Soooo… it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I thought I had officially given it up, but as it turns out, I still have things to share in the form of the written word. And the most popular posts here have always been the ones where I write directly from the heart, without fear of being judged or of “saying too much”. Being open and honest and sharing my journey is just my way of keeping it real. I’ve never been consistent with blog topics or been good at keeping things “short, concise and readable’. (Not to mention SEO friendly.) That’s just me… I’m wordy, I use run-on sentences, incorrect grammar, occasional emojis and too many dot, dot, dots. I’ve decided I’m not changing anytime soon. If you’re new to the website or this blog, WELCOME. 😉
Have you made your resolutions for 2017 yet? As usual, I’m a little behind… it takes me time to reflect on the previous year, before I can begin to set intentions for the new one. I’m working on intention setting over resolution making, and if you’re curious as to why/ what the difference is – this Huff Post article is a good read on it.
I don’t like to offer “advice” or “how to’s” on this space. I share the stories from my own life, because that’s all I have to share. Maybe in these stories you can find something to take away and apply in your own life, maybe not, but I hope you’ll continue to read until you find something that resonates with you.
So guys, here’s my reflections on the year that was 2016, a year that (for me) felt so good in the very beginning…. (read on to hear how the end went). One thing I can say for sure, is that I had an intention going into 2016. I had written down three words in my YTT journal in October 2015, and I carried those words with me into the next year. They were – CONFIDENCE, COURAGE & CONNECTION.
As it turns out, intention setting works, because everything that I manifested in 2016 was influenced by one of those three magical words…
What I MANIFESTED in 2016:
- I (sort-of) tackled WordPress and got this new website up and running.
- Traveled with a group of strangers for 17 days in Central America + another additional 3 weeks solo, a big dream of mine for years.
- Applied for and got my first jobs as a new yoga + meditation teacher!
- Faced some ups and downs in my first year of teaching, including some feedback that reminded me why I chose to become certified to teach this amazing practice.
- Set up my photography business and booked several shoots for yoga teachers, engagements, and fellow creatives.
- Reached out to one of my favorite travel podcasts, and ended up getting featured in an interview.
- Applied for and received a scholarship to participate in this years YogaWorks 300 hour Professional TT Program.
- Connected with so many radiant souls – via travel, creative groups, mutual friends and social media – fellow yogis, creatives, changemakers, and just generally very cool people.
To do all of the above, I had to be confident, courageous and connected. It meant letting go of a lot of fear, self-doubting beliefs, and a sense of disconnect that I had carried around in prior years.
And of course, to keep it completely real, 2016 wasn’t all sunshine, rainbows and unicorns for me. A beloved grandparent passed right before I left for my Central America trip. I left with a heavy heart, thinking of her along my journey. She was a dreamer herself, and I knew she would have been proud of me. Her passing was expected and peaceful, and later in the year I faced another loss that was neither of those two things. It was the unexpected ending to my 6.5 year relationship. It happened during the same week that Donald Trump won the election… it was a week that shocked my belief system to my very core. Along the way I lost some friendships as well.
2016 forced me to let go of some things, which reminded me that I’m someone who doesn’t like to let go so easily.
What I LET GO of in 2016:
- a grandparent
- my relationship
- toxic friendships
- the unrealistic desire to always have it “all planned out”
- expectations of how other people should live their lives
As in every year, I learned a lot, and the lessons are still coming.
What I LEARNED in 2016:
- The importance and power of a daily gratitude practice. Without that, I would have a completely different perspective entering this new year. I am LITERALLY grateful for my gratitude practice.
- That you should never be afraid to let go of people in your life who no longer support your path. I accepted my friends for who they were, but I’ve realized there’s only so much you should accept. Surround yourself with people who want to celebrate your successes and joy and see you excel in life. People who are happy when you’re happy.
- Nourish your relationships with those who do support you! Support them back, openly show them love and take joy in their successes as if they were your own.
- Let your intuition guide you. Trust it.
- TRUST that the Universe has got your back. Never before have I believed so much in the simple sayings, “Everything happens for a reason.” and “Timing is everything.”
- Life can’t be all LOVE and LIGHT all the time. Experiencing a full range of emotions and experiences is necessary for our well-being and sanity. But having faith that light always follows darkness helps too. 😉
It’s always a challenge to decide how much to reveal in the public online space. But I hate to only present the positive side of things all the time! Another thing I’ve realized just over the past couple of months… a lot of us are afraid to share our struggles or our weaknesses! Maybe sharing our REAL stories should be a goal for 2017. Things aren’t always as pretty and perfect as they look on Instagram!
That all being said, I do have a new intention for 2017. Currently it’s only one word, one mantra. And that word is “OPTIMISM”. Or as a mantra, “I AM OPTIMISTIC”. It’s a word that chose me. In a yoga class that I took on the morning of New Years Eve, the instructor passed out randomly selected word cards and placed one at the front of our mats. Mine brought tears to my eyes and chills to my body. Despite everything that had occurred in the month and a half prior, optimistic was exactly what I had been trying to be. Fortunately I have so much to be grateful for, so many good things that manifested in my life in 2016, and so much to look forward to in 2017. Life surprises you sometimes. My future may look a little bit different than I had expected, but one of the things I’ve learned is that you can’t anticipate everything in life. You’ve got to roll with the changes and the challenges the Universe presents to you. Then you’ve got to do the work to accept the challenge, and be open to what comes next… because there’s maybe some rainbows and unicorns on the other side of it. 😉
Do you have a word or intention for 2017? Reflections on 2016? I’d love to read them in the comments, or you can email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you made it this far in the post, I give you major props… I know long reads aren’t the most popular these days! (Says something about our attention span doesn’t it?) Here’s your treat for reading (or scrolling) through the entire post… two of my favorite inspirational quotes + some helpful resources to help you practice more optimism, gratitude, courage, confidence, connection (whatever you’re working on) in 2017.
The Five Minute Journal– I used this consistently in 2016 to up both my gratitude + manifestation practices, and I am so glad that I did. It’s helped me to find the good in every single day, and to manifest more abundance in my life.
The Art of Uncertainty – A wonderful book that my roommate lent me after my relationship ended. Coming from someone who “loves to plan”, I needed this reminder that our lives truly are uncertain, and that there is so much we can embrace in that uncertainty.
You Are a Badass – Fact… I thought this book sounded cheesy as hell. I’m always secretly judging bestsellers like this… but I read it last year and realized how much I needed to hear what it had to offer. Read it. It’s quick, and applies to any area of your life where you need a little confidence boost.
The Moon Deck – This deck was presented to me at exactly the right time, and it immediately spoke to me. I’ve never used intuition cards, tarot cards, or anything of the like. But I’m a believer now in any tools that help to guide your intuition. I love these cards, and having met one of the co-founders, I can feel how much intention is behind them. They’ve already offered me so much wisdom for the new year.
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell
“Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.” ~ Caroline Adams
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