December 18, 2017
Moore Mission Moments - The Watershed Group


by Patti Moore


As 2017 draws to its close most of us are going to find ourselves reflecting on the year that’s passing, and taking stock of our personal balance sheet to see how we did. Did we squander our capital – our time, our health, our relationships – or did we build on it, by following through with our good intentions and doing just a little better in some of those spheres than we had in previous years?

            Making this kind of personal reckoning can be frustrating, because our intentions so often outstrip our actions. We all want to be more mindful and more intentional – I certainly do! – but life has other plans and we’re so often caught up in dealing with what’s coming at us in the moment that we lose the clarity that the long view brings. The holidays are difficult for people, I think, because they shine a bright light on how we’ve used our time on earth in that last 365 days, throwing our failures and shortcomings into sharp relief. And it’s parlously easy to pile on the blame and shame for those failures, while giving the good things you’ve done short shrift.


            Don’t do it. Not this year. I’ve got a better idea.

            Brendan Burchard, the New York Times best-selling author of High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way and my coach, suggests asking yourself five challenge questions that can help you engage in mindful and constructive self-assessment, to finish strong, and to lead off the New Year armed with more than just good intentions. So, before the end of the year, take out a pad and pen, and ask yourself:

  1. What are the five things I have been grateful for in 2017, and what are three things I’ve missed appreciating this year?
  2. What are the five things I struggled with most in 2017, and one way in which I could have handled each of them better?
  3. What are the five things I need to let go of, or forgive myself for in 2017?
  4. What are five things I achieved this year that I’m proud of?
  5. What are the five things I will remind myself of, in order to succeed in the next 12 months?

            This precious season during the month of December is a time of wonder, rich with marvels large and small. My hope is that you will find the opportunity to reflect on the year just we have just finished, and to take in and celebrate those moments of wonder that are all around us right now. Start with these small steps in the right direction, and use them to make 2018 your strongest year ever! 


 Our niece Zoë holding our youngest nephew Samuel, Christmas 2015.






More studies are confirming what common sense and our own eyes tell us: our seniors are at high risk of being isolated and lonely in our communities, and the toll it takes on their mental health and wellbeing is tragic. What can we as compassionate people do? A little – a lot; look at these three responses to this challenge, and let them inspire you to come up with your own outreach efforts, whether that’s spearheading an initiative in your town or just setting an extra place at your holiday table for a neglected elderly person.


A COMMUNITY PLAYS SANTA: “Senior citizens are among the most vulnerable to loneliness during the Christmas season—sometimes homebound, isolated and with no families to visit. The Be a Santa to a Senior program seeks to spread holiday cheer to those in need, by encouraging volunteers to anonymously purchase gifts to be delivered to the seniors' homes.” 


COMPASSION: It’s something we learn, and sometimes from unexpected teachers. What happens when a lonely, grieving widower encounters an openhearted four year old who decides to “adopt” him? One of the sweetest stories you’ll read – and a powerful reminder of what kindness looks like in action. Inspiring!


CYCLING WITHOUT AGE: In this case, a caring community, and one inspired (and inspirational) person show the way. Here’s an idea from Denmark that’s spread from just one “pilot” and one bike two and a half years ago, to 300 locations and 2,000 volunteer “pilots” in Denmark and Norway. 



BIG BEND HOSPICE OF TALLAHASSEE’S Art Therapy program is the star of this great story:  “Maggi Horseman is passionate about art therapy. She is an intern for Big Bend Hospice’s art therapy program.
            “I knew I wanted to work in hospice off the bat,” Horseman says. “It has the psychology background. There are parts of your brain that are activated when you do creative processes that can reduce pain and help with trauma recovery. Then, there are emotions that may not have words – like grief, grief is a big one.””


HOPE HEALTH of Massachusetts and Rhode Island continues to lead the way in their communities, expanding services, and lighting up the lives of those who grieve for lost loved ones during the holiday season. 

What’s your hospice doing to create alliances and awareness in your community? I’d love to hear about it!  Send your stories, press releases, and announcements to: [email protected]

My wish for you this Holiday season is that you have moments of Wonder and Peace, that you say "I love you" often and with sincerity, that you remember to laugh out loud and bring Joy to each person you meet.  May you have a beautiful Holiday season! Many blessings!
Happy Holidays from the RiverCove Retreat Center
The Watershed Group
Phone: 352-495-2800  |  Fax: 352-495-1810
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