Sometimes we are encouraged to dive into a vision for the new year without processing the year that has been. Have you ever experienced that?
As an art therapist and coach I know that feeling, accepting and integrating our feelings, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is an important part of good health, and an important part of feeling authentically energised for the future.
Through the last two months of 2018 each week I’ll be sharing some end of year reflection and journaling prompts I have developed to help you integrate the experiences of this year and finish up feeling clearer and more accepting of yourself and the year that was, more focused on what you care deeply about, and more energised for the New Year.
Here is this week’s Year in Review prompt….
If you’d like to join me again this week reflecting on the year we have had, take some time to reflect on kind gestures that stood out for you this year. I designed this week’s exercise with the idea of overcoming negativity bias (the way our minds can focus on the things that went wrong rather than the things that went right), and as a way to gently reconnect with feelings of gratitude and connection to others.
Q. What were the times this year that someone made a kind gesture to you that you really appreciated? Look for the warm glow around the memory that tells you that it was special and you felt lucky to receive their kindness.
For each one you can remember receiving, pause for a moment and write a few sentences capturing what the gesture was, who did it, how it made you feel, and why it was especially meaningful for you at that time. See if you can describe the moment in some detail, it may help with remembering the feelings that went with it.
See if you can come up with 10. This might mean you have to dig around a bit to remember them, or it might come easily.
- Did someone unexpectedly buy you a coffee?
- Did someone make you dinner?
- Did someone give you honest feedback from a place of love?
- Did someone lend you an outfit for a big night?
- Did someone help you move house?
- Did someone send a heartfelt message at a tough time?
- Did someone listen when you really needed it?
- Did someone include you or invite you somewhere?
- Did someone forgive you?
- Did someone give you kind words about something you did?
- Did someone go with you when you had something hard to do?
- Did someone share some of their optimism and encouragement with you?
- Did someone show patience and loyalty?
- Did someone surprise you with a kind gesture big or small?
The kind gestures really can be big or small! Please try not to judge yourself or the memories you come up with. Nothing is ‘too small’ or ‘silly’ for the purposes of this reflection. This is an exercise in honouring our emotional landscape and the things that matter to us, even if they don’t make sense to our rational minds. Even if they might not have ‘meant much’ to someone else, they meant something to you and that is important.
Once you’ve remembered and described the 10 acts of kindness, see what you can observe about the values that are important to you, the people who are important to you, or even what you might feel inspired to do more for others going forward.
If you’d like to share one of the moments that sticks in your mind with us feel free to do so in comment below (perhaps keeping the other people’s identity’s private, eg ‘a good friend said….’, ‘a stranger at the supermarket did…’, ‘a person at work offered to…’).
How does it make you feel to remember these kind gestures?
What does it make you think about?
If you would like to work on your vision for 2019 and start to implement a project close to your heart please get in touch. I am available for coaching and my rates are listed on the coaching link above.