Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Richard on Mt. Rainier
A few months ago I sent out a note to clients asking for their most amazing triumphs of the last year. 'Toot your own horn!' I said. One person sent something back. And that was my daughter. It got me to thinking -- are we used to sliding past our achievements in our urge to live ever in the future? Do we only see the past as the ways in which we tried and failed? Are we missing out on the gratitude and recognition of our most glorious gifts?
I purposely didn't specify or define 'achievements' because what we're most proud of may be very different from how others see us, or what the world says is successful. Our triumphs may not be about manifesting new cars or high-paying jobs (unless they are.) Success may be about being absolutely secure and loving whatever reality brings us. But if we can't see or acknowledge our triumphs, if we only we see what we haven't done, or can only acknowledge our flaws and half attempts, then aren't we skewing reality?
As I work with clients in planning their new year, we start each session with claiming the triumphs. It is the source of many tears and gasps -- how people are surprised by what they consider their victories!
What wild triumph are you rejoicing in? How can you add a moment each planning cycle (monthly, quarterly) to reflect upon your successes?
My own greatest triumph would have to be witnessing my two children graduate from college, and knowing that these last ten years especially I have been such a steady, creative presence in their lives. And as the photo above notes, surging back out into the world with my beloved being well enough to travel with again. We continue the exploration together.
Here's a few from my Wild Work clients. Add your own triumphs in the Comments section. Go ahead, get real with all your amazing accomplishments.
"In the past week, I moved to NYC, conquered the subway system, found two jobs, and continue to feed my curiosity through this wild and exciting new place."
"I have several treasured successes this last year:
1. the continued and healthy growth of my ministry
2. the launching of our youth program therein.
3. I finally began writing my book! (thanks to you, Sonya!)
4. My lover and I finally went on vacation alone for a week (after 17 years of being together)
5. This April I will have stuck to my fitness program for two years.
6. I had a breakthrough about my financial worth."
--Rev. Judith Laxer
"2007 was a breakthrough year for me. I moved across the country to a place that has always enchanted me, Santa Fe, and I am enthralled with a new body of my creative work. This has been one of the most interesting, joyful, passionate and intuition-honing experiences of my life. The process has given me the trust and confidence to go for some of my larger life goals."
--Melissa Weiss Steele
"My most treasured success of 2007 was organizing and presenting, in partnership with my husband, Gary Sill, the performance of three orchestral works by Sufi composer Hidayat Inayat Khan, in part as a celebration of his 90th year. In the audience were mainly his students and long time friends, most of whom had never heard his music performed live before. The Orchestra was drawn from Vancouver musicians who perform in the Vancouver Symphony, CBC, and Vancouver Opera orchestras. The three symphonic works were Poeme en Fa, Suite Symphonique, La Monotonia, and the Royal Legend. All three are drawn from incidents and historical events in the composer's life and ancestry and musically illustrate the themes of peace, spiritual and personal liberty, and freedom from opression which are the ideals he lives his life by. My husband, who is a wonderful pianist, and a brilliant violin virtuoso named Talia Marcus also performed several of the composers smaller works. The Orchestra was conducted by a brilliant young conductor from Munich, Andreas Pascal Heinzmann who will no doubt one day be known internationally. For everyone involved this was a transcendent evening."