I've long appreciated Christine Kane and benefited from the insights I’ve gleaned from her blog. One of my favorite of her suggestions is that people skip New Year’s resolutions and instead pick a word that will guide them throughout the year.
I’ve accepted her challenge to choose a word to inspire me through the year for the last several years. For 2008 it was courage, and this year it was rejoice.
I knew, of course, what “rejoice” meant. But I figured it wouldn’t hurt to look it up in the dictionary anyway. There I learned that rejoice means to “feel great joy” and “be glad” and “take delight” and “celebrate in some event” and “cause great joy to.” I decided to explore each of these meanings over the year by committing to write a blog post about it here each Sunday.
I am happy to report that I wrote every week over the whole year except for two. (For the missing two posts it was not that I found myself with too little to rejoice in, but too much! There simply wasn’t time.) I went back and looked at some of my “rejoice” posts, and it was truly delightful to realize that I had captured so many joyful moments over the year.
I’ve always appreciated as much about my life as I possibly could. But here’s the thing: Choosing this word seemed to call me to play a bigger game. It was as if it said “Oh, you think your life’s so great? Well, much of it (genetics, culture, socio-economic status) was determined for you. What are you going to do to make it truly great?”
Appreciating my life created contrast, too. I saw so many women having a hard time appreciating their lives. I wanted to help them see how amazing their lives were, how amazing they were. And for those who couldn’t find anything to appreciate about the life they were currently living, I wanted them to realize they had the ability to create the exact life they wanted.
I was inspired to carve out something of my very own, something I had never done before, something risky. I decided to start a business and 6 months ago I launched my life coaching practice, Midwife for Your Life.
A year ago I would have claimed that I didn’t have an entrepreneurial bone in my body. And I wouldn’t have imagined that I had the ability to do it. It has certainly been the greatest self-imposed challenge of my life.
All I can say is I have indeed learned that it is easy to rejoice when everything is going my way, but not so when problems arise no matter how hard I work, when clients are not banging down my door, and even worse, don’t seem to appreciate me and the service I offer.
I have learned that I would rather show up and play bigger, even when it feels uncomfortable (and let me tell you, it’s so much more comfortable to sit in my lovely home with my sweet family and count my blessings).
I have learned that I can do things imperfectly and still accomplish a lot, and even better, derive great joy from it - much more than I ever would have if I had decided to value comfort over a dream.
I have learned that I would rather stretch and grow as I reach for the dream. I want to live each day doing the “hard” thing, testing my mettle and knowing the world benefited from it. And that has been the source of much rejoicing.
So, dear reader, if you have followed my posts this year, you have seen that I have come here less and less. In the last couple of months I have just managed to get in my "rejoice" posts. With this post, I'm not sure when or if I will continue to blog here. You see, as I wrote last week, I have a new blog, and I just don't think I will have the time and energy to post here, there and my weekly eZine.
I appreciate SO much that you have come to this blog and I really do hope you will "follow" me (just click on the link above!) to my new blog! Happy Holidays and take wonderful care!