Did you look back over the events of 2013 and reflect about their significance? About where you go from here? I did, and not too far into the process, had to narrow my focus to those events that affected me personally. (Others can ponder the government shutdown and how it affected all of us.) I was surprised at how much change occurred in one year and how little of that change I intended.
What hadn’t changed was my waning memory, so I relied on weekly letters that I wrote and shared with my mentor. Throughout the year I responded to a few questions about the previous week.
- Where have I been resentful? Selfish?
- Have I been of service?
- How are my relationships with family and friends?
- What did I do well?
- Where was I pleased?
I loved reflecting and writing about the week because it revealed my emotional/spiritual well-being and what needed work.
My mentor read and commented on each week’s letter, pointing out the obvious and ‘suggesting’ alternatives. I love her because she’s had a full and remarkable life and calls me on my BS. She sees the world in black and white—my opposite in that regard. Although the term shades of gray has been ruined, that’s how I view the world. When I dithered in 2013, my mentor grounded me.
So what changed over the past year? Sure, a lot happened, but my weekly self-reflections revealed that my writing ignited the most significant change—not what I wrote or that I self-published my first novel. The most significant change occurred in the process of publishing a very personal novel about a hard topic. Not all events in Burden of Breath are real, but I thought that the emotions on the page would kill me. Still, I put the novel out there, revealing myself at a level I’d never dared. My mentor walked me through it, and I’m so grateful.
I claim courage for 2013’s change. Who could ask for more?