21 Lessons from 2016
In 2016 I rang in the New Year with a bang- literally, because that was the night I got pregnant. Everything from then on was basically like watching a horror movie, only- It was more like watching the news because it was all real life.
This time last year I remember thinking to myself that I was the happiest I had ever been. Looking back now, I can’t believe I would cap off my happiness like that.
Looking back, I had a lot of really unrealistic ideas around what being happy meant.
Oh, and Love- I had some pretty stupid ideas around that too.
But right now, everything is okay. Right now everything makes sense and I understand the in's and out's of the mess I had to sift through. So right now, I just want to take this moment to write and to honour the disaster that was the last 365 days.
I’m not writing this to outline all the terrible shitty things that happened in 2016...because that’s what my Instagram is for! (ha!) I’m writing this to tell you- whoever you are reading this- what I learned in 2016, because as bad as it was..it was also one of the most transformational and healing years of my entire life.
So…Here we go!
1. If you don’t use protection, you’ll get pregnant:
SURPRISE! Shocker right? At least I hope not. Let me just be the eight millionth person to remind you of this simple, yet easily forgotten life rule. This part sucks, but I know that it was vital, because If I hadn’t gotten pregnant, I never would have had the ultra sound that later revealed the 5 centime mass I had growing in my uterine wall. Those 12 weeks were tough, but they taught me that if you don’t listen to your body, the universe will do whatever the fuck it has to do until you start listening. So ladies and gentlemen: Pay attention.
2. Your body. Your fucking choice.
The first time I peed on a stick and saw those 2 pink lines, I was sitting in the bathroom stall at work and didn’t know whether I wanted to throw up or pass out. I can’t tell you how many people offered to take me to the abortion clinic- and what’s worse- I can’t even tell you how many suggested I get one! No one was quick to offer help had I decided to keep it, but it was all hands on deck if I wanted to terminate the pregnancy. In the end, I ended up in that clinic, but I’m happy to say that I walked out. I didn’t need to be there because that wasn’t supposed to be apart of my story. I’ll never forget hearing the words:
“I don’t want to be the one to say I told you
so when you never get to accomplish your goals” – Some Asshole
Bonus tip on this one?
You don’t need to be with anyone who doesn’t support you.
3. If it doesn’t align, ditch it.
AMEN!! In life, in love in work and in play!
I had to cut a lot of ties in 2016 and it wasn’t easy (obviously). I knew deep down that if I was going to make room for something new, I had to let go of the stale stuff. I had to let go of all the shit that just wasn’t working the way it used to.
I had a really hard time parting ways with my life in Costa Rica, but I knew that if I was going to begin my own journey and my own teacher training, I would need to say goodbye to the things that weren't aligning anymore. Don't forget, you can always change you mind. Always.
4. Stand up for yourself
I have always had a really hard time with confrontation and standing up for myself. I have always been such a people pleaser, but I was sick and tired of being a human doormat this year. I can't tell you the number of times I have been so incredibly naive. Things happened this year that were totally not okay. Rumours, lies, sneaking around, cheating = YUCK.
This is garbage and you and I definitely don't need to sit out on the curb entertaining it.
People don't need to believe you, agree with you or even LIKE you. You are better than that, let that shit go!
5. Pay your bills, because ENMAX can and will cut your power off.
Ahhh this one makes me laugh.
This was my rock bottom…for sure. I remember coming home and my entire house was nothing but Rubbermaid bins and Dominos boxes. I was so sad that for days (ok, for weeks) all I did was eat pizza and cry in my unwashed roots sweatpants.
One day I came home and the lights woudn't turn on- I had become so wrapped up in self loathing I didn’t even notice that my bills weren’t being paid. I called a friend, borrowed $300 and took a fucking shower.
After that, I got my act together, one-step-at-a-time style.
6. Go to yoga, do yoga OR just cry in yoga.
Being a total human hurricane has definitely made me a more empathetic yoga teacher. It wasn’t until I needed my yoga mat to be more of a sadness mattress than a yoga mat that I started to realize that your mat is there for whatever you need it for.
Some days I went to class and did one pose before ending up in the fetal positon with tears and snot running down my face.
A big shout out and love to all the teachers who let me sit in the back corner
(and sometimes the front row of their classes) just doing my own thing, finding myself again..one piece and yoga pose at a time.
7. Be sad, who cares. You’re a human.
Earlier this year someone told me I needed to pull myself together. They told me I was setting a bad example and that I needed to leave my personal life and sob stories at home. This lit a fuze in me, and oh boy…did I ever explode.
This was the moment I realized that what made me a good teacher (and a good human) was my ability to connect with people. I knew from that moment on I didn’t want to “fake it till I make it” …ever.
I wanted to be whoever the hell I was and share it. I was sick of answering “I’m great” when I wasn’t. I was sick of artificial meaningless conversations with people.
8. Your pain is your power.
A perfect follow up to #7! This is true. Read it again! and again and again and again.
YOUR PAIN IS YOUR POWER!
Use that shit to fuel your creativity, your classes, your teaching ,your life, your revenge…whatever!
Your pain is the spark that sets fire to your change and your evolution. Honor it.
9. Eat a lot of Pizza and Cry/ Don’t Drown in the tub:
I remember calling my mom this summer in sheer panic I had just finished binge watching an entire series on Netflix and I was beside myself. I couldn’t believe I had just spend the last 4 days in my dirty pj’s surrounded by yet more dominos boxes watching hours upon hours of Netflix. I needed to work!
My mom told me to cut myself some slack and reminded me that sometimes we all need a break. Although it felt a little more like a ‘breakdown’ I decided to take this advice and run with it. I decided to become the most pathetic human being on earth and immerced myself 100% in my heartbreak.
Good news? It didn’t last forever and I know without a doubt I gave my heart all the time and space it needed to heal.
Side note? I drank a lot of wine during this period….and I suggest you totally don’t do that in the bathtub. I was averaging on maybe 5 bubble baths a day and it’s a miracle I didn’t drown.
10. Leave the country and/or Get a Tattoo
Because nothing will ever heal your brokenness like the ocean and/or a little spontaneity
Ditch the planning and just do it.
11. Date and be yourself
(people are into that)
Ahhh Tinder, it’s basically like a mood boosting app for those days when you need to be reminded that it’s not entirely likely that you’ll die alone.
Here’s a tip: date without any expectation. This means that after he kisses you goodnight you don’t go home and start reciting your first name next to his last name. Seriously… just stop those shenanigans right now. Close pinterest and don't pin one more thing to that "wedding board"!!!
I remember dating with the sole intention that I needed to just meet someone else, I didn’t care about being in a relationship, I just needed to know there was other humans out there to date.
The less I cared about the outcome, the more likely I was to just be myself- and the funniest thing happened- people seemed to fall for it. For me, as me. Go figures.
12. Go ahead and have a one-night stand.
I don’t do things like one night stands, not because I have crazy high morals or anything, but more because I am insanely awkward and can’t control my emotions or my verbal diareah.
This summer at 12:30 a.m I called my girlfriend from an outhouse at a patio bar asking her advice on the subject. She told me to just do it. Have the sex and then go home.
Looking back now, I'm happy to say that thanks to some vodka sodas, I did just that.
I didn’t cry, didn’t make a big deal out of it and I left as soon as it’s over
(side note: Don’t cuddle. Don’t do it. Just go home. And use protection: see lesson #1)
13. Work too much:
You want to work too much? Be too busy? Stop socializing because you’re trying to get a head in your career? …Go for it!!!
I am sick of hearing people tell me life is short and to stop working so much. Work has saved me this year. It gave me a sense of direction and purpose that I was sick of getting from relationships. The harder I worked, the more I valued my time off. I stopped wasting my time with people I didn’t want to hang out with, because I began to place a way higher value on myself.
14. Invest in your dreams
What do you want and what is the one thing holding you back from having it?
The answer better not be "me".
This year I spent well over six thousand dollars on personal development. Business coaches, online courses, classes, you name it! Don’t forget that this is it, your life is happening right now whether or not you feel ready or prepared. If you aren't willing to invest in yourself, don't expect anyone else to either.
15. Ask for help, and take it.
You will never ever get what you don’t ask for. If you can’t ask for help- it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever be able to really truly give it to others.
So- To all the humans who got me through this year.
To the people who helped me move (more than once).
To the friends who lent me money, bought me flowers, made me eat, took me to yoga, brought me wine, coffee and hugs.
I love you.
16. Love yourself and treat yourself like you mean in.
Last month I decided I was ready to feel amazing again. I embarked on the Whole 30…which was incredibly difficult and so rewarding. I lost 15 pounds of physical weight and about 1000 pounds of mental garbage.
I fell in love with my body and completely shifted my relationship with food.
17. Find what you love, and do that:
My life basically revolves around yoga and while I love it…it can sometimes feel like it's all I do. This year I decided to join a writing class and it was eactly what I needed. I got to meet new people and be apart of of something new and exciting. It made me feel alive again to be learning something and to be using my creativity, P.S ...if you aren't using your creativity i'm 99% sure something inside of you is slowly dying. Nurture that creativity!
18. Adopt a dog/ Don’t buy cats.
Ok, if you’re sad and you're lonely, I can totally see how buying yourself some cats can seem like a good idea. But it’s not. That shit is basically permanent (they have 9 lives remember!) I was close to being in this sitatuion and instead ended up fostering a dog (which was kind of disaster) but it got my out of my pjs and out of the house during a time when I really just wanted to hide under under the cover and die.
19. You’re never going backwards.
This year, there were so many days where I felt like I was regressing in life (Like when I moved back in with my mom at the age of 26) It felt was going in the complete opposite direction of forward.
However, I have since learned how to just be where I am, in my mess. I’ve come to realize that there is no going backwards, there is only slowing down.
The good news about slowing down? You’re still moving in the direction of ‘forward’
20. DO IT.
I journal a lot. I literally have 4 journals with me here in Mexico on my vacation. I am addicted to lists and I am a big planner…but the last few months I decided to be a do’er. I can say without a doubt that I have accomplished more than I ever thought possible this year. I co-created and founded my own company and am running a widely successful teacher training. My dreams have gained so much momentum and clarity that it's become impossible not to trust the direction they are pulling me in.
21. Fall in love, again and again and again.
The worst things that happened to me this year turned out to be the best things that ever happened to me in my entire life. I am grateful now for all my miscarriage, my disaster and my mess because these things opened my eyes to an entirely new capacity in my heart.
I am thankful for the way my heart broke and for the person and people who broke it. I have seen so much good in the world and in those around me since that day. I know now how important love is. It’s everything.
So, everything else aside...what I know for sure is this: Fall in love. Again and again and again. Fall in love and fall hard- especially when it's hard. Sing sappy songs in the shower and day dream about everything and anything you want. Fall in love and trust in the process of your life. Trust that it’s all working, that it’s going to be better than you’ve ever imagined. Trust that there is good in the world and that you deserve a piece of it.
But most of all, as much and as big as you love, let your heart break too.
Be open to losing everything, and know that no matter what you’ll be okay- because you’ll love again.
Because no matter what, it's working, it's always working.