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Personal Reflection of 2018 and Getting Back On Track for 2019

Every year, I like to sit down and reflect: what happened, what I learned, and what I can take from the year to move forward mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and professionally.

Confession: I use to not be a big fan of setting specific New Years intentions, and then I realized why: I use to totally over do it and set too many unrealistic goals and then get frustrated and forget them all.

However, in recent years, I’ve taken a more realistic approach for the New Year and have used it as a time to self-evaluate, but not in a super critical way. I more like to write out the memorable things that happened over the year — good, bad, beautiful, ugly — and then dwindle down to one or two big picture intentions.

Using a similar format to last year, here are some highlights from 2018. It may read as a bit of a sap story about half way through, but I assure you I don’t mean it as that — I just happened to have a few not-so-good things happen. Again, I write out the memorable things that happened — good, bad, beautiful, ugly — and with the bad and the ugly, a lot of good and beautiful lessons.

  1. On February 1, after 6 years, I left my biggest Graphic Design contract with Health 2.0 to take the leap into full time Health Coach, Yoga Instructor, and everything in between. (Before I pursued becoming a Health Coach and Yoga Instructor, I was a successful freelance Graphic Designer).

  2. At the beginning of the year, I kept up with saying “yes” to a lot of things, even if they scared me — which continued to open a lot of doors — I cooked for a retreat, which I’d maybe like to do again in the future and I helped out with a few influencer events put on for Beats by Dre (uhh, what? so cool), to name a few.

  3. Yoga for Back Pain with my friend Sharan was taught a few times — and we’re looking to bring it back (pun intended) again.

  4. Yin and Juice, my baby, was born. It’ll be making it’s way back into the New Year — that’s for sure!

  5. I started teaching at my alma matter studio -- the Yoga Loft. *dreams do come true*

  6. Come June/July, things started kind of taking a bit of a turn. With leaving my job and pursing a new career, even though things were going a positive direction and I was (and still am) SO happy and confident with my choice, it brought a lot of change — in lifestyle, friendships, relationships, financials, etc. With change came stress. That stress brought back some old demons: a small relapse on my stomach issues, acne resurfacing, and anxiety and panic attacks I thought I had learned to control. In July, I was having frequent panic attacks and some pretty out-of-this-world anxiety. I slowed down — started working with my team of people again (doctor, health coach, coaching group, healers), and started getting my own health back on track.

  7. I decided to take a time out weekend for myself mid-August and go to a festival put on by Phish (my favorite band to see live) called Curveball. I flew out there, set up camp, and then it got cancelled.

  8. The day after I got back from the cancelled festival, I ended up in the ER with my brother Charlie. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

  9. I took a bit of time off between the end of August and end of September to be there alongside my brother. A few doctors appointments and packing up his life in LA later, I ended up helping to drive him cross country to move him to upstate NY, my mom taking the leg from LA to Denver, me taking over from Denver to Saratoga Springs, NY.

  10. When I got back to LA, it felt like a train had totally hit me. I had put a lot of my business on hold, subbed out most of my classes. When I did get back, I was in a bit of a trance. I was trying to stay on track and move forward, but between the panic attacks and anxiety coming back even before my brothers diagnosis, and then insert his diagnosis, I was a big ball of depression, sadness, grief -- you name it. I’d be extremely happy and okay one moment, and then breaking down the next. I’ve been through bad times before, it’s not my first rodeo with family health issues or panic attacks seemingly out of nowhere, but you almost forget what the pain feels like and how drastically your life changes. I’ll tell you one thing — you REALLY find out who your true friends are.

  11. The last few months of 2018 felt like they were just crumby all around — I felt like I just kept getting bad news in my personal life. My brothers treatment changed to something a lot harsher which was hard to hear, I felt certain friendships were no longer serving me and decided to no longer put energy into them and even made the decision to cut one of them out, certain jobs didn't come through, I was feeling stretched -- physically, emotionally, financially.

  12. I went to a retreat with my Rockstar Coaching Group who is run by Robyn Youkillis at the beginning of December — and finally had some real space to PROCESS all that had been happening. I’m telling you, from that retreat until now, I’m back to being my happy, giggly, creative self. We’re still going through the same mud as before with some crappy things going on, but through it all I’m feeling like I’m getting my life back on track and I have the clarity to do so. Space to speak, journaling feelings, getting clarity on what you're going through -- it WORKS. Doing the work, works.

  13. One thing I had spoken about at the beginning of the year was my love life and how I wanted to move forward instead of being in this cycle with past lovers. Well, I did just that. I set down the bags of past lovers so I could move forward — and met someone towards the end of this year that has truly been a light in my life through this weird time. I really believe me doing the work to figure out why I was in that cycle and letting it go allowed for a big opening in my heart.

  14. The last few weeks of 2018 I came down with strep throat. It went away, and then after the antibiotics ended, it came back. What did this mean? It meant that I had to cancel my trip to NY to see my brother Charlie because even a common cold could be detrimental to his immune system right now. It meant I had to skip seeing my favorite band Phish in NYC. I spent a few extra days in Florida before flying back to California and spent the rest of the year resting, reflecting, and getting myself healthy again.

Okay! That was a long one. A lot of ups and downs this year, most of it very unexpected.

2019 — Breaking The Shell, Getting Things Back On Track

If you made it through all of those points (congrats if you did! that was long), then you’ll remember towards the end of 2018 I went to a retreat in Brooklyn with the Rockstar Coaching Group. Here’s what kept coming up for me that weekend that I’ve deemed as my 2019 intention:

This year was pretty trying. Don’t get me wrong — I was happy, for the most part, but I felt like I kind of experienced one blow after another. Somewhere along the way, I started backing into a shell. I hardened to protect myself. I got out of my flow — I stopped creating as much, I stopped smiling as much, I stopped giggling as much.

For practical reasons, I started backing away from doing the things I love. I felt like all of my resources needed to go into hustling the business — time, money, energy. And, don’t get me wrong, I love EVERY ounce of what I do and am SO happy and confident with the choice I made to leave my design contracts, but ALL of my energy was flowing into it.

When my brother got sick, the remaining resources I had went to family. And, just like with my business, don’t get me wrong, I would do it 20x over, because that’s where my heart is, but I gave the remaining energy I had over.

Between the hustling and the familial things going on, I stopped doing the life things I love for me. I stopped taking breaks. I stopped traveling and adventuring as much, which is where I get a lot of my creative energy from. I stopped going to as many live music shows. I was doing the yoga and meditation and things I love on the daily, but more out of necessity or chore rather than that excited, ‘I LOVE this’ feeling.

I’ve been so caught up in growing this business and worrying about my family being okay that I forgot about my own life.

The lesson in it all is that, these things happen. Life keeps happening. We adjust accordingly, and we move on. It’s so easy to mentally get wrapped up in it all, but we have to pick up, dust off, and keep moving on our journey.

So, I’ve realized I need to get my life back on track — book the flights, take the breaks, adventure more in my own city, try new yoga and workout classes when I’m feeling in a rut, go dance to the live music no matter the cost. These are the things that feed me, and in turn feed my business, my clients, and fuel me to show up as a better sister, daughter, friend, lover.

In 2019, I’m breaking that hardened shell and getting my life back on track, one step at a time. That starts with a few deep breaths, putting a hand on my heart and asking “what would feel good for this right here, right now?”

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