And now here we are at the end of the year, reflecting on the journey we have been on, and even though it went nothing like we thought it would, I can confidently say that it was still a year for clarity, transformation and growth. Here’s how it went down:
As a person who is deeply connected to and led by vision, having clarity is essential to my being and way of showing up in the world. I started off 2020 thinking I had a clear vision of where I was headed both personally and professionally. By time March came around and the world was in lockdown, a new vision had started brewing. Actually, it hit me in the face. Pretty hard, too.
New visions are amazing - but when you think you are already solid on one and a different one shows up to rock the boat, it's easy to tip over. For me, it was the tipping point that left me swimming around for many months trying to connect the dots. I honestly felt like I was having an identity crisis - both with my business and with my humanness. Although I had gotten close with the vision, I knew I hadn’t quite nailed it yet and I was still trying to convince myself to do certain things that weren’t really aligned with my soul’s purpose - the reason I am here, living in this exact moment in time.
So I swam for the greater part of this year. I took a step back from the doing of things and started focusing even more on the way of being, the way I wanted to feel each day, trusting that the how of my purpose would reveal itself and my biggest job was to do just that - trust. Trust that I am being taken care of, provided for, and nurtured throughout the journey and the best thing I could possibly do was to keep going; keep swimming until I found shore.
In that process I realized how disconnected I had been to intuition. I knew my intuition was always guiding me but I am stubborn and don’t always follow that most intrinsic guidance system. So I started playing around with it to see if I could learn how to connect in, listen, be open and follow.
Here’s one example of how that showed up:
In July I was gearing up for the second season of the Bold Educator, my signature group coaching program for educators. I found myself dreading the connection calls to potential program members and at first I couldn’t figure out why. I love talking with people and learning about ways I can support them in their own growth. But I noticed that I was dreading the work it took to bring the second season to life. Why? I was irritable and frustrated and at first just chalked it up to the pandemic and the overall, collective low vibe. But when I started to really listen in, I started to realize that I really, really didn’t want to do the program again. My heart wasn't in it. Everything felt hard, like I was trudging through mud. And I knew in my heart that if I was truly doing what I was meant to do then it would not be hard and I would not be miserable.
So when I was truly honest with myself about not wanting to do another season of group coaching, I instantly felt an insane relief wash over me. I felt like I had smiled for the first time in months and my heart felt so much lighter. I had completely shifted my energy from stuck-in-the-mud to limitless possibilities because now that I wasn’t tied down with this thing I didn’t want to do! I could be in creation mode, bringing the next, better, and upleveled version of myself to the table and I was so excited!
The moment I trusted my intuition, the fuzz and fog that had been hanging over my vision lifted and I started to see things much more clearly. The clarity had arrived:
And not only that, but I realized that the anti-racism panel discussion I hosted in June to help parents and educators talk to kids about race gets to keep happening. In fact, it gets to happen every single month, without an end in sight, to keep the race-related conversations prioritized, inspired, fresh and diverse. We named it “What’s Color Got to Do With It?” and each month we bring on new panelists to tackle a new topic related to race, school and our work with youth. (We've got an INCREDIBLE panel schedule for 2021! You can register for free here)
Turns out, the one program I was focusing on and dreading turned into four amazing opportunities that completely filled my heart with purpose, joy and meaning.
So what was the lesson?
Clarity comes when you trust, listen to and follow through on our intuition.
Back in December 2019, I had committed to a transformational leadership program set to begin in February 2020. So I already knew off the bat that I was opening myself up to transformation - but I had NO clue to its extent.
The program is split into three modules and we completed the first two before the world shut down. The remainder of the program was to be completed virtually, and that took me into June, right around the time I was starting to talk to people about my group coaching program.
I was learning to listen to myself and in that listening I was seeing how huge of a role that judgment played in my life - how it was messing with my relationships, my choices, my forward mobility, and my own personal growth. Turns out, my addiction to judgment was hindering my ability to forgive. And non-forgiveness was keeping me rooted in pieces of my past that I actually longed to release. But that wasn’t going to happen until I recognized my responsibility in holding on to all that old junk.
So I began the process of opening old wounds, being honest about the emotions, feeling the feels that I had stuffed way down, retelling the stories in a way that empowered me instead of inhibited me, and asking for conversations that I had always avoided.
This was dirty, uncomfortable, and painful work. But...it was 2020 and we all know what a hot mess it's been. I guess I sorta thought that if I was already in the thick of the weeds with all the other sh*t that was going on, I may as well dive into this, too. Go big or go home, right?
Judgment, forgiveness, responsibility...understanding that if it’s to be, it’s up to me. And that is the only thing I can control. So how do I want it to be for ME?
I get to choose - no matter what comes my way - I get to choose.
And if I am feeling a certain way or creating too much chaos or not taking enough action or not liking the way something is turning out, then I have the power to shift in that moment and create what it is that I DO want. I get to be what’s missing, I get to fill the gaps, shift the gears, and be in the magic of creation.
So what was the lesson in transformation?
I am 100% responsible 100% of the time. There is only one thing I can control and that is my mindset and choices, how I take care of myself, and how I process my life experiences. I have the power to shift my way of being at any moment in time.
I’ve always said that there is no growth in comfort but 2020 has put my little saying to shame. This year has been a long year of discomfort. And I know it’s not over yet either.
My friend said it best: “This year has been equal parts magical and chaos.”
So, the growth looks a little different for me than it has in the past. In the past, I’d have some discomfort, learn my way through it, feel the growth spurt at the end of it, and celebrate. Breakdowns lead to breakthroughs, right?
This year has been more like this: discomfort, chaos, learn through it, subtle growth spurt; more discomfort, keep learning through it, big growth spurt; more discomfort, no growth spurt, keep learning through it anyway; try to remind myself to celebrate.
This has been the cycle, over and over like a record spinning. It hasn’t stopped and as I look forward into my 2021 vision (more on that coming soon too!) I don’t see it stopping any time soon.
You see, I am committed to my personal and professional growth and that is my choice. I am an upleveler and a visionary. With that choice I recognize that there is going to be a lot of discomfort and growing pains in my life - with each new venture I embark on, every time I head into new territory, take on a new project...there is bound to be adventure, exploration and - you guessed it! - discomfort and learning. They go hand in hand and I accept that challenge with all the love and excitement in my heart!
So what was the lesson?
Everything is happening FOR me. Be open to the lessons and learn from them so I can move on and create space for divine gifts to show up in my life. Trust the process.
So yeah - equal parts magic and chaos. In all the learning and lessons, there has been tremendous growth and beautiful awakenings. And I decided that this was the year I got to learn the lessons so they don’t have to keep showing up. I keep reminding myself - Let’s learn them now, Tina, so you can move on to the BIG things you are meant to move on to, the impact you are meant to make. And with the lessons becoming new wisdom, now I get to really be in the magic and creation energy for 2021. I can’t wait!
How about you? What were your greatest lessons from this year and how do you see those lessons shaping your 2021?