As this year comes to a close, so too is my first semester at Michigan School of Professional Psychology. This program has been a gift in my life as well as in the lives of my cohorts. At the end of December I take time to think about the year that is ending. I examine myself and the person I was at the start of the year. I celebrate the good things, examine the lessons I learned and set goals and expectations for myself in the upcoming year.
This reflection and goal setting ritual is probably typical for many individuals. The piece that I would like to focus on is the last part of my reflection ritual. Gratitude. I look back on all of my triumphs and failures, interactions with friends and family, experiences I was lucky enough to have and I am simply grateful. I acknowledge all the light and love in my life as well as the dark and negative, and I am grateful for it all. Each piece is a part of me and has led me here to MSP where I have been welcomed into a profound, humanistic, professional institution.
I have gained a new group of friends, my cohort, that feels more like family and I am becoming part of a history as well as part of a future. Through the acquisition of knowledge and skills, as well as becoming more self-actualized and mindful, I will be able to enter the new year and new trimester prepared for the challenges that lay ahead. Not only will I be prepared but I will carry that awareness of gratitude with me for each moment, encounter and experience.
It is through genuine gratitude that we begin to see the many blessings in our lives and open ourselves up to receiving more. For those of my professional peers that are already practicing independently or at a practicum, this expression of gratitude can carry over to our interactions with our clients. I, for one, am truly grateful for clients that will allow me to join them on their journey of self discovery. It is a gift to be invited into the inner workings of a person mind and heart. We, as therapists, are given this gift time and again and we must always find a way to appreciate the uniqueness of the gift and the giver.
So, as the old year ends and the new one commences, I encourage you to reflect on the past, appreciate the present and prepare for the future. Cheers!
Amy Pike, MA Student