2017 was a tough year for so many people. Perhaps many of you can relate. Even on a global level, so much happened that if I were to keep account of all that took place in terms of loss, tragedy, catastrophe and overall unfortunate events, I would be writing forever. All I can say is, these are the times we each need to step up our game and “be the change that we wish to see in this world” like Gandhi so beautifully stated.
This year was a heart-pumping, nauseating and bumpy roller-coaster ride for me as well. I’ve hit some major roadblocks in my life. I felt like a total hot mess on some days. But as with most things in life, I cannot bring myself to say, it totally sucked. Because it didn’t. I would be extremely ungrateful to rule out an ENTIRE year and say, it was all bad.
There were MANY challenges that seemed unsurmountable, many days of tears, setbacks, losses, and disappointments. And yet, there were also the beautiful sunsets, the wins, the learning, and the heart that would not give up. Giving up is not an option for the one who wants to live fully and on purpose. Would you agree?
For the past 5 years, I’ve been cranking out my journal every December and writing down the lessons the year has taught me. This year, I have done the same and decided to actually share it with the world in hopes that it might inspire some of you to think about your own lessons.
Here are the 7 Lessons 2017 Gently (and sometimes not so gently) Taught Me:
1. Your Health and Sanity are EVERTHING. Preserve them: For the record, I am sort of a health nut. I am the gal who won’t eat a cupcake with artificial-colored frosting no matter how yummy it may look. I am the gal who goes to the gym 6 days a week to fit in 3 cardio and 3 strength classes most weeks. I am the gal who meditates every single day (ok, on most days). I don’t drink nor smoke. I sleep solid 8 hours a night (Arianna Huffington would be proud!). I eat and hydrate really well. I spend time in nature. I have a great support system with loving family and friends. So, you can say my physical, mental and emotional health are a priority for me. I thought so, too.
Until I started having anxiety attacks this year. Even though I can’t pinpoint to one single cause for it, I know that the culprit is spelled BURNOUT. At times, I said yes to too many “opportunities” and put too much on my already full plate. I did more than I should and delegated less than I should. But no matter what the cause is, anxiety attacks happen to more people than we know. For anyone who ever had a panic or anxiety attack, I honor you for your strength to show up no matter how hard it may be sometimes.
Health is our greatest wealth and we need to guard it with all our might. I have learned it the hard way and I am still learning as each day goes by. No overworking. No overthinking. No burdening our souls with more than we can bear.
2. Keep fighting for your dreams even when all may be stacked against you: Life works in funny ways sometimes, doesn’t it? You want to do something, it throws in a curveball to see your reaction. It almost tests you to see how badly you want something. It sends you inconceivable challenges that you feel like you can’t overcome. This is when you have to give it your all. This is when you don’t stop. This is when you keep your eye on the prize and keep running towards your dreams.
3. Hold on to those who support your dreams: Whoever they might be: family, friends,business partners, neighbors. These people are precious rare gems and need to be treated with utmost care. It is not always easy to find people who support what we do and when we find them, we need to learn not to take them for granted.
4. Crawl if you must but don’t stop the momentum: This one is simple. Once you stop the momentum, it just becomes so much harder to get back in the game. That’s why it’s so important to keep going so that you don’t lose all momentum to the point of giving up. One thing I have learned is when you stop the momentum, you may give up on the idea or project all together and never have the energy, motivation or even the slightest desire to get back to it.
5. Face the fear and do it anyway: 2017 was a big year for me as a speaker and coach because I hosted my first live event in sunny San Diego. I was super excited and nervous at the same time. Renting a venue, catering gourmet food, getting a photographer, a video crew, an audio-visual crew and everything else would cost more than I expected and honestly, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to pull it off and actually fill all the seats. But, I was willing to take a HUGE risk and go for it. You know why? Ever since I became an entrepreneur back in 2012, it was my dream to have a live event where I empowered people to amplify their dreams. I finally believed that my voice, my message could help people transform their lives.
So, yes, I definitely had major fears around hosting my first event but I faced it and did it anyway. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you are afraid. And as you can see, it turned out to be so much fun (as all education should be).
What are the lessons that 2017 taught YOU?
Here’s to a year filled with passion, presence and pure joy for all of us.