I’m not a whole lot of fun when it comes to New Year's. I don’t like going to big parties. I don’t really even like staying up late or drinking too much champagne as the new year rolls in. I tend to use New Year's Eve as a time of introspection, quiet reflection, intention setting, gratitude for the previous year’s blessings, releasing what I don’t want to carry with me into the New Year, and quiet communion with the Divine. This year, I’m going to a hot springs resort by myself to do this, so I can enter 2014 from a centered, connected, intentional, mindful place. At least, that’s the plan…
But first, a few reflections on 2013.
A Year of Change: Professional
2013 was a year full of change for me. Many of the changes were thrilling professional dreams come true. Most notably, my book Mind Over Medicine debuted on the New York Times bestseller’s list. My National Public Television special Heal Yourself: Mind Over Medicine was a hit. The Whole Health Medicine Institute MD Training program launched, and we just graduated the inaugural class. Plus, I landed a book deal for The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage As Medicine For The Body, Mind & Soul, wrote another book The Anatomy of a Calling, launched and completed the second year of Find Your Calling with Martha Beck & Amy Ahlers, and got started with development of my next two programs- Medicine For The Soul with Rachel Naomi Remen in January 2014 and The Surrender Sanctuary with Tosha Silver in February 2014 (more on those two programs soon, so stay tuned!)
A Year of Change: Personal
On a personal level, however, 2013 was exceptionally challenging. Trying to accomplish all of these professional goals while prioritizing my amazing seven year old daughter Siena was hard. She is such a supremely enlightened little individual that I hope she forgives me for the times I wasn’t with her, but I worried a lot about whether or not I was being the kind of mother she deserves. I spent a lot of time reflecting on what it means to define success on my own terms, and one of my definitions of success includes raising a happy, healthy, secure, confident child. So far, that’s exactly what she is, but I’m very aware of how this kind of career can seduce you away from what really matters.
Back in December, my business manager Melanie Bates and I trekked down to Martha Beck’s new ranch in San Luis Obispo to plan the first part of the Whole Health Medicine Institute Physician Training (which you can read all about here). We kind of knew we were going to be guinea pigs for the kind of work Martha is jonesing to do with doctors, but I don’t think we fully understood the magnitude of what we were about to experience.
As we got off Highway 101 and started driving out into the boonies, the fog was low over a lake, and Melanie said, “It feels like the Mists of Avalon, like we’re leaving the real world and entering someplace mystical.” And it did.
The hills became more silent. Birds stopped singing. Time suspended. It was clear we were opening the wardrobe to enter Narnia.
And then… voila! We were driving up to the butterfly gates (of course there were butterfly gates!) of Martha’s horse ranch. What proceeded to unfold was so magical I am only now able to digest it enough to begin to write about it. I’m still pretty wordless about the whole experience, but let me share with you some vignettes that exist like movies in my mind.
In the last blog post, I reflected back upon 2012 to examine what went well and invited you to do the same. (Did you do it?)
Now that we’ve celebrated what worked in 2012, it’s time to examine what didn’t go so smoothly and what we learned about how things could go better. The second part of this Year in Review exercise is NOT an excuse to beat yourself up or let your Gremlins have a field day, but rather, a chance to get clear on what 2012 taught you, as you prepare to set clear intentions for 2013.
Here’s are the growth areas I’ve identified in my life and business from 2012.