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How to digest the year (and a year-end gift)

It’s about this time of year that I (very slowly) start contemplating the past 11 months.

You might warm to the idea of contemplating the year, too, taking note of its’ headlining qualities and overall feeling.

Some headliner features are easy and obvious to pinpoint, like changes of residence, a loss in the family, a change in relationship, changes in the political climate, a promotion or big trip.

There are also more subtle, less flashy circumstances that are much easier to overlook but also have human-shaping material woven into them.

My own prompts

I like to turn to images, scrolling though pictures I’ve taken over the months, lingering over some, entering the scene and feeling into how it was for me when that photo was taken. Sometimes the outer image reflects accurately. Sometimes the outer appearance and the inner experience differ.

I’m reminded of coming across an old photo from college not long ago, seeing a smiling Laura at age 19 one arm embracing a girlfriend that l lived with. It was a difficult time in my life. The outer image and the inner experience were not a match and my heart ached seeing that picture. At the same time, I also felt a welling of love and compassion for that younger self’s true feelings that I can still access and more accurately give words to now.

What a gift to relate to that image and time in life in a new way.

Even the practice of contemplatively looking at images from earlier this year, gifts you with an opportunity to digest that more recent time of life with fresh eyes.

In general I find, without space to contemplate and digest the impact of the experiences in our lives, we miss out on so much.

Feel free to use the practice of sorting through pictures to re-engage with the year or choose anything else that resonates.

If you’d like a guided practice, I want to offer a short and sweet journal prompt as a gift here: 2017_contemplation

It brings focused attention to your body and your inner world, areas that are large focuses in my counseling/coaching work, but even as you turn within to answer, take note what images come to mind.

Thank you for reading. I’ll be reaching out in a couple weeks.

Until then, take wonderful care,


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