A year ago one of the Shine Tips featured on the front page of our website read, “Write yourself a letter to be opened one year from now.“ I did. And then I tucked it... Read More »
Open: Summer 2016
A little over a week ago at this time I was sitting on the deck of a house in Key Largo, overlooking the bay and partaking in one of my favorite annual traditions.
It's the day of the year when I get to break the seal on the letter I wrote myself last July and then prepare to craft a new letter, not to be opened again until next summer. To understand how the whole thing started, click here.
I love the idea of capturing a moment in time, including all the things I was feeling, thinking, and wishing for and then revisiting that moment one year later when enough time has passed to forget what I wrote, but not so much time has passed that I can't course correct if I need to.
It is both fun and eye-opening to revisit all aspects of my life including things such as: goals I had for House of Shine, how I was feeling physically and emotionally, new ideas that were brewing, lingering questions about decisions recently made, observations about my marriage, and fun anecdotes about my boys. As I sit curled up on the couch, my emotions range from joyful, satisfied, and proud to humbled, dissatisfied, and embarrassed by changes still not made.
There is richness and detail packed into each of my chosen words, the vividness of which would most certainly be lost if relying on memory alone.
Most of all, though, I think what I love about this annual tradition is the commitment it demonstrates to being fully present and to letting my light shine. For an afternoon I demand my world to stops so that I may make an investment in my future self.
I spend one hour reading and rereading last year's letter. I spend an hour or so staring into space and thinking about what it all means. And then I spend as long as it takes handwriting myself another pact – an agreement between me and me about how I intend to spend the next twelve months living my purpose and feeling fulfilled.
Summer is the perfect time for an experience such as this, not only because it's six months into a calendar year and, therefore, allows us to revisit intentions we might have set in January, but also because during the summer months we get a short reprieve from the rigors of the school-year schedule. We can replace the typical weekend invitations to birthday parties or athletic events with an invitation to find a comfortable couch and pad of paper.
Go ahead, do it. Scribe a handwritten letter to yourself that you can open one year from now. Then make a date to meet yourself on that same couch during Summer 2016. You'll be glad you did.