We are now moving into the last few weeks of the year—very soon it will be time to start turning our thoughts forward toward goals for 2024. An important first step in doing that is to look back first, to take account of everything we managed to accomplish in 2023.
As a community, IDLM has grown a lot and welcomed in many wonderful people, both new instructors and new doula trainees. Every day we work together in different ways to support each other and make our community amazing, through online classes with our fantastic teachers and mentors, through sharing resources with one another on the Movement, and by connecting one-on-one with members of the IDLM community to teach one another or make connections with other doulas who live near us, building our own personal networks.
If you are one of the new doulas or doula trainees who joined IDLM in 2023, it’s good to have you here! We are so happy you have joined us, bringing your own light and energy to us in a way that only you can.
No matter where you are on your doula path—or just your life path—take some time in the next week or two to think about your own personal accomplishments from the past year. If you set goals for what you wanted out of 2023, did you achieve them? Did any unexpected opportunities arrive for you, allowing you to move forward in an unexpected way?
Maybe you set goals but then got sidetracked by other challenges, or just by everyday life. Don’t sweat it. You still moved forward, even if it wasn’t in a direction you expected. Maybe you’re a little behind where you wanted to be, but you learned some things that will help you in the future in ways you never expected. Maybe those challenges and distractions totally changed the direction you thought you were going, or maybe you had so much going on that you didn’t even have time to think about goals while you were dealing with your busy everyday life. No matter what you have gone through over the past year, there is good news: you’re still here, and you’re almost a year farther along in your journey than you were when 2023 began.
It is important to take these moments to consider the ways you have grown and changed, and what skills and resources you have gathered not only over the past year, but over your life so far. Remembering what you have now will help you start from a mindset of strength and confidence when it’s time to think about what you want next—because whatever you decide you want that to be, you have tools to help you. None of us are starting from nothing! We have family members and friends we can ask for support, emotional and otherwise. We have a whole internet full of information about death care and new developments and movements in the industry, as well as any other topic we might be curious about. Even if you only joined IDLM yesterday and haven’t had a chance to learn anything yet, you’re here, and the IDLM community is here for you.
If you take a moment to think about where you are at this point in your life, there are probably things about it that are different than you once thought they would be, and things you never expected. That’s the beauty of life—it never stops surprising us. But you should be proud of yourself, because, through all the twists and turns and unexpected hurdles, you’ve made it this far. And you have even farther to go, beginning immediately.