Dear 2015,

Thank you for giving me so many opportunities to learn, grow and get to know myself better.

You taught me to be grateful for each moment, even the ones that were painful and difficult to embrace. Like when I was feeling really lonely because Mark was away for such long stretches. I learned how to make friends with loneliness and it gave me the opportunity to learn how to comfort myself and meet my own needs for company. Knowing that I can feel lonely and not try and push the feeling away is a big gift.

You taught me HOW to be compassionate with myself and become my own best friend. Like when I was facing some health challenges I knew how to comfort myself and be kind when I was having a hard time. In the past, I probably would have told myself to suck it up and there are a lot of people with more serious problems. I came to realize that talking to myself like that is never helpful and only perpetuates my uncomfortable feelings.

You taught me to listen to my intuition and follow my heart. 2015 was the year I lead with my heart and followed with my head. For example, I had the feeling I needed to do “The Kitchen Table Series” for women and followed my intuition. It ended up being transformative for the women who attended and that included myself.

I learned that I could bring more to my relationships by strengthening my “I” and really knowing myself. A mantra that I liked to use was “pause, connect, honor”. When I was uncertain about something I would “pause” and “connect” with myself. Asking what do I need, what feels right based on who I am and then I would “honor” my inner wisdom and myself. In the past, I would always honor others feelings and needs before my own.

2015 taught me to lighten up and create opportunities for fun. I found that I what I focused on expanded and setting the intention for more fun created more opportunities for fun.

You taught me that every moment is inhabited by either fear or love and with greater awareness, the love expands and the fear shrinks.

I learned that I have only 2 ways of being in any given moment. I am either feeling constricted or expansive inside. All of my constriction is based on fear which includes anger, resentment, grief, sadness, anxiety, worry and that all of my expansion is based on love which feels like contentment, peace, joy, acceptance, non-judgment. I found that being aware of these two states was a clue as to my thought patterns.

I learned those subconscious beliefs that I wasn’t aware of could become beliefs I was aware of when I started to pay attention. I realized that the things in my life that were both working and not working were a result of my beliefs. When I identified and worked with my beliefs my life felt better.

I learned that avoiding conflict never brought greater peace. I practiced becoming more skilled at conflict and found the courage to face it, rather than avoid it. The conflict that came from a place of love created an opportunity for growth and deeper connection whereas avoiding conflict resulted in disconnection.

I learned that change is really hard and that as soon as I started to change I wanted to return back to my comfort zone. I found that if I stuck with it the change got easier and the pull to revert back lessened.

I learned that my key ingredients for a happy life, was time for meditation, being inspired every day and committing to some sort of prayer. I found that making time to journal was powerful. Journaling about gratitude drew more things into my life to be grateful for.

I learned that coincidences happen for a reason and that when my gut told me to do something; I didn’t wait and think about it, I acted on it. I was on the lookout for coincidences and would journal about them when they happened. I started to see patterns that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

I learned to be mindful of my own and other’s vibrations and was mindful about who I focused on in my life. When I aligned myself with people who had similar vibrations I felt more peaceful. I didn’t try and analyze why I was feeling a certain way, I just noticed it and honored it.

I learned that forgiveness needed to be a daily practice and that I practiced it for me and not for the other person. I learned that forgiveness that felt good came from the heart and wasn’t merely an intellectual exercise. When I was in a state of forgiveness I felt lighter and more peaceful.

I learned that my weight and my health wasn’t about my body it was about my mind and my soul. I knew that if I wanted something in my body to be different, I would need to work with my thoughts and get back in alignment with my soul.

I acknowledged that I had gifts that needed to be shared and it’s wasn’t for me to judge how good they were or think they must be perfect in order to share them. It didn’t feel good when I defined success by how much money I was making, how many people liked me, how many Facebook likes I had. It felt good when I acknowledged I was listening to my soul and doing my best without focusing on the outcome.

I learned to trust the spark of an idea and then go with it. Ideas are not to be analyzed, judged and debated. They’re to be honored and felt at the level of the heart and then acted upon. I noticed that all new ideas came along with fear and that fear needed to get on board so the new idea could be born.

You taught me that when I didn’t allow my new ideas to be born because of fear or talking myself out of it I became a little dull inside. New ideas brought to life felt like excitement.

I learned that when I aligned myself with universal and spiritual principles that miracles happened. Like when I thought to myself I would love to do a creative painting project and a couple of days later the perfect workshop came my way. Or when I decided that I was ready for a business coach and was lead to Stacey, who has been the perfect fit.

I realized that comparison really is a buzz kill and unless I’m studying what others are doing from a perspective of learning it’s best to focus on my own work and calling. Comparison crushed and stifled my creativity.

I realized how it’s so easy to spend all my time reading and distracting myself as opposed to actually doing the work. It’s best to do something not perfectly than to wait until I think it’s perfect.

As I move into 2016 I will take all of this wisdom with me. Thank you for a year full of miracles, love, compassion, insights and people who have given me the opportunity to be myself. I am infinitely grateful!