Lovers, haters, readers, followers, those who have listened and given any care or attention to what has unfolded in the past 12 months… lend me your voice. You’ve been listening to/reading my words and have acted as great motivators and a generous audience. I’d like nothing more now than to thank you publicly and also hear and read what you think or have to say in response to the past 365 days. The yearlong experiment officially comes to an end this week and like any program creator, director or implementor, I can’t walk away without an assessment of some kind. Has a year really gone by? What the heck just happened?
As in everything I do, I am always looking for feedback – the good, the bad, the kind of critique that makes me question everything I’ve ever done. Bring it! Now it may seem strange that I’m asking for your honest opinion on my personal-development model (ie: the way I’ve lived my life for the past year) but hey the whole process has been strange – no? Are you really surprised that I am asking? I am open and eager for your comments or questions.
Many are already asking me… “What’s next?” “Will you continue to let others lead your life?” I think I am more compelled by the questions like “What came out of the experiment?” and “Why did you actually follow through with it?” – “What did it do to/for you?” As I start out the next chapter of my new story it may lead with those questions, rather than jumping just yet into the “next”.
A year ago, my main goal of carrying out Living Chapters was to help me achieve the act of “letting go”. Honestly though, did I really know what that meant? And do I know any better or feel any clearer today about the concept? I thought “letting go” meant being a little more flexible, changing up a routine and letting go of controlling and planning every little thing. I knew it would involve loosening the reigns and questioning the direction and guidance that I have instituted over my life until now. I didn’t expect it to be life changing.
What I am beginning to understand is this – “letting go” is more accurately defined, in my mind, as the adoption of living a life with some kind of faith and trust. (not just simply becoming less of a control freak). It is not only about the faith and trust I put in my friends who have guided me, but the faith and trust I put in myself to make all things work for both myself and others in my life. And the faith found in the unknown that replies back to us “Yes, you DO know what to do and things WILL fall into the places that they need to”. Throughout the year, I learned how to trust fully and become at home in this “unknown”. I learned how to sit with resistance and fend off fears. I consciously stopped trying so hard to force a future or figure it all out. And I gave a valiant attempt at focusing more on setting intentions and making mindful decisions. (still diligently working on all this!) So yes, the year has changed me. If you’re interested in how…just ask. Be specific as you’d like… I’ve been living my life as a semi-open book for the past 12 months. I think I’m finally ready to share almost anything and have already experienced more honesty from myself and others than I thought humanly possible.
Your suggestions and support this year have given me a constant forward momentum and your questions can and will only motivate me to be accountable in living out the lessons learned from the entire Living Chapters experience.
So what is next? I don’t know exactly? All that is clear is that I have come back to yet another “completion of beginnings”; a time to start fresh, build upon foundations, expand outward. And where I am physically, spiritually, mentally emotionally? All huge questions not able to be answered and edited into this last June blog post.
Here and now, I find myself in suburban Pennsylvania, a place in which I have not directly planned or chosen, facing what seems to me the most uncertain time of my life to date. It is fitting to be here where I grew up, living with my mother the person who has made me who I am today and who has shaped and challenged me the most. She has written more of my chapters than maybe even myself. Here I am, living out what may be the last of her days, while simultaneously scheming my own departure for the beginning of my new unknown story. Right now, locked in position, ready to choose a new place to live, create a new job, direct a new life experiment to live out, develop and foster new relationships to commit to and dig up new adventures to navigate. In this completion time, I feel the most ready and open I have ever felt before such a beginning. I no longer have questions of what, where and when the next something will occur, Living Chapters has taught me that the how is more important. New chapters themselves will come and go throughout life but the way I choose to live out the story will remain the most important thing through any given plot twist. It is the choice of continuing to read between the lines that will ultimately lead my story onward. Thanks to all who have been witnesses of my story.