I’ve been putting off writing my 2015 recap.
Because 2015 was a year unlike any other in my life.
I mean, what do you say about a year that flattened you before it began, that cracked you open further than you knew you could open, and stripped you to your core through loss after loss? What do you say about a year that was colored by a grief that brought you to your knees and changed you in an instant? That took so much from you and left you broken and beaten down so hard you weren’t sure which way was up anymore?
For me I say, “thank you… more please.”
Because while this year was the hardest of my life, it was also the most beautiful and growth-filled, pushing me to discover who I’m really here to be and the work I’m here to do on a deep, deep level. While I cried more tears than I ever have and experienced heartbreak in ways I will never forget, I found truth, peace, direction, and the most soul nourishing love and connection. I learned how resilient I really am, as I surrendered with trust and faith in a way that scared the shit out of me, but led me down a path I could never walk otherwise.
As 2015 came to a close, and the one year anniversary of my loss arrived, I found myself swimming in a profound sense of gratitude like I’d never experienced. I cried, but for the first time they felt like tears of joy and appreciation more than sadness and grief.
I am grateful for the many gifts this year gave me.
Gifts I could never have received in any other way… and while my head and heart still struggle to wrap themselves around a gratitude that stems from the worst kind of grief, I’m learning. I’m learning to see more of the good than I knew I was capable of seeing inside all the pain. To turn my heartbreak and sadness into appreciation and joy. To choose fondness and smiles over anger and tears.
Here are some highlights from 2015:
All I could think when the one year anniversary came and went, as I closed my eyes to fall asleep that night was, “I survived.” I remember ringing in the New Year more broken than I’ve ever felt. It was incredibly painful to be inside my body, and I wasn’t eating or sleeping. All I was doing was crying, screaming, and running as far as my little exhausted legs would carry me to silence the anxiety that was eating me alive. I watched my business begin to die. I lost friends and clients. My memory vanished and my brain stopped working altogether. I would sit and stare at my computer not knowing how to code a website or who certain client names were. But I survived. I leaned on coaches and mentors and healers. I asked for help. I told the truth. I clawed my way out of the muck with all the strength I could find… and I survived. I survived this year and that’s the biggest highlight I can share.
I took my feet off the wall.
A story and metaphor that became a huge turning point this year for me. I took my feet off the wall and I let that energetic force that is greater than I’ll ever understand pull me to where I’m supposed to be. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The scariest. The most heart wrenching and utterly exhausting. I honestly wasn’t sure I’d survive it at times… and I certainly didn’t think my business would. I let everything burn to the ground, and sometimes I even lit the match. I found a willingness to surrender that changed every. single. thing. in my life, self, and work. I learned to let others support me in the most beautiful ways. I stopped apologizing. I stopped caring what others would think and I started speaking me truth, fully and as loud as I could. It was the best thing I’ve ever done.
I started writing a book that’s changed everything.
Writing this book isn’t about getting published or growing a following or anything I used to think I’d write a book for. I think the greatest gift of this particular book has been the process. The slow uncovering of my path and a clear map of what’s behind me. A map that shows exactly how true it is that everything happens for a reason, and that there is always grace and resurrection to even the most challenging chapters of our lives. I’m doing my best to tell the story with openness and transparency and all the truths I know about what it means to step into who you’re here to be when life gives you no other choice. What it means to pick yourself back up when you get taken out at the knees and ripped wide open. To be willing to lose everything, to be stripped to your core, and to surrender fully.
I found huge clarity around the work I’m here to do.
I thought I knew what I was here to do before this year, but as I sank into the depths my grief, the darkness was overwhelming. I blurred the lines between being here in this world and lost somewhere else, completely engulfed by a void which I can only describe as divine wisdom, The Universe, truth. Grief took me straight to the darkest depths of my soul and part of me stayed deeply embedded there for a majority of the year. And from this place, I saw the world and people and my work in a whole new light… and I realized that I wanted to create work that really meets people where they’re at. No more talking at or over people. No more ignoring the darkness and the shadows and the pockets of life that make people uneasy. And with that clarity came so much change. So much truth telling and challenging work. And while this space isn’t enough to share what I see… I know what I’m here to do, and now it’s time to do the work.
I started teaching live workshops.
One of the things I’ve wanted to do for a long time was to align my business with a nonprofit in a way that allowed me to share the work I do with people who can’t afford it, but need it. I discovered Warren Village through Volunteer Match and could not be more thrilled to be working with them. I had never taught my courses live, but between their two locations, I held over 12 live workshops with the amazing residents in their community. It was hard and scary, but I discovered how much I LOVE teaching live, something I never thought I’d say. And the more I did, the more I found my footing, and the more I learned to show up in a way that felt aligned with who I’m here to be. Teaching from a place of truth and story. Showing up as their equal and inviting them to join me on this journey. I’m excited to continue my work with them into 2016, while expanding to other live events.
I moved to Boulder.
This was huge. For one, leaving Thornton was like closing a chapter I never wanted to read for as long as I did. It was leaving behind people and memories and energies that I was ready to release. And it was settling into a town that feels like home in a way no place ever has, with friends 5min in any direction and mountains just up the road. Being in Boulder feels like a big exhale. I love it. I love my friends. I love the mountains and deer and trees. I love my little tiny apartment that’s just the right size for me and my fur babes. And I love Colorado. I never thought I’d come back, and now I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
I did a lot of cool stuff.
I started rock climbing and went camping. I climbed my first ever 14er with an old boss. I went to Portland for World Domination Summit, Utah to camp in Zion, the Sturgis motorcycle rally, and to HI, NM, and MO to see family. I made stained glass windows with people who were never supposed to be in my life the way they are. I learned to fight with knives. I shot guns. I started learning to play the guitar. I danced, a lot. I watched the stars in the backs of pickups trucks and made friends with more people than I can count. I got my second tattoo. I coached a homeless man and crashed scavenger hunts downtown. I tubed in the creek and went to parties in the mountains. Despite my grief, I lived a lot this last year.
2015 began as a line in the sand that separated my life into two parts. The before and the after.
And while the after is the hardest space I’ve ever had to transition to, I’m beyond grateful to be here. More importantly, to be surviving and thriving in ways I couldn’t imagine. When my 2014 yearly recap went out, I was in the first days of being completely flattened by the worst phone call of my life. I couldn’t see straight. I couldn’t imagine leaving the bedroom, let alone dealing with my life and business. I couldn’t imagine being in the kind of love that makes my heart flutter, or being surrounded by the most supportive and amazing friends a girl could ask for. But I’m here. And I’m so ready for the next chapter.
Peace out 2015, it’s been more real than I knew life could be.
Thank you. More please.