On my way back home to enjoy a quiet New Years with my three wonderful boys, I stopped by the beach to enjoy the last of this unseasonably warm day.

The lake was quiet and calm…nary a fish or breeze to sway the water… just a large piece of glass reflecting the trees and houses from across the lake.  I walked closer and looked down.  My image looking back caused me to think about – to reflect on- the numerous ups and downs that accompanied the last year.

2011 held laughter and tears, loss, recovery, illness, hope, fear, renewal, adventure, and joy.  I made mistakes.  I learned valuable lessons.  I, to quote poet Maryanne Radmacher, “Bled on the pages of my days.”

And I wouldn’t change a moment.

When I glanced back at my reflection I noticed that my face did not hint at the very long and eventful trip from which I just returned.  One of THOSE trips where flat tires in the rain, sick children, and wrong turns can make you either laugh or cry.  And I wondered how accurate we are when we reflect.

When you look back at things that happened in your past do you:

  •             Make them out to be worse than they actually were?
  •             Take the whole picture into account?
  •             Gloss over the lesson?
  •             Provide them with a ball and chain so they stick with you always??

One wouldn’t know it based on this blog but I’m more of a forward thinking and moving individual so I don’t often spend time obsessing about the past.  But this time of year begs one to reflect at least mildly, and hopefully accurately, at the previous year’s events…so that we can use the lessons to make even better choices in the future.  And most importantly- Be Present in the Moment.

Action Step:  Look back at 2011 with an eye on reality.  What did you learn?  What are you grateful for?  Who did you meet that makes you smile?  What all did you accomplish?  Now take responsibility for all of it!  When you take full responsibility for everything that happens to you, you can move forward.  When you don’t you become stuck.  Wishing you a 2012 that exceeds all your best and most audacious dreams!!!

Want to hear about the crazy, new products and programs that I have in store??  Give me a shout at


About FindYourFire

Writer, speaker, and life coach Heather O'Neill is president of Progressive Image and creator of the Fire in Five program...helping people reconnect and find the joy in their lives.
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