The New Year is when I, perhaps like many of you, take time to reflect upon the past and look toward the future. It’s my time to recalibrate, refocus and renew my commitments to those things most important in my life. I am happily bidding adieu to 2010 and look hopefully toward 2011. I had some very happy times last year. Professionally, it was truly an amazing year. My business relocated to downtown Lansing and grew beyond my anticipation. After months of studying I passed (with flying colors!) the grueling four-hour exam to gain an additional professional accreditation with the Association of Image Consultants International. I had the honor and privilege of spending eight days in Texas training under a Certified Image Master — one of only eight in the world. I met so many wonderful people over the past 12 months who added enrichment and joy to my life. Last year also brought much sorrow. I lost my father to cancer after three very difficult years. Our relationship was the one I treasured most growing up and he could do no wrong in my youthful eyes. The last few years of his life I was forced to face the brutal reality of his imperfections. I had to dig deep and find the strength and love to stay by his side and support him when he needed me most. Looking back, I’m glad I made the decision I did because I am at peace and without regret. Our relationship was stripped down to the bare bones and we found a way to rebuild it — no small feat in light of the things we had to overcome and the race we were in against his illness. Not only did I learn what I was made of, but I also learned what some of the people around me were made of. During difficult times relationships are quickly defined and I learned who I could really count on and trust in this world. I left 2010 much wiser, more introspective and with different eyes than I came in with. It was the best of years and the worst of years all wrapped in one. Ultimately, I gave myself permission to feel all of my happiness, sadness, disappointment and exhilaration guilt free. I made a conscientious decision to redefine what was important to me. I spent a lot of time reflecting on the person I was and thinking about the person I want to grow to be. To be sure, taking honest stock of my life was not an especially pleasant exercise. It was, however, something I had to do to move forward with purpose and to develop into the person I am meant to be. I am entering 2011 full of excitement and anticipation. My focus is firmly on those things most precious to me — my beautiful children, the wonderful people in my life, my faith and my business. These blessings are what give me the drive, confidence and determination to continue on this wild and unpredictable ride of life with an open mind and an open heart. Make no mistake, my glasses aren’t so rose colored that I think this year will come and go without its own set of challenges. Rather, I feel stronger, confident and more seasoned to face what comes my way. My wish for you is that 2011 is your best year yet. This year I hope you choose to surround yourself with people who support and uplift you and limit your time with those who don’t. I urge you take time to honestly assess what’s important in your life and make sure that’s where you focus your precious and priceless time and energy. I hope you choose to have faith, belief and appreciation in yourself and recognize the wonderful person you are. Don’t spend one more year putting off your dreams — this is your year to go out and do something spectacular.
Shelley Davis Mielock
Shelley Davis Mielock is a certified business image coach and the founder of Mieshel Image Consulting, a Lansing-based firm that specializes in image development for individuals and businesses. She is also a co-host of In Her Shoes, a a weekly women’s talk radio show. To ask Shelley an image question, please e-mail her.