A little reflection on a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year.

Anyone recognize that line from a beloved children’s book?
That’s how I feel about the year that has just been put to bed. Typically, I’m not a huge fan of new year’s resolutions or marking a year’s closing by the calendar, but this year, well my god, this year I am happy to say goodbye to 2017. For us, it was a shitstorm of epic proportions.

I won’t go into the exact details for why that is because that’s entirely too personal, but through all the turmoil I did learn a few things. And so rather than let all that sadness, frustration and misery pass me by unanalyzed, I’ll share with you what I learned from it all, and what my greatest wish for 2018 is, not just for me, but for everyone around me, and to each of you reading this.

Lesson One:
Never underestimate the power of your environment.

We all do the hard work every day to think positively, block out the haters, and make the most of what we have to do on our ever-growing to-do lists. But no matter how hard you try, you cannot always control the place where you work, where you live or even sometimes the city / country you live in. I thought that by focusing inward, meditating, journaling and finding quiet it would eliminate all the negative energy in my environment. It doesn’t. Not entirely, and the energy spent on trying to be the light, the positivity, the better person can drain you. You have to know when it’s in your control, or when you need to leave a toxic environment. Your health (physical, mental and emotional) is worth more than trying to put lipstick on a pig. If it’s a giant mess and you cannot fix it, leave. You need to be in an environment that sparks joy, creativity, allows focus and yet also relieves stress. If you’ve given it all you can, move on to greener pastures.

Lesson Two:
The only opinion worthy of your consideration is your own. Period.

I’ve been caught in a spiral where I make a ton of progress, and I’m clear on what I need to do, and then I let someone else’s opinion change my mind. It doesn’t really matter who that person is, but just know that they are not you and do not know what is important to you. They may have great intentions, and at the time they may have been honest and in full support of you, but the truth of the matter is, they have their own priorities that are not your own. So to listen to their version of the truth is an exercise in futility. While you may make THEM happy in the short term, providing some peace for all, in the long term you will have let down yourself. So rather than do anything that is guided by another flawed human being, only listen to yourself.

Lesson Three:
Listen to your gut.

When something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. You know when you are weirded out by someone or a situation? That’s your gut telling you to stay away. We are very intuitive beings, if we choose to listen to what our own hearts and bodies tell us. I made a lot of decisions this year on autopilot, and I overlooked my intuition entirely, resulting in a lot of heartache when I finally clued in and righted things. Above and beyond that, there’s a very real reason that my gut is chronically inflamed right now. My body is literally shutting down, breaking itself down to tell me that something in my life is incredibly out of whack. And rather than listen when it was a small whisper of a flare, I continued on my path to self-destruction until I was in one of my worst flares to date (still battling it, in fact). Now I have no choice but to listen, or risk losing even more of my precious health. So, please, listen when it’s just a nagging whisper, and don’t let it become a full on attack of your being. Listen to what your body tells you, and make changes to find health. Because it is your number one resource.

And so, my wish for 2018, for you and for me, is that we all learn to tune out the noise around us a little more, get quiet and listen to our intuition every day, and chase the light with all the fierceness of your heart. No matter the obstacles, no matter the fear, no matter the judgement. Chase what makes you happy, chase what lights you up, chase what feels RIGHT. Because you were meant to live a life full of wonder, happiness, health and magic. Chase it, and live out all your heart’s desires, my friend.

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