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Reflecting on 2017 and "Moving Forward" in 2018


2017. What a year.


I saw an image scrolling through Instagram a few weeks ago that said:

“Damn this year held some of the happiest & saddest moments I’ve ever experienced.”


I couldn’t agree more.


At the end of each year, I do a little bit of self-reflection on the year. I look at what I’ve accomplished personally and professionally, how I’ve grown emotionally, spiritually, what lessons I’ve learned. I’m not the biggest on setting resolutions for the year, but I do tend to have a few goals in mind — and I do try and set at least one intention for the year that I feel “speaks” to me in some way.


This year I figured I’d share my thoughts on my blog. I originally started writing an in-depth look at the lessons I had learned, because there were A LOT. A LOT happened. 2017 happened to be a big growth year for me personally and contain a few huge milestone for me professionally. As I was writing all of my 2017 happenings, I realized it was going to be a bit on the lengthy-maybe-no one-will-read-this-far side. At the start of the fourth page, I decided I’d save some of those stories for other blog posts and instead share with you my intention from last year, how it panned out and what my 2018 intention has been thus far.


Some quick highlights before I get into what my specific 2017 intention was, especially for those who are new here, were:
  1. I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in January 2017 and started my health coaching practice in February.

  2. I went through a Yoga Teacher training through Yoga Mittra, graduated in May, and started teaching at an office and then a boutique studio in Manhattan Beach, CA called Haute South as a yoga and fitness instructor.

  3. I went through a heart-wrenching break-up in April at the same time that I was facing 10 years of back and hip pain head on, my job changed, and dealing with an unhealthy living situation. I hit rock bottom, but picked myself up and came out more powerful than I ever imagined.

  4. I went to NYC and met Joshua Rosenthal, the founder of IIN, all because I “spoke up” and told him I existed (no one knows you exist until you tell them!).

  5. I learned the true power of intention setting, especially in business, by taking the love I was giving to this man who broke my heart and putting all of it into my passion project (this, hi!) and making it work.

  6. I said "yes"... A LOT, even to things that scared the shit out of me. It opened so many doors.

  7. I learned a bit more on how to be selfish and how important it is to put your own feelings first.

  8. I learned if something or someone isn’t serving you, sometimes the Universe forces you to deal, and it doesn’t matter how long the connection you’ve had with them is, if they are bringing you down, they don’t need to move forward with you.

  9. I gained a deeper connection with my own spirituality and Universe by seeing a psychic/medium who confirmed how in touch I have been and was told to watch for butterflies. I see butterflies every day.

  10. I feel even more in love with my body.

  11. My stomach issues (fingers crossed) have been almost eradicated and I was able to even add back in some of my “trigger” foods without any repercussion!

  12. Even though it truly pained me at the time, my aesthetician convinced me to try a topical cream for treatment of my skin because the natural methods weren’t working and I’m so happy I did because I’m a lot happier.

Phew! Okay, so it wasn’t all the quick, but it’s a lot quicker than what I originally started writing out!


And here we go into 2017’s big intention:


SPEAK UP

At the beginning of 2017, I meditated. I had picked up a meditation practice via Headspace a few months prior and was fairly consistent with it at this particular point and getting good at recognizing what was coming up and what I was pushing down (note for 2018: get back on your meditation train!).

I meditated, and before I went into meditation, I asked myself “what do I need this year?”

The answer? “Speak Up.”

I actually hated the answer. But it kept coming up. “Speak Up”.

Growing up, I was fairly soft spoken. Most of my family members are loud and opinionated and I usually only chose to speak when it was absolutely necessary, partially because it was hard to get a word in and partially because I confused their need to talk over and ignore most of what everyone else said with them not caring to hear what I said. Most of the time I felt as if when I did speak, I wasn’t even really heard.

Hearing “speak up” irked me a little bit because I felt as if I had come such a long way from being that soft spoken kid. I felt as if: well, I do speak up! I speak up for the things I feel are wrong. I speak up for the things I feel are right and need recognition. I let others talk but insert myself when necessary. I’ve learned to talk about my problems instead of pretending everything is okay. So, why “speak up?”. Wasn’t I already “speaking up”?

I had to change the way I heard “speak up.” Instead, I figured it’s true meaning was “use your voice.”

You know what helped me find my voice? Going through Yoga Teacher Training, becoming a yoga and fitness instructor, and using social media to promote my Wellness brand.

I now totally understand where “speak up” came from. I never liked talking about myself, but with a wellness brand in our social and digital age, you HAVE to talk about yourself. You have to say “look at me, look how I live, don’t you want to live like me?”. If you don’t, why should people want to work with you? Before teaching yoga, I would never have gotten up in front of a room to speak so vulnerably. I saved those conversations for those close to me who I trusted to hold space for me without judgement. Now, I’m up in front of a class room guiding students on facing their own vulnerabilities by exposing my own. I’m using my intuition to guide students through a practice I love so dearly. I’m in front of a room and if I pause, there’s silence waiting for me to speak again. A year ago, I would have gone into my shell at the silence, getting in my own head assuming the pause was a hint at me to stop talking. Now, I’m speaking up, and I owe that mainly to Suzy Nece, Shelley Williams, and Genevieve Pujalet of the Yoga Mittra 200hr Yoga Teacher Training.

I found my voice and started speaking up, but not just in yoga and teaching. As I mentioned above, I learned “no one knows you exist until you tell them.” I went to NYC in February to attend the Institute for Integrative Nutrition conference and actually met Joshua Rosenthal and his team (insert mini, excited freakout here). How? He had posted in a Facebook group about having finished a sound check and seeing who was excited for the conference the next day. I’m not usually one to post in those Facebook groups, but I felt complied to because I’ve worked in the conference and events industry for the last seven years as a Graphic and Production artist. This was going to be my first time being an attendee at a conference instead of working and I was really excited. I commented on his post and said good luck to him and his team because I knew how crazy running a show at that caliber could be. He commented back, and then proceeded to message me asking if I wanted to meet to talk about working together the following year. I met him and his team for drinks and snacks. It was a dream come true! This was all because I “spoke up” and let him know I existed.

Another instance in which I “spoke up” is when, as mentioned above, I went through a rough patch last April. Within 12 hours the company I had been contracting for got bought out and my job as I knew it was changing, my boyfriend at the time whom I was deeply in love with and for the first time in my life I had allowed myself to take both feet of the ground, we broke up very suddenly and unexpectedly, on top of it I decided to face my living situation, which was unhealthy for all parties involved, head on for a change that was much needed and had been building up for months. I was also going through physical therapy for my back and hip pain which I had been dealing with for 10 years, and the amount of pain I was looking in the face really brought up a lot of unexpected emotions, not realizing how much of the pain I had been suppressing and for how long.

The point is, I was in a dark spot. I’m usually the rock. I’m usually the one who takes on other peoples issues and holds space for them. I don’t usually talk about what I’m going through internally because, well, I’ve always been the “strong one.” Well, at this point and time, I had hit rock bottom. I had always wished I could cry, but just couldn’t. When all of this happened, I couldn’t stop crying. I cried in public, I cried during work, I cried during my training, I cried in yoga and fitness classes, I cried while I was ordering a smoothie at Whole Foods — I just couldn’t stop. So, what did I do? I reached out for help. I won’t say this was the fist time in my life I ever reached out for help, but it was the first big moment where I really reached out knowing I needed to accept the help if given to me. And guess what? I asked, and I received. I spoke up — and SO much love poured in, and it help me to pick myself up and realize my true power in this world.

2018 — MOVING FORWARD

For this year, I was feeling a bit uninspired to set a specific intention. I think this was mainly due to the fact that I’m leaving my day job in February to pursue Health Coaching and Yoga and Fitness Teaching full time and I felt that, well, isn’t this my intention? To make this work? To succeed?

I went to a Mala workshop at the Yoga Loft in Manhattan Beach, California a few days after the New Year where we did 108 Sun Salutations, broken up into 9 segments based on the Chakra’s and did some intention writing in between each segment, and it FINALLY came to me. It’s amazing what a bit of movement — releasing anything your body is holding onto — can do for your mental clarity.

In my writing what came up was “to move forward.” And it makes sense. I tend to hold onto things for a bit longer than a should. I’m someone who gives 1001 chances and has a hard time making a final decision on things because I know when I do make a decision, I won’t look back. So, “to move forward,” makes sense to me on a few different levels:

  1. Professionally: I’ve been holding onto my design contract out of comfort, because I’m not financially where I need to be to go full time into Health Coaching and Yoga and Fitness Teaching. However, I need to move forward and to do so, I need to let go of my big design contract (which is officially happening February 1st).

  2. Physically: I’ve been healing my back (and now my poor finger which I got stitches in last week!), and now that things are feeling a lot better, I’m ready to push my physical practice to new limits. I have it in me, I just need to move forward.

  3. My love life: Someone recently came back into my life. They’ve been poking me, and poking me, getting my attention, and in order to move forward and really let love in again, I need to set those bags down to be able to open the next door. I have interest else where that more and more I’m feeling called to take baby steps forward with, but I find I’m not allowing myself to take even those small baby steps while this other person is inching back in.

  4. Guilt: I have an incredibly guilty, anxious conscience, and sometimes it stops me from moving forward in almost all aspects of my life. I sit there and dwell on what could have been, how I could have handled something better, what went wrong. I don’t mean that I should totally cut those thoughts out because they serve a higher purpose at times, but I’m ready to have a healthier relationship with those thoughts and use them as a healthy anchor to move forward.

That’s what I’ve got so far on this kissing 2017 goodbye and welcoming in 2018, thing.

How is your 2018 going? Do you have any intentions, goals, or resolutions you’ve been working on? Comment below and let me know!


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