In some ways I just can’t let the holiday season go. The family, the laughter, the break, the baking, the music — the sheer JOY of it all. Each year it gets harder and harder to not simply embrace the holiday season year-round. Well, why the heck not? A small group of friends and I kicked off 2019 doing some deep introspection on self and sharing our thoughts and feelings with each other. It’s like a group expedition into The Ignatian Adventure which I was gratefully led through at Fairfield University. And the experience, both then and now, packs a beneficial punch. We are in charge of ourselves. As leaders, as workers, as parents, as shoppers, as families, as PEOPLE. We choose our happy. So for 2019, here are my top three nuggets of advice:
- Challenge yourself. Whatever you think you can do, aim bigger. This is the year to push your boundaries, break away from your limitations and aim all-the-way high.
- Define your best life then live it. What is keeping you from living the life you dream about? Better yet, what IS your dream life? Leave behind the money and things, deep in your soul what makes your heart smile? Why are you here? What are your priorities? I’m willing to bet if you start mapping these pieces out you’ll recognize your biggest stressors are barely loosely-tied to your life goals. Might be time to pivot.
- Follow your path. I say this so much that I know people tire of it. I’m an instinct girl. I believe there’s a path to follow. When it hits a wall, that means little more than that likely wasn’t your path. But you still learn and grow every step. We have such a short time on this earth. Wasting even one second on worrying about ‘the small stuff’ is time wasted. Listen to your inside voice. Think about what you want. Envision the path. Then start on it. Hit a snag? Move forward. Keep moving forward on your path. It’s all laid out for you to follow.
Most things happen for a reason. Some of those reasons may not be apparent today, but don’t give up on your goals. Trust the process, work hard, your time is coming. — Milos Topic
That’s it. Three pieces of advice to ring in the new year. Now take a look at the photo on this page. That is my daughter, caught in a moment of unbridled sheer joy. She shines so bright with it, the camp counselor looking on is mirroring the joy. THAT, my friends, is what I strive for in 2019 and THAT is what I wish for each of you. In your personal life and your work life. You define your joy. Find it. Live it.
The Ignatian Adventure is 32-week exercise, daily reading with a 7th day reflection. You can go it alone, find a friend, find a spiritual advisor or do it in tandem with a book club. It IS a journey. Prepare to dig deep. There are religious references (obviously) the overall sentiment is more ‘spiritual’ than ‘religious’ to me. You get the gist. For me, the process helps me focus, recalibrate and strengthen the areas I always needs to be improving: grace, discernment, priority. I’m on my second go-round and will never lose this book. Link to purchase below – either image or title – I RECOMMEND:
The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in Daily Life