If you're anything like me, recovering from a big challenge has you starting off 2018 with a bit of trepidation, or maybe you're just feeling a bit slow to get rolling. Whatever your challenge was, last year really turned out to be a doozy, amiright?? Nevertheless, we made it through the holidays, hopefully had some fun and started feeling a little more energetic and optimistic.
Still though, you might be feeling kind of emotionally hungover, like the remnants of that challenge still have you wrapped up like a warm but somewhat prickly blanket. It's hard to shake off those feelings of weakness and dis-ease, all those things you went through that still cross your mind all too frequently. And shaking all that off at this time of year, in the dark of winter, might be proving extra difficult right now.
Usually, at this time of year I'm the gal who's all gung-ho, starting the year with a BANG. Usually, I've got my brand new goals posted all over my office walls/on my phone/on my social media, plus a calendar already filled with a crazyass new rehearsal schedule and buzzy networking events three times a week. Can you imagine?? Well, this year looks a LOT different.
I mean, for the past few months, my schedule has consisted mostly of doctor visits, hospital treatments, naps, an occasional Facebook post and more sleep. Not necessarily in that order.
Of course, once I finished all my treatments for cervical cancer and got the green light on my health -- along with the AWESOME news that I officially KICKED CANCER'S ASS in 55 days! -- I slowly started to push the edges of my comfort zone here and there, both physically and mentally. I gotta tell you, it was really really hard to find a balance between doing too much and not doing enough. And the going has been very slow, testing my patience pretty much every day.
Then, there was a whole lot of holiday activity, with invitations to get out and socialize here, there and everywhere. OMG I truly missed socializing during those previous, very sleepy 55 days!! Choosing carefully and saying no to most of the holiday invites was hard, too but getting enough rest during that first month of recovery was crucial to my success.
So I chose to stay at home, keep my pjs on and rest. A LOT.
All that rest did give me the opportunity to spend a few hours journaling, which is a fave activity I don't often get a chance to do. I wrote all about my 2017 experiences, released as much emotional baggage about last year's challenges as possible and really wrapped things up for myself.
I have to say, getting that done really helped me through the emotional hangover I talked about earlier. If you haven't had the chance to reflect and regroup like this yet, I highly recommend it. No worries, you're not too late! Here are a few things to consider:
* What were some highlights from 2017 that you're most proud of, that made you happiest? Even with challenges, there are always sunny moments here and there. Take a moment to remember them, and pat yourself on the back for your accomplishments.
* What actions did you take in 2017 that were new for you, or that pushed you to grow? Growth and challenges go hand in hand, so I'm guessing you'll find at least a couple of things to think about here.
* What were your toughest challenges? Maybe you had more than just the big one, like me. In addition to the cancer thing, I also let go of a relationship, a part-time job, a client and a car in 2017! All of which were no longer in alignment with who I was or wanted to be. Hint: your challenges might be the same as what pushed your growth.
* What were your biggest lessons? Take some time to dig deep here, as there may be more gold nuggets hidden under the surface than you think. Your growth moments can give you big clues about your lessons.
* What will you release and leave completely behind you in the past? Letting go is essential to moving on.
* What does your IDEAL 2018 look like? It's okay to dream super big here! Is it winning the lottery? Buying a new car? Landing your dream job or client? You can't dream too big here! Go for the gold!
Once you answer these questions, you'll see what you truly want to focus on in this new year. For me, it also helps to decide on a personal theme or word for the year, one that I can apply to my life on the daily. For 2018, my word is JOY. My intention for 2018 is to find joy in everything I do, to only pursue and accept work that makes me feel joyful, to give joy to others whenever and wherever possible and to bring joy into my home surroundings. After a year like 2017, this feeling of joy is a MUST for me!!!
Take an hour to answer these questions and see if it helps you shake off that blanket of MEH. If you haven't been feeling very gung-ho, either then maybe you just need to release a little more emotional gunk. Or maybe you just need more time to rest and heal. Either way, it's okay.
If there's one thing I've learned from fighting cancer, it's that listening to my body is the best healing tool I've got. If my body says we need to sit down and rest, I'm on it. If she tells me to take a nap, I'm down. If potato chips are the only palatable food imaginable (true story, for like three weeks during chemo), then Cape Cod Potato Chips are the only things crossing these lips!
Listening and ACCEPTING these intuitive cries from my inner self was really one of the toughest lessons I faced during my challenge. I am very sure that paying attention and honoring that inner voice contributed greatly to my success. In fact, it was such a successful habit that I plan to continue listening and honoring it from now on. This intention is the cornerstone of my radical self care plan, the one I'm taking into this new year and beyond.
I hope you'll join me! May our next 360 days be filled with joy and self-love!
xoxo Ringleader Pam
PS: During my recovery phase, which is definitely taking the full eight weeks the doctors told me it would, I’ve been working on new ways to support Celia and myself financially in 2018 because most of my former income sources are gone... It would be awesome if we could reach our fundraising goal soon, to give me just a smidge more time to get that income thing rolling again. Any help you can give would be super helpful!!
Click this link to donate:
Thank you so much!!
© 2018 Pamela C Wills, Int’l
Hey there! I'm Ringleader Pam!
It's true that many years have seen many hats on my head, but one thread makes them all part of one unique collection: my passion for story.
More than 25 years of experience in writing and editing, public relations, sales and marketing, social media, networking, teaching, public speaking and yes, even dance and choreography fill this gal's cocktail shaker of a life -- definitely shaken, not stirred -- and give me the ability to serve up exactly what my clients need.
Whether it's written content, sales and PR/marketing help, confidence boosts, a great speech, accountability and mentoring or dance lessons for the movement shy, my glass-overflowing positivity, optimistic attitude and contagious enthusiasm for my clients' successes took many years of many tries and fails to cultivate -- a success story of my own that has thankfully won me thousands of admiring fans! Want more? Download your FREE report at www.pamelacwills.com today!