The end of each year is a great time to not only set new intentions and goals for the coming year, but to reflect on the year you’re moving on from.
You can take all these lessons with you as you forge ahead vs. just move on into another year. Tick, check the box, just another 365 days, no biggie. No! Don’t you dare. Discipline yourself to sit down and do this for you too. Live your life and learn from it. Once you do this, I promise you you’ll feel so much better you got it out of your head and onto paper and you’ll be proud of yourself for taking the time to do it. As I was reflecting on my lessons from this past year, while I found 7 significant new tools I can take with me as I forge ahead, perhaps one that stands out the most to me as I write this intro is the fact that it has been in the most challenging times that I have found my greatest inner strength. Don’t underestimate the power you hold within, it is always there to support you. I’m happy to share these 7 lessons with you and hope you can take something with you from them. One thing I know for sure is that this human experience we get to consciously live is shared amongst all of us. I’d love to hear one of your biggest lessons, comment below!
In 2017, I learned:
1. To trust my intuition and follow it right away.
When you know something to be right or not right and know it within your gut, follow that feeling right away. It’s easy to second guess your intuition and hold out from following it, thinking the real answer will reveal itself. It’s not easy to believe in what you don’t see and feel on an intrinsic level. When you do, when you begin listening to your intuition right as it speaks, you discover that it’s almost always pointing you in the right direction. Listen then follow.
2. Meet yourself where you’re at.
When I decided I had had enough of putting myself on the backburner this past year, I started with one thing: get back into my fitness. It was challenging to put on workout clothes, find the courage to get back into the weight room and feel fierce when all I felt was shame for how I had let myself go again. I had to find a new perspective. I figured out that the way I was looking at myself was comparing myself to my past and also to where I thought I should be in life. Well, where I thought I should be wasn’t where I was and I certainly couldn’t stack myself up to the girl who was 40 pounds lighter 4 years ago. It would be instant doom to do that. I knew I had to find a way if this was going to work and I decided that instead of feeling down on myself, being mean to myself for not being where I am and giving up altogether, I would meet myself where I’m at. This became my 2017 motto that got me through alot of hurdles and will continue to as I move forward. Meeting yourself where you’re at is the most graceful thing you can do for yourself.
3. With a plan, anything is possible.
When we decided we were a definite yes to considering a move to Texas, Mark and I sat down and wrote out everything that would need to happen to make that goal happen. Sell the house, find a place in Texas, minimize our stuff, find people to help us move, rent a truck, leave a job and hope the timing works out. The list quickly became daunting. But thanks to being a goal coach, I put everything I knew about working towards a goal and fiercing forward into what we were trying to do and we came up with a plan. The key to the plan was writing it all down and looking at it everyday. This kept us focused on what and why we were doing everything we were doing. One step at a time, we accomplished every action item and soon enough we were in the Uhaul heading down to Texas for our new adventure and that was 6 months ago now. Anything is possible with a plan.
4. The way people treat you is a mirror for how they feel about themselves.
This lesson has given me freedom. I’ve gotten to a point in my life where the things I used to care about just don’t matter as much as how I feel about myself matters. It’s something that’s taken me a long time to come to and I think it’s one of the best things about getting older is that you get wise. You learn what really matters and that the things you once thought mattered, don’t actually matter.
At times when I haven’t been treated kindly, I thought it was something I did. I questioned how I could be better for these people. I would try to people please the most unkind people because I didn’t know this one thing: it wasn’t about me. The way others treat you is a mirror for how they feel about themselves. I know personally that when I’m not feeling happy about my choices, myself or my life, I don’t feel happy towards people and the world in general. We all live in our own world. The world is more than our own. I have learned that unless someone says I did something to offend or hurt them, the way someone treats me isn’t about me, it’s about them. It’s provided me the freedom to not have to bear the burden of taking on a new story or meaning behind someone’s actions. It’s been a life changer!
5. The only way to really live is with your heart wide open.
No matter how much pain you experience or how much fear you feel, keep your heart open. For a period of time last year, I closed up and created a shell to protect myself from being hurt. Instead of facing the pain I felt, I ran and hid from it. It wasn’t a way to live. And I learned, from the experience of closing myself off, that the only way I could really live my life was to break my heart wide open again. I started getting vulnerable by speaking my truth, sharing my experience and how I grew from it and actually facing what had happened and what I was feeling. I was able to forgive and thank the people that shaped my experience for providing me the opportunity to grow. Sometimes a heart break can crack your heart wide open in the best way possible.
6. The way we think our lives should unfold isn’t always the same way it actually does and it’s so magical that way!
When we first moved to Austin, I honestly believed that the Universe would reward our giant leap of faith by bringing us a new-found security. I put my rose colored glasses on and seriously believed! Mark left his job in corporate america to come work with me at Fierce Forward. We sold our home in Indiana, left our families and followed the call south, to the heart of Texas. The first four months were the most difficult months Mark and I have gone through as a couple. Things were not going well, we were in the valley of the rollercoaster when I was sure the universe would bring us a peak for taking this huge risk. I was wrong and it was a hard pill to swallow. We questioned if we made a mistake in leaving Indiana, in selling our home, in walking away from a second income. I questioned if the law of attraction really works and if believing was the wrong thing to do. The only thing in our control was our attitude and that was suffering as every week and rent check slipped through our fingers.
We learned that we would have to make new choices and that we would follow through with this decision to stay here because that’s what we really wanted. It didn’t matter that the timing wasn’t working out to our preference, what mattered was how we responded to it. Mark and I became a solid unit since moving here and it’s because we were challenged to face adversity together and to face it head on and not hide from it or run back where we came from when it got hard, but to find a way. I love that it happened this way. We learned how to be much more mindful with our budget, we learned that we could do anything together and we learned that we are a pretty fierce team. And I learned to trust myself and the law of attraction even more than before. Because we may not have done it if I didn’t believe in it enough that it would work out. The way we think our lives should unfold and the timing at which we would like it to, is never exactly the way it all works and that’s where the magic lies. To keep going, to never give up, to hang on when you get to the end of your rope and to trust the path.
7. You have to do it for you. Let the rest follow.
If you put yourself on the backburner for too long, you will burn out. You can’t live for everything and everyone else, you have to live for you. Because in the end, all these other things you’re giving yourself to, will be gone or will move on or will shift and change and you’ll be left standing there, burnt out wondering what’s left. The most important lesson I think I’ve learned this year is that I can’t not put myself first ever again. It’s a requirement for me to be my best in the world, I have to first give my best within my own world. I came up with this quote one day a few weeks back and I can’t stop saying it to myself: “By supporting myself, my best self emerges.” No greater truth in 2017. And from there, there is no limit!
If you haven’t written down what your lessons from the past year have been, I urge you to make the time to do this. When you do and when you actually write it out vs just think about it, it solidifies these lessons into truths that you can carry with you in your coming years and that you can refer back to anytime you need.
To discover what your greatest lessons were in 2017, take out of a piece of paper or use the notes section on your computer and begin thinking about the challenges you’ve faced this past year. It’s really in the challenges that we find many valuable lessons. The times we struggle, the times we have to dig deep to keep our head above water and the moments where we choose to forge ahead over giving up, that we find our strength within. Then just start writing. I like to start with the end first then work backwords and by this I mean I like to start writing about the experience first and then let what I learned from it come naturally afterwards. Take your time with this. The above took me two hours to gather my thoughts, reflect and let it come to me. Then, I thought about all the great amazing things that happened and wrote what I learned in those experiences. I hope this helps!
Happy New Year!
Love and lots of lessons in 2018,