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Archive for the ‘year-end review’ Category

“Anyone else having a bumpy re-entry? Today was one of those days where by noon I was already back curled up under the covers and needed to do a bit of yoga to re-center.”

A lovely, creative colleague of mine posted those words (above) on her Facebook page the first Monday of 2015. It caught my attention, because I’d already posted to my business development group that I was finding myself in a state of huge resistance to returning to work after two weeks “off.”

I enclose off in quotes because truly the weeks of Christmas and New Years are not a time of rest and retreat. All that time “off” is needed to attend to the busy-ness of the holidays. I posted my agreement as a comment in her thread and was comforted to see others, especially my creative friends, do the same.

While I didn’t feel like I wanted to crawl under the covers, I did want to stop time. I especially wanted to stop the tidal wave of emails coming in from marketers with whom I’d traded my email address for freebies this past year. It seems that the new year, the time of making resolutions, putting away the last year and gathering (or in most cases re-gathering) our hopes for the new year, is a good time to market your programs to people. But, to me, it all came across as too much noise.

photo of apacheta

Apacheta, offering to Gaia with gratitude – I later added rose petals from my solstice ceremony

Add to that, the noise of my panicked inner slave-driver chastising me for not having my own program launching with the others and that was all it took for my inner dragon to arise from its slumber. That’s good actually. I can use a little fire. Healthy anger is an indication that some boundaries have been crossed. I needed some boundaries. I needed to quiet the noise and shut off the inner slave-driver. I started opting out of all the lists and deleting emails. I refused to get on the new year-new you-productivity bound train. Instead, I stood on the platform and watched the train roll out of the station. As I did, I began to wonder. Why?

Why do we think that turning a calendar page from one year to another means we suddenly have a boatload of will power we didn’t have before?

Why do we think it’s time to rev our engines? If your holiday has been as relaxing as a two week silent meditation or spa retreat, perhaps you are ready to go on January 2nd. But for many of us the holiday has been go, go, go and January 2nd feels like jet-lag after a European whirlwind tour.

Yet, there is more at play here than a busy holiday.

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, January falls in the dead of winter. The days are very short and the nights are long. Unless you are a night owl, trying to fit all you want to accomplish in the daylight hours is extremely challenging. It’s not natural to begin pushing ourselves to adopt new schedules and achieve high productivity in the winter months. OK, for you, maybe, but not for me and certainly not for the others who responded to my colleague’s Facebook post.

For me, what is natural at this time of year is to slow down, hibernate a bit, plan, and look within. As Ted Andrews wrote (in his book Nature-Speak):

This is actually a time for withdrawal from our outer activities, so that we can give birth to the light within our own darkness. To bring new life from the darkness of the womb is the goal of this season…These universal rhythms converging upon us are keyed to enable anyone who is seeking to awaken the interior gifts and light….Unfortunately, society has created an attitude of participation in continual gatherings and outward celebrations. This is contrary to the energy and rhythms of this season. The energies playing upon humanity stimulate great introspection and facilitate meditative states of awareness, and time should be given for these.

If we have attended to the gathering and preparations of Autumn, then we are ready to pay attention and receive the whispers, signs and messages from the Mystery that help guide us on an inward journey where we may commune with our soul and shine a light on our shadow.

All I really wanted to do, besides meditate, journal and walk, was put away the holiday decorations, clear the clutter, clean up my office and make it a beautiful and welcoming space within which to work. I wanted to futz and putter. I liken it to stretching the canvas, sharpening the pencils, noodling at the keys, ordering seeds.

Every creative knows that a good deal of puttering and dream time is needed to get the flow going. Futzing evokes the muse.

The other thing that happened was I reviewed my journal from the turn of 2013 to 2014 and I discovered that I had not accomplished all I’d hoped to. Honestly, I already knew that, but there it was in black and white. It was deflating to see that year after year, I wish for the same thing that does not materialize and it was disheartening to assume this year would be different. Still, I know I didn’t fail, because I certainly lived a wonderful year. I grew. I loved. I played. I stayed in business doing work I love.

What if I just let these perennial wishes go?

If I want to grow a garden, I first plan it. I browse seed catalogs. I dream of the harvest in Technicolor savoring, in my imagination, the smell and taste of fresh ripe tomatoes. I determine the space that I will designate as garden and when the soil is ready, I till it. I amend it. I till it some more. I will not plant until the days are longer and the frost is past. Why not do the same for my life?

At the Winter Solstice, I did just this. My planning consisted of setting the resonance for my future and in so doing, I invited my future to reach back and show me the way. The tug I feel upon my heart; the messages I receive from animals and experiences of synchronicity; those chills I feel when I make a proclamation or someone else says something to me with which my soul is in alignment; those events are my future speaking to me, beckoning me, the one for which I built a resonant field, not with specific form, but with how I want it to feel and who I want to be when I am living it.

When dreaming a future, form can be so limiting. Resonance is generative. My Solstice ceremony was to build that resonant field that invites possibility, while releasing with compassion and forgiveness the past and anything that does not align with that field or hold that resonance.

photo of a collage

2015 New Year Collage

So, when the first Monday of the new year arrived, for me, the soil of 2015 was nowhere near ready to be tilled, not to mention harvested. I want to hear my own voice, not the voice of others telling me what is missing in my life, what needs fixing and their method for doing so. Oh boy, can the “never-enough” ego get hooked by all that advertising!

It is winter and I want to hang out with my soul; the two of us cozy by the fire. I want to hear my soul acknowledge my journey thus far with love and compassion, as it will. I want to know the truth of myself, not as someone who is broken and needs fixing, but as a unique expression of the Divine, whole and complete; a perfect rose unfolding more and more each day. I want to have a clear sense of what is truly productive and not mere busy-ness.

Together my soul and I can dream the delicious future that calls to me, putter about and weave it into a visionary tapestry. I may not know what it means yet and I may not be able to control the form, but I can listen deeply, beneath the ego’s complaints and rest in the inner knowing that I am deeply loved and held. It’s OK to simply be me following my own rhythm. That rhythm is what gives me my desired sense of experiencing time-out-of-time.

photo of collage detail

Under the window of the collage

And you, dear reader, how will you dance to your own rhythm and fashion a life that suits your soul and invites the assistance of the Universe in a profound way?

A coach is a powerful ally who assists you with visioning a future in alignment with your true rhythm and soul’s calling while also helping you stay the path when the forest gets thick and the way unclear. I offer several options to help you fall in love with life again. Watch also for an upcoming FUN way to move through your fears (group program). To sign up to be the first to hear about my new offerings or to contact me for a consultation, check out my website

Copyright© January 2015, Kathy J Loh, All rights reserved

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Happy New Year dear readers!

A quick note before the subject at hand: It has been 4 months since I’ve written a post here. It’s not that I ran out of things to say. Actually, it’s more like I have too much to say!

There are a lot of changes coming to both my website and this blog. I hope you will come along for the ride. For now, have a fantastic new year and enjoy this and every perfectly wonderful moment.

I just completed a year-end review for my clients and thought some of you might like to use this as a guideline for your personal review.  So here it is!

I’ve broken this down into categories, most of which are part of the Wheel of Life that clients complete when they first come for coaching. Use it as a guideline, make up your own…whatever serves wonderful YOU.

Each question is meant to stir the pot, but it’s not my intention that you respond directly to the questions posed. They are just there to prompt you to muse about the year past and what you get to celebrate about how you and your reality shifted because of the attention you’ve given you/it. Too often, we are looking to arrive at some point of perfection. This leaves us doggedly running ahead for the next awareness, the next shift, the next accomplishment. We tend to forget how much we truly have to celebrate and for which we can be grateful. So don’t be shy! Pat yourself on the back!

Then I invite you to begin to look forward to 2012 and state something you intend to move, change, grow in each area. It can be a baby step or a giant leap. Whatever calls to you. If you are feeling nervous about committing anything to writing, consider this a beginning point and bring the topic to your coaching call, journal about it, create conversations with friends and family members around it. Better to point your ship toward a port of your choosing than drift at the whim of the wind and ocean swells. That is, unless you like being lost at sea.

Copyright(C) 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Personal Growth

What are you celebrating about your personal growth in 2011? How much more aware are you of the ways you trick and sabotage yourself? How much more self-nurturing and self-loving have you become? How much more often do you say what you think and mean what you say?

What would you like to open up to, develop, unfold in the area of personal growth in 2012?

Spiritual Growth

What are you celebrating about your spiritual growth in 2011? How much more connected do you feel with something greater than you; Divine, Nature, Love? How has your heart opened? What has happened to you around the area of a sense of meaning, purpose, fulfillment that you want to celebrate?

What would you like to open up to, develop, unfold in the area of Spiritual Growth in 2012? What spiritual practices do you intend to develop or explore?

Relationship – Romantic

What are you celebrating about changes in your romantic relationship (marriage, romance, dating etc) in 2011? How have you become a better partner? In what ways have you grown that feeds your relationship? If you are not in relationship and desire one, how have you improved your readiness and what are you doing to find a partner?

What would you like to create in the area of romantic relationship in 2012?

Relationship – others

What are you celebrating about changes in your relationship with others, family, children, friends, colleagues in 2011? How have you become a better listener, communicator, more compassionate, less co-dependent, etc.?

What do you want to create for yourself in the area of these and new relationships in 2012?

Career/Vocation

What are you celebrating about your career, work, vocation that shifted for you in 2011? It may be the actual form and it may be how you are in relationship to it.

What’s next for you in this area that you want to set into motion, continue or complete in 2012?

Money, Wealth, Abundance

What are you celebrating regarding your relationship to money, your sense of wealth, your capacity to manifest what you need and how has it changed in 2011?

What’s next for you here? What do you want to be more aware of, understand more deeply, put into action, manifest in 2012?

Health

How was 2011 for you in this area? What are you celebrating in terms of what habits did you release, which new behaviors did you add, what did you learn? If your body were to say thank you for all you did for it in 2011, what would it say?

What will you change, release, adopt as a new routine, behavior, etc in 2012? If you aren’t sure, ask your body.

Physical Environment

What changes did you make in your physical surroundings in 2011 that you want to celebrate? Who did you have to be to create that?

What are your 2012 visions for your physical environment, where you work, live, play?

Recreation and Fun

Where did you go and what did you do for fun in 2011 that is particularly memorable and that you are grateful you gave yourself the space and opportunity to do?

What calls to you in this area for 2012 – anything from simply more laughter with others and less TV to in-depth exploration of the hiking trails of Yosemite to reading more poetry to ??

Personal Energy Management

What did you become more aware of regarding your expenditure of energy in 2011? What are you celebrating about changes you made in both your awareness of and your use of your energy?

What would you like to see happen in this area in 2012?

Your Own Category:  Add whatever you want here. It might be something like your commitment to community, global affairs, environment, leadership, education etc. Whatever you can think of that you want to celebrate and set an intention for in 2012.

Bonus:

What is one thing you are committed to being DONE with today?

What is one thing you are committed to creating by the end of 2012?

Some additional ways to play with these are:

  • Create a short mantra/phrase for each category that you can post in an appropriate place (or put on your cell phone) to remind you of your intentions.
  • Create a collage of words, images or both that captures your 2012 intentions and either post it where you see it, or stick it behind a door, under a bed and be surprised by how much of it has come true when you see it again.
  • Write your answers on paper and put them in an envelope addressed to you. Put the envelope in a place where you’ll come across it next December – with the holiday decorations or ??
  • Make a copy of your answers. Have a simple ceremony by your fire in which you speak out loud your 2012 intentions as well as what you are celebrating and releasing. Burn your copy and let the smoke rising through the chimney be your intentions carried upon the winds and whispered among the trees into the ears of the Divine for all to be manifested for you as you intention in 2012. Let the remaining ashes be all that is left of what you have released.
  • Send Thank-You notes to the people who helped you along the way this year or to whom you are grateful for encouraging you to be your most authentic and empowered self.
  • Send yourself a thank you note.  Put it in an envelope, stamp it and put it in the mail. It’s very fun to receive something like this from yourself.
  • Write yourself 12 monthly love/encouragement notes. Put each in an envelope addressed to you and stamped. Write each month on the outside of the envelope, so that you will have 12 envelopes for the 12 months of the year. Arrange with a friend to have them mail you the notes at the beginning of each month. You can do the same for them.
  • Hire a coach to help you vision and stay on track – of course, that would be me! email me at: KathyLoh@coachkathy.com
copyright(c) December 2011, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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