How does one begin to reflect upon the year? What do I look out for? What do I measure? A year of harvest speaks of outcomes; growth, of process. I’ve received a bursting sack of love and watched my powers develop. Do I visit my calendar to see where my time went or do I visit my photo gallery to see where my attention went? Even the lens through which I review my year informs me more about me than my year.
For my professional annual report, please click here. If not, please read on.
Faithfulness. The word I chose for this year, entering 2021 with the intention to remain faithful to my Self.
How would a journey of faithfulness be and how did it turn out? Frankly, I didn’t quite know what to expect. It was my first time picking a word of the year. I had set an intention, a silent vow to myself, but did not draw up any action plans to execute it. Because I wasn’t even sure what faithfulness to one’s self would entail. For me, the intention of faithfulness alone kept me returning to myself and my present experience whenever I noticed I had left. And now, 363 days in, I look back with gratitude for what had transpired.
I’ve grown closer to myself. I now sit by and with myself with more willingness and comfort, exploring and meeting various parts of me including some which are still challenging to love. I stood by my side through the tough times as best as I could and approached with curiosity and sincerity the impulse to abandon myself during unbearable moments. This year turned out to be a year of me and myself. Sounds self-absorbed, doesn’t it? I thought so too initially, reacting overly with caution and judgment.
I simply wonder about my own makings. How did I come to be, and who am I becoming, and in the present, who am I? I asked Daryl if I could work towards getting a Ph.D. in Rosslyn. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Could my life’s work be a dissection and exposition of my Self? How can I try to know and see the depths of another if I was unwilling or unable to go the distance myself? Through the exploration of my psyche and the examination of my pathology, maybe I can come to uncover and answer what it means to be human.
My gallery spells “f-e-a-s-t”. Ducks and geese. Alive and kicking. They might not be if the photographs were taken back in Singapore. Snapshots of clouds, fowl, birds, trees, leaves, meadows, lakes, reflections, shadows. My eyes indulge whenever we headed out into nature. We started with parks and lakes, and in recent months, ventured into the woods off the beaten trail. It helps that the ground is dry, and the air, cool.
Here’s the shot of my year.
This jump shot bears significance as it was the first active move I dared to make after losing confidence in my body’s balance and mobility. An encounter with vertigo two weeks prior jolted me awake to my mortality, beckoning me to confront life in a partially incapacitated body. I was afraid to stride or hop or spin. Like a baby learning to walk, I had to feel my feet on the ground before taking my next small step. A wanting sense of safety in my body led to a loss of confidence in my capacity to do, much less perform. Resistance, self-abandonment, grief, and finally acceptance allowed for self-compassion to emerge in support of patient and kind healing. When we are not rejecting or resisting our current experience, we allow for what’s needed to emerge. Faithfulness means getting out of my way in service of Me.
That was also my first conscious experience of bargaining with life. “Please, let me be well enough to have a walk in the park. Please let me well enough to move my pen across my paper.” It mattered not my handwriting was scraggly or my thoughts, sloppy. All I wanted was to be able to write. I’ve stopped asking myself why I write in the way I don’t ask myself why I eat or sleep. That’s what writing is to me. Nature was where I wanted to be; writing, what I wanted to do. I plead for the minimum motility to support me in fulfilling these pure desires of my heart. I plead to live. Ah…the hunger to live. And thank god was I satiated with full recovery and the exquisite taste of life.
Life’s always calling. Faithfulness is being true to what’s calling for me, be it gazing at how light splits the billows or hearing the cardinals’ calls, soaking in love’s embrace or being with the person who sits across me on the screen.
A year of staying loyal and steadfast to myself has brought me new connections in new spaces. (Can you believe it? I’m actually involved in a few communities? It feels magical.) Albeit all the connections are made online thus far, they feel real to my heart. Because they are real. Intimacy with fellow sojourners who shared their vulnerable selves, baring depths and souls have taught me to appreciate intimacy with myself too, enabling me to peel back the layers to contact my dark secrets. I still turned away on some occasions. Then I try again. I look forward to meeting my bare naked self, literally and figuratively, without shunning or hiding or picking faults. Self-absorption is being lost in myself. Self-discovery is being with myself in my experience. Self-knowledge is simply being my Self.
Perhaps this is guiding me to the word(s) I might choose for 2022:
We don’t need to be someone before we can love ourselves. It’s love that makes a nobody somebody. Don’t all living things flourish in love?
May we all be in love.
On a professional note…
Here are my rewards this year:
- Completed the ICF ACC Credentialing Process. Yes, I’m an ICF Associate Certified Coach
- Bountiful learnings from The Enneagram and Integral Coaching course (taught by James Flaherty and Russ Hudson through New Ventures West) on the gifts we bring and the medicine we need.
- More learnings on the Enneagram through Path to Freedom by Enneagram Prison Project supported my understanding of childhood development and trauma, and how our early conditioning shapes us.
- A deeper understanding of human development and coaching through supporting the faculty team in New Ventures West through their professional coaching programs; witnessing the growth and healing of precious souls including mine.
- Following through the participants training to be a coach as a Pod Guide and being on their certification panel
- Learning about myself from the people I’ve met and worked within various capacities
- More coaching clients!
- Hosted a Poetry hour for a birthday event
- The development of my confidence and personal power has also shone through my regular writing practice.
- My poetry account on Instagram is still alive!
- Redid my website a few times before coming down to what speaks of me.
Communities I’m involved in:
- “Circle of Truth”, my weekly inquiry group
- “Soul-Writers”, my dear writing buddies of a weekly writing group
- Diamond Approach (Ottawa-Montreal) group
- New Ventures West
- Enneagram Prison Project (in both coaching capacity and a learner about the “prison of our own making”)
- The Human Potentialists (a newly formed group affiliated with EPP)
- Venturing into the more therapeutic and mental health aspects for coaching
- More on the Enneagram with The Human Potentialists
- Compassionate Inquiry with Dr. Gabor Mate
- Still continuing and engaging in my studies with the Ridhwan School in Diamond Approach, and deep diving into soul work.