So much for subtlety, folks. I’ve already let the cat out, so I’ll just go ahead and say it again: I had a freaking amazing year last year!!
As I was reflecting over the past year, I was struck by just how incredible it was in so many ways. And in honor of one of my newly-minted Core Desired Feelings, I am going to declare it unapologetically!! (Unapologetic is one of the ways I want to feel this year; I’ll tell you more about that and the rest in a future post.)
An instinct that I’ve been confronting, challenging, and transforming lately is that for downplaying the goodness. In the past I’ve noticed that, although I have a bunch of people in my life who are always super supportive of successes and celebrations and enthusiasm in general, there are also those who seem to feel deflated by it, who you can sometimes actually see measuring themselves against the light they’re witnessing and then suffering as they find themselves, in their own eyes, wanting. It pains me so much to be involved, even involuntarily, in that soul suck cycle. (I wrote about this a bit more in this post: Vulnerability: Being Seen Bearing Weight.) So over the years I noticed that I started selectively toning my successes and enthusiasm down. (I’m sure some of you who know me are probably thinking that I’m a big fat liar right now, since I still show up pretty dang upbeat most of the time. Yet the truth is, I’ve got way more wattage to share!)
Another reason I realized I’ve toned myself down is to not come off as foolish or naive, to combat the judgment of the jaded and the savvy, the embittered and world-weary. Those who think they know better, they’ve lived more, they’ve seen more, they’ve struggled more, they’ve suffered more. It kind of depresses me to actually have to stick up for sunshine and rainbows, and so I figured out through trial and error how to ration out acceptable amounts of optimism, letting out a little more than might seem comfortable, but not so much as to evoke retaliatory rants or schoolings of how life “really” is or – worst of all – smug judgment voiced through doubting eyes and sharp tones. With that venomous undercurrent that conveys the belief that I must have never dealt with any real struggles myself if I can still believe in this fantasy world way of life. I share a bit about the ways silent judgment gets me down in the following post: Vulnerability: Being Seen Hurt
Even as I’ve been working on all this, on letting go of concerns around judgment and releasing myself from responsibility around how other people experience things, still I’ve of course got a long way to go. So it felt fitting to exercise these skills by just coming out of the gates today with how awesome this year was – no apologies, no worries of how it’s going to be received. Just sharing my truth, man 😉
Last year my chosen guiding words for 2015 were Presence + Passion. As I’ve been looking back over the past year, it’s been incredible to see just how filled with passion and presence it was! And the two really go together so seamlessly for me. It’s through presence that I’ve been able to tune in ever more keenly to what my soul desires, to what my passions truly are. And it’s through seeking to continue to uncover and honor those passions that I’m pulled ever more keenly to what’s present.
I think an unexpected side effect of my increased presence this year has been that I hadn’t realized quite how much I had done over the last 12 months, because I was just so in it. This made my reflection process over the past week really special and enlightening. So without even further ado, here are some of my key moments, lessons, and takeaways.
In 2015, I CREATED structures and spaces to support the establishment and growth of my new business in ways that felt amazing and true.
I TRUSTED myself, my instincts, and my intuition in so many beautiful ways.
I TRUSTED that my desires were the key to unlocking my best life yet, and that it would ALL WORK OUT – because life is good AND I’m a hustler who takes care of business.
I LEARNED so much around coaching – skills, strategies, theories and practices, as well as website creation, marketing, social media strategies, branding, and what I do and don’t believe in around coaching and marketing.
I LET myself end a phase of my career on my own terms, and be open and honest about it with my students and colleagues. As a result, I RECEIVED and continue to receive beautiful expressions of appreciation, support, and love from so many of them.
I LEAPT with ease and grace and faith by putting myself out there professionally in a way that was risky and scary. When that didn’t result in what was needed, I LEAPT again in a bigger and riskier way. I LEAPT and stayed whole. I LEAPT and FLOURISHED.
I SURRENDERED to my soul and its wisdom, to my desires and light, to flow and joy and new paradigms. And I SURRENDERED to the fact that THIS IS HOW I TALK!
I GAINED new communities of awesomeness and incredible opportunities for connection around coaching, entrepreneurialism, writing + creating, wild soul living, music + beer, and relating.
I INVESTED more time and money than I ever have before in both my business and personal growth. I RELEASED the preconception that these types of investments are for others. I ACCEPTED and EMBRACED that they are indeed for me.
I RECEIVED and WELCOMED so much amazing advice, support, and help from friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers.
I REALIZED some epic shit about unconditional love, self-love, expectations, boundaries, and intentions. Spoiler alert: It all revolves around ideas and feelings of worthiness.
I EXPERIENCED the following things for the FIRST TIME: A tattoo, Costa Rica, a retreat, hypnosis, bodytalk, energy healing, a sleepover with my niece + nephew, dyad meditation, a bat mitzvah, selling a bundle of coaching sessions, meditating for one hour.
I MANIFESTED boatloads of snow, abundance in several different forms (including a job), and a baseball cap 😉 I LET myself admit that I believe this.
I EXPERIENCED lots of amazing, soul-filling music, from local geniuses to worldwide legends.
I said GOODBYE to Hot Dog Brightside and HELLO to Braverman Brightside.
I said GOODBYE to trunks falling on my head, stuck windows, failing heating + cooling systems, and portable iPod speakers and HELLO to functional trunks, fresh and free-flowing air, multiple music options and taking + making calls through buttons on my steering wheel!
I got to EXPERIENCE a new version of GOING HOME every time I visited the school I’ve worked at for the past 13 years. It’s such an awesome feeling to have that here.
I RELEASED a LOT. Stuff, emotional baggage, ways of being that no longer serve, obligations, fear, limiting beliefs.
I’ve been so fortunate to EMBARK on not one but two new careers this year that are much more similar than they are different. In that, I’ve gotten to MELD all my experience in teaching, leadership, curriculum writing, and facilitating professional learning with my coaching into a new position that allows me to grow and support others in a way I was expressly built to do. And all this in a supremely SUPPORTIVE environment.