Reflection and Revision. How to Rock The New Year!
Welcome to 2018. Today we take some time to reflect on things that we’ve done, things experienced and things that have effected us both positive and negative throughout the last year. Yes, January 1 may just be a social construct, and yes it’s just another day on the calendar. However, for many it symbolizes a fresh start, a new slate and I think we don’t give ourselves that often enough. Really any moment is it time for reflexion and the time for new beginnings. The time to say goodbye to old behaviors and start with something new. Everyday we have the chance for personal growth, the opportunity to better ourselves and better the world around us. So often we get caught up in the mundane, we get tied to our schedules, and are discouraged when we don’t finish things or by failures and missteps. But I really do love the concept of starting fresh and setting goals while also reflecting on the past. We don’t want to dwell on things that have happened things that we can’t change, but it does benefit us to look back at the accomplishments and failures to learn and grow. I’ve made a short list of certain things that I have learned in the year of 2017. The best we can do is to continue our personal evolution.
- Let go of Dogma: For me letting go of dogma was one of the most important things I learned 2017. Four years I was vegan. My identity was tied to it. I thought that in order to be healthy you had to be vegan, in order to be ethical you had to be vegan. At first I felt amazing when I went vegan but after sometime my health began to decline. My hair was falling out, my skin dry and cracked and I felt like I was literally going crazy. I was depressed, anxious and obsessive. I refuse to acknowledge that with my diet was the problem. I saw leaders in the Vegan movement with vibrancy, energy and passion, so what was I doing wrong? I also knew that other people saw me and labeled me as a vegan my family my friends everybody knew that I wouldn’t ever eat animal products. While traveling and Central America this past year I worked on a permaculture farm, and worked with an Ayruvedic Practitioner. I saw the ethical way that animals could be treated. I saw the important rolled that they played with in a regenerative environment. I let go and slowly introduced animal products back into my life, and am now healthier then I've been in years. I let go of the label and it’s superficial identity.
- Choose to get uncomfortable, vulnerable, and honest with yourself. If you're not scared, and you're not failing then you're not growing very much. Discomfort is a reflection of growth. There are lots of things that I did this year that made me uncomfortable first of all traveling by myself. Although I had always dreamed of traveling, it’s always been slightly terrifying being alone in a foreign country, not knowing anybody, the language barrier and an unknown culture. But that's also what is so thrilling about it. I spent time in the forest by working with an ancestral healer and with plant medicine. I didn’t know what to expect but surrendered fully and went through transformation both emotionally, physically and spiritually. Certain things that I’ve dealt with in life, things brushed under the rug, and things that kept me in depression were brought to the surface. By being uncomfortable we begin to move through them and they have less power over us. In my professional life I chose to take risks. Things I had never done, like being a personal chef are some of the most life giving aspects of my work.
- Let joy be your GPS. As Joseph Campbell would say follow your bliss this again is related meaning to my professional life and traveling I’m not one to settle for a job that tortures my soul. I love to garden, I love to cook, I love health and so I’ve created for myself a job that nourishes my gifts and passions, so that I am able to serve others..
- When you decide to do something in your professional or private life, go all in! This has been a hard one for me because I do love so many different things that I often times my attention becomes scattered and my work subpar. By Focusing on one thing at a time and organizing, you can give yourself 100% and do you're best work. Remember this doesn't mean that you can't do everything, but instead you cannot do everything right now.
- If you are the smartest, happiest or most successful person in the room, then you're in the wrong one. Always seek growth and development. Humble yourself, acknowledge that you have much to learn. Also remember that you do not need to start from scratch, so many mentors exist through coaching, books, and video. We can learn from their wisdom and mimic their behaviors in order to get similar results whether it be in relationships, health, career, or spirituality.
- Connect with nature and put down the phone. Presence is priceless. Don’t get me wrong technology is a wonderful thing. It allows us to do so many things from learning, to connecting with people far away, to sharing inspiring ideas, and sharing recipes. However, if we spend too much time in front of screens we can become overstimulated and lose quality time with the present moment. Everyday hide your phone for an hour to go out in nature, give it your undivided attention to friends while out to eat or grabbing coffee. When you spend time with your kids or your nephews give them play with them, talk, and be present.
- Stop apologizing for your voice, have the guts to stay true to yourself and personal vision. Stop caring so much about what other people think. People always have their judgments but most of the time it’s a projection of what they think of themselves. And vice versa, often times we project on ourselves what we think other people are thinking of us. A lot of the time. The truth is people don’t really care because they’re busy enough inside their own head dealing with their own stuff. What we crave is someone who is authentic and real. Someone understanding you can have different perspectives in fact that’s what keeps life interesting that’s what sparks debates conversations when were able to think differently than each other give up trying to please you do you.
- Creativity comes in seasons. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just be creative all the time; if we could cook a new dish every single day, if we could paint an amazing piece of art or if we could write a blog post, build something with our hands but in fact creativity comes in waves. There are times where nothing can touch us and everything flows. At other times we feel stuck and uninspired. But instead of beating up ourselves about it let’s use the time for practical, reflection and mentors to model after.
- Sometimes the most productive thing to do is rest. If you’re anhardcore go getter, being productive, busy, and maybe even thrive off having a sense of urgency. But in fact sometimes it just becomes mechanical. We are busy for the sake of busy-ness, we get run down, stressed and don’t perform at our best. Sometimes we just need to rest, stop running on adrenaline. Calm down, sleep more, play so that we can come back with passion and vitality.
- Spend time in meditation every morning. We cannot do Michelangelo-level work while being overstimulated by technology or our schedules. When you start out meditation can be torturous. I never realized how scattered I was until I tried sitting and not judging every thought that popped into my head. Meditation doesn’t have to be the same for everyone. I find that yoga is a great way of unifying both my body and my mind to become fully present. Sometimes guided meditations, healing music or walking in nature can be used as meditation. The point is to be in the moment fully drawing our attention back whenever it wanders. Let go of judgments, and just be.
So how was your 2017? In what ways has it nourished you and in which ways has a challenge to you? There’s a great exercise that Marie Forleo gave on her podcast. Three questions that we can use to analyze the year that has passed and how to set intentions going into the new year. And here they are:
Three Questions Ask About 2017 and Welcome in the New Year:
What did I Do, Create, and Experience in 2017?
Without much thought we can often forget about all the progress we have made. Most people overestimate what they can do in a day, but underestimate what they can do or have done in a year. Have you ever had a day that just slipped away and then you find yourself projecting that sense of lost time onto your entire life. "I can never get anything done, I wanted to finish that project last week." Well I feel like this a lot. Things don’t always panel at the way that we intend them to but there is a way of learning from these lessons and changing in the future. By acknowledging and then serving we have done we can celebrate the wins big or small and we can also learn how to better ourselves in the future in order to make more progress and overcome the limiting believes that we might have.
What Mistakes can I use to Learn From and Leverage?
Mistakes and failures are the best teachers and a sign from the world that something we are doing is NOT WORKING. Instead of being discouraged, and beating ourselves up, how can we shift our behaviors, attitude, and strategies around money, relationships, work and health to overcome the obstacles. As Einstein is often quoted, "Insanity is doing the same things over and over, while expecting a different result."
In addition to your own observation as people for their honest feedback. If your boss shot down a project idea, perhaps ask for feedback as to what you could have done differently. If you tried to launch a business that failed in the first few months, ask clients or customers what they value and how you can be of service to them. Take the feedback and leverage it to canipult you into 2018 with fresh eyes,
What Am I Willing to Let Go Of?
This one applies to goals, behaviors, projects, resentments, embarrasments, habits, etc. and 2017 for instance I like go of a lot of wrongdoings that people have done towards me instead of letting them control me and Stan and resentment and move past it I surrendered and let it go and this found freedom. Also my own limiting believes thoughts of in adequacy that hold me back from speaking my truth when I let these go my perspective shifted, and I moved towards everything being figureoutable.
Much peace and many blessings! Let’s ROCK 2018!!!