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Rise and Reflect: A Mid-Year Reflection of Growth and Renewal

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The past six months have been an incredible journey of growth and self-discovery. When I chose the word “rise” as my word of the year, I couldn’t fully articulate why it resonated with me so strongly. Little did I know that it would become a guiding force, shaping my experiences and empowering me to take on new challenges. In this blog post, I want to celebrate the remarkable strides I’ve made, even without consistently reviewing my word of the year. I also want to provide reflection questions that can inspire others to recognize their own achievements and embrace the positive changes they’ve made, regardless of whether they have a word of the year.

I was inspired to choose a word of the year from Self Love Rainbow.  For the TikTok I made about it, click here.

Embracing the Power of "Rise"

The concept of a word of the year is a unique and flexible approach to personal growth. It has allowed me to adapt and grow with each passing moment, rather than confining me to rigid resolutions. Though I haven’t consistently kept it at the forefront of my mind, the word “rise” has silently guided me, shaping my actions and choices. It’s astonishing how this simple word has set the tone for my year, even when I haven’t actively engaged with it.

a hand-painted rock with a gradient of yellow to orange to pink, with the word RiSe written on it, surrounded by daisies
Hand-painted rock with the word RISE written on it, surrounded by daisies

Celebrating the Strides

Looking back on the past six months, I am amazed at the multitude of accomplishments and new experiences that have aligned perfectly with the essence of “rise.” In April, I took a moment to reflect and compiled a list of all the exciting things I had done. It was a proud moment for me, realizing how much progress I had made. Then, in June, as I naturally found myself reflecting again, I discovered several more bullet points to add to that list. It was a beautiful reminder that progress isn’t always linear, but it’s still progress nonetheless.

Let me share with you some of the incredible things I have accomplished:

  • Volunteering at the animal shelter every week: Contributing my time and efforts to care for and support animals in need, aligning with the theme of “rise” by helping those who rely on us and lifting their spirits.

  • Driving out of town by myself to see the Northern Lights: Embracing adventure and stepping out of my comfort zone to witness the breathtaking beauty of nature’s light show, a powerful reminder of the possibilities that unfold when we rise above our fears and embrace new experiences.

  • Having my own booth at a Veteran’s BBQ Resource fair: Seizing the opportunity to showcase my work and connect with others in a new and unfamiliar environment. This experience allowed me to rise to the occasion, make meaningful connections, and expand my network, all while supporting and honoring our veterans.

And the list goes on…

These remarkable achievements are a testament to the power of embracing our chosen word of the year. They remind me that even without constant review, the theme of “rise” has guided me and propelled me forward. Each new experience has added another layer to my personal growth journey, empowering me to keep striving, keep evolving, and keep rising above any obstacles in my path.

Northern Lights in Iowa
The Northern Lights near Ames, IA on April 23rd, 2023

Navigating Challenges with Grace

Throughout this year, I’ve encountered various challenges, including the pressure to show up for my live stream every morning, consistently post blogs, and maintain a certain level of productivity. However, I’ve chosen not to let these anxieties bring me down or make me feel inadequate. This, too, is a testament to rising above. Instead of succumbing to the pressure, I’ve chosen self-love and understanding. I’ve focused on celebrating the positive things I’ve achieved, even if they may seem small at times.

“Instead of succumbing to the pressure, I’ve chosen self-love and understanding.”


Reflection Questions for Personal Growth

Whether or not you have a word of the year, taking time to reflect on the past few months can be incredibly empowering. Here are some reflection questions that can help you recognize your growth, even when it feels like you haven’t accomplished much:

  1. What were some new things you tried or experiences you had in the last six months?
  2. Did you face any challenges or setbacks? How did you overcome them?
  3. Can you identify any running themes or patterns in your experiences?
  4. What are some moments that made you proud of yourself?
  5. How have you shown self-love and understanding during difficult times?
  6. What goals or aspirations do you have for the remaining months of the year?
  7. How can you adapt and align your actions with your current values and intentions?
three cats looking at the camera, in a room at the animal shelter
Three cats from the animal shelter I volunteer at


As we reflect on the last six months, let’s celebrate the power of the word of the year and the remarkable accomplishments it has inspired. The experiences of volunteering at an animal shelter, witnessing the Northern Lights, and participating in a Veteran’s BBQ Resource fair have all contributed to our growth. Let us remember that progress comes in many forms, and rising above challenges is a continuous journey. With each step, we embrace the opportunities for personal transformation and celebrate the victories, no matter how big or small. Here’s to continuing the ascent and rising higher in the months to come.

Love, Jen

P.S. If you are ever looking for a space to talk about these things and brainstorm new ideas, I invite you to our live stream, Breakfast and Feelings Check-In on Twitch. If you’re looking for more one-on-one, I offer Peer Support Sessions for an affordable price.

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