It’s that time of year when we reflect on the past 365 days – the glorious moments, the critter-filled challenges and antics, the experiences lived and the moments missed. It’s also that time of year when we look hopefully and optimistically into the next 365 days with dreams that we will make it count, challenge ourselves to be and do better, and, if you are like me, that tiny little nagging voice in your head that says, “Will you really live up to your own expectations?”
Oh yes, those little internal voices. Gremlins. Mine have had a lifetime of criticizing, chastising, and just downright tormenting me. That is until 2017 when the tide began to turn. It was a year of change, the time when I finally learned the meaning of enjoying the journey, and the beginning of being a-okay with my serious lack of perfection.
As one dear friend once said to me, “You suffer from the dreaded triple-P syndrome. You are a people pleasing perfectionist. You see, I recognize this, because I too am in recovery.” I laughed. I had an aha moment. Someone had named it for me. That was years ago. And so I kept that little jewel tucked away, hanging onto it and truly not knowing what to do with it.
I’d occasionally trot it out with friends to chat about my ailment. I’d make minor strides to try to keep myself in check, but truly on the inside me and triple-P were besties. We knew each other far too well. And because we knew each other so well, we had no intention of parting ways anytime soon.
Then 2017 came along and things began to shift for me. For some reason, I decided to heck with resolutions, because who am I kidding, I never kept them anyway. Instead, I made a vision board filled with words and images and thoughts that inspired me, that laid out the life I wanted to live. It was fun – I cut, pasted, and scrapped until my heart was content. I framed it and hung it on my wall. It’s still there. It still speaks to me.
Something started with that vision board. I started thinking about the person I wanted to be, the things I wanted to try, the possibilities. But not the possibilities that were like my typical New Year’s eve rush of resolution panic, but true possibilities. I started listening, listening to my insides. My not so perfect but oh so me insides.
Then came springtime, and things lined up just right; I had my soul listening ears on, and I hired a life coach. I did it on a whim. I saw her website, and thought “Why not?” And before I could talk myself out of why I didn’t need to spend the money or convince myself that I’d be the same me at the end of it, just with less cash in my pocket, I signed up for an exploratory session, and IT. CHANGED. MY. LIFE.
I met with my coach every other week for 6 months. I discovered who I wanted to be, who I didn’t want to be, and how to harness the little voices in my head and turn them from tormentors into cheerleaders. Now let’s be serious, it was not all roses, rainbows, and unicorns. There were tough moments. Moments of doubt and frustration. But my world slowly went from black and white, to shades of grey, to full on technicolor magic.
When I look back on 2017 I see where I went head to head with some of my most ingrained thoughts on what it means to be spiritual, what it means to live my best life, what it means to follow my creativity, what it means to plan but still hope and dare and most of all find deep down, soul loving joy.
For maybe the first time in my life, I started to believe in me. In the possibilities all around. Oh and trust me, I have oodles more work to do. I mean when you spend a lifetime letting your gremlins drive the car, sometimes you still have to take a stick and whack them into the backseat.
So on this New Year’s Eve, as you sit and ponder if 2018 will be different, I encourage you to listen to the messages that are swirling around you, the good people in your life who are encouraging you, and take a chance on something that just might make all of the difference for you. Sure, your gremlin voices might party like it’s 1999 tonight, but tomorrow they will totally be passed out in the back seat.
P.S. When looking for a life coach, you need to find someone who clicks with you, as you are building a relationship. Trust is critical. You’ll also want someone who has their certification and is a professional. Because I think she’s absolutely the best, I can’t recommend Kelsey Joy highly enough, and I look forward to continuing to work with her in 2018.
P.P.S. I’ve learned tons throughout my journey 2017, and I’ll work to create some short vignettes to share those lessons with y’all. I can’t wait to continue to get my learn on in 2018.