I'm using the Goodbye 2021 Journal Prompts - these are the same prompts I use every year!
What did you try with your dreams in 2021? What worked? What didn’t work?
Wow. Sitting with this question I am struck by how much more GROUNDED I am with my dreams, than I ever have been before.
This is one of the BIG gifts of staying in the process over a long period of time.
(Which doesn't mean chasing a particular dream forever, but staying in the process of engaging with the healing + growth that your dreams call you towards, really LISTENING to your heart and your gut about how to live you life in alignment with your inner truth)
So this year what stands out is that I LISTENED DEEP about HOW I wanted to do my dreams. I tried all sorts of things, I experimented and failed and learned.
After a few years of not quite feeling right about how I show up with my work online, this year I kept experimenting with that and (finally!) found my groove with it again. I am feeling really good about that.
And I so glad I tried - again - to self-publish guided journals based on my courses. The Impossible Project Journals in particular are a MIRACLE and I can't wait to USE them in 2022 to make more dreams happen.
What was amazing in 2021?
Couples therapy. My husband and I grew SO MUCH this year. Living apart from my husband and the way that space has made us closer.
Solo therapy. My therapist helps me feel so much more grounded and supported. I had been meaning for a while to find a therapist, but the depressing pandemic winter made it more urgent that I get some help with my mental health, and I am so grateful for that.
Some amazing books I read - starting with My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Mending of Our Bodies and Hearts by Resmaa Menakem, which I read as a part of Patti Digh's Anti-Racist book club.
Resmaa Menakem's understanding of how trauma is held in the body was eye-opening for me in a lot of different ways. This inspired me to read more - Polyvagal Exercises for Safety and Connection: 50 Client-Centered Practices by Deb Dana is another favourite.
And I started making my own underwear and period underwear! It's a revelation! I used this pattern - which is a plus size pattern designed by plus sized pattern makers, which is surprisingly unusual. Most patterns are just graded up to larger sizes, instead of drafted specifically for a larger body. The fit is a dream - I have literally never had such comfortable underwear and I am never going back.
(One of the resources you get with the pattern is a series of videos where they walk you through the whole thing, including which materials to use for the period underwear.)
What are you most grateful for about 2021?
This new understanding of how my nervous system works, and how the nervous system is a plastic as the brain - whoa.
This has sparked a LOT of the amazing things of 2021, mostly about how I learned to take better care of myself.
I'm 47. Peri-menopausal symptoms have been creeping in over time, and this year I feel like I got MUCH better tools for all of it. Another book I enjoyed this year: What Fresh Hell Is This?: Perimenopause, Menopause, Other Indignities, and You by Heather Corinna.
I feel SO optimistic about the future.
What did you do in 2021 that you’re proud of?
Also, that after several years of pulling back with marketing and visibility in general - this year I went back in.
I am IMMENSELY grateful and proud for how I've grown in these last few years. I often look back on my older work and cringe.
What did you learn/discover that you want to bring into 2022?
I loved the live Creative Genius Planning Sessions I was doing on Monday mornings. I love how I gave myself space to become comfortable with doing my work in public once again!
Creative Genius Planning Sessions are shifting format, but I do want to do *something* live in 2022.
I also re-organized my project management and planning process and I AM IN LOVE WITH IT. I have checklists within checklists within checklists and reminder alarms set for everywhere where they are helpful. I am so excited about how much easier this will make things in 2022.
I feel like this helps me go into 2022 with a much firmer foundation for my dreams.
What was hard in 2021?
Well. Pandemic. We were especially hard hit in the spring, which was demoralizing after a winter of shutdowns. Hospitals being overwhelmed for months on end. My husband having health issues, and how much more complicated it was to get tests + treatment when the hospitals are overwhelmed with Covid patients.
A whole bunch of things in the "things I don't share online" category were hard this year, and remain hard right now but are getting better at least.
Work though - work didn't feel hard. My work is such a source of healing/support/regeneration.
What do you want to leave behind in 2021?
People pleasing! My therapist helped me see a few of the places where I was lying to myself about why I was doing what I was doing, in relationships with difficult people.
While I have managed to rid myself off a LOT of people pleasing over the years, the more difficult the other people get, the more I tend to lean into people pleasing to try to calm the situation.
Now instead I am letting the situation be not-calm, and basically leaving people to the chaos that they created, and not trying to fix it.
Definitely would love to leave all traces of this pattern behind in 2021.
(Hey Dream Book members - remember the Goodbye 2021 Alchemy Releasing Ceremony to help with this part)
How did your dreams grow in 2021?
The guided journals got published, but I think that's about it for VISIBLE growth this year.
Mostly I am feeling an inner re-aligning type of growth.
It feels like my dreams grew DEEPER.
How did YOU grow in 2021? What gifts and strengths do you have now that you didn’t have in 2020?
I grew into myself. I am more grounded. I hold my own space much better, I am much slower to abandon myself.
I am growing into my new dreams.
2020 me was so overwhelmed from the pandemic.
2021 me learned how to focus on self care and GROW in a pandemic.
(Here's hoping 2022 me can be mostly pandemic-free!)
It's hard to know sometimes: is it peri-menopause or is it pandemic overwhelm? Whatever it is, I have a lot of new tools that are working for me.
Is there anything you need to do to complete your year? Any unfinished business that you’d like to finish, and leave behind as you move into 2022?
I want to make a list of my project ideas for 2022, for the Creative Dream Incubator. It's not urgent, but I do feel like I'd like to enter 2022 with that list already in hand.
It does feel like the pandemic has gotten in my way the last few years creatively, but I feel ready now to step confidently and excitedly into my second decade with the Creative Dream Incubator.
I'm more in love with Dream Book than I have ever been. Personally, I am re-starting the program in January, for support for how I want my work and business to grow over the next ten years.
Right now I am really looking forward to making some great snacks, and ringing in the new year watching movies with the kids.