Reverb10: Installment 4

January 1, 2011

Hi All- One of my favorite annual traditions is to reflect on the year I’m finishing and set some intentions for the year ahead.  This year I happened to stumble across a really great tool that is facilitating the process for me.  It’s an online writing initiative titled #Reverb10.

So what is it?  Basically, #Reverb10 is an online initiative that encourages participants to reflect on the year past and manifest what’s next for them.  Essentially, it’s an opportunity to consider the reverberations of your past year, and be intentional about those you’d like to create in the year ahead.

This process is facilitated using a question a day from 31 different authors.  Each day has a specific theme to it, which you’ll see noted below.  The questions (or prompts, as they call them) can be found here: THE PROMPTS.  Each one is meant to cause reflection on a different aspect of your life and help you determine if you’d like to shift anything about that area in 2011.

This is my fourth and final installment of questions.  You can find the first HERE, the second HERE, and the third HERE.

December 23 – Theme of the Day: New Name. Let’s meet again, for the first time.  If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why? If I chose to change my name, I’d call myself Ava Copland.  Ava because it’s my current favorite girl name of the moment (and there are just too many Sarahs in the world) and Copland because it sounds elegant and reminds me of Aaron Copland, whose music I like.  On a side note, I tried to convince Nick that we should pick a new last name when we got married (since ours were both so common) but he wouldn’t have anything to do with it.

December 24 – Theme of the Day: Everything’s OK.  What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? One of the most profound moments of my year was getting to take a guided tour through the Tondo Dump where 1.5 million people live and scrounge through the garbage each day.  I expected to find deep despair and sadness but instead came face to face with smiling children playing games made of junk and adults repurposing ‘garbage’ to create new treasures.  It was resilience at its best and I knew in that moment that if 1.5 million people could find joy living in the dump, then I too could face whatever circumstances would come at me!

December 25 – Theme of the Day: Photo.  A present to yourself.  Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.

Shot By Nick.  Captures: Joy, Beauty, Playfulness.

December 26 – Theme of the Day: Soul Food.  What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? The food experience that stands out most was the non-stop stream of culinary delights that surrounded me on Labor Day weekend at our Wisconsin cabin.  Burgers, corn, friend potatoes, puppy chow, monster cookies, bars…. The list goes on and on.  What I had forgotten was how connected our memories are to our senses; so as each item went into my mouth, a flood of wonderful MN-based memories came rushing back.  It was heaven!

December 27 – Theme of the Day: Ordinary Joy.  Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?  Spending an entire Sunday in bed with my husband cuddling and giggling together — whiling away the hours reading and enjoying each other’s company.

December 28 – Theme of the Day: Achieve.  What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Having a baby was the first thing that came to mind, but it feels wrong somehow putting that into the achievement category, so I think I’ll choose something else.  Developing my business is definitely at the top of my list.  Specifically, I’d like to develop a full range of program offerings so that I have options available at every price point and can make it easy for people of any financial means to work with me.  I know this will feel incredibly satisfying on a soul level, as it allows me to help others while doing the thing I excel at.  There’s nothin’ better than that in my book…

December 29 – Theme of the Day: Defining Moment. Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.  The one that immediately popped for me was the opportunity I had to coach a cancer patient at Carewell last March.  What was unique about this coaching session was that the woman could not speak but adamantly wanted to be coached.  I had no idea how I was going to communicate with her but trusted that my creativity and resourcefulness would show me the way.  What emerged was a 3-way dance between her, myself and spirit that left the room of observers profoundly moved.  The client was forever changed on that day – her stream of tears dried up and was replaced by a sense of quiet inner confidence; a knowing that this disease would not get the better of her.  And I was left marveling at God’s presence in my coaching, realizing that I had found a new way of connecting to Source.  It was, quite honestly, miraculous.

December 30 – Theme of the Day: Gift.  This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?  I was profoundly touched by two birthday gifts that I received this year.  One was an essay from a young woman I had mentored.  In the essay, she wrote about my impact on her life and the inspiration I had provided for her.  It was incredibly moving to be acknowledged in that way.  The second gift was from a friend in Manila who offered up a mass on my behalf.  I felt unworthy of this great gift, but did my best to receive it openly.  It seemed quite fitting in a year that was characterized by my reconnection to my spirituality.

December 31 – Theme of the Day: Core Story. What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? The central story at the core of me is my steadfast belief that adversity is a catalyst for deep transformation.  I was fortunate enough to learn this lesson early in life and know I am supposed to share it with others.  I feel very deeply that this work chose me and I’ve elected to share it with the world in two primary ways: through my coaching work and in how I show up in the world – letting others see my struggles instead of pretending they don’t exist.  What a gift it is to transform someone’s perspective on adversity from one of anger/resentment to that of gratitude!

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  1. Chris says:

    In a word – EXCELLENT! Happy New Year dear new cyber soulmate! May all your dreams and wishes come true! XO Chris

  2. Bethany says:

    You are a truly amazing woman and your writing brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing! I hope one day our paths will cross :-) Happy New Year!

  3. naomi says:

    hasn’t reverb been fun? i haven’t posted all of my answers to each prompt, but each of them made me do some soul searching!

    btw – don’t underestimate the “achievement” value of having a baby!!

    xo dear cyber friend!


  4. sarahlynn60 says:

    @Chris – Right back at you! So thankful to have you in my life!

    @Bethany – Thank you so much for giving me feedback like that. It can be so scary to put stuff out there and not get anything back. I too hope our paths will cross. Until then, let’s hook up on Facebook too. Can you friend me at

    @Naomi – I’m so thankful you came into my life in 2010. I look forward to the day we become in-the-flesh friends. But until then, cyber-friendship is suiting us nicely!

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