GETTING REAL: YEAR-END REFLECTIONS FOR 2021


December 22, 2021

Over the years I’ve developed the ritual of sharing whatever insights I’ve gleaned from the year.

This is a particularly tough one for me to write; personally, it’s been the hardest year of my life. 

But I look around — and I believe I’m not alone.

Many of us have faced serious internal challenges over the last 12 months.

If you weren’t taken off balance by world events, then likely some kind of personal or relational events took place that shook your foundation to the core.

The more I talk with people, it seems that most everyone has had to face deep inner rumblings or even earthquakes.

Here’s some of what I’ve heard from family & friends in just the last few months:

  • My spiritual/work/family/community ostracized me
  • I was banned from seeing my elderly parents
  • I was excluded from family gatherings
  • I found out my father molested my sister when we were little
  • I realized the entire industry I devoted my life to is corrupt
  • My family members got sick or died
  • I had to move to another state and leave the life I’d created behind
  • Doctor wouldn’t change the treatment and my loved one died in the hospital
  • I had to fight for the right to raise my child the way that I want to
  • I was fired from my job because I didn’t get injections
  • Someone drugged my soda when I was in the bathroom at the restaurant and I almost died trying to get back to my apartment; I woke up 12 hours later
  • Half of my work colleagues had/have to leave because of their medical choices
  • [Police officer friend]: I cannot protect people because we’re short-staffed & it’s too late by the time we get there
  • I retired from my career and had to face the darkness of not knowing my purpose in life

As we’ve survived, here’s the flip side of what I’m hearing:

  • I know what I stand for
  • I know who my true friends/family/community is
  • I’ve become more fearless
  • I know where to draw the line
  • I’ve learned to take better care of my health
  • I’m exercising more than ever, detoxing and gaining more physical strength
  • I’m learning self-defense
  • I’m exploring unexpected new skills
  • I know what it feels like to fall apart and have more compassion for myself
  • I’m healing my inner child
  • I’ve found a new inner strength
  • I’m learning how to love myself & develop more compassion
  • I’m more flexible and forgive myself for not being perfect
  • I’m more present with people
  • I listen more and tune in more deeply

In terms of insights for the year, here’s what comes to mind:

Expect the unexpected.

Whether it’s in your personal life or on the world stage, this is a big one. You may or may not have a plan B. You may experience shock or disbelief. Keep going. You’ll develop a plan B as you go.

Sometimes you have to let it all burn down to the ground.

Life may throw curve balls that take you to your knees. You may feel trapped or forced to confront every pain you didn’t know you had. Sometimes part of life is letting everything burn up, so that the ash can nourish a new foundation. You might still be in the flames – with no ground in sight. Just keep burning it up.

Seeking comfort doesn’t lead anywhere.

It’s our nature to look for comfort when we’re struggling. In most cases, comfort leads us backwards. It distracts or numbs us, or delays the inevitable hitting rock bottom. Let your heart break … and realize you have enough compassion and strength to be with the pain. That’s ultimately the fastest way. Sometimes we’re not ready for that method though, and we seek comfort. But one day, when we’re ready to face the depth of it, we let go of all comfort and learn to deeply trust ourselves.

Learn to be ok with the not knowing.

When the rug gets swept out from under you … when nothing makes sense anymore … Understand that before you reinvent yourself, there might be a period of painful not-knowing. You don’t have to figure it all out. It’s ok not to know. The only way forward is forward – one step in front of the other.

You can’t save anyone but yourself.

There are many saviors among us: we want to believe that we can save people we love - whether that’s their life, health, happiness or spiritual path. We want to save them from their poor choices, pain and suffering, you name it. And … we simply cannot ‘save’ another human being. We can, however, focus our energy on bettering ourselves and hope to inspire along the way.

No one is coming to save us.

It’s time to get strong and self-sufficient, and to work together within our communities and prepare in the ways that we can. We can find strength in small groups and let go of relying on the idea that a larger entity or organization will take care of us.

Find your tribe.

Who truly has your back no matter what? Who can you call in the middle of the night for support? Who can you rely on if you need to fall apart? Who accepts you 100% as you are?

Self-reliance & self-sufficiency are key.

This includes everything from emotional self-reliance to preparedness. How do you care for your own emotional needs when you’re alone? How can you take charge of your health and be your own doctor if you need to? What if you decide to pull your children out of school? What if your basic freedoms to work, travel or choose your healthcare become limited? How do you protect yourself and your family?

Look at the ways in which you subscribe to victim mentality and work through it.

Take responsibility for as much of your own experience as you can. How do you create the world you live in? How have you contributed both to positive and negative outcomes? Take responsibility and let go of being the victim — or at least notice when you go into victim mode and try to gently unravel it. Challenge your inner victim and find ways to take charge.

Find new methods to release the pressure & trust yourself.

Maybe you’re finding yourself drawn to totally different activities this year. It’s okay to explore. For example, I used to go salsa dancing. Now I’m going to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes. I went from making love on the dance floor to learning how to choke someone! Sometimes it makes me wonder, but I have to trust that what I’m drawn to is what I need right now – for this time. In the same vein, trust yourself and what you’re drawn to.

Explore the healer/warrior connection.

I’m seeing healers become warriors. I’m seeing warriors soften from the influence of healers. Quite literally, I am seeing the softest of souls learn self-defense and dissolve their fears around it. I am seeing hardened military veterans dissolve violent trauma out of their bodies. I see warriors that need healers and healers that need warriors.

Perhaps it’s also the confluence of the divine feminine and divine masculine within our culture and within ourselves as individuals. In order to be stable and strong in today’s world, we can explore the healer/warrior connection. What can you do to embrace your inner healer? What can you do to embrace your inner warrior? What practical skills can you learn on both sides?

In summary, here we are at the end of 2021 … the year that makes 2020 look like ‘the good ole days’.

Usually at the end of each year, I write enormous lists of things I want to accomplish for the next year.

When I reflect on 2022, I’m speechless in many ways.

Right now I am looking for glimpses of light.

I share this method with you in hopes it inspires you:

If there is any person, situation, activity, hobby or anything at all that gives you some light— explore it.

It might look totally different than anything you’ve seen or done before — that’s ok.

If you get an intuitive hit that you need to connect with someone – reach out to them.

If you have some little inkling that arises from deep inside you … take action!

If you get a flash of insight or desire to do something new – go for it. 

Listen to your inner stirrings. 

That which is truly important — is shifting — in our world and within ourselves. 

Trust yourself 500%. 

We may continue to be asked to be more self-sufficient and self-reliant. 

Strengthening bonds within our small communities and teams may become critical.  

The most unexpected people may pop out of the woodwork to hold our broken hearts. 

We may be the ones to embrace other human beings as they fall to pieces. 

We may continue to purge our deepest fears, pain and rage.

We may find new silver linings and an inner strength and freedom we’ve not yet tasted before.

Cheers to the end of 2021 & the beginning of 2022. 

All my love and a universe of flower petals,
Katie

P.S. If you’re struggling right now … I feel you. 

I will send out another email soon with what I see people grappling with & include flower elixir antidotes! Because we need all the support. I have a list of about 10 themes, but feel free to reply to this email if there’s something specific you want me to address.


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