This letter one of my favourite things to write! This year, I also created a “Year End Self-Reflection” sheet to write your own letter to yourself (or to share with others). This process of reflection is powerful, and helps us grow by seeing where we have come from and what our best hopes are for the future. I would love to read your letters. Please share!
As many of you know, last year into the beginning of this year, I took a sabbatical from aspects of my work. I often joke with clients that I am “high maintenance” when it comes to self-reflection & self -care time. Perhaps it’s just that the world around me is so “low-maintenance” that I struggle sometimes to feel accepting of my needs to drop everything and take care of my well-being.
A sabbatical sounded wonderful, but I didn’t realize how much of my self-worth is tied up in being productive. I spent the first bit of this break feeling lost and wondering what I should be doing, but feeling little or no energy to do anything. This was a powerful process for me. I learned to be ok “in between” things, and not having the “answer” of what I should do. I didn’t even know what I wanted to do next. So what did I do? I breathed. Literally. Some days I just felt deeply what it was like for me to not be doing anything or have any external expectations. I highly recommend that every woman do this, even if it’s just a few hours or a couple of days. Get to know who you are when you are not busy achieving things. Get to hear the sound of your inner voice that is often buried under piles of obligations and the “noise” of daily life. You will see how worthy and wonderful you are just in your state of “being”. If you can’t fathom this possibility, just remember how you loved your child without them having to earn it or even your pet. You love them for who they are, not what they accomplish. I realized this year that I am worthy and loveable as a child of this universe, as is every other human.
I am someone who is constantly making adjustments and this year I made some big changes. After a lot of soul searching, I “retired” from attending births as a doula. I supported women and families in this role, with deep passion and love for 13 years. I feel like I am a part of so many families and my heart is full when I think of these beautiful babies growing up. I was called to do this work and then after a long while, I felt like I was called away from it. I know what it feels like when it’s time to move away from something and I honored it within myself.
I also retired from facilitating my emerging mothers groups. It was heart warming to receive so much love from the mothers who have benefited from this work. I feel so honored to have done it. I still remember the day the
idea came to me, and I scribbled it on a scrap paper. I knew I needed to create a group that was about the journey into motherhood, and not only the needs of the baby. These women continue to be in my life in various ways and I love supporting their ongoing growth as women and mothers. I hope to always have these connections.
This year I became a Registered Psychotherapist! Earlier this year, I felt mentally and emotionally ready to take on more clients as a therapist and coach. I spent quite a bit of time exploring what it feels like to be authentically “ready”, and when we are just lying to ourselves in order to move out of the discomfort of where we are in a given moment. I expanded my counselling & coaching with women , and started teaching meditation for personal growth. I changed my entire practice and got much clearer on what I am capable of doing, without straining. My intention was, and continues to be, to put my well-being first. Perhaps this is what happens in our mid-forties, we realize that rest is just as valuable as productivity. I rest lots now, I enjoy time with my important people, I exercise regularly and feel more creativity and peace as a result. My sabbatical was a reset button. I am grateful for my family at home and at my family at The WOMB for supporting my journey.
My children turned 10 and 17 this year! My eldest just applied for university! My favourite picture of them this year, is this one below. I love this stage of parenting so much. They need less hands on parenting, and more mentoring, deep listening & friendship. They keep me honest, and don’t tolerate un-asked for advice! I have to save my “therapist” self for work and just be their mom. Such a joy (at least mostly…hahah)!
Sending you love, bravery & joy.
Thank you for all of your love and support this year. xoxo Nelia