It seems as though everywhere I turn someone has been saying what an awful year 2016 was. By the grace of God I managed to dodge that bullet. In all fairness, I have had my fair share of rough years. I mean rough! So I pray that those years of learning, fighting, heartaches and pains are behind me. I know I will face difficult patches again at some point, because life, but I have also learned that to get to the best parts you have to go through the worst.
To those of you currently going through the worst of it, let me be here to tell you, it does get better. Life isn’t straight sucky. It really truly does get better, joyous, and even peaceful. Despite the insanely hectic year we’ve had, I can still call it a peaceful year. Seems odd, but peace doesn’t come from external things, it comes from within. Digging deep to let go of the stresses, the anger, the pain, the regrets, all of it. No life is perfect and no person is perfect. We are all in this world, this beautiful mess of ups and downs together. The happiest people I know don’t have what this world would consider “having it all”. They are the people who choose happiness despite any situation they face. They may get knocked down but they don’t stay down, they get up and keep fighting. And we all know those people that no matter how good things are going for them, they choose to focus on the negative. It’s all a choice we make.
People often spend the few days around New Year’s reflecting back on the past year and pondering the new year ahead. I spend a lot of time daydreaming, thinking, over-thinking, and reminiscing. When I think about 2016, I think of it fondly. 2016 taught me a lot, but that’s honestly no different than any other year. In no particular order here are a few things I learned:
- Blessings come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes hidden as curses. Some of the most painful things in life will bring about the most beautiful blessings.
- People will let you down and break your heart but other people will also be your glue to mend that broken heart. Let them be your glue, break that wall down and let others in. It’s worth it.
- Putting yourself first and being selfish are not the same thing, but if we’re not careful it can become the same thing. Meaning, it’s good to take care of yourself but don’t cross that line into neglecting others needs around you for your own selfish desires. I can say with all that I am, the best feelings don’t come from getting, they come from giving of yourself for the betterment of others.
- Do YOUR thang and don’t worry so much about the opinions of others. The older I get the easier this becomes. This year I really honed in on this and damn does it feel good!
- Something I’m still learning but have made a lot of progress on (the last few years) is getting to know my body and what works and doesn’t work for me. Gluten, dairy and soy-no Bueno! Occasional grains and goat milk products-yay for me!
- Along the same line as above is also physically attempting new things and yet always evolving. I still love yoga and weightlifting, and I still am NOT a runner!! I tried stand-up paddle boarding and LOVE it. Skiing…not my jam, probably because I hate being cold. My point, you won’t know unless you try! Don’t be afraid to get out there and see what you’re capable of, what you like and dislike.
- Perhaps one of the biggest lessons I learned this year, was that I am so much stronger than I believed. I traveled alone to Costa Rica. I stopped caring so much what others think of me, and cared more about what I think of me. I was able to look back on my life and see the inner demons I’ve had to face and conquered. Doing that is truly a big step for people. It isn’t easy to see our own faults and then overcome them.
Every new year holds opportunity for growth if we allow it. I have never been big on New Year’s resolutions. However, like I said above, the changing of the calendar is a great time for people to reflect and look upon the horizon for new and better things to come. HOPE is a word that fills my heart, and it’s a much better way of looking at the things I’d like to see come to life in 2017. Things I HOPE for in 2017:
- Continue to become the healthiest version of me I can. Dipping my toes in the Keto-Paleo world and seeing if Keto works for me. Check out The Medical Medium and the philosophies and teachings behind it to see if that may work for me…per my doctors advice. These two things will be an all year adventure. They aren’t a quick fix, not that any successful lifestyle change is a quick fix. It takes many months to see progress and change, whether good or bad. After being Paleo for two years, I’m ready to start digging a little deeper and find even more success with my health through diet.
- Get on my yoga mat. Every. Single. Day! This is something that to the naked eye looks like a resolution, but it’s so much deeper. When in Costa Rica on a yoga retreat I learned a valuable lesson about yoga. It is bigger than the asana-the pose. Yoga is a beautiful way of healing our bodies, the physical and emotional. I had a particularly life changing class that caused me to break down and cry to the point the woman next to me asked if I was ok. I was a mess. A mending, healing, hopeful, heart bursting mess. There are just some things that can not be put into words and the way I felt during that class is one of them. For me, the best part of doing yoga isn’t the “workout” or flow, it’s the end, coming into corpse pose and finally letting it all go. The meditative part of it all and looking deep within, quieting the mind and letting go of anything not serving me well. I have struggled since that class to achieve that feeling again, and I know it’s because I haven’t devoted enough time to actually try.
Ultimately my hopes for 2017 are for a year filled with answered prayers, health, happiness, and continued personal growth. I’m excited for 2017 and the promises it holds! I pray that if you’re reading this, God will bless you abundantly this coming year and you may find true happiness in all things!