Give Yourself the Gift of.....

author/source: Laurie O'Neil

slava-b-TqXLUlUCPSQ-Gifts-to-OurselvesToday I gave myself the gift of attending yoga. The gift of surrender. The gift of dropping back into myself. God did it feel good! If you’re anything like me (and the majority of women out there) the holiday season has an insidious way of hijacking our lives; from shopping, tree trimming, baking, and wrapping, to writing, stamping, and mailing holiday cards, our list of obligations is endless.

But what about our obligation to take care of ourselves?

As I focused on my breath, something the instructor said deeply resonated with me— “Someone once said, the world is filled with human doings instead of human beings.”

Talk about a much-needed wake-up call…

Settling into my office chair, I carried with me a magnified sense of awareness. A deepened sense of being. As I centered my breathing, my thoughts lay open to the new year ahead. What did I want to conjure and create in this new year? What gifts would I need to impart to myself in order to walk fully and with wonder into this new blank slate that awaited me?

2020! Not only a new year but a brand-new decade.

My favorite tool to help me review, re-examine and reimagine the year ahead is a vision board, an exercise originally gifted to me about eight years ago by my late niece, Terri Luanna. Sitting side-by-side on the floor of her Ohio office Terri explained, “It’s my way of using images and words to conceptualize the vision I have for my life. The idea being—what you visualize, think, and put out there to the universe helps to create your reality.”

As I revisited this sacred exploration, I decided to tap into the wisdom of yet another gift from Terri—the dynamic thought leader, Marie Forleo. Clicking on today’s episode of Marie TV, I answered Marie’s invitation to dive into her Decade in Review—“a 3-part video series that uses the untapped wisdom of your last decade to make the next ten years the best ever.” From celebrating your wins and releasing your past, to creating your 10-year plan, I immediately leaned into this opportunity to “be” with me...

Laurie O Neil Gifts to Give OurselvesAn hour later, I discovered that the spaces within the 2010 decade that lead to my most profound and game-changing learnings were embedded within the events that cracked my heart wide open. Spaces like:

  • Showing up for my sister and her daughter’s cancer journeys—between, through and beyond their lives and deaths
  • Showing up as a surrogate mother/grandmother for my late niece, Terri Luanna’s beautiful motherless daughter
  • Answering the call from Terri to publish her blog
  • Cultivating my most treasured connections/relationship—with myself, my children, my husband, my family, my girlfriends, and my community
  • Speaking my truth which is critical to my own well-being as well as those I love
  • Nurturing my mind, body, and spirit
  • Living my life within the deep knowing that death is inevitable—that the key is staying present each and every day, and living each day as if it were my last, because it may well be…

Thought-Catalog-Laurie O NeilUltimately, by abiding within these spaces of vulnerability, I rediscovered the value and reverence of living each day fully; as a human being.

Now it was time to take the final step in Part 3 of Marie’s Decade in Review— “getting clear on exactly what I want to create, experience, and achieve over the next 10 years.” Pink gel pen in hand, I found myself re-reading the instructions over and over. The path to my “wisdom map” is time travel? Really, Marie? Write my current self a letter from my future self? My future 2030 self? Dear lord! That’s 72-year-old me!

Well, I’ve come this far. May as well dare to dive deeper and stretch my mind and heart further into the impending landscape of my life…

Dearest Laurie,

Look how far you’ve come! You finally let go of your fears and totally believed in your ability to write another book—and you did it! But before you could dig deep into your soul and birth that book, you needed to further explore your newest “Terri gifts”— Speaker and Workshop Facilitator. So many lives changed. So many intertwined journeys holding space for each other.

Gifts - Laurie O NeilKnow that you have so much to give to this world. That your journey is a wild act of courage opening a gateway to inspiration and resilience for not only you but all you encounter along the way. Your gifts of connecting with compassion, integrity, and an open heart filled with love and vulnerability offers a much-needed model to others, inviting them to not just survive, but to thrive.

And you certainly have thrived, Laurie, by showing up for your life.

Now it’s your turn. What gift(s) will you give yourself in order to make the year ahead, the decade ahead, the best ever? How will you craft a year ahead, a decade ahead, of being instead of doing?

Everything is waiting for you… Just walk fully, mindfully, and openheartedly through the door. You will be amazed at the astonishing possibilities that await you


Happy New Year!