By Veronica Correa, LCSW-C

I often write in my Christmas cards: “May you be blessed with a New Year filled with love, happiness and abundance.” Perhaps I should write: “Bless yourself with a New Year filled with love, happiness and abundance.” The truth is that we can give all that and more to ourselves, but most people wait for this to come to them from an external source and, often, it doesn’t happen that way. My message is: Don’t keep waiting, create the life you want, dream of, and deserve now. This is the perfect time as the new year begins. When God created us, He put everything we needed inside us, the joy, the abundance, the health, and the love we want. Our journey on this earth is to learn how to let it all come out.

As I reflect on this year, I can’t help noticing that it had many challenges. When I look deeper, I see that each challenge brought a blessing or a gift with it. I am working hard at not getting stuck in the struggle and keep climbing the steps to the life I want. How do I know what I want? I ask my heart that question on a regular basis. Our heart and our gut are our internal GPS. My focus this year has been on serving others in a way that serves me as well. This is the only way that we can make a sustainable difference or impact in the world that we live in. When I was reading about the work of Mother Theresa, she said she worked day after day with the poor in the streets of Calcutta because it made her very happy. She was following her heart. People ask me sometimes how can I listen to people’s struggles and challenges all day long, week after week as a therapist? My answer is: “I love my job and finding practical solutions for people’s challenges is my passion more than my job.”  Finding joy in what we do makes it sustainable through time.

As a result of pain and suffering I was able to discover my life’s purpose. One would think that after I found it, I would have been done with suffering and pain, but it doesn’t work that way. One of my commitments for this year will be accepting all the challenges as they come and to not get stuck in the pain or suffering. In the book The Ride of a Lifetime by Disney CEO Robert Iger, he says that he looks at challenges and difficult moments as a puzzle to be solved. I liked that analogy and I am using it more and more. I allow myself to look beyond the challenge and welcome the gift behind it as it unfolds.

Don’t be held back by your past or present struggles, you are having those experiences to prepare you to where you are going next. Life is a mystery, don’t try to control it, learn to ride it. Give yourself the gift of joy this year, it’s inside you, let it come out. The guidance on how to navigate life will unfold as you make the time to listen to your heart. Setting time aside for reflection, prayer, journaling, meditation as life unfolds will have the best return on investment because when we do these things we have to slow down and be present. From this place of quietude and inner peace our heart begins to guide us no matter what we are facing. Journaling as the guidance comes to us can certainly be helpful to organize our thoughts and path ahead.

May you create your best year ever!

About the author

Veronica Correa, LCSW-C, is a licensed clinical social worker, certified hypnotherapist and life coach. To learn more about her work visit: or call 410-742-6016.