I've been working with the Sacred Bow challenge to close out the year. I did this last year and this lead to my monthly check-in posts about my progress. For this year I've been working through the step of figuring out what I would like to let go and what I would like to set my intentions on for the upcoming year. Of course the decade has also lead me to think about what I want the next decade to be (no pressure, just figure out how the next 10 years will involve.)
Part of what I've wanted to let go is my feeling of guilt, regret, and shame. I did a little of this last year with items like my unemployment and feeling like I made some wrong turns with my development practice. What I realized is that I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing without those experiences. I wouldn't have written a book without having those experiences of frustration with the industry and feeling like we need to be more helpful to those who are starting out. I wouldn't be in my current position had it not been for my previous experiences. Could I have done better? Sure, "could've, would've, should've" are constant companions, but this past year I gave them some time off. I stopped trying to change the past and figuring out alternate histories (leave that for the professional authors).
When I mention that I'm looking to release guilt, regret, and shame, I mean that I'm forgiving myself and accepting myself as I am, in this moment. Can I improve? Of course. Will I improve? I sure hope so.
One of my guilty pleasures is reading self-help books. Check my Goodreads and you'll find a bunch of books in there. I've been addicted to self-help books for a while. Lately I've reflected on why that is, and I've determined that the root cause is not accepting myself as who or what I am. I'm always looking to do some improvements.
So I'm declaring that I'm going into "maintenance mode" in 2020 and beyond. What does that mean? It means that I'm not worrying too much about trying to find external sources of improvement (books, videos, etc. ) but rather working on honing what I have and maintaining it. It means focusing on who I am in this moment, accepting that, and either repairing or improving on that instead of trying to change it.
More as I work through this process.