Looking Back to Move Forward


It’s that time of the year here in the northern hemisphere where things start to feel reflective. The days shorten, nature’s changes are more evident (depending on where you are), and we’re met with the realization that we are just here in this human experience for a finite time. Even Halloween and the folk customs around this time of year remind us of death and even our ancestors, and how one day we’ll be a distant memory, too. This sentiment isn’t meant to elicit a pity party but rather whip up perspective and motivation to remember who you are and who you want to be. We can and must work with the constraints of time if we want to make our impact during this brief jaunt on Earth. 


The holidays are looming, so let’s talk about how to work with them rather than numbing out or freaking out. With this season upon us, I invite you to consider a new approach beyond the usual list of goals or perhaps beating yourself up for the ones you didn’t meet. This activity takes some time and dedication to your vision. If that scares you, it’s ok. It probably should, at least a bit. 

This is an excellent time to zoom out, and I don’t mean the Zooming we do over video that we’re collectively sick of. I mean get some perspective on YOU. Take time to look back and quite literally visualize the past year. Imagine playing  the reel of your year on a movie screen and watch yourself. Take time with this process, and pull out a pen and journal or paper for added support.  This activity isn’t the same as the run of the mill ruminating, and it’s not supposed to make you worry (though that might come up). It’s simply a way of getting objective perspective. Be mindful. 

Ask Questions and Take Inventory 

From here, continue to visualize and begin to ask questions. Really imagine yourself as if you’re watching yourself and then, try to develop an objective, witness-like perspective. Some questions to ask:

  • How does it feel? 
  • What does this last year mean to you?
  • Is there any discord there? 
  • Is there misalignment in what you see and what you want? 
  • What felt good, what lined up?
  • What needs to shift for it to be more aligned or in your favor?
  • As you think about yourself going into the new year, what do you want it to look and feel like?

Holiday Alchemy + Moving Forward

The holidays are also a potent time for transformation. Do not let this time of year slip by, especially if you’ve been feeling stuck. When entering the holidays ask yourself: what do you want to be different for next year’s holidays? Do you want to be in a different house? Would you like to have a new partner by your side, or perhaps even just be on your own? Dream big, seeds planted now really do matter. Can you visualize your future self as a means of figuring out what you want and need to support your development moving forward? As much as this time of year can be reflective, and I’ve encouraged you to do just that, we do that to look back and learn so we can create a more aligned, joyful future. As the saying goes, “look back, but don’t stare.” Don’t let regret or sadness about this past year cause you to be too critical of yourself, but use this activity as a positive jumping-off point for your personal integrity and greater vision. 

After all, that’s what this journey is all about. We want to be MINDFUL about how we create (or co-create) our lives, which we’re doing all the time, whether we realize it or not.

So, take a deep breath and watch the movie of your life. I’d love to hear how this goes for you!

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