I have been quiet for a few months. 2019 was an intense year and I needed time and space to focus on myself and my writing. I also needed time to reflect on the past year and fully appreciate everything that had happened. Now, a month into 2020, I am ready to share.
The intensity of 2019 for me had less to with exterior chaos, although there was some of that, and more to do with interior changes. I've been trying to make changes in my life for a while without much success. The last few years it feels like I've been going in circles. I've realized that the reason for that is that I was approaching it from an exterior perspective, looking at outward changes that I needed to make rather than inner ones. It took a few big shifts at work, throwing me for yet another loop, during the first half of the year to really got me to change my perspective.
In July, I hit a point where I felt so low that I was finally ready to do some of the work that I've studiously avoided for years. I had thought that I could get away without it. That my will alone was strong enough to pull me through. Looking back I realize that that was my biggest stumbling block. It wasn't that I needed time and energy to get my act together. To wait for my life to stand still, or be calm enough so that I wasn't constantly reacting and instead would be able to take control and get my life on track. (Anyone recognize this?) I was wrong. Life doesn't stand still. Ever. If I waited until life allowed me to take control I would wait forever. Admitting that was hard but it was also crucial because I couldn't start until I surrendered that belief.
I've never been one to reach out for much help, I like to do everything by myself. But I knew reading books and doing self paced workshops was going to limit the work I would do. So, I found some help. In order to go deeper, I knew that I needed a way in that was outside of my comfort zone but also something I was excited about doing. Equus Coaching ended up being perfect for that as I worked with an amazing coach who is also a psychologist and a couple of horses. The horses were the part I was most excited about but the entire experience was powerful, and it led me to other things. I could write an entire post about the different methods that I have explored and used over the past six months but suffice it to say that there have been many - from EMDR to Human Design, and other things in between. Some have been things I dipped into and helped me understand one crucial thing and others are things that I continue to explore. Nor am I finished by any means.
I feel like I'm rebuilding my understanding of myself and as a result rebuilding my life, but in a very different way than I've ever done before. The external changes have been small so far, but everything feels different. The last year was filled with a lot of uncertainty and unhappiness. I felt lost a lot of the time. Even though I had successes, when I look back, my internal struggles overwhelm all my other memories. I think it's because I constantly felt off balance and as a result felt really vulnerable, all the time. I still do. Boxes and familiar boundaries are comforting because they are defined. But growth means getting past those boundaries and that is always uncomfortable.
My usual way to start the year is with a vision board, a list of goals, and a plan. My goals are always centered around the things that I want me or my life to be - a writer, more flexible in terms of how I spend my time, traveling, finding a partner, etc. This year I'm doing things differently. While I do have a few concrete goals around my writing the rest of my goals are around continuing my inner work and healing. I'm working on letting go of the vision I have for my life, not because I want something drastically different but because my vision includes the things I want and what I think my path to get there looks like. If the last year has taught me anything it's that I have no idea what the path is supposed to look like, and holding onto that vision actually creates a block because I find myself closing myself off to any other possibility.
I don't expect 2020 to be much easier than 2019. Different, but not easy. But I think living the life I dream about is not meant to be easy. If it were we all would do it, and I know only a few people who seem to manage it. It doesn't make it any less worth trying for. Here's to another year.