Reflecting on 2017

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And just like that… it’s New Year’s Eve 2017!  I wanted to take a moment and reflect back on so much that happened this past year and how I’ve changed this year…

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned this year that come mind when I think back:

“Family isn’t an important thing…it’s everything”
This quote is on a sign at my friends front door and it really struck me when I saw it. This year when I think back, my most cherished memories are those spent with family. I think this year is one year where I truly am starting to understand what’s important in life to me. It sounds so simple but I feel like it’s just recently that I’m learning that it’s about spending quality time with loved ones. Seeing them and hearing them for who they are as another human being, just like me. We took a family trip this year to the Eastern Sierras with my sister, her husband, and our two moms and that was hands down one of the highlights of my year. It was nice just to be with family.

My sister and I have sometimes a rocky relationship due to lots of shared history and the circumstances around how we grew up, and this year we went through a rough patch, but then came back together again and are in a such a good place now.  It’s been so much fun hanging out with Andrew, my sister and her husband… the four of us playing games and enjoying all the little things in life together like good food, good beer, traveling, and playing Settlers. 🙂 Oh and celebrating Christmas.

I am also so lucky too have married into Andrew’s amazing family of his mom, sister, and his aunts, uncles, cousins and baby cousins… I love them all and I can’t say this enough but they really are the big family I always wanted growing up but never had.  I really value the time we spend with them. There’s something so warm and comforting about family… having bonds with people that will never be broken cause it’s family. I love that.

Practice minimalism and the Konmari lifestyle
One big life-changing shift I made this year was to practice the KonMari lifestyle. This from the hugely popular book by Marie Kondo about the Japanese way of tidying and decluttering. It really was a big deal to me this year — I did a few huge rounds of decluttering, getting rid of things in my life that no longer spark joy. I still have a long way to go, but I love it so far. My goal is to be only surrounded only by things that truly spark joy for me. There’s been a lot of positive effects on my life…I feel more  calm when I look at my closet because each item is something I want to wear.  And shopping wise — I find myself returning more than have the things I buy now because I only want to keep the items I truly love. Something about practicing this kind of minimalism feels so good to my soul. I treat my things better because they are things I love and thus it also forces me to be more mindful and conscious in my actions. Win win.

Everything is a mediation practice
One thing I’ve tried to work into my daily life is making the smallest things like doing the dishes or cooking into somewhat a meditation practice. I don’t really love or even like to cook for example, but when I slow myself down and take it more like a present moment mediation practice, it feels better to me. I just focus on each single task at hand instead of trying to rush through it just to be done with it. It’s definitely a struggle to remember to do this and keep with it, but I hope I can get better.

“When you feel so mad you want to roar, take a breath and count to four”
I came across this adorable quote in a children’s book at Amazon Books last night and loved it. It was from a Daniel Tiger children’s book. People who truly know me well know that I’m not the most patient person. And often times I’m worse with the people I’m close to because I know they love me no matter what and so take advantage of that. This past year, I don’t think I’ve made much progress so to say about being more patient but I think I’ve become more conscious of it and that’s a good first step. I want to always speak with kindness and never with anger, but it’s so hard sometimes when I get frustrated not to be reactive. I have to remember that reactivity is not me. It’s all ego. It’s so freeing to know that horrible person isn’t me… now if only I could just break up with my ego forever and stop letting it run my life all the time. Andrew is my role model here. He is ever so patient and never yells. Sometimes I wonder if he was just born enlightened or something. Haha.

Use your soul as your compass
More than ever this year, I’m learning how to use my soul as my compass in life. Up until now, I’ve been following some pretty messed up playbook that told me all that matters in life is getting a job that pays well and running the stupid rat race. I’m stepping back from that now and trying to make a shift in my life to live it using my soul as the compass. I’m all about letting go of all the crazy goal-setting to try to get “ahead” in life now and trusting in life’s timing and life’s plan and just being open and ready to have the universe work through me. One of my all time favorite quotes is “Life is the dancer and you are the dance” by Eckhart Tolle. Please life, use me and help me find my true calling or the next best step in that direction at least.  This is not to say I’m throwing caution to the wind…I’m still planning ahead, saving for retirement, etc etc. Don’t worry guys, not quitting my job to go live off the land… yet…..hrmm.. that actually sounds amazing to me 😛

Practice gratitude
Lastly, this year I feel like I had more thoughts and feelings of true gratitude for everything and everyone in my life. I want to live my life rooted in gratitude for all the grace and beauty in everything around me. When you do things from a place of gratitude, somehow everything just feels right. Again it’s so easy to not be grounded and centered and so easy to just feel like you’re just all over the place and going crazy, but I hope the more I practice gratitude, the easier this comes to me and the light within will grow stronger and stronger.

Well, that’s a wrap on 2017 and here’s to a new year! Sending everyone of you out there lots of love and good wishes for the new year. May 2018 be full of love and continuing to strive to live with intention and purpose.

Currently listening to: This Love – Taylor Swift 

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