How to Reflect on 2011 and prepare for 2012

Another new year is almost here and with it the annual pressure to decide how to pass this special moment.  In the past I was drawn to revelry and substance abuse of  all sorts.  I’ve driven drunk through police barricades and over stop signs, whooped it up in the crowd as the ball dropped in Times Square,  gotten completely wasted at a concert where John Belushi made a cameo appearance swigging champagne and spitting a shower of it out onto us in the audience, and of course I drove the 40 miles home barely conscious of the road. They say God protects fools, babies and drunkards and I suppose I qualified for all three.  I grew up during a time when smoking, drinking and imbibing chemicals was thought of as cool.  It was how I was taught to relax, enjoy and let off steam.  Over the past 15 years my approach to special moments has really changed.

    Source: Ebaum's World

I've come to treat the coming of the new year with great reverence.  I really try to reflect on the past year and contemplate how I'd like to form my future.  With this sort of thinking in mind, people have given me questions to ponder that helped direct me in my process.  They have been a great aid.  This year no one has given me directions so I have developed a list of questions of my own.  I share it here in the hope that these questions might be useful to you in your own process.

What did I learn in the past year?
If I could relive any moments (to re-experience them or do them differently) what would they be?
What new connections did I make that I value?
What old connections did I deepen and how?
If this last year was a book with a title what would that title be?  (subtitling allowed)

And in thinking of the New Year

How do I want to grow in the New Year?
What do I hope to let go of?
What do I yearn to embrace?
What new thing or things do I need to learn?
If I could title the coming year I would call it "The Year of  _____________________"

A lovely way to do this kind of thinking is to spend a day just sitting with these questions, cogitating, journaling, sipping tea, taking naps, doing relaxation practices, like the Five Minutes of Bliss, totally melting into it and sharing with someone or a group of someones.   Even spending an hour by yourself doing this can really help to frame what has happened for you and create the kind of future you dream of having.

Those earlier chaotic years now seem to me, to be expressions of how badly I was blocked at the places of reflection.  I was programmed to do and think of things a certain way. There was no room for feeling my way through, sensing my desires and then moving toward them, where ever this might lead.  There was no meandering.  It was all a head long thrust along established paths, some of which were very unhealthy.

Contemporary society does little to encourage lateral movement and god forbid we should back track or spiral or swirl.  Those are not the most direct paths to meeting the next deadline.  We are trained to constantly be going from A to B.  I hope in answering your questions you will open yourself to your full potential and every direction it is possible to take.  Going from A to B is great when it meets your needs.  To know about your needs though, it often requires a bit of meandering.

Get Mushy and Have Fun.  Wishing you All the Best for 2012 and Beyond.

Peace and Love,

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