I’m choosing to write this rather personal post on this public blog because so much of the work I do in the world is fed both directly and indirectly by the work I do internally. This year has brought a steady stream of learning opportunities, and while they did not always feel like gifts upon arrival, they all—without exception—feel like blessings to me now. In the order that they occur to me, here are my three greatest takeaways from 2014:

It’s getting more and more impossible for me to label certain things as ‘good’ / ‘bad. Being able to type that sentence the year that I lost my dad stuns me. Was 2014 a good year or a bad one? I don’t know. Depends how I look at it. I miss our weekly calls and being able to share my highs and lows with someone who truly loved me unconditionally. But his death was also the swift kick in the pants (to use his phrase!) that I needed to reconnect with my spiritual life and get serious about my self care—all of which were tremendous matters of concern to him. Do I wish he were still here? It’s a moot question, thank goodness, because honestly, I don’t know. And I think he would be okay with that answer.

Surprise! I’m not superwoman. I’ve come quite far and done very well as a one-woman show, and I used to amaze pride myself on my ability to run on empty. Last year I accomplished so much more than I set out to do in 2013 even though I spent six months unable to sleep. This year quickly disabused me of that illusion of indomitability. It was the year I learned to say ‘no’ and draw firmer boundaries with everyone in my life. It was the year I learned to care for myself above anyone else. It was the year I realized that if I really am serious about bringing Minds On Fire to scale, I have to prioritize, delegate, and work smarter, not harder.

My greatest power resides in my ability to stay in the moment. I used to believe that my tenacity was my greatest strength, but my mindfulness challenge, which is now a daily practice, has shown me that if I give myself the gifts of presence, patience, and gentleness (basically, everything I try to give others), I can nip reactive thought and actions in the bud and move from a much more positive place.

There’s so much more I want to share about how my Emerging Leaders and I have gotten through this year, about how I am moving away from my consulting practice to focus on Game Plan, about all the lovely people who continue to stream into my life at just the right time to help make this happen, but for now I leave all of you dear readers with two wishes: first, that 2015 brings many blessings into your life, and second, that if you find yourself in darkness, you are able to recognize it as the place where the light comes in, and that you are the alchemist who has the power to make that happen.


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