Planning for 2021: Revealing and Living your Authentic Nature

Eiman Al Zaabi
6 min readDec 30, 2020

This season I pray that the grace of God enters our homes and envelope us with warmth and peace. This has been a difficult year and I know we all look forward to putting the year behind us, but that’s not what we really want. What we’re asking for is peace, health, to live a good life, to have stability and predictability and above all to trust in our leaders to make the right decisions in order to move us forward towards a better future. The global crisis has shaken things up and allowed for so much to rise to the surface.

Unfortunately, some of what we witness today is a reflection of our broken ego, the bitterness, anger and judgmental divide that painted the year with our repressed emotions while creating a sense of instability, lashing out at each other, online bullying, cancel culture and the propagation of misinformation and conspiracy theories as a way to respond to and make sense of the reality that emerged before us. Ultimately though, we all hold a deep desire to live a good life and we are all responsible to ensure that it happens. This desire is bigger and brighter than the darkness we are witnessing these days. I also know that it’s not the time to be complacent or angry, it’s not the time to give up or let others make important decisions for you. This is the time to fully embody who you are because the world needs you.

There’s a lot of work to be done and we cannot afford for you or anyone else to hide or be in fear. We can all come together and help each other during this time. The more we allow our inner nature to shine through, the more we will see a better world for our children. We can all come to terms with the current reality and begin to build a new one within our sphere of influence. So I invite you to begin the process of activating your life purpose. I would like to share a planning exercise that you’ll apply to engage your essential nature in creating a more authentic life and I would be grateful if you share your feedback with me after it’s completed.

Because the coming year is 2021 I thought maybe we can all begin anew. For me personally, I’m going back in time to when I was one year old in order to create a map of the self that is not caught up in childhood conditioning, traumas or dramatic life experiences. Our purest nature resides in the early years of our childhood. The child in us has always expressed who we are today in many ways and holds the key for our potential creative self. After I created the map of the self, I distilled the elements that came up into four themes of focus that will represent my goals for the year. I then solidified the themes into specific goals, projects, tasks or new habits to be formed. So without further ado, here’s the exercise!

Exercise: Map of the Self and 2021 Planning Process

Before engaging in this exercise, it would be best to spend some time to reflect on the goals you have achieved in 2020 and the lessons you learned. Once you do this, move on to the following steps:

Step One: To start living according to your life purpose, you need to have a true reflection of yourself in your current environment, your intentions and your actions. To begin the process, find a quiet place and recall the one year old (you) in your consciousness. Feel her presence and see her beautiful face. If you have a picture of him/her, that’s even better. Then think to yourself, if I were one year old now, what parts of my essential nature do I want to claim back today? Where in my life have I not been living based on my true nature? Take a moment and allow the answers to emerge from within. You may get answers like: claim back your freedom. Claim back your courage, or claim back your dreams, curiosity, creativity, imagination etc. All of your values will be communicated by your one year old who holds your true nature in its purist form. Keep going until you feel there’s nothing left that is been communicated from within. Make sure to write each one of the elements using a mind map format.

Step Two: take a look at your map and reflect on the outcome. What do you see? Are there any gifts provided by your true self to bring forth this coming year? Can you group these gifts (values) under a certain theme or category? For example: looking at your map, you notice a theme around femininity or creativity, mental health, social relationships or any theme that emerges under a set of values that the one year old wants you to claim back. Notice the themes and highlight them in your map.

Step Three: now comes the fun part, begin looking at each theme from your map and identify a specific goal that you’d like to achieve. For example, if you identified creativity as a theme under which a set of values that need to be claimed back, you may decide to express this in a specific project the coming year such as: start your home decoration project, writing poetry or theater or anything that you feel will provide you with the direction your true self wants to take in the coming year. Make sure you go over all of your themes and create a list of goals/habits or projects that you’d like to achieve in 2021 to bring you closer to your authentic expression.

Here’s an example of what the exercise might look like when completed:

Step One: Map of the Self: The One year old in me would like to claim back:
purity | curiosity | find my creative space | my spiritual connection | my faith | self worth and value | strength and energy | hopefulness | courage | inner knowing and truth | trust in yourself | the artist in you | your silliness | your playfulness | your desire to learn and study

Step Two: gifts that emerge from the above map are:
1-The gift of the intellectual self represented in the values of (curiosity, desire to learn and study, trust in yourself, finding your creative space)
2-The gift of the spiritual self (purity, my spiritual connection, hopefulness, courage, inner knowing and truth, trust in yourself)
3-The gift of the child self (your silliness, your playfulness)

Step Three: Goals/habits or projects that could emerge out of these themes:

The goals of the intellectual self: I would like to take a diploma in nutritional science to satisfy my interest in this area and allow me the freedom to change my career when needed | to set up my desk area in a way that spark my creativity and productivity

The the goals of the spiritual self: I would like to engage in regular daily prayers starting January 2021 to ignite faith, hopefulness and Divine presence | I will find and connect to a like minded community that inspires me and allows me to feel hopeful and provides me with the space to grow spiritually

The goals of the child self: I will dedicate weekly free playful time of having fun either alone or with my family.

I hope this is helpful to you and I wish you a happy and healthy new year ahead!

With Love,

Author of The Art of Surrender and Finding Grace




Eiman Al Zaabi

Eiman Al Zaabi is a transformational coach, spiritual teacher, and author of The Art of Surrender: A Practical Guide to Enlightened Happiness and Well-Being