Photo by Fa Barboza
The time has come to do your annual reflection. You’ve got a few hours blocked, drinks and whatever you’ll need to stay comfortable and focused as you move through the materials you gathered.
If you want a recap on the materials to gather, start here.
As you begin your reflection, I’ve created a template that you can use.
Enroll for free in this Annual Reflection course, and then you can you can save or print your Reflection Guide template here.
Gratitude and Grief
Photo by Jakob Owens
When you consider reflecting back over 2020, what feelings and sensations arise in your body?
Take time to notice and check in with your body this week – noticing the sensations and just observing them or moving as they call you to move.
Reflecting on this intense year will likely bring up stuff for us. Part of this process is to meet what comes up – starting now – from a place of gentleness and curiosity.
Essential oils to support reflection
Plants and elements from nature can support our emotional processing. Here’s an oil protocol to ground and center you, that encourages reflection and movement of stagnant energy. You can apply it daily during your reflection period.
Balance – grounds your energy and spirit in your body, allowing you to access greater intuition and supporting you as you process emotions.
Cardamom – calls difficult emotions out of hiding, allowing you to move, feel, and process them to completion.
Arborvitae – brings extra support and grace to your vulnerability.
Cypress – stirs up stagnant energy and encourages movement.
Lime – eases pain, helps you connect to gratitude within Life’s lessons.
Vetiver – helps you get in tune with your deepest emotions and desires.
Douglas Fir – calls in the wisdom and support of the generations who came before you.
Peppermint – infuses the process with clarity and playfulness.
Frankincense – opens you to divine wisdom, guidance, and truth.
In order to cull all of the memories, milestones, themes and lessons from the past year, I first go back and do a month-by-month review.
Monthly Play-by-Play: Milestones, Important Events, Memories, Themes
Using your calendar, journals, notes, and photos, rewind to January. Put yourself back in that month, as gently as possible, and remember what you experienced.
Photo by Estee Janssens
On your Reflection Guide under the section titled “Monthly Play-by-Play”, make notes about each month.
- What milestones did you cross?
- What important events took place?
- What memories do you have?
- What themes were you working on or learning about?
- What losses did you experience?
- What did you celebrate?
- What did you learn?
Stay with yourself
As you recall these memories, your nervous system will respond in kind. Let it.
Notice the emotions and sensations that are stirred in you. Breathe with them. Move with them. Cry with them. Laugh with them. Shake with them.
Be gentle and patient with yourself as you do the work of completing the stress cycle. This is a key practice in moving away from burnout.
If you want support in being with these emotions, please reach out to me.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao
Once you’ve made notes on each month of the past year, you’re ready to reflect on the year as a whole.
On your Reflection Guide, consider the highlights of the year.
- What were the most important events of the whole year?
- What were the major milestones?
- What themes emerged and played out over the course of the year?
- What were the main lessons?
Now let yourself have some fun, recalling all of your favorites from the last year. Use the template categories to inspire your reminiscing, and add categories of your own!
Spend some time reflecting on, synthesizing, and summarizing your takeaways from the past year.
- What are you ready to forgive yourself for?
- What are you thankful for?
- What are you grieving?
- What will you leave in 2020?
- What are you welcoming into your life in 2021?
Congratulations!! You’ve completed your annual reflection.
You may feel many emotions after taking in your year as a whole. Closure, grief, gratitude, and sadness are all common. Completing a closing ceremony can help you to honor and embody all that you’ve reflected on.
There’s no right or wrong way to do a closing ceremony, so let yourself get creative. It can be as simple or as complex as you want!
The goal is to allow the energy from your reflections to manifest or be expressed tangibly.
Some ideas to inspire you:
- Write on pieces of paper all that you’re grieving, forgiving, or wanting to leave behind, and then burn them in a fire.
- Use flying wish paper to release your lessons or desires.
- Summarize your lessons on a 3×5 card and place it on your altar.
- Create something with the energy and emotions you’re feeling: a dance, a poem, a painting, a hat, a cake…
- Donate your time or money to an organization whose mission aligns with one of your lessons, griefs, or gratitudes.
In the coming weeks I’ll begin my visioning for 2021, and look forward to sharing that process with you as well!
For now, I’m sending you so much love as you look back over your year. May we all be extra gentle with ourselves through this process.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao
So much love,