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Issue 96

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In this issue ~~

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What I Learned This Year

As each year comes to an end, I find myself looking back to assess what I accomplished. This year in particular has been one of huge inner and outer exploration for me, and I'd like to share some of what I learned.

* An experience is worth a thousand pictures.
I've probably seen thousands of pictures of Egyptian art. But when I saw my first actual relief carving at Abu Simbel, I was awestruck by its beauty. It's been 20 years since I stood atop the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but the experience is still vivid for me, in a way that no picture ever could be.

* Travel really does broaden your horizons.
Experiencing a culture is very different from reading the news or watching a documentary. From afar, it's very easy to buy into the touted beliefs about people who are different from you. Traveling in Egypt, I often felt apprehensive or uncomfortable – not because I felt I was in danger, but because I felt strange and didn't know what the expected behaviors were.

But the Egyptians I met were warm, friendly people who loved their families, cherished their traditions, and went out of their way to make me feel welcome. In the future, I'll think twice before judging someone based on their national or religious affiliation.

* The arts really do connect people across national and cultural lines.
One of the highlights of my trip to Egypt was visiting a girls' high school. During our visit, we stopped in to listen to choir practice. We all sang along to "Do-Re-Mi," and some of the girls came off the risers and danced with us. It was an exhilarating experience to connect with these darling girls heart to heart, across lines of age, culture, religion and nationality.

* Some of your gifts may not blossom till later in life.
When I was young, everyone tried to push me into being a teacher, but I had no desire to teach in the public school system. Now, so many years later, I'm teaching public workshops for adults and training life coaches. I'm really good at it, and I absolutely adore it!

* There's a lot more to me than meets the eye.
I've been working on personal development for 25 years, but in recent years, I've grown into a person I never imagined I could be. Even though I know myself well, I've come to believe that I have unrevealed qualities and capabilities that will emerge over time. I can't tell you how exciting that is to me!

* Getting older doesn't mean going downhill.
This year, I did some "wellness" work. This involved some dietary changes and putting some new habits in place. As a result, I have greater vitality and feel stronger. While it doesn't make me as energetic or lithe as I was in my youth, I wouldn't trade all the fantastic experiences I've had and the wisdom I've gained for a younger, thinner body. I'm still strong and healthy, and I anticipate many more exciting adventures yet to come!

Self-reflection is so important to our growth and development as human beings! But living in such busy times, it's often hard to find the time. As a coach, I find that often, my clients have endless to-do lists and never feel they're accomplishing anything. Taking time to take stock of your growth and accomplishments is an important step in moving forward. When you see and acknowledge how far you've come, it gives you the impetus to take on new challenges with the optimism that you can achieve them.

And it just feels so darn good to feel good about yourself!

Happy new year!

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Action Challenge

Take time to reflect on all the things you learned this year – about yourself your accomplishments and ways you've grown. Look for the little nuances as well as the big things. Do this in several sittings – once you begin to think about this question, ideas will emerge over time.

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Wise Words

"On this shrunken globe, men can no longer live as strangers."

~ Adlai E. Stevenson

"Resolve to be thyself: and know, that he
Who finds himself, loses his misery."

~ Matthew Arnold

"We know what we are, but know not what we may be."

~ William Shakespeare

"It's surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you're not comfortable within yourself, you can't be comfortable with others."

~ Sydney J. Harris

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Bookshelf

(click on the book or CD graphic to see a description at Amazon.com)

The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration . . . Stanislav Grof

The Journey Called You: A Roadmap to Self-discovery and Acceptance . . . Julie Fuimano

The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself: A Creative Workbook to Inspire Self-Discovery . . . Roberta Allen

Journal to the Self: Twenty-Two Paths to Personal Growth - Open the Door to Self-Understanding by Reading, Writing, and Creating a Journal of Your Life . . . Kathleen Adams

Soul Catcher: A Journal to Help You Become Who You Really Are . . . Kathy Eldon

List Your Self: Listmaking as the Way to Self-Discovery . . . Ilene Segalove and Paul Bob Velick

Creative Expression: Creativity and Self Exploration . . . Jennifer Freed, PhD

The Higher Self . . . Deepak Chopra (Audio CD)

Spiritual Growth: Being Your Higher Self . . . Sanaya Roman

Optimal Thinking: How to Be Your Best Self . . . Rosalene Glickman

Encounters in My Travels: Thoughts Along the Way . . . Dixie Lee Harris

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© 2007 Sharon Good. All rights reserved.

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