Is 2023 Set to Be Your Most Heart-Filled Year Yet? (Here's a Great Way to Do It.)Jan 11, 2023
[pssst - TLDR Too Long Don't have time to Read? Scroll for ACTION STEP]
A little over a week ago I felt overwhelmed.
After a lovely New Year's Eve with friends, and the late night that ensued, I wondered if I were just tired. But the exhaustion lingered for several days.
Why couldn't I, a life coach for goodness' sake!, get it together to plan my year to come?!
"Sort your life out!" screamed the socially conditioned part of my brain. "Get a GRIP!"
"Are planets in retrograde? ... Am I just tired? ... Why wasn't it shifting? ... OMG, am I off track with my life purpose?! ...Have I been ignoring my heart?"
The thoughts didn't stop racing.
It was a little scary and as the New Year continued I felt the pressure to 'plan my year' and a resistance to doing anything of the sort.
I remembered I'd felt this way last year. After the busyness of Christmas, being ill, arranging presents and activities, and lots of travel to visit family by the time New Year came around I was mentally and emotionally exhausted. Add in social and parental engagement for too-many-days-in-a-row-when-we're-all-out-of-routine (and the invisible workload of women/or the main household runner/carer) and I was all out of cheer and creativity.
Last year I gained movement by writing to 2021. Writing to the year before to thank it, rage at it, commiserate with it, bless it, love it, forgive it, appreciate it. (Highly recommended by the way!)
This year the solution came to me gradually.
"Eeek!" complained my socially conditioned mind.
"Trust that this is perfect," my heart whispered.
So I just LET MYSELF FEEL.
I spent a few days sitting around. Still wondering if I'd ever get my mojo back. What if this was it, my desire to be a life coach over? Compassion fatigue set in for good? But I stuck went with it. My body was just yearning to do nothing. My mind could obsess but not plan.
In amongst doing nothing, I took some self care steps that felt GREAT to my body:
- reading novels (who knew Middlemarch would be so funny?!);
- sitting on the sofa... a LOT.
- Allowing myself to acknowledge any guilt at being 'lazy' and letting it go, TRUSTING that my true self would emerge in time.
- Binge watching 4 episodes of Bridgerton, which I normally don't wish to, for the sheer indulgence of glorious colour and whimsy and intrigue;
- letting other family members walk the dog.. twice.. each day...
- Ignoring my worries I'd never get 'better'
- And FEELING what I was truly FEELING.
And then, you know what? Eventually.
My mojo returned.
Creativity started to reappear.
I wanted to pick up the crochet that had been looking at me for days. I wanted to try a new recipe. I wanted to do some different meditations (Deepak Chopra's 21 Days of Abundance is a great little one to do even if you've done it before). I wanted to move my body and found delight in my old favourite, Yoga with Adriene with her 2023 30 Day Programme.
The 'good ideas' club was back.
And the point in this phase of creativity is to just let it all arise without judgement. Ideas came and went.
"Oooh I could do an MA or MSc in coaching" (lasted about 4 days)
"oooh, I could do agility training with my dog" (parked when local trainers all have waiting lists).
But I just allowed it to evolve.
You see, all too often our culture rushes from idea to action, putting the half baked and un-heart-baked notions into hard to back away from action rather than keeping them gestating in the heart and mind.
But I paused.
And then I was ready to do my FAVOURITE activity to bring my year into life.
To write myself a letter.
Not an ordinary letter. But a letter from my future self, in January 2024, celebrating the joys and wonders ofand outrageously joyful, happy, successful, heart-centred year. Where all my needs were met. Where my desires were fulfilled.
And I commend this to you.
It will surprise you, invigorate you, deepen your relationship with the year, expand you and allow you to create a year from the CENTRE OF YOUR HEART that you can bring into action... and, in my repeated experience, with a sprinkling of near-magical help from the Universe.
WRITE YOUR LETTER FROM FUTURE YOU - YOUR ACTION STEP.
So grab pen and paper. I like to write it my letter out in full by hand [the photo is my fountain pen which many a previous patient will recognise along with the purple ink in the excellent photo taken by @Jenallanbrandphotography on Instagram].
Set aside some time, 30-60 minutes to do it properly.
Turn off all distactions, notifications, devices and allow yourself to get fully comfortable.
Now, imagine it is January 2024. New Year a year from now.
Picture yourself there, looking back over the most wonderful, delightful and incredible 2023. The year that made your heart sing.
Write to yourself from this future space as if you were there right now, looking back over the most glorious 2023. A year that amazed you, inspired you, delighted you, fulfilled you in every way. Describe what was so good, in the past tense. REALLY describe - use lots of adjectives, and importantly describe how you felt as it happened, and how you feel having done/experienced/achieved it.
You can write chronologically, or by topic. i.e. health, leisure, business, work, family, social, spiritual, financial. You can do this for your PERSONAL life, or if you run your own business you can do it about your WORK or PRACTICE (I do this a lot with my homeopath clients to help them create a practice that delights them in the year to come).
Make it DELIGHTFUL! Remove all the self imposed glass ceilings and allow yourself to dream. How would it be if all your financial needs were taken care of? How would it be if all your social and emotional needs were met, or even exceeded? What feels GREAT in your heart? Make it SPECTACULAR! As long as it feels true to what you really want.
Once you have written your letter you have a few options.
- Tuck it away in a drawer and don't open til 2024. I've done this a few times with my husband. We'd write letters together about our year in hindsight. The we'd read each other's. It was a joy to see how we wanted the same as each other in many areas, inspiring where he came up with some better ideas (reguarly!), and intriguing as he shared things I didn't know he dreamed of. And then we put them away. For a year. On rereading the next New Year's Eve it was astounding how much of what we wrote actually came true in the year. Especially the ones that really made our hearts sing.
- Use it as inspiration to create what a Mastercoach instructor colleague, Carla Robertson, calls a 'Dreamy Vision Board' (@livingwildandprecious). Make sure the pictures you choose really link you to the FEELING of the letter and the year you dreamed.
- Or create a mandala: draw a large circle and draw all your adventures, feelings, experiences within. Mine was stick figures with the odd word highlighted. It's not about artistic brilliance, it's about INTENTION.
- Write yourself a message from future you to you today. What does she or he need to hear in this moment from you in this future space?
- FEEL what it's like to be future you. How is your posture different? What mannerisms do you have? What do you wear? When you're out and about, or even round the home, embody this version of you. Are you a little taller? A little more centred? Do you feel a little more confident? Or capable? (I'd love to know!) Do this OFTEN.
- Now, I love this for a practical step. Divide a page into quarters and label each with a season or a quarter depending on your preference. i.e. Winter or Q1. In each quarter break down the aspects of your year that take place in each. Write each experience from your letter in the time-based square it occured in. As you focus on each quarter, reverse engineer when the action needs to start to bring each one about. i.e. holiday in Q2 might help you identify that you need to research holidays in Q1, discuss with your partner or friends, and book by the end of Q1. ... Or a homeopath who states 'I'm earned £30k this year and finally feel like I can make a proper living from this vocation!' might want to work out how many clients you need, at what hourly rate (or if that sends you into a spin, make THIS the year you get a coach to support you!).
- Then... take TURTLE STEPS. Feel in your heart, what do you need? Rest or action? Commit to a small, tiny and easy 'step' to take your next action. Better still, commit this action to a particular time and place. i.e. This afternoon I will google 'holidays' straight after lunch on my phone; Or at coffee break this morning I'm going to email Joanna to ask how she can help me thrive in my practice this year')
What you choose to do must feel right to you. Good in your heart, emotions, body and mind. And if you experience any blocks then my suggestion is that you would benefit from support. If limiting beliefs sabotage your letter, or if you find yourself exhausted whenever you think of writing it (rather than you clearly deciding it's not for you which is a different thing altogether!) you would probably benefit from help. I've also found my clients go deeper when I hold the space for them - but it's not always necessary. Feel into what's right for you.
And in my experience, every single time I've written this letter in a way that sparks joy in my heart, the Universe steps up to help out. I whole heartedly believe this will happen for you.
Wishing you the best and most wonderful 2023. And I'd love to hear how you get on!