It seems a little cliché to jump on the bandwagon of doing some sentimental reflection on the past year, I'll admit. But I do think it's so important, almost fundamental, to recognize, respect and appreciate wherever we currently are in our lives so that we can fully embrace 2016 (and beyond) as a continuation of our journey as opposed to this notion of starting with a clean slate and beginning "new." Each and every day we start new and have the choice to do with it what we will. We don't necessarily need a new year to clean the slate for us, it just feels like a more welcoming invitation to refine, refocus and reset our intentions that may have been diluted in the midst of the holiday festivities.
I certainly welcomed and let go of many things this year, as this journey of mine is a constant work in progress. I'm always learning more about myself and fine tuning this lifestyle that I have chosen. 2015 has taught me patience, vulnerability, resilience, independence, self-respect, self-empowerment and finding comfort in discomfort. I'm much more in tune with myself, and because of it, I have an easier time identifying what truly drives me, inspires me and motivates me. And what drains my energy and creates unnecessary baggage...the kind that literally puts bags under my eyes. I know that my lifestyle isn't considered the "norm" among society (all things in time), but I have stayed true to it because it's fulfilling and lights me up while also keeping me grounded. In turn, I have reaped the benefits, which reassure me that I'm making these decisions for the betterment of myself in the long haul.
In the spirit of this new year, I wanted to share some sweet little self-reminders. I consider them to be my constant work in progress, and invite you to make them yours. Recognize which ones tug at your heart strings and resonate with you the most. Then you'll know where your work lies and can begin laying the foundation for yourself.
Make this the year of you, to celebrate you. Love and embrace it all. The ups, the downs, all of the little "things" that shape you into the amazing, resilient person that you are and will continue to grow into.
Be selfish. With your health, your time, your decisions.
Be present. Be mindful. Be grateful.
De-clutter: your mind, your life, the space around you.
Allow yourself to find stillness. Breathe more slowly. Meditate. It's medicine.
Don't be so judgmental. Towards yourself or anyone else.
Quiet the inner ego, trust your gut, allow your intuition to be your guide so that you can continue to move onward and upward.
Explore. Travel. Travel alone, if you can, so that you can completely unplug and soak up your surroundings.
Be vulnerable. Rip the bandaid. Call bullshit when you sense or spot it.
Communicate. I think I should repeat this one. Communicate.
Fan that inner flame towards whatever it is that sets your soul on fire. Find whatever it is that motivates you to get out of bed every day.
Listen to better music. Read better things. Sleep better. Eat better. Be a better version of yourself.
Laugh. Cry. Laugh some more. Maybe until you feel like you're gonna pee your pants. Because we've all been there, right?
Create your own inner happiness so that you can find and share it with someone else who embraces it wholeheartedly.
Admire your strength. Challenge yourself. Speak up so that your voice can be heard loud and clear.
Be kind. Be gentle. Be patient.
Choose love. Always choose love.
And of course, be well.
Through my wellness journey, the notion of being & living well is a full-circle lifestyle that stems from three core pillars: what we eat, how we live, and what we do. The acts of doing well are something I'm currently refining and hoping to share more of in the future, however it encompasses daily acts of kindness and gratitude that contribute to the betterment of society, our communities and of course, ourselves. It all begins from within and radiates outward. When this shift and lifestyle begins to come full circle, the naysayers that don't fit into our lives naturally slip away so that we can create more space for those that support and love us for all that we are.
Of course this sounds all too well and perfect, the idea that we can nail all of these things. But we're not meant to be perfect. We're human. We're supposed to fail. We're supposed to hit rough patches and potholes because that is what allows us to find the strength to pick back up and become the better versions of ourselves that make this journey so rewarding.
In this new year, I aspire to continue practicing balance so that I can welcome and embrace abundance. To constantly refine. Refocus. Reset my intentions. To find ways to more proactively incorporate these things into my life and continue fanning that inner flame that is guiding me towards my true purpose. This journey of mine that I openly share is real and raw and imperfect, but at the end of the day, this is me. I am worth it, and so are you.
I'd love to invite you all to share your 2016 aspirations in the comments below. For the sake of being vulnerable. For the sake of communicating. For the sake of respecting and appreciating the most important person. You.
Thank you to my sweet readers, old and new, near and far, for following along whether that be quietly or loudly. All the love, and all the jazz hands.
To 2016, and then some.