I hope you are still glowing from the holidays. Personally my family celebrates Christmas and we had a very warm and cozy time together at my aunt’s house. My aunt is a beautiful artist and amazing cook and with my grandma and my grandpa there -who are both approaching 90- this holiday felt very special on many ends.
I often find that at the conclusion of a year, when we have more down time after a stressful period and join together with our families, many of us go into a reflective period; sometimes it can even feel like we are thrown back in time as we often automatically assume our roles in our individual family constellations.
This can feel tough, because the truth is that with every experience -good or bad- we are learning more about who we truly are. We are constantly changing and trying to integrate new parts of our identity into an established system, which can be exhilarating and confusing at the same time.
Being who we truly are takes courage and a certain willingness to be vulnerable, things our nature tries to avoid because it is used to favoring safety. But if we dare to take this courageous step of showing our true selves, the payoff is huge:
nothing will set you free -nothing will give you permission to experience honest joy, deep love and intimate connection- unless you make a commitment to live out your true self first.
Isn’t this what everyone’s purpose in life is: to be who you truly are as this will unveil your greatest gifts and unleash your ability to experience life to the fullest on all ends.
Jungian psychology often talks about the importance of WHOLENESS in our journey of self-understanding and self-integration. Wholeness means that we are able to integrate both our light and our dark sides, that we are not in denial of our own weaknesses, that we resist the urge to push away pain and sorrow, but instead that we feel ourselves fully and that we develop an honest picture of who we actually are without cutting off the parts that look imperfect or feel unpleasant.
Of course this isn’t always easy in a society that bombards us with perfectionism and a very narrow definition of what success, beauty, and even happiness is supposed to look like. Busting through these definitions and developing your own is one of my major goals in my work as a coach for women. Seeing that you are lovable and valuable and unique not despite, but because of your weaknesses and edges is a tremendous revelation that gives way to creating a foundation that is based on an authentic and sincere type of self-love and acceptance.
I recently found this beautiful quote:
With 2014 coming to an end in just a few short days, I want to encourage you to look at the last 12 months and ask yourself: Who have I become this past year through all my experiences? How have I changed? How can I look at all of my experiences realistically and with a loving eye?
We have all DONE so much, we all had successes and failures, but underneath all of these external markers, there is a human soul that is morphing and shaping itself constantly; trying to become more of who it truly is.
I know that these questions can feel hard. For many years I tried to push away aspects of myself that were imperfect, ugly, unpleasant or embarrassing. I hid the fact that I often treated my body hatefully; using food and exercise as punishment instead of as nourishment. I hid the fact that I was terribly unhappy pursuing a medical degree and that my soul was aching for softness, femininity and creativity. I hid the fact that I desperately wanted love in my life and pretended like I was cool with going on fancy dates with emotionally unavailable men. I played this "pretending game" until my body literally broke down and forced me to feel the pain -to feel myself wholly. You can read more about my story in a post I wrote last year When the unexpected happens- a personal story, but in essence I want you to know that doing this work, asking yourself the questions above and becoming your own closest confident and most loving witness is the most valuable work you can do.
In the comments below I'd love to hear from you: How have you changed this year? Who have you become?
With so much love for you!
PS: I have a special new years gift for you in my next email, so keep your eyes open:)