Current Living: Your Life in the NOW!

Current Living: Life in the Now!

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Celebrating the Gifts of the Past Year

By Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach

As the year winds down, we have a great opportunity to look for our many reasons to celebrate ourselves and our accomplishments. Here's a simple three-step process that will help.

Step 1 — This Year's Gifts

First, set aside some quiet time (even if it's only 15 minutes, spend it leisurely). YOU KNOW the difference; you're not trying to do more than one thing, you're not being interrupted and you're not surrounding yourself with chaos and clutter. Now, open your date book, Palm Pilot, file drawer, or any other way that you can see the past year at a glance.

Make a list, literally, of everything you have to celebrate. Remember that it's not just the 'good' things. If you had a loss, celebrate that you got through it or that there's now some distance from it. If you had a failure, celebrate that you tried something. If you had a difficult period, celebrate that it's over and that you gained some experience and wisdom.

And OF COURSE, write down all of the wonderful things that happened and that you accomplished. The big things are going to come to you pretty easily.

Also, please look at how YOU'VE changed and grown this year. What things do you know now that you didn't know a year ago? What skills do you have now that you didn't have a year ago? What new people are in your life and what did you do to invite them in or keep them as part of your life?

How did your self-care evolve this year? What about your relationships? When did you find yourself turning your back on your old behaviours and trying new, healthier, more peaceful ones?

Step 2 — Next Year's Gifts

The second step is to ask yourself what you'd like to carry with you into 2005. What intentions would like you set? Most importantly, what would you like to be celebrating NEXT YEAR at this time?

My favourite method for this type of exercise was shared with me by a fellow coach, and then was reiterated for me in the book, 'The Art of Possibility' by Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Stone Zander.

Write yourself or someone else a letter, and date it in the future. In the letter, list all of the reasons you have to celebrate the period of time that has passed.

Again, just like in our celebration of this year, think about things you've done AND the person you've become.

Step 3 — Celebrate & Share

The third step is to share your answers to these exercises with someone — this is a celebration and isn't it more fun to celebrate with others? Something magical happens when someone else can witness and acknowledge our successes.

Celebrating your gifts with someone else reinforces their value and helps you to focus on how lucky you really are. When you express yourself positively like this, you attract more good things into your life. You also improve your mood and your resilience when things *don't* go your way. •

© Copyright 2005, Genuine Coaching Services. 03/08/05

Linda DessauAbout the Author | More by Linda Dessau
Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. Feel like your creativity is blocked? Sign-up for the free e-course, "Roadblocks to Creativity" by visiting

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