It's that time of the year again (already?!) where I start taking stock of the year that's been and the energy I want to bring in and embody for the new one... I've been doing this for 12 years now and it's absolutely part of the the secret sauce for living an intentional life.
My word for 2023 was E X P A N S I O N and boy did I expand! There was a lot I covered off this year:
Self-publishing my book after 11 years in the making. You don't know what you don't know and there was a LOT I didn't know. A LOT I didn't see coming. A LOT of frustration. A LOT of surrender. A LOT of tears. It's been one of the hardest things I've ever done, but it's also one of the most FULFILLING. Lesson: Never give up on your dreams. Ever.
Hosting a live book launch in Tauranga. Juggling last minute printing details, deadlines, invitations, and venue challenges, April and May disappeared in the blink of an eye, stress levels peaked, sleep was achieved through 1/2 a little white pill each night, and I had lists upon lists strewn across table surfaces like confetti. But boy, did I have a fantastic book launch night! It was everything I wanted it to be and more. Lesson: Double your deadline time.
In order to prepare for my first official public speaking event (aka book launch), I had to overcome my terror of being on 'stage' and making a half decent job of remembering what I wanted to say and delivering my message to my audience. I needed help. So I attended a Speak Up With Confidence workshop facilitated by friend and amaze-balls coach Steffi August. Wow, what a life-changer! I came away from that 6 week workshop embodying the confidence I needed to pull off my book launch, as well as actually ENJOYING public speaking. Who would have thought! Lesson: Just when you think you can't, you actually can.
Once that was all nailed, I then took myself overseas for the first time in 5 years. I was a little nervous, having thought I'd lost my travel nerve after so long, but I needn't have worried, it was like riding a bike... everything fell into place perfectly and once I was on my Air New Zealand flight out of Auckland, the rest took care of itself. After 2 months in Bali I well and truly had my travel wings and so heading to Vietnam by myself was no problem at all. And of course I loved every minute of it (well, mostly...) Lesson: Travel grows you like nothing else can.
Living my long-held dream of being an international digital nomad. Of course I'm a digital nomad in my home country, taking my work with me wherever I house sit, but to do it full-time while travelling internationally was a whole other experience. It had its own challenges along the way, but I am so grateful I've stayed the course and kept going, as my website design business now helps me live the lifestyle I've dreamed of. Lesson: Same as #1
Coming back to NZ after 3 months away I knew I had to make a shift in how I was approaching my work/life balance. Having managed 2 businesses for the past 7 years, I was burnt out and not able to give 100% to either of them. As I tested the waters while away, I realised my bodywork business had to go (for now). I was spending too much time running around like a mad thing, trying to be of service to everyone and not walking the talk I was advising my clients. With my website business now servicing my lifestyle I gently closed the door on my bodywork business. Yes tears were shed as I took my website offline and put a notice on my Facebook page. It was real. My heart tugged. But I know it was the right thing to do for me at this time. It's not forever, it's just for now. Lesson: Be true to yourself.
Hosting Writing Retreats is one of my favourite things. Always in the back of my mind after my last one in Bali in 2016 and so much happening since then, I did wonder if it would ever happen again. I still felt the pull. I still wanted to do it. But, there's a lot to organise, and accommodation options are the hardest part. A perfectly-timed trip to visit my dear friend Jude Sherning in her new home found me instantly thinking WRITING RETREAT! And so it's happening. In New Zealand. My first Writing Retreat in 7 years. February 9-12 in Taupo. I'm so EXCITED! And yes, I'm planning an international one too... still working on that as I write this, but Hoi An, Vietnam is the spot for sure!
So, with 3 weeks left of 2023 (yikes!), it's time to reflect, give thanks, pat myself on the back, and acknowledge I absolutely NAILED E X P A N S I O N this year - go me!
So, how on earth can I possibly top 2023? What is my WORD for 2024?
This stuff REALLY WORKS.
So now it's your turn... FEEL into 2024… what is the main theme, the overall energy and intention you want it to be? What do you need to embody? Who do you need to grow into?
What is YOUR WORD for next year? To help you with this process, I invite you to download my What's My Word prompt:
And in conjunction with the Word exercise it's a good time to use my Transitions Guide, taking mindful time to think about the year that's drawing to a close, what you achieved, what worked, what didn't, and what you would like 2024 to encompass...
Here's your FREE copy: