Thursday, December 25, 2014

Let's pause and reflect, shall we?

Merry Christmas Aalayam!

It is that time of the year again, a time to reflect on the year that went by, to consolidate the highlights, mull on the low lights, and figure out what you'd do differently as the new year dawns around. And what you'd rinse and repeat - with unequivocal penchant!

Deepa and I bring to you, our thoughts on 10 questions the trendsetters say we ought to contemplate on every year-end, to check if our path to self development and self actualization is riddled with enough impact, for our own selves, and for the others, whose lives we touch.

As you read through our journeys, do mull over our own 2014, the year that was, and share with us your responses to the reflective 10 questions below!

1. What did I learn? (skills, knowledge, awareness, etc.)

2. What did I accomplish? A list of my wins and achievements.

3. What would I have done differently? Why?

4. What did I complete or release? What still feels incomplete to me?

5. What were the most significant events of the year past? List the top three.

6. What did I do right? What do I feel especially good about? What was my greatest contribution?

7. What were the fun things I did? What were the not-so-fun?

8. What were my biggest challenges/roadblocks/difficulties?

9. How am I different this year than last?

10. For what am I particularly grateful?

Deepa's tongue-in-cheek take on Learning!
What did I learn?

Deepa: On a more serious note – I continue to learn and grow each day personally and professionally. In the field of medicine the learning never stops and thankfully, I am very 
self-disciplined and self-initiated when it comes to professional learning and that has served me well. Personally, I have continued to advocate for others through volunteering, inspire and motivate via Aalayam and to take responsibility when things don’t quite go as planned. I have learnt to roll with the punches and to wait for the ah ha insights! I have learnt to keep my perspective when it comes to parenting. I have learnt that taking care of myself is a commitment that I must keep! I learnt to bake and savored the joy of “freshly baked” in 2014!

Handmade with love - Deepa's baked goodness!

What would I have done differently? Why?

Deepa: This year was also an expedition of awakening and reflection. 2014 provided compelling and I mean complelling opportunities to refocus on what I value the most. Let me just leave it at that.

Deepa's real and metaphorical journey in 2014
What still feels incomplete to me?

DeepaOh lots of things! Pursuit of self –development is a great thing, don’t you think? I want to read more, travel more, learn to be more assertive, manage stress better,  draw from the infinitude of talented, inspiring and capable people, manage my emotions better and exercise.  I wish I would  “Eat the frog” rather than procrastinate. I wish I would listen to my inner voice more. I could go on….

Deepa's travelogue begins
What were the fun things I did? What were the not-so-fun?

Deepa: Chateaus and champagne, baguette and bistros, the cabaret and cancan!!Pastoral escapes, Parisian cafés, the cote de azur...I got to experience the intoxicating spell of France! And that was fun!

Paris, viewed via UJ's lens!

Now, on the other hand, my husband – a cross-fit enthusiast got me doing burpees. Throwing your full body weight on the ground and then bring it back up with a plyometric move – not so fun! Needless to say, that did not last very long.. How am I different this year than last? 

Deepa: I think I know what I want and I am starting to believe in me! I cannot necessarily say this is an acute change from last year but I feel that with each passing year I come into my own a little bit more. My sense of who I am, what I want, what I stand for and what my values are becomes more defined each year and I am grateful for that clarity. I have a lot more freedom to accept, to refuse, to move on, to let go and it is liberating!

What am I particularly grateful for?

Deepa: The richness of our world – food, people, culture, art and places and the ability to explore one little bit at a time with my soulmate! A job that I love, that allows me to make a difference – everyday! The precious smile on my child’s face and the ability to look at the world through his lens. The fact that I get to experience the four seasons and nature in all her glory. For the unconditional love of my family. I am grateful for ginger chai and fresh flowers – the simple things that allow me to live in the present. I am grateful for the comfort of home!

Deepa's elegant holiday home

I could go on….

Thank you Deepa, for that candid share. It's my turn now, is it not?

I wanted to answer all the questions in the list here for you. I have mentally answered them, taken stock, and have arranged my plans for next year. But I would like to unravel the spool of my thought around the question:

What did I do right? What do I feel especially good about? What was my greatest contribution?

Supriya: I  have been a good parent in 2014, despite a few epic mommy meltdowns (p.s. kids are talented in the art of pushing you over the edge. They gang up, they are relentless and they are manipulative!)

I demonstrated tolerance, empathy, patience and ....some more tolerance, in the face of insurmountable expectations (mostly self-imposed). I coached & mentored, and made an impact. I wrote, made prolific connections that are slowly evolving into friendships. I focused on professional development, adding value to my clients, and had a almost manic desire for continuous improvement.

I am still contemplating about what I am especially feeling good about. I watched this holiday classic movie today - "It's a Wonderful Life", a Christmas fantasy-drama, more than 50 years old, but still a sure shot tear jerker, inspiring & uplifting.

For those of you that have not seen the movie, I highly recommend it. The movie is about a man, George Bailey who gives up his dreams in order to help others, all his life, and eventually gets so defeated by life itself that he loses all hope. But divine intervention shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be had he never been born.

The movie got me wondering. What impact have I made in the community I am living in? What would have happened if I did not exist in the lives of my family and friends at all? 

It's a humbling thought, is it not? To think of the constant opportunity I have to make an impact on the lives of others around me. It's a tremendous responsibility. Onerous in fact. But, a wonderful one.

I am a daughter, friend, wife, mother and mentor. I am a blogger and an environmental consultant. I am making (I hope) a difference in the lives of the people I touch, and the community I live in everyday. Tell me if I am not. I want to know. This is the yardstick I want to measure myself by, everyday, every year. 


Deepa and I want to wish our readers a phenomenal 2015. I hope you make tremendous impact!!


1 comment:

  1. What a truly lovely post.. Yes indeed.. Its always great to pause, reflect and be grateful..