11 Lessons I Learned in 2017
Hi dear friends,
I hope you all enjoyed the sweet spirit of the holiday season. I traveled quite a bit the last couple of months, but when I was home I did a lot cooking, eating, relaxing, and spending time with family.
The holidays this year felt different than years before. Not because I'm no longer a child, innocent in my ignorance of the sometimes harsh realities of the world, but because I found myself quietly realizing how the experiences and changes over the past year have impacted me.
2017 was a year of gain and loss, and of beginning to look at gain and loss as one in the same. While I've gained external things, experiences and successes, it has been through loss that I've garnered internal wisdom, knowledge and understanding. I realize now how much I gain from difficult situations, such as letting go of things, ideas, stories, dreams, or even people that I once felt were a critical part of my life. There's no doubt that at times these experiences have been confusing and heart-wrenching, but it is through them all that I've learned so much about myself, about others, and about how essential change and letting go is to growth.
I'm grateful for 2017's successes and triumphs, and for the many trials and tribulations I had to and am still having to face and overcome in order to achieve my goals. It's been a test of my patience, my character, and my willingness to persevere and see things through, to not give up and take the easy way out when things get hard, scary or painful.
I'm looking forward to 2018 being a new year bursting with possibility — to taking the courageous steps toward that which I desire; to working on my ability to act out of brave love and kindness even when things are hard; and to looking fear in the face and embracing change.
Abraham Hicks once said, "A happy life is just a string of happy moments. But most people don't allow the happy moment, because they're so busy trying to get a happy life." I resonate with her sentiment now more than ever, and in such resonance will do my best to enjoy the journey of my life — including the twists, turns, detours, challenges and changes — instead of constantly trying to be happy or make happy moments, or only look ahead towards a destination.
This year I will turn 29 — just 29 — and yet I already feel I've lived several lifetimes. I'm beginning to feel how fast time passes, and how short and bittersweet and precious life is — that there is only so much time to live this beautiful (albeit strange) existence.
Below are 11 lessons I learned in 2017, and small reminders for this coming year:
- Change is good.
- You get what you give.
- Friends and family should show you love and support and uplift you; not compete with you, show jealousy or envy, or make you feel less than.
- Surrounding yourself with that which brings out the best in you (people, environments, things), is critical to growth.
- If you don't find yourself surrounded by people that make you feel good, don't be afraid of distancing yourself from them; be brave enough to expand your circle of friends.
- Slowing down in your hustle to accomplish and achieve will help you accomplish more.
- Slowing down to enjoy life's most simple pleasures, like cooking and eating a delicious meal with people you love, will bring you more happiness than most things.
- Loving relationships are what make life so rich and meaningful.
- You should always work on being more kind, inclusive, accepting and forgiving of others.
- Your body is your home; treating it well will make your experience in life that much more pleasureful and free, and will help avoid undue pain and suffering.
- Every aspect of your life's journey can be a gift, if you choose to perceive it in that way. (Life is just one big perceived reality, anyways.)
With love & blessings for a happy new year,