Lessons from 2016, Hopes for 2017

 

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While it is a few days into 2017, I haven’t quite gotten out of the momentum and energy that swings us all into the new year. You know that energy, right? The feelings of being excited and motivated for the new, for welcoming change. It tends to hit us all at the end of each year, and this is the time of year where most of us reflect and game plan.

I’m no different.

I love lists, game plans and goal setting. I love learning and reflecting on learning.

Naturally, looking at and writing down my lessons from 2016 and hopes for 2017 was a part of my personal blueprint to move forward with that momentum for change.

I think that when we release and let go of something from our past, we energetically create space for something new to come in. When we look at our year, and let go of the experiences that moved or rocked us, all awhile keeping the lesson it taught us, we can propel ourselves into more life, more excitement, more love.

So here are a few of my lessons from 2016 and what I hope by letting go will bring me in 2017.

  1. Lesson: Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

This one keeps showing up for me. Maybe I haven’t fully gotten it, to the depth that I need to. But 2016 had many moments where I felt bummed or hurt, yet was reminded that just because love wasn’t being given to me the way I thought I needed it, didn’t mean that the other person wasn’t loving me their hardest, in the best and possibly only way they knew how.

HOPES: Love is love. I hope for 2017 I can be gentler with how I receive these gifts, in whichever form it comes. I want to give up the right to be right about what it should look like and just surrender to receiving.

Speaking of giving up the need to be right… that brings me to lesson two.

  1. Lesson: Give up the need to be right.

This was a late in the year lesson, but when it came into my life, holy moly was it hard to sit with. I was surprised how quickly I (and even others, as I observed) are quick to justify and explain ourselves. Personally, I felt I needed to explain my actions or feelings in order to justify them, ahem… in order for them to be seen as right.

Yuck!

When I started to witness this, it was hard to bite my tongue. And was even harder to control a hurricane of emotions going on inside my body. But, surprisingly enough, as I did… life just went on. It didn’t stop or freeze just because I didn’t explain myself. And I think, as a result of not dominating the other person with how things were for me, the “stuff” got put in the “not a big deal zone” a lot quicker.

HOPES: Ahhhhh… peace. Who doesn’t want more of that?! I hope for 2017 I can continue to work with giving up this “need” to be right. Cause there is no right or wrong, right? Only our perspectives. And letting it go just feels so much more peaceful.

  1. Lesson: Speak up when you need or want something.

Duh. This seems like a no brainer, right? But for months, I thought I was keeping the peace with a friend, about something big that was actually bothering me. The way I had it was as so: if I didn’t bring it up, then they would eventually and that would mean they were ready to talk about it and that it could then be problem solved for. Just wait it out.

Nope.

Don’t bottle crap inside you, lovelies. It’s exhausting. And honestly, if you don’t say something, there is no guarantee that the other person will.

HOPES: Confrontation is tough sometimes. Especially with people we care about. I hope for 2017 I can honor my gut feelings a lot quicker, rather than waiting for months and months sitting on them. What a waste of time and emotional energy.

  1. LESSON: People are just scared.

Seriously.

People are scared. Of themselves. Of each other. Of failing. Of trying.

And because they are scared, they act weird. They act tough. They act small. They just flat out aren’t their true authentic selves.

When I started to see people as scared or, hell, as actors (for lack of a better word) I started to have more compassion for them and what they were hiding. We are all fighting some sort of internal battle that the outside world doesn’t know about. We all have internal wars we wage on ourselves. What is going on in the inside always dictates how we act on the outside.

HOPES: Oh man… I hope for 2017 I can be be an example for people. A strong, yet soft example of authentic bravery. A reason for people to see that it is okay to stop hiding and to realize that they don’t have to be scared, of each others or of ourselves. We are all scared in one way or another but we don’t have to be. I hope that I can quit the addiction to fear and the character it makes me act as, and really just be my strong, badass independent self more frequently.

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  1. LESSON: When you get in a deep funk, they are hard to get out of. Stop yourself before it takes control.

Man, I hit some funky deep waters this year. And before I knew it, I was so in over my head in sadness and loneliness that it seemed impossible to see myself as any other way. I just let it get too out of control and take over. It snowballed quickly. Not that I was depressed, but I sure was a ways away from being happy.

HOPES: What a reminder this was that what you focus on will increase. I hope for 2017 that I focus on what I have, not what I’m with out, in order to have more consistent episodes of happiness. I don’t want that sad crap creep in. But if it DOES creep in, I’ll have the power and the momentum to nip it in the butt a lot faster, before it drags me down.

  1. LESSON: Get coaching.

We pay instructors to teach us how to learn a sport, or we pay instructors to help us learn train our dogs, we pay for trainers to train our employees in the fields we want them to learn and excel in… basically, we pay people to help us learn things we don’t know how to do in SO many areas of our lives. So why don’t we pay for coaching in our personal lives more?

Do we think we know how life works just cause we have lived 30 some years and have been around people our whole lives?

It’s a shame that it took me until 2016 to start taking personal and professional development courses. The coaching, instruction and ideas I have gotten from these courses have been invaluable. Not to mention the friendships and connections I have made. I can with out a doubt say I will never be the same person, after taking the Landmark Forum. (google it if you don’t know what the heck it is). It changed my life for the better and has since put me in seminars and weekly classes to learn about being a better boss, a better student, a better friend, a better sibling, a better daughter, a better human… a better, more peaceful ME.

HOPES: Learn, learn learn. I love to learn. I hope for 2017 I can continue to apply all the tools I have learnt in my courses and coaching, to continue to improve and expand the quality of my life.

  1. LESSON: I get to choose what I leave behind.

I use to “feel bad” for cutting someone out just because we were friends when we were little and grew up together. While we once were the same, as we grew older we became totally different people and had different ideas of strength, peace, toxicity and love. Yet, I allowed these people a spot in my life simply because they had been around awhile.

Well, that’s since changed.

I wont be friends with someone simply because they have clocked a lof of time into my past. I’m building a specific and strong future. Not one of baggage and drama of the familiar faces.

HOPES: Who doesn’t want more love and peace! I hope for 2017 to be surrounded with amazingly wonderful, loving people. People who strive to lift me and others up, and who shine the light, just by being around. Not only do I want to be around these people, I want to be one too. We are an average of the five people we spend the most time with. Who are you on the path to be? And is that in line with what you want?

  1. LESSON: Carve out me time.

When I don’t take the time to love on me and do the things that bring me peace – read, meditate, walk in nature, practice yoga, write – I am a gawd damn nightmare to be around. I am so out of balance and everyone around me can feel it. I’m emotional and easily frustrated.

But when I do me, and do the things that are good for my soul and my heart, I’m just a better version of me and more comfortable in my own skin. And as a result, more enjoyable to be around.

HOPES: Balance. It’s all about balance. I hope for 2017 I can consistently keep balance and peace in my life by honoring what I need, before I scramble to meet the needs of others.

  1. LESSON: Forgiveness is ongoing.

I have come to realize my journey has a lot of forgiving in it.

And I am starting to see that the deeper I go with working on myself, peeling back the layers of my past and my heart and opening myself to others, the more forgiveness I find I need to practice.

I have found myself hurt by the past over and over. The past! It’s not even real any more, people! Yet it creeps up when I think it’s been well and dealt with. So for me, I just keep practicing forgiveness. New depths, new focus, new love. I don’t want to be tied to pain or people that caused me pain… it’s an ongoing practice. Not a “one and done” shot. But, continuous work. The deeper I go on self-work, the more I see to be healed. The more forgiveness I am faced to deal with.

HOPES: This is so important to me. I hope for 2017 I can practice forgiveness easier and easier… while it may be a conscious effort now for some situations, I hope to get to the point where forgiveness just flows right out of me, with peace and deep love.

  1. LESSON: There is nothing wrong here.

Again, this lesson came late in the year for me. But the moment I started reciting the words “ there is nothing wrong here” in my head, when I was sure there was indeed something wrong here, was the moment peace became a real part of a moment for me.

I like to meditate, do yoga, and walk in nature to tap into that peace… but these words have helped me feel peaceful so much quicker, with out having to do as much.

If you think about it… there IS nothing wrong here. It’s our perception that makes it so. This lesson for me ties in nicely with the lesson I learnt about giving up the need to be right.

When you find yourself in an emotional situation where things have the potential to go bad, try to remind yourself “there is nothing wrong here.“

HOPES: Again, it comes down to more peace in my life. I hope for 2017 that practicing “there is nothing wrong here” becomes so second nature that I don’t even think twice about it. I just tap into peace and calm instantly.

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I know we have all had a tough 2016. But like I said, keep the lessons and leave the experience. Use the lesson to help you realise what you want the future to look like and what you want life to be like. You can be purposeful in how life unfolds. You don’t have to just react to what is happening, you can have a say in it.

I am wishing you so much love, peace and adventure for your new year. I know you deserve it.

With love and butt slaps,

xoxo

McDooogs

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