Here we are at the end of a year and a decade, the perfect time to take a few minutes to use a gentle tool to reflect on your year.

Perhaps you already journal, practice gratitude, look for the lessons of the past year or create an affirmation or word for the coming year. The tool I’m offering today is a little different than any of those valuable practices, and it can be used by children as well as adults anytime and every day if you like.

I can’t take credit for thinking of this tool. I learned it from a friend’s Dad over a game of Bananagrams at Thanksgiving time. (You never know when something wonderful is going to come your way!) I’ve been using it consistently, and it’s given me insights into myself every time.

Here’s how to use the tool, with examples from my own life to illustrate. Check out part two to learn about an exciting new opportunity I’ll be offering next year.

The Rose, The Bud, and The Thorn

In this reflection, ask yourself three questions:

  • What is My Rose?
  • What is My Bud?
  • What is My Thorn?

What is My Rose?

What is in it’s fullest expression in your life right now? What is blossoming, or what way are you blooming?

In my life this past year, I’m fully expressing my love of design and creating beauty in the renovation of a small cottage on a quiet country road just a few miles from where I live in Central PA. The cottage is my blossom, with its many petals representing all the challenges of design, decor, decision-making, learning new building skills, and bringing life back to a sad and neglected property. I’m truly in my happy place when I’m working on the cottage!

What is My Bud?

What is wanting to flower in the future? What are the possibilities waiting for the right conditions to bloom?

For me, the cottage is also my Bud. I realized that I didn’t just want to rent the cottage out; I want to share the peaceful, gentle place I’m creating with people who need a respite from the world. So, as soon as it’s ready (hopefully by June), I’ll be offering the cottage as a Retreat Cottage For Women.

I’ll be inviting you to book a weekend or week (or longer) at the cottage for rest, reflection, and revitalization. There will be a space for yoga and meditation, a cozy window seat for reading, easy access to walking trails, a writing desk, and a gas fireplace to warm you. I’ll provide resources for self-reflection and self-guided retreat as well as healthy snacks and treats. I also have plans to develop a small creativity studio, a garden, and a greenhouse on the same little property.

I’ll be available to guests (unless I’m traveling) for life coaching and spiritual direction sessions that you’ll be able to add to your stay if you wish.

This cottage feels like a natural extension of my life’s mission of creating safe and nurturing places for transformation. I look forward to sharing more about the renovation and welcoming you in 2020.

What is My Thorn?

What is most troubling in your life right now? What catches you with a painful stab if you’re not paying attention?

My thorn, though gratefully very manageable, is the ongoing work of dealing with chronic Lyme disease. My symptoms are mostly resolved, but I do feel I have to really watch my immune system and work hard to keep it healthy. Lyme has been a powerful teacher these last few years, and one I plan to say goodbye to in 2020!

I hope this gentle tool to reflect on your year, The Rose, The Bud, and The Thorn, will serve you well as we move into a new beginning. May your reflection by insightful, your response to yourself loving, and your new year filled with awareness and joy.

All My Very Best,

For a New Year Life Coaching Session, get on my schedule HERE.