I'm coming up on an important personal anniversary next month. It's made me think about the past five years and how much has happened:
- took a sabbatical for six weeks traveling through Europe
- major surgery
- quit my job and went out on my own
- got married
- went to art school
- became a life coach
- moved twice
- traveled to 12 countries
Incredible growth in a short amount of time. I'm amazed when I stop to consider. So for this anniversary, I take the time to see that much of what I've accomplished has been my own doing. Go me. :)
Something else came to mind related to the topic of this blog: Life's Negotiations. When something major happens, it requires negotiating to understand its impact and take advantage of it. Here is a formula I use:
1. Acknowledge – I am honest with myself and recognize what is happening. The good, the bad and the ugly. No hiding from it, ignoring, or shunning it as unimportant. This can be hard to do.
2. Accept – I look at whatever it is head on, and continue to see it after it's passed. The more you see it (challenge or opportunity), the more you have a choice in what to do about it. When I was struggling to hold my chin up, a friend said "It's ok to say 'It Sucks.'" To me, that's acceptance—hers and mine.
3. Integrate – most important – This is when the thing becomes part of you. My sabbatical was incredible. Whenever I look at the photos, I am filled with the feeling: "I made this happen, and I can do it again." The same is true for tough things, like my illness. Part of who I am is this tragedy that happened, and what beauty and learning came out of it.
Integration is what my anniversary is all about.