Heart Sparks | In December I Remember: An Invitation To Finish This Year With Purpose

In December I Remember: An Invitation To Finish This Year With Purpose

In December I Remember: An Invitation To Finish This Year With Purpose

Posted by Johanna in For your toolbox, Lessons, Life, Reflection 30 Nov 2016

I have had some big personal realisations this year.  The first one hit me way back in January while I was renting at an isolated, lakeside property not too far from Bairnsdale and throwing myself into a self-designed, planning retreat.  It’s no wonder that lightbulb moments started brewing there, check out how still and tranquil the place was (the title pic for this post was taken there, too!):



house-back-2 deck-reflection horses










You can read more about that first ‘lightbulb’ moment of 2016 and how it snowballed my thinking at the bottom of this post, but right now it feels more important to share what is coming with you, rather than what has been…



We are heading into a big month.  December represents a lot of things for many of us: festivities with family and friends, the end of the school year, work break-up parties, travel, a lot of ‘hellos’ and some ‘goodbyes’ as well – all interchangeably morphing together into a big crescendo: the ending of a year, and the anticipated beginning of another.



In a month when many people are focusing on New Year’s resolutions and shaping what they want the coming year to hold, I am instead choosing – for the first time – to immerse wholeheartedly in completing and closing this current one more powerfully, so that I can carry the best of everything that I have seen, learnt, felt and experienced over the last twelve months forward with me into 2017.

Up until now I have been leaving important pieces of myself behind. I wonder if many of us have been.



Over the past few months I’ve been lovingly yet fiercely shaping and creating questions that I know will support me to reflect on this year with true purpose, understanding and a stronger connection to my experiences and relationships than I have ever had before.  Ones that will prompt me to dig deeper into my memory bank than I have previously been able to and will force me to honour and acknowledge this year of my life – the good and the bad, the light and the dark, the simple and the complex, the highs and the lows – for all that it has been.  It is my hope that in the same way that they will support me, they may support us all.



I have thirty-one questions waiting here in the wings and through the entire month of December I am going to be reflecting on a different one of them every day, under the title:

‘In December I Remember.’

I would love to invite you to join me and experience this for yourself, too.



If we can wholeheartedly reflect on periods of time, working to pull out the most meaningful moments rather than just the most memorable ones, we can grow in a way that is truly reflective of who we authentically are and what we need most based on what those moments are showing, telling or teaching us about ourselves.  Our experiences can be things that influence the next stage of our journey rather than things that define it.



Here is how it will work:

1.Every day in December at 7:30am AEST I will post the day’s question on both my Facebook (www.facebook.com/HeartSparksbyJo) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/heart_sparks) pages.


If you follow those pages and have notifications turned on you shouldn’t miss it.



2.In the comments section of the post I will post my own, honest answer to the question in the hope that you too will share your own reflection and response as well, either in the comments or by reposting the image and your answer under the hashtag #indecemberiremember so that I can find you.  One of my favourite things about the Heart Sparks community is that we all learn so much from sharing our own insights and hearing the stories of each other.  Let’s come together and support each other with this one – it has been a big year, and we collectively deserve it.



3.On December 31st I will send out a free workbook to my entire mailing list that includes space to dig into your question responses even deeper, a process for pulling all of your own reflections together in a way that will support you to gain even more clarity, and a step-by-step guide to setting inspiring, meaningful (and downright incredible) goals for the year ahead.  I’m really over all of this ‘New Year’s Resolution’ mumbo jumbo that sees our motivation fizzle out before we’ve even made it through January, so this is my counter-offering. If you want that resource, you can sign up to the Heart Sparks mailing list at the top of this page: www.heartsparks.com.au



I can’t wait to kick things off on December 1st with our first question and to stand beside you in this conversation.  I can already tell that I am going to be challenged, frustrated, exposed, embarrassed and uplifted by these little inquisitive thought generators, but I can also see that I am going to bring forward the most meaningful parts of my journey this year and consciously carry them forward into 2017.  I can only wish the same for you, and for us all collectively.



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P.S. And for those of you that want to know the backstory, this is how it all came about…

As I mentioned at the top of this post, I was lakeside in planning-land.


Sprawled out on the lounge room floor looking out towards the lake with butchers paper, textas and post-it notes taking up the majority of space immediately around me, and in the middle of a reflection exercise I had set up for myself to cap-off the previous year, it hit me like a lightning bolt:


I could remember moments from the year, but not meaning.



I was not even sure that the moments I COULD remember were the most meaningful ones to me, or even meaningful ones at all.


With my years of experience as a Life and Confidence Coach, I couldn’t believe that I had not picked up on this sooner. We were barely into this year at that point and already I felt like an idiot.  It is amazing what we can instantly recognise in others, but not for the life of us, easily see within ourselves.


I realised in that moment that while I had spent countless hours thinking about the previous year and trying to understand how I could better myself and my future, I had neglected the opportunity to tap into a deeper and more meaningful level of reflection because my focus was on surface stuff: what I had done, what I had not done, what had worked, what had not, goals I reached, things I felt I’d failed with and so forth.


I am a very reflective person by nature and for as long as I can remember, I have always looked back on situations after the fact, mostly to understand how I could do them better next time around (perfectionist habits die hard).


And then the icing on the awareness cake:  this was not the first time.


I saw it all at once.  I had let entire years pass me by, always creating space to consider my actions in hindsight, but without ever taking the opportunity to understand what they meant to and for me, personally and for that piece of my life’s journey.  I was remembering moments, but not reflecting on the lessons and the experiences and the people that were meaningful within them.  The stuff that could have actually made a difference going forward.  BOOM.  There it was.


I made a commitment to myself that day to do things differently next time around.  And this, ten months later, is the next time.

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