Looking Back + Looking Forward + Being Where My Feet Are
Every year I feel a little differently as the New Year approaches, hits, and passes. I bet you do, too.
We grow and change a whole year of a human, after all, between each individual celebration.
There were the party years: Stay out til way past midnight; pray there's someone to kiss. (Really it was all focused around my being single or not. Which... TBH usually I was single.) Wake up on January 1st hungover and regretting something I did or said or just feeling awful. Resolve to do better. Be better. Eat more vegetables. Something... ANYTHING to stop feeling like I was falling down a rabbit hole towards failure.
There were the "Eat Pray Love" years: I always say Elizabeth Gilbert and Eat Pray Love were my first self-help gurus. I picked the book up on a whim and, no pun intended, DEVOURED IT. Started yoga. Started taking a little bit more of a stand in my own life. Baby deer learning to walk years.
There were the super "on a spiritual path" reading lots about manifesting and sitting in meditation and attracting things. It was awesome. I manifested some cool things and also got SUPER disconnected with reality and connection with other humans. I wasn't like, sitting on some pillar feeling holier than other people... I was simply entrenched in an eating disorder and trying to read and spiritualize my way out of it. Learned a lot. Totally shaped where my butt is sitting today.
There were the Desire Mapping years. This is when I got super into Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map process (which is incredible and I love it and am 99.9% certain it laid the groundwork for where I sit today. Shout out to my teacher I never met, Danielle LaPorte!) This process is all based on the idea that resolutions and making goals based on external results is whack; we continually set goals, i.e. "lose 10 lbs" or "get the promotion" or "find a partner who loves me," because we think attainment of those goals will make us FEEL a certain way. But, Danielle teaches -> what if, instead of focusing on the external result, we focus on a feeling we really want to FEEL, and then do things that make us FEEL that way. I dig it.
The way I'm approaching it this year:
I'm recapping 2017 by looking at the following: What worked. What didn't work. Celebrating the amazing victories. Forgiving the missteps. Making a gratitude list of all the new people who came into my life and made it that much bigger and more beautiful. And then, doing my favorite exercise: 50 Things I Want.
Things that lit me UP
In January I led my first online program with a group of 6 women, Soul Food Revolution, and I had no idea what was going to come out of it. Spoiler Alert: It (along with other stuff I'd been writing for years) turned into The Book. Shout out to the women who played along and helped me figure THAT out.
In April/May I took a leap across the pond solo, overstuffed my suitcases, survived canceled flights, got upgraded to business class, walked upward of 80 miles around Normandy, Paris, Barcelona, and Copenhagen, met a French chef who taught me some amazing new tricks in the kitchen, worked with an incredibly inspirational tribe of women in a chateau in Courtemer, France, and accidentally "finished" The Book.
Had the opportunity to snag some serious mentoring with some fabulous coaches: Amanda Sewell, Rachel Rodgers, & Alexandra Jamieson. Took some big risks with my business.
Started a business venture with an acquaintance, and while we decided the final product wasn't something we wanted to devote ouselves to fully, a beautiful friendship was born, and we both got clear on things that we didn't want. (Which is just as important, maybe moreso, than knowing what you DO want.)
Quit my corporate America Treasury Management full time gig to begin teaching seven yoga classes a week, work with more women, focus on writing The Book, and gain clarity on my business.
Maintained open communication with my guy and had lots of adventures with him, including beach trips, buying a new bike, trying new scary animal foods, starting the Wheel of Time series, and overall taking one existential crisis at a time together and not allowing fear or the unknown to blow it all up.
Thanks to a random spot on a local morning show, I was invited to share a weekly radio spot on a local station, Classic Hits 103.3, on Jeff & Co with Jeff & Mya and have an opportunity to speak, share, and connect every. week. So grateful.
Took a trip to beautiful New Hampshire to spend time with my family. Realized how much I need to prioritize them and how very integral they are to the joy in my heart and the pep in my step.
Hired a kickass team of women to help bring the book to life, from an editor who inspires me to not give up, a photographer who captures the very essence of the beauty I hope to share, a graphic designer to execute the layout and imagery, and a duo to make photoshoots a breeze—I practiced what I preach on the daily: I asked for and accepted HELP.
Things that aren't working
Teaching seven yoga classes a week.
Survival jobs to bridge the gap and fund The Book.
Working. Every. Single. Day.
And now, onto the fun part:
What I WANT | 2018
This exercise is one of my favorites, and as I cuddled up in bed last night post board games and pizza with my guy and his littles, I felt a longing to identify what I really want. Not in general or in life, but specifically what I want in 2018.
2017 was full of unplanned, spontaneous, and inconceivable-before-they-happened adventures, but the adventures and spontaneity stemmed from desiring to feel adventure and inspired connectivity. Before drifting off into dreamland, I chose to lucid-dreaming-style focus.
What’s important to me as I look toward 2018? Not all simply hard goals, but also... how I want to feel. Things that sound fun. Things that could be interesting. Whether I do them all or not isn’t important. Instead, this is a list of...
50 Things I Want to Inspire and Propel Me Forward:
1. Nail an inversion (either handstand or headstand) away from the wall
2. Publish my book
3. Step away from crutch jobs and support myself with my own freelance and contract work
4. Paint. Canvas. Walls. Paper. Skin.
5. Write so much more. For fun. For work. For nothing. Just write.
6. Travel out of the country (currently thinking Canada/Niagara for the Shaw wine festival... but open to all)
7. Keep gaining more abundance financially
8. Ride my bike more often
9. Canoe and hike and play in nature
10. Reconnect with curiosity in the kitchen.
11. Clarify goals with Honey Crumble Cornbread
12. Knock out 30 hours of Yoga CE
13. See more of my sweet nieces and nephew
14. See more of my sisters
15. Hell, make more time for family
16. Organize thoughts for the next book
17. Poetry. Read it. Write it. Breathe it.
18. Ride horses
19. Record an audio version of my book
20. Develop and work on a podcast
21. Read more for fun
22. Study with Sarahjoy Marsh
23. Learn more chanting
24. Further refine how I want to share and connect
25. Teach more cooking classes
26. TAKE more cooking classes
27. Spend more time practicing yoga than teaching
28. Reprioritize sleep
29. Take at least one day off a week
30. Be my own best boss
31. Refocus on friendships
32. Get even more uncomfortable
33. Continue growing in the capacity to speak my truth
34. Do a reading of the book
35. Do a retreat weekend based on the book
36. Book tour
39. Risk + reward
40. Go to a casino (with no more than $10)
41. Finish unpacking....
42. More collaborations
43. So much love
45. Flow. Abandon.
46. Moon journal
48. Asana + meditation + pranayama
49. Reinvent Pig Lickin’ Cake
50. Do the things I think I can’t.
So what's the 2018 plan? Risk + Flow + Abundance. I’m going to push myself outside of my comfort zone, but not in a desperate, grasping way. Rather, toward the things that feel aligned (if scary). I’ve also recently begun mindfully manifesting abundance... and, it seems to be working, so I’m going to keep on keeping on...
Here’s to 2017. Auld Lang Syne.
2018. Welcome, new friend.
I've already got lots in the works, including a new writing, creative, and business services avenue of the work I do...
and FINALLY PUBLISHING THE BOOK!
What about you? what worked in 2017? What can be released? What's propelling you into 2018?