Monica Marie Jones
Letter to Self
This time last year I had just finished facilitating an intense week-long retreat for youth development professionals from around the country. During this time, we were truly beginning to understand how serious the coronavirus was. While the participants were frightened and hyper-aware, we were still able to cultivate a safe and engaging space where everyone was fully immersed in the content and activities.
On the last day of the retreat, I facilitated a reflection activity called Letter to Self. In this activity, participants wrote a letter to their future selves that I would mail to them one year from the date of writing. I remember facilitating the activity, but somehow, I forgot that I had also participated electronically. Needless to say, I was surprised when received my own letter this weekend via email.
True to myself I stated some pretty ambitious hopes, goals, and dreams not fully realizing how drastically the world was about to change. Unfortunately, yet quite understandably, I didn’t accomplish any of those goals because at the onset of the pandemic my focus shifted to supporting others and figuring out how to survive and thrive in the midst of it all.
This moment in time very much has the energy of New Year’s Day. Although the pandemic is still very much in progress, one year later it feels like a time to reset and focus on what really matters most moving forward. I’m realizing it’s time to have a real conversation with myself about what I want and need now.
Here are some strategies to consider as you have a similar conversation with yourself.
Letter to Self. It may feel challenging to imagine a future that seems so uncertain, but it costs nothing to dream. What do you want your future self to remember about you now and to be experiencing one year from now? Write yourself a letter and set a reminder in your calendar to read it one year from now or automate the whole process by using an electronic system like FutureMe.
The Body Keeps Score. The primary focus of the pandemic has been on physical health, but even if we didn’t contract the virus or if we have received the vaccine, none of us are immune to the effects that all of this has had on our mental health. How have you been feeling lately? You may not always be consciously thinking of it, but your body is probably remembering the collective and cumulative trauma that ensued at this time last year. How might you spend extra attention this month tending to the needs associated with the impact that all of this has had on your mental health?
A Conversation with Fear. In the book, The Body Keeps Score the author talks about a concept called hypervigilance that often follows a traumatic experience. This has happened to me when I was held up at gunpoint and found myself terrified to go out at night or visit any place where I thought this might happen to me again. This time around it showed up when I was invited to travel.
Travel has been a huge part of my business and personal life for many years. When the pandemic hit, all of my travel came to a halt and I had not gone anywhere for a year until this past weekend. It turns out that the best thing to do to release that fear was to face it head-on. Once I took the trip, I realized not only how safe it all was, but that I had really missed that important part of my life.
This week I challenge you to take some real time to reflect on this past year. Examine where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you hope to go. Use what you discover to give your mind and body what it needs to heal and thrive.
I am prioritizing my mental health and wellness.
I am giving myself permission to dream.
I am facing my fears and finding my freedom as a result.
Master Your Mindset to Manifest a Life You Love. Most Sincerely, Monica Marie Jones Your Soul Journey Guide