For the past two years I didn’t write a recap, something I did annually for many years prior… because honestly, I was just happy to have survived them. To have made it through. And while there were many beautiful moments and plenty of lessons, I didn’t want to look back. I just wanted to move forward.
This last year was such an intensely different year than any I’ve ever experienced in all my 33 years, and today I want to share some of the biggest lessons I learned with you. These are my personal lessons, so take what resonates, leave what doesn’t, or make them your own.
Don’t feed the wound.
Early in the year I met a kind stranger at an event. I remember sharing with him how I’d pulled down all my content, broken ties with a ton of different people and obligations, and was swimming around in the unknown with no idea what came next. It was terrifying, but he turned to me with a smile and dropped a wisdom bomb that still guides me to this day: “The part of you that’s afraid, that’s the wound. Don’t feed the wound. Feed the part of you that’s coming alive and you’ll be too busy living and experiencing an amazing life to notice the fear.” Bam.
Sometimes pausing is the most productive thing you can do.
I’ve mentioned before how this past year was the most stagnant and motionless of my entire life. 2017 asked me to pause completely, fully, and without reason. So, pause I did. And inside that nothingness I birthed a new body of work, began healing at such a deep, core level, and was able to step into a totally new way of being and creating and showing up in the world. There are people in my life that still shake their head when I talk about pulling down all my content and completely pausing the way I did, but it was the BEST thing I’ve ever done for my life and my work. Which leads me to…
It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you.
I made a lot of choices that went against what everyone believed was right and true and best for me. People I trust with my whole heart and soul. Mentors. Coaches. Friends. People who know me at a level I never knew was possible in years past. And yet, they were wrong. They didn’t know what was best for me in those moments, and they didn’t have to understand why I was doing what I was doing… nor was any explanation needed. I’ve stepped back from communities and support systems in the past, yet this year was the most significant. I’m learning how essential it is to walk into the unknown alone at times… because nobody can truly walk your journey with you, nobody can do the work for you, and nobody else has the answers. You have to trust yourself and your truth even when everyone you trust and respect is saying the opposite.
Change who you are BEING to change your life.
Don’t wait until you become the person you need to be to do the things you want to do… be that person NOW and everything will begin transforming around you. I talked about this in my last vlog, who is the person you need to be to create what you desire, and how can you start being that person now? How would that person show up? Talk? Act? Create? Do that. Now. Don’t wait… be that person now. Every moment is a chance to start choosing a new way of being.
Your body knows best.
It keeps score, it remembers, and it will tell you when it’s had enough. My body was my greatest teacher this year. From slowing me down when I needed to pause… to stopping me from swallowing me when I wasn’t honoring my voice or my truth… to sending me into intense panic attacks when I needed to make different choices… to my back and hips going wonky when I repeatedly pushed myself too hard for the wrong reasons. Even as I continue to push my edges, panic and anxiety have given me the greatest opportunities for healing, growth, and learning. I see them as an opportunity to choose a new way of being and heal old traumas and triggers. My body has taken me on a roller coaster ride this last year, and I am so grateful for its continued wisdom and guidance.
Embrace the unknown and surrender to the flow.
Life is a process of endless unfolding. We never arrive. We never stop growing and changing and becoming. We never see the whole picture or reach the end until it’s the end. Swimming inside so much unknown taught me patience and trust on a much deeper level. They taught me surrender. I have a clear sense of what I want to create next—in life, work, and love—but I know that I don’t know what it will actually become. Life is always unfolding and changing. This new body of work is always unfolding and revealing new facets and pathways. Relationships are always unfolding and shapeshifting, growing and evolving. Life is an endless process of unfolding. Set your sights on what you want, AND surrender to the flow, ride the waves, and settle into the stillness. Trust.
Lastly, as always, choice is everything.
Keep choosing to consciously create your life and work and relationships. We are such powerful creators—each and every one of us—but we forget far too easily. We ALWAYS have a choice, though the choices we have to make to create what we desire aren’t always easy… and there will ALWAYS be reasons why it feels safer and easier to stand still. Keep choosing what you want, every moment of every day, as many times as it takes.
Those are the big lessons I learned in 2017. Lessons I want to remember as I step into this coming year with a deep devotion to create a completely different life and business than I’ve ever had before.
What I want isn’t conventional.
It’s not “normal.”
It’s not what others want for me.
It’s definitely not what others want from me either.
It’s not safe or familiar.
And I am oh so excited and terrified.
But, more on that in an upcoming vlog 😉
Comment below and tell me your biggest lesson from this past year that you want to carry forward into 2018. I’d love to hear and hold space for you as we say goodbye to one hell of a year together!