2016 was definitely a year to remember. We held a successful Open House for the practice’s new office space (YAY!), I defended my dissertation and became Dr. Poole (still seems so unreal...whoa!), and I got to witness the incomparable magic that is Beyoncé’...twice! Talk about an action-packed year!
When I think about these sort of things that have happened for (and to) me all year long, I recognize how much of an impact they have had on my perception of what having joy truly means. Before this year, everything I did seemed tied to fulfilling some goal or aspiration that, in the moment, seemed impossible and like a chore. Developing a 100+ page document that kicks-off your career in academia, learning how to be a ruthless, motivated, female business owner when it contradicts everything that you’ve embraced about being an empathic, soft-spoken counselor, and finding time to practice regular self-care by staying true to the travel bug that sets your soul afire was a major balancing act that occupied much of my mental capacity in 2016. When it was all over, even though I was extremely exhausted, I could not have felt more proud of the things I had accomplished and the future opportunities that would result. Nevertheless, I also felt completely depleted: physically, mentally, and interpersonally. I needed to be recharged. I was happy, but I needed to find joy.
So, around August of this year (a little late, I know), I committed to only doing things that I was passionate about and that would somehow always come back around to offer fulfillment for the effort that I had exerted. I committed to this new mantra in my friendships, my work environments, and through practicing good self-care and spiritual renewal. This intentional, mindful approach helped me to put so many things into perspective and allowed me to trust that no matter what circumstances I faced (presenter or future), I am already equipped to overcome them and remain in a place of gratitude and joy. While one might assume this way of thinking would seem natural to a therapist’s mindset, I sometimes forget that in order for me to best serve my clients I, too, have to be mentally and emotionally well and know when to take time for myself and/or ask for help from others. So today and all year long, no matter what happens, I choose joy. I hope you’ll join me.
Happy New Year!
Until Next Time,