It’s been quite a year hasn’t it. One that I’m sure none of us will ever forget. Where do we even begin! This year, of all years, has forced many of us to look for enjoyment, comfort, strength and community in new ways. And to open our eyes more fully to the sources of those things that have been there all along. This article is about taking a moment to reflect on everything that has happened (or not happened) for you in 2020 and clearing the way for a fresh start in 2021.
I’ve created a workbook for you to download and use as a guide to channel your thoughts and reflections.
Your greatest challenges of 2020
I want to start this article by acknowledging the challenges you may have faced this year. Not to dwell on them or let them bring you down but so that you can release them. From speaking with clients right through the lockdown period, the most common challenges were from parents struggling to juggle working from home with their childcare or home-schooling responsibilities. Single people working from home, feeling lonely and needing more human contact. And those made redundant and worried about what the future held for them and their family. There’s also the newly coined term ‘Zoom fatigue’ which I am still hearing on a weekly basis.
The greatest challenges I have faced personally have been trying to keep my Dad safe and upbeat during the most difficult period of his life, following the loss of my Mum. Seeing my Partner’s thriving wedding business be reduced to nothing and her livelihood stripped away from her. And having to watch close friends and family members deal with serious health conditions without being able to give them a hug.
What have your greatest challenges been this year?
Your greatest opportunities of 2020
I truly believe that within our greatest challenges lie our greatest opportunities. It is one of my beliefs that drives me as a Career Coach – that we can use our work challenges as a catalyst for transformation. This is a year that was meant to wake us up, to shake us to our core, to force us to re-evaluate our lives, our relationships, even our purpose here on earth.
For every challenge that a client has shared with me, they have also shared something positive which has emerged for them. The biggest ones being their stronger connection to nature as a source of comfort and the improvement to their work life balance as a result of working from home. These things could have taken years to realise if there was an element of choice involved. This, I believe, has been a great gift of 2020 and I dearly hope that this is something we all continue with long after the virus has left.
More than anything, I believe 2020 has enabled us to stop and pause. To notice the things around us that we have been too busy to see. To realise the importance of ‘being’ as well as ‘doing’. To live in the moment. For me, there has been no greater gift.
I have used the opportunity of lockdown to do some deep spiritual work, connecting more to the true essence within and to the Universal Intelligence that surrounds us and recognising this as my primary purpose. It has been truly transformative. I also chose to use the summer to answer a calling to write my first online course to support people looking to make a change in their career (and awaken). The creative process was incredibly energising and I felt in the flow more than ever before.
What opportunities emerged for you in 2020?
Your hidden strengths
Through the challenges and adverse circumstances we have experienced, we have truly put to the test those strengths which may have been hidden from our view. One such strength which immediately springs to mind which has come to the fore this year is resilience. (I often cite this as a crucial ingredient for anyone looking to make a career change or become self-employed.)
In the case of my Dad and my Partner, it has been their humour, their positive energy and their adaptability that has seen them through and which continues to be a source of inspiration to me, alongside my Mum who also embodied those traits.
What strengths have become more visible to you during 2020?
Gift yourself some headspace
It is so vitally important for us to take a little time out now and then to reflect and take stock. And this year, more than ever, there is so much to take stock of! I have created a workbook for you to capture your thoughts to the questions above (plus a few others).
And now, I invite you to give yourself just an hour out of your day to get comfy, put a candle on or grab your favourite essential oil and spend some time reflecting and releasing. You might want to have a go with the little releasing ritual below. Whatever you choose to do, it is a gift to yourself and, as such, I know it will be worth it!
Summing up 2020
What one word sums up 2020 for you? For me, it is Trust. Out of necessity, I realised the power of trust, during those times when I felt there was nothing I could do physically to help those I care about. When I felt terrified by the thought of going back into a restaurant after the first lockdown restrictions were lifted and getting on a plane to have a short break in the sun. It is something I now call on every day in meditation. It brings me comfort and reassurance and helps me get out of my own way so I can go with the flow and stop letting worry and anxiety guide me.
And if 2020 has taught us all anything, it’s that we aren’t truly in control, so we may as well live in the moment and go with the flow!
I hope that you are able to draw out some helpful insights from this article and that you can see the gift this year has brought us and take something really life-changing from 2020.
Look out for my Reimagining Your 2021 article where you can gain some fresh clarity on what you want in the new year and some ideas on how to make it happen.
a little ritual to help you release the year 2020
I want to share with you a really simple little ritual to help you release anything you want to let go of from 2020.
- Get quiet and bring to mind anything you want to release from 2020 (any negative thoughts, feelings, wounds, experiences, situations). Be guided by your intuition and allow whatever is trying to come to the surface.
- Write down on a piece of paper what you want to release. The act of writing these things down is itself therapeutic as it takes them out of your head where they can create stuck energy.
- In a safe place, light your paper and drop it into a fire-proof bowl (or drop it into a fireplace or firepit if you have one).
- Create an affirmation to use as you watch the paper burn, such as “I release that which no longer serves me” or “I let go of the negative energy of 2020”.
- Visualise your unwanted thoughts and feelings being released from you. Allow any feelings of sadness, loss, fear or gratitude to surface.