#WriteWithMe Reflection: Week 14

Over this last week, I have had to engage every single skill I have learned to stay grounded and manage my own self. I have had to work very hard to not lose my very last marble. In reality I don’t think that I actually succeeded half the time. And while there is definitely a part of me that feels a certain kind of way about that, there’s this little voice in the back of my brain that gently reminds me “practice, this is a practice.”

The prompts from this week guided me to reflect on what I have been learning through this writing journey, and to begin to formulate what I will do with what I have been learning. As I pause to reflect on what came up for me through the prompts, alongside all the things that happened throughout this last week, I am reminded once again: Practice. This is a practice.

And this is fitting.

If you have been following me long, you know that I use December to debrief the year and notice where I have grown and what themes came up throughout the closing year, and then January to really figure out where I want to go next and develop a few sentences that will help me stay focused and aligned in the coming year. So, one of the things that I have done throughout January in my “in between writing days” is set my intentions for 2023.

This year my intentions center one word: Practice.

In alignment with my personal core values, and values that are central to my leadership, Practice is the main theme for this year.

Practice Courage. Courage is about doing something bold in the presence of fear, doing what is right or what sparks life in your soul even though it is scary. To practice courage, I will have to make that intentional and repeated effort to step into doing the right thing, the bold thing, even with fear and discomfort present. I have some things in mind where this practice is going to be put to the test, and I also know that I will have opportunities to stretch and grow in this area that I have not yet imagined.

Practice Creativity. Creativity is about generating or recognizing ideas, or possibilities that help to solve problems, communicating in different ways, entertaining, and healing. To practice creativity, I will have to shift perspective when I don’t really want to, to consider alternatives, and notice things more deeply when I want to just fly by. “In what ways can we…?” will become the question, I will have to slow some things down, and I will have to practice releasing control. While I know this practice is going to require me to challenge myself in ways I am not used to, I am also looking forward to what comes of this.

Practice Clearing Space. Clearing space is about removing obstacles, extra stuff, and releasing things that clutter an area in order to allow the area to become usable. This practice applies to so many things, from physical spaces such as an office or a home, to an area of influence, ego, and even relationships. This practice will require me to identify and remove or release things that are in the way of a space or area of influence becoming useful or realizing its full potential, and I know that in some spaces this will also require me to step away. This practice really builds on one of my intentions from last year, which was about making room for the next generation to lead, and takes it a step further to recognizing where I am becoming an obstacle and getting out of the way.

Courage, Creativity, and Clearing will be practices that will keep me on my toes this year I think. Yet, I have spent the last couple of years unwittingly preparing for this. #WriteWithMe has provided some guidance and guardrails as I wrestled with what comes next.

And what comes next?

Practice, of course.