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Nothing New - Life Requires Boldly Blooming

 I enjoyed an Advent journal experience at the end of 2023. Every day in the month of December a writing prompt came to my inbox. It offered me some ideas for reflective time to look back at 2023 while becoming more conscious of my intentions for 2024. At an already extra busy time of year, my initial reaction was “how on earth am I going to find time for this?!” Yet I knew as a journal-er this would be a positive experience for me…and I was right!

As I reflected on the various prompts, I understood how far I have come in 2023. And most of it wasn’t what I expected. I planned on having my business up and running and adding income to our budget. That didn’t happen. But so many other things did.

Through my experiences with both my mom’s and mother-in-law’s health and moving challenges, I became a better questioner and advocate for them in the frustrating healthcare system. I expanded my gratitude practice because of the generous acts of people like my brother packing up his life in the Twin Cities to come down and help me with mom, the support from friends and family, and all the beautiful caregivers of both moms. While for much of the year I couldn’t focus on the direct entrepreneurial aspects of birthing my business, I did have lots of drive time where I could listen to podcasts and books that educated me professionally and stretched me personally. I had plenty of opportunities to practice patience, which I personally thought I had plenty of from my early childhood teaching days…ha! I learned how to set firm boundaries when someone was using me instead of relying on themselves. All this reflecting made me feel really proud of myself…enough so that I shared it aloud with my spiritual coach! That kind of sharing is something we rarely do for ourselves and let me tell you – it felt good!

After the reflective stage of the journaling experience came the time to look forward and become consciously aware of my intentions for 2024: I had to choose a theme for the year. So began a flurry of journaling, googling, pondering, etc.; and within 24 hours I chose Boldly Bloom. These two simple words represent the courage I know it will take to grow how I intend to this year, both professionally and personally. Three traits (of many, but these will be my focus) I will continue to develop to Boldly Bloom are solid communication, creativity, and willingness to learn. The process of blooming isn’t always easy. That’s nothing new. There will be muck along the way; and the muck is fertile with potential.

I can’t wait to see how I evolve this year! How about you? Do you have a theme for 2024?

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