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2020: A Year to Grow Through

~ Sue Staropoli, December 2020


2020 has been a year full of crises, trauma, and loss. There’s an understandable urge to want to be done with it and to move on to a new year, with a new president and new possibilities.


Now, though, before the turning of the calendar year, is a moment to embrace both grief and gratitude. Pain and joy. Challenges and lessons.


I have a practice at the end of each year, to review my journal for the year and pay attention to what I experienced. I notice what moments touched and transformed me, what invited me into a new direction. Out of that reflection I become aware of an intention for the new year, and I write it down, to ground and guide me as I move forward.


This year I am drawn to look back on 2020 and search for what may be ready to rise from the ashes. What messages come through this year of upheaval? What blessings have been hiding within the difficulty?


So I offer you the questions that I am asking myself at this time, as 2020 ends:

  • What am I most grieving this year? What has been lost?

  • What am I most grateful for this year?

  • What have I taken for granted and now appreciate in new ways?

  • What is most precious to me? How have my values changed?

  • What seems new – in myself? In my way of seeing others and the world?

  • What surprises have come that I have received as gifts?

  • Has my sense of purpose changed? What gives my life meaning?

  • What practices have sustained me through times of darkness and uncertainty?

  • What good qualities in me have expanded or deepened? Compassion, forgiveness, courage, resilience, kindness, generosity, surrender, humility, patience, gratitude, solitude – and how can I continue to nurture those qualities?

  • What new doors have opened in my heart? In my mind? In my life?

  • What do I really need? What did I think I needed that I now realize I don’t need?

  • What do I really want in my life?

  • What really matters?

My hope is that you, that everyone, will take time for reflection that opens the heart to the possibility of moving into a new year with greater clarity of purpose and joy. May each of us be the phoenix of light rising from the ashes of darkness.


I wish you a happy and fulfilling year in 2021!

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