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.

What Didn’t Go So Well 

1.     I worked too damn much.

The second half of the year was more balanced than the first since the success of my mentoring program helped me relax about my family’s financial picture, and this allowed me to take more time off.  But when I examine my work/life balance, it’s still out of whack. Way better than when I was seeing patients as a physician, but still, life is to be savored… slowly. My daughter is growing up so fast, and I don’t want to miss one precious moment because I’m so buried striving to be more that I fail to be present right here, right now.

2.     Two programs flopped.

While four of my programs were very successful in 2012, two of them – the Inner Pilot Light group coaching program and the Visionary Ignition Switch Insider’s Club – just weren’t.  It’s a great reminder that everything you launch in this kind of business is one giant experiment.  The lessons in this are clear – set goals but release attachment to outcomes. And listen to your audience. And don’t get discouraged when things don’t turn out the way you hoped. Often, things happen that way because you’re supposed to turn left when you wanted to turn right.

3.     I’m still spermier than I want to be.

As I wrote in this 5 part blog series about being less sperm, more egg, my goal in 2013 is to embody a more feminine way to manifest what I desire. I’ve been working on being more eggy – attracting and receiving rather than pushing and striving and making things happen. But I notice that when I get anxious – or when The Gremlin gets noisy and starts spewing out fear-based thoughts – I fall into old spermy patterns. Still working on letting things happen, rather than forcing it.

4.     I still resist magic.

It’s been a huge year for spiritual growth, and Martha Beck has been an invaluable mentor and friend, teaching me the 4 Technologies of Magic.  Under her guidance, I’ve now called in a pack of coyotes in Muir Beach and about 40 dolphins in Pismo Beach. I’ve whispered and corralled horses. I’ve “magically” called in someone I was missing who lives far away by speaking “meta-self” to “meta-self” with that person’s spirit. Martha taught me how to bend countless spoons and forks, and I am now silverware’s nemesis (and thus have been banned from the silverware drawer.)

And yet, I still resist surrendering completely into my spiritual nature. In this post, I wrote about how perhaps I resist because I long to embrace a more feminine spirituality. But what Martha has been teaching is profoundly feminine, yet I resist still. I hold back. I numb out. I disconnect from the magic that it all around us when we tap into our Inner Pilot Lights/ God/ Goddess/ The Universe/ [insert your word here for whatever you call the magic.]

I don’t want to resist anymore, so I’ve declared 2013 my year of non-resistance (in other words, it will be “The Year Of The Egg.”)

5.     I completely neglected my art career.

A couple of the galleries that represent me got tired of waiting for new art – and just sent my old art back. But I’ve been so creatively fulfilled with my writing that I haven’t been jonesing to get into the art studio the way I used to. That said, I miss painting, and I’ve been feeling something brewing with me, a shift in my art that will further integrate my painting and sculpture with my writing. I want to make art that heals, that inspires transformation, that loves and comforts. But I’m not sure what that art looks like yet.

I’m working with my artist friend Nicholas Wilton to further explore this. As the artist who designed both the art for Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements and the book covers and website for Brené Brown, Nick’s art is steeped in the intersection of personal growth, spirituality, and fine art. Plus, he’s a damn good teacher. So I intend to make time in 2013 for deepening my art.

6.     I lost two dogs. 

As I wrote about here, my beloved Grendel died unexpectedly – supposedly from sudden onset heart failure – on Father’s Day.  Then, after giving her permission to break our hearts, my family invited a new puppy, Bezoar, into our lives in July. But she was tragically hit by a car just before Christmas.

We will once again give a dog permission to break our hearts, but right now, we’re on hiatus to let our fragile hearts heal. Siena got a battery-operated hamster for Christmas, and she made me a stuffed, knitted baby squirrel, which is about all we can handle right now.

It’s been a huge lesson for us all in how to keep your heart open when it’s breaking, how to allow yourself to be vulnerable to those you love, how to live in a perpetual state of gratitude, knowing everything can change in a blink, and how to fully live your life now, because it could all be over with one swift accident.  It’s also left me pondering how much freedom is “safe” and where to draw the fine line between fearless and reckless – which will surely become a future blog post. 

7.     I sometimes forget that love is all there is.

As a physician who has been there at the bedside at the end of many lives,  I’ve realized that nobody regrets what they haven’t done professionally when the end is near. They regret that they didn’t make more time for ordinary moments with those who are dear to them.  I am ambitious by nature, and I adore my work, and that combination of ambition and personal fulfillment with my professional life can lead me astray in my relationships.

But my Inner Pilot Light doesn’t care about professional achievement. My Inner Pilot Light cares about people – especially my daughter, my husband, my mother and siblings, and my inner circle of friends. 2012 was a busy year, and sometimes I neglected those I love, not intentionally, but as a side effect of achievement. Over time, such neglect can become a pattern, and over the years, it can wear away at what matters most – the love of the people that matter.

In 2013, I intend to prioritize those I love above any achievement, and if my professional life suffers as a result, so be it. Love is all there is.

What About You?

What didn’t go well? What did you learn? What would you like to do differently in 2013? Share your thoughts and intentions in the comments here.

Forgive Yourself

But as you reflect, make sure to be compassionate with yourself. Cut yourself some slack. Give yourself a hug. Know that it seemed like a good idea at the time, and even if things didn’t go as you hoped, they went exactly as they went – and that’s enough. Everything is happening in perfect timing. You’re learning your lessons as you’re ready to learn them.  Bless yourself for your humanity and your imperfections and your vulnerability. As Brené Brown teaches us, the cracks in our perfection breed intimacy and help us connect.

Learn from your imperfections, but make sure you’re gentle with yourself as you face this New Year.

(If this exercise bummed you out at all, go back to Part 1 and CELEBRATE your wins all over again. Go YOU!)

Set Clear Intentions

Let this two part exercise help you gain clarity on what you want to manifest in 2013. Write down your intentions. Put them on a vision board or keep them on your home altar. Share them with us in the comments – or tell a friend. Having your intentions witnessed is incredibly powerful and breeds accountability.

Let us witness you. And as we close out this year in review, let me just say thank you for being here, for reading what I write, for participating in my programs, for sharing what resonates with you, for spreading the words, and for making it possible for me to realize some very big dreams. I couldn’t do it without you, and for you, I am infinitely grateful.

Happy New Year,

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1 Comment


    2012 was the year I began to try to find my own independent, totally me, inner voice. O my goodness what trials and tribulations this caused!! 2012 was also the year of deteriorating illusions. I began the year with a deep sense of loss and lacking covered by a determination that I could get everything I needed. The loss was created when I left grad school to live my parents. I lost my community, everything I had known for the past 5 years, professional guidance and reassurance, a community of like minded friends and acquaintances, and much of my identity. I also lost the illusion that I could relax at home in the comfort of my mother’s guidance. Many of our views had grown dissimilar and even conflicted.
    I vowed to myself just before the new year that I would follow an inner voice that was fully inclusive of my sexuality and that did not exclude or shame those that were of a different value set than mine. I started the year with two open relationships that served as a fill in for intimacy, security, and feeling cared for. I moved in with 3 women, a move I was hesitant about because they drank, gossiped about celebrities, and spoke mostly about dating which I had always tended to avoid. These were the people I tended to seperate myself from in aligning my values with my moms’. My first job was exactly the job I wanted and I imagined myself being extremely successful in the position. I worked hard and ignored signs of discontent. I went to the bars (after years of not drinking and being too achievment oriented to focus on dating), I hooked up with many a radom guy, and delt with a number of physical and emotional hangovers. I felt conflicted in my need to feel ashamed for all of these actions, the need to rebel from old values, the need for friendship and community, and the need to follow and find my own inner voice seperate from both friends and family.
    Deep down I knew that the two open relationships I started with in 2012 would not nurish me in the long run which is why they were open and non-committed. It still hurt when the disillusionment hit and both relationships were suddenly gone. My job became not the success promoting position I imagine. I tried my best to do what I learned my profession to be in an environment that just wanted the title of my profession and conformity. Disillusion about my ability to change what I was doing in my profession hit and I knew I needed to quit. Dating became emotionally exhausting and I began to see that I was motivated by a deep need to replace the comfort, secuirty, encouragment, and validations of my parents. I had tried so hard in 2012 to make the job what I wanted it to be and to find an opportunity for a relationship.
    By the end of 2012, I came face to face with the fact that I had no idea where I was going, what I should do, and no one that could make the decision for me. I was blessed with many signs from the universe and realized that I have been so lost from my inner voice. I was so scared of the loss I had endured after college that I took matters into my own hands and created illusions of security. My relationship with my inner voice suffered as I sought out relationships with others and confused my inner voice with that of my fear/control voice, the voice of parents, friends, professors, and so many others.
    After reflecting, I see that the greatest thing that did not go so well in 2012 was my own self-doubt.
    I worried feverishly over every decision I made from simple text messages sent, to how to spend my money, to what I wore, to going to brunch with roomates, to spending time with parents, everything. I doubted what seems like now every single move I made. Mainly because I was in unkown, unguided territory, and not used to being so on my own. Every move seemed to conflict with someone’s expectations and I simply count not appease all of these outside voices in my head that I desperately clung to for advice because I did not yt trust my own. I blamed myself, felt ashamed at time, but mostly confused, lost, disconnected and out of my mind afriad when I realized the extent of my personal responsibilities and freedom.
    I realized that in the big picture none of the details of the decisions make any difference and none of these opinions or expectations being met or not met make any difference. What makes a difference is whether or not I could feel love for myself, a situation, and other people. Forgiveness. The rest just fades away into the background of the past. People will judge of course, one may say that I am a drunk slut, another may say that I am an over achiever, another a cute young nieve girl.
    My intention for 2013 is to bear wittness to my own story over and over again. To rewrite that story if necessary. To attempt to weed through the muck of other’s expectations and voices to seek out my own true inner voice. To love my self and have compassion for myself as a fledgling in a new world. To not abandon my inner voice because I am scared. To acknowledge and embrace the truth of MY own experience. To have patience and recognize the self-doubt voice that comes up over and over again. Finally to learn the language of my soul, my energy, and how it interacts with the universe. My path makes sense one I write it out. How could I be expected to know exactly the outcomes of what I have never done before? My final intention is to allow my soul to speak through me.


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