Dear Seeker…and freedom and clarity.
Helloooo! It’s Danielle. I want to say straight up, creating this has been one of my favourite projections all year. Anything that is about clarity…anything that I can get out online in a “lite” way…I just love this kind of making and relating.
Can we just jump in?
WEEK 1: RETROSPECTION
It’s amazing how easy it is to relinquish control of how we manage our time. It’s a deep issue. But we’re going to start with looking back at the last few months or year of your life. First, retrospection, to clear space to move forward.
As the keeper of your calendar you get to reflect on your “year” any time of the year, that you want. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the last week of December. It can be your birthday, Spring, Fall. THIS WEEK would be a good time. How about right now? (Nudgey nudge.) Right now would be a GREAT time. Let’s do it.
My sweet and always-determined friend Steph Corker laid this methodology on me when I needed to make a big pivot in my career. I had to make a decision that was going to affect the next few years of my creative focus. It was early Fall in the Western hemisphere. We were in a pub in Southern California after a business meeting had gone south. I was slightly confused but brimming with ideas. There was nowhere to go except toward clarity. But first…we had to rewind.
So it’s…deep-dive, rapid-fire retrospective time for you.
It’s really easy, because this is quick (but you can make it longer if you want to). Get out your journal to do the exercises below.
Or download your RETROSPECTION
My main piece of guidance for this RETROSPECTIVE EXERCISE is don’t over-think it. Do it quickly for the first round (I suggest a time limit in the exercise). Write down whatever comes to mind, unimpeded, bam-bam-bam — you can always go back and refine your reflections if you want.
Step 1: THE HIGHLIGHTS in 4 – 5 minutes
List the HIGHLIGHTS — the positive + fulfilling events and situations of your past year or some months. DO IT IN 4 to 5 MINUTES. Seriously. It’s fascinating to see what surfaces when you don’t filter it, hence the time pressure.
Step 2: PATTERN RECOGNITION
What pattern(s) do you see in your highlights list? What very obviously gave you joy? Was there a big or “Important” event that happened but it didn’t even make it onto your list? What does that say to you? (Forgetting or choosing to not put something “significant” on your list isn’t necessarily a negative thing, but it’s definitely worth analyzing.)
Step 2.5: OUTSIDE INPUT
This is optional but can be fun and useful. Have a good friend look over/hear out your list of highlights and ask them to point out what you may have missed, and what they see the patterns are.
Step 4: CONTEMPLATE WHAT REALLY MATTERED
Take a breather and really think about (and write about) what moved you the most, lit you up, felt like forward progress, delighted you, made you proud, thrilled and really mattered the most in terms of your joy and growth in your past year or season.
Step 5: THE FOCUS 5
Now here’s the point: Use last year’s fulfillment to guide your decisions for your near future. Because joy. Because…
When you’re living from your joy and working for meaningfulness, you are:
- WAY more healthy and effective.
- SO much more fun to be around (Hello love and magnetism).
- MUCH more able to make a contribution to the world around you.
You can look at it this way, in epic proportions: The planet needs you to be working from your joy. Humanity depends on you doing what’s meaningful to you. The future of civilization is counting on your fulfilling. No pressure. Here’s the micro perspective: you deserve to be lit up by what you do in the world. It’s your life.
Determine 5 things you want to focus on in the next year or phase of your life. (Easier said than done, but, focus is ESSENTIAL to your fulfillment.)
This doesn’t have to be a fixed list or a major commitment (though it could be if you want to make it that.) What would you LOVE to focus on? What would IDEAL look like?
As the Free & Clear program rolls out, there will be more opportunities to clarify and firm up your plans.
Side note: What you forget — or choose NOT to put on your highlight list, can be very revealing about what really, truly matters to you. When I first did this exercise, I completely forgot to write down that my business had the best fiscal year ever. Almost all of my highlights were about the people in my life, about the concerts I went to, and about my creative happiness –– the stuff that felt so good to make.
We’re going to jam on this together. Live TODAY! HERE on Facebook at [12pm PST/ 3pm EST].
I’ll tell you more about how I ended up in a pub confused but excited, and how you too can go from “WTF?!” to “Ohhhh, I know what I should do…”
Retrospect. The idea here is to see what lights you up, so that you can plan to feel-have-do and experience more of that in your life.
Before you go…
Ommm: If you want to get in a more contemplative headspace for this, here’s a lovely little audio called “Light Scanning”. It’s me guiding you to bring more light into your consciousness. You can play the contemplation FROM HERE.
Tunes: If you just want to groove while you do this retrospective, may I suggest Marvin Gaye’s Deluxe Edition of What’s Going On?
Even more: If you want to go deeper after you do this worksheet, there’s this extended perspective, aptly called: Your Deeper Year-In-Review
Around the corner: The theme for the next edition of FREE & CLEAR will be: Letting Go. (You know you want to.)
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