Toronto, December 31, 2016. I love the feel of a brand new year. A time when everything seems entirely possible. January is derived from the two-faced Greek God, Janus. One face looks back in the past, and the other face looks forward to the future. Symbolically, it is a time to reflect on the past year and begin fresh with a new year filled with new hopes and dreams.
As you think about the new year, take some time to consider all the successes, joys and accomplishments from 2016. What meaning do they hold for you? How have they shaped, even transformed you? What breakthroughs are you celebrating? What impact have you had on others and on the world? I find that it is so valuable to reflect on this and celebrate; otherwise, they get forgotten and buried in the busyness of life.
While 2016 was a tough year for me — with the diagnosis of breast cancer in January, it was also a particularly fulfilling year for celebration and accomplishments. Sabrina graduated from Columbia University in May. We celebrated Sabrina and Afzal’s wedding in July, enveloped in the love and warmth of family and friends. I made progress on all the goals I had set for myself — learnt to cook at least 30 new dishes, started a fitness program, recorded a CD of Tasbihs with friends, continued to work a few days a month to keep current in my profession, woke up regularly at 4 am to meditate for an hour, took on many volunteer assignments as a way to give back to the community, and became an active learner, spending at least two hours every day learning and developing skills on areas of interest. And then there was the Munira Bra – – a wonderful collaboration between North York General Hospital (NYGH) and Knixwear — proceeds of which will go to the NYGH for a biopsy table for breast cancer patients.
Also think about the regrets, disappointments, letdowns and losses from 2016. What meaning do they hold for you? Without blame or guilt, what might have caused the situation to happen? What part did you play? What did you learn about yourself? Then let it go.
This year, I said goodbye to three friends who lost their battle with multiple myeloma; I salute their valiant fight, feel their loss and honour their memory. I continue to feel guilty for the pain I caused Nagib and my family as they saw me struggle through the side-effects of the surgery, chemo and radiation. And there were a few relationships this year that I did not nurture. I regret this as I realize that I played a part in causing the failed relationships. These are opportunities to work on.
And as you start a brand new year, think about what you need to do to up your game and Play Big in 2017? What do you need to bring forward from your accomplishments and successes to continue to be your best self? What is your commitment to creating the life you want? And how will you make this happen in 2017?
I hope to do this by becoming more caring and compassionate. By letting people know: “I see you, I really see you”. Whether you are lost or joyful or sad or hopeful, I see you as whole, complete and resourceful. I hope to Play Big by having a book published in 2017. And I want to continue in my quest for health and vitality. I will also continue to build on the successes and momentum of 2016.
This is such a great activity to do as a family. We sat together for a couple of hours on Christmas Day, each of us talking about our 2016 achievements, learnings and goals for 2017. The conversation was rich and authentic. We learnt more about each other and have a better idea on how to support one another in 2017. The best part is that, as we were speaking, Shayne wrote what we said in some detail so there is a sense of record and accountability, and something we can look back on a year from now.
To everyone that I have been blessed to have in my world this year and over the years – – the pioneers, the dreamers, the adventurers, the collaborators, the discoverers, the illuminators, the caregivers, the courageous ones, the heroes, the misfits, the shape-shifters, the hopeful ones, and the salt of the earth — I wish for you all the bountiful blessings from the universe. And I celebrate your greatness. May your 2017 be resplendent with hope, optimism, faith, dreams, joy and fulfillment.