As one year comes to an end and another begins, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the spiritual lessons you’ve learned.

Your soul learns from its experiences. That’s why it comes here in the first place. If it simply observed life from the safety of the Astral Plane, there’d be little growth. As someone once said, “A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are for.” Your soul is an intrepid explorer, and knows that to get the most out of life on earth, it has to get out there and be involved.

According to my Spirit Guides, the experience is not the lesson. The spiritual lessons are what you take from the experience.

To gain the most from what you go through, you need to process to bring the appropriate lessons to bear. Most of us travel through life at such a rate that we rarely have time to process all that happens to us. The problem is that if our experiences are not analyzed, examined, and interpreted, then we run the risk of repeating them until we get the lessons we seek.

Perhaps someone you loved died during this last year. Or maybe you suffered the breakup of a relationship. You might have struggled to make it through the year in a job you can’t stand. Those are the experiences, not the lessons. And unless you stop to reflect on them, you might leave important spiritual lessons unlearned.

One of my clients lost her father earlier this year. She nursed him through his last months of dementia, and was with him when he passed. She spoke to me six months later, and was still grieving. We worked on processing her experience, and finding the lessons she could carry forward with her.

Her biggest spiritual lesson was one of compassion, but what she didn’t expect to find was a major lesson in self-love. During the time she was taking care of her father, she had ignored her own needs, isolated herself from her friends, and put her creative work on hold.

By processing the experience, she drew from it a powerful spiritual lesson about the importance of taking care of herself. She’s now getting back into her art, taking yoga classes, and drawing on a past-life ability by learning to bake bread.

The spiritual lessons we learn from our experiences help us to grow, and to put us in a better place to deal with past life’s challenges as we move forward.

I urge you to review this last year, list the major events, and look for the positive spiritual lessons you can glean from what happened. In my experience, the clients who actively work to implement actions like these are the ones who experience the most profound – and long lasting – spiritual growth.

As you move into the next year, your soul will thank you for your efforts.