And just like that, we’ve reached the end of 2019.
As we look forward to the start of the roaring ’20s it’s a time to pause and express gratitude for the past year.
I know my usual monthly reflection posts focus on the events and ideas of previous weeks, but this time I’m lamenting the past year as a whole. Thanks, full moon and winter solstice. You’re great at helping us embrace the darkness, sit with ourselves and let the whispers grow loud.
I embarked on a journey to heal. I initially thought I was signed up for grief counseling to maneuver the stages of losing of a loved one. What I didn’t realize is my talented therapist would help me unpack and process long lost emotions that were buried so deep they’d been affecting my physical and emotional health.
I’ve documented this journey on the blog over the past year and am thrilled to start flirting with the word “remission” when chatting about my autoimmune health issues. Yes, really.
I will likely write about this topic more in 2020, but EMDR therapy, guided visualization and Internal Family Systems therapy (and all the daily homework that goes along with these healing practices) have made a huge impact on my life.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and advertisements. I earn a small commission if you shop through them, which helps fund this website so I can continue to bring you amazing content. Thank you! ~Angela
I wrote often about mindfulness on social media and the blog. I shared a silly message from the universe that popped up during one of my quiet moments in the post Observe Mindfully, Accept Fully.
I still laugh over that post.
I got brutally honest with some of my readers. I explained, “When to Let That Client or Project Go” on my writing website’s blog.
It’s a tough read for those who are trying to make a career from writing. These types of posts always force me to reflect on the reality of being a small business owner in a creative field. It’s HARD, self-guided work with no boss to motivate you beyond your inner voice. I enjoy writing about it honestly.
I embraced grief, again. My husband and I said goodbye to our beloved dog of almost fifteen years. Belle was a beautiful silver Weimaraner with a waggy butt, perpetual smile and insatiable appetite. Her older brother passed the year before, making her departure even more painful, leaving us with an empty-nest home.
I reflected on my love for Belle in a short post titled “The Past Beats“. And yes, that’s her paw print in the meme.
I battled a major technology hurdle. Both of my websites went down. It took weeks of phone calls and web chats with IT folks to fix the issues. I learned about the back end management of my business and researched new Internet service providers and webhosts. I now use SiteGround — and am loving their service!
Looking back, it was a test of my boss-lady patience and an opportunity to improve the infrastructure supporting my writing business. The lesson: Tough stuff makes us stronger in the long run.
I tried mondo zen meditation. Now, if you’ve been following me online for awhile, you know I love to drop into a meditative state. At this point, it happens several times a day and helps me manage my stress levels and process, well, life.
Mondo zen is incredibly raw, emotional work. I shared my first-person experience in a post titled “Why I Stared at a Rock for 30 Minutes“. I haven’t found the courage to go back to this group, but it is on my bucket list once I’m a bit further in my trauma therapy.
I launched the Summer Self Care Series. That was a fun project that I might do again in 2020. We explored cultivating gratitude, taking time to reflect, how to check-in with ourselves and finding acceptance in life.
Little did I know the day after the final post in this series published, I’d have to double down on all of these ideas and embrace a major life shift: an unexpected divorce and move. Looking back, I’m thankful I was so heavily entrenched in the self-care mindset during such a difficult time.
I revamped my writing business website. I updated all the landing pages with new images and copy. I created a new homepage. And, I polished things on the backend that readers don’t see.
I also took the month off from posting to the blog so I could evaluate what my readers really needed. I decided to move to meatier, monthly posts.
The first piece was a guide titled “The Freelancer Onboarding Process: Tips for Writers and Publishers“. I’ve received awesome feedback from colleagues in the content marketing space and will do more of this type of writing in 2020 both for my websites and clients. Several projects like this one are already on my calendar!
I went to Canada! I love to travel and when I can combine it with work, I’m a happy camper. And this trip was literally to a wilderness camp for an off-the-grid tech conference for influencers, investors and entrepreneurs, so it was perfect.
I chatted about it on my monthly reflection post for September. Be sure to watch the video. It’s pretty cool. And yes, I was in the yoga class on the dock and I did get to see Survivorman Les Stroud in person. He is an amazingly humble storyteller and a great musician.
life shifted. I set up a new home. I signed divorce papers. I said goodbye to people I love. I started a journey of self-discovery.
Although I’m still deeply grieving several losses that have spanned the past three years, I am discovering things about myself and my friends that have me in awe. I’ve felt love I never knew existed and am writing the next chapter of my life.
I focused on gratitude. I try to infuse a gratitude practice into my daily life, and thought it’d be fun to let my self-care mindset spill over onto my business website’s blog, so I wrote “Expressing Gratitude Makes Us Better in Business“.
I also did a lot of extra journaling to provide the foundation for “30-Day Gratitude Challenge: What I Learned Along the Way“, a piece written for the Tom’s of Maine Good Matters blog.
I deepened my spiritual practice. I felt called to participate in the Munay Ki, which is the nine rites of initiation into the Andean spirituality of the Q’ero people of Peru. These healers and wisdom keepers are direct descendants of the Incas and still maintain a traditional indigenous lifestyle in the Andes Mountains.
Their Shamanic practices of working with our ancestors, spirit guides, angels and elemental spirits resonate with my heart and soul. Since completing the rites, I’ve noticed several subtle, empowering shifts in my daily life and the ability to more easily reach my goals.
Have you taken a moment to reflect on your 2019? What was transformative for you? What brought you happiness? What taught you tough lessons? How will you use this insight to move forward into the new year?
Until next time,
Let’s stay connected!
Do you find value in my posts? Show your gratitude by sharing an herbal coffee with me! Thank you! ~ Angela