tone for beginning 2004.

I am part of a women's group that meets once a month. Our last meeting for 2003 was a practice dedicated to recognizing our successes for the year. It was uplifting, celebrational and full of joy and hope. To begin, one member read an inspirational quote about the meaning of life. We all took a few moments to make a mental list, but one woman had written her list and it was long and wonderful. She really took the time to do this exercise and honor herself, and then share with the group.

I would recommend this practice in family form as well. Make a family meeting around the table after dinner one night. If you have younger children you can help them with their lists by recognizing their growth and mastering new skills. Be sure to share your accomplishments with your children to model this new skill of acknowledging ourselves. If you have older children tell them the plan ahead of time and ask them to put a bit of thought into the exercise.

We all seem so ready to jump into the new year delineating what needs to be corrected. Lets take a few moments and celebrate our triumphs as a beginning. Note the effect this has on your emotions. Watch our children light up as they get to tell their family about their accomplishments. Notice their body language and their eyes. You might even point out things to each other that you missed.

Its wonderful to go back to that place when we were children and shouted out, "hey look what I can do!" without hesitation, fear of what others would think, or embarrassment. It just was what it was, and we were so happy and excited. Let yourself go there again, follow your children there, and really enjoy how you feel.

There will be time to set our intentions for the new year ahead, indeed you may have already done so. Be sure to take this golden moment of now to celebrate yourself. Your treatment of yourself will help guide what is to come for you in the future. In sum, be here now with love for yourself, embrace who you are and all you've accomplished, because it will lead to being open for more wonderful things yet to come.