Wow. 2018 has been an incredible year.

A couple of weeks ago I was at a business event with some dear friends who I haven’t seen since January. They said I was unrecognizable.

Isn’t it amazing how time goes by and things come into our lives that completely change us? That’s what 2018 has felt like for me…

MASSIVE SHIFTS. MASSIVE GROWTH. MASSIVE LOVE. MASSIVE PROGRESS.

At the beginning of this year, I was unhappy. Just to be real. The day after Christmas my dad said, “We need to go on a drive.” On the drive he asked me what was going on that was making me more unhappy than he’d seen me in a years. The answer was a lot of things. But mainly, feeling like a victim in almost every area of my life. I was angry that I was back working at the hospital I’d worked at 4 years prior… hadn’t I come farther than this? I was frustrated that I’d gained 25 pounds in two months… is this my life without a thyroid? I was still sad about past boyfriends and blaming them for making me miserable for so long… will I ever get over it and move on? Will anyone ever love me?

Because of the deep anger I was feeling I was subconsciously pushing everyone away and making up lots of stories about how out of control my life was.

And then I woke up.

I was told that 2018 would be a year of endings… that it was in the stars that everything in life seemed not to be working. That gave me a lot of hope, and this year has proven to be interesting indeed. So many shifts. And they all started with me realizing I could create whatever I wanted to create.

Here are 10 (or maybe 11) of my TOP TAKE AWAYS from 2018. I didn’t think anything could beat the growth and learning I experienced in 2017, but this year proved that wrong. I am so grateful for the never-ending experiences that bring progress and growth.

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What 2018 Taught Me and Brought Me: Top 10 Take-Aways from this Year

1. ALL GOOD THINGS TAKE EFFORT AND TIME: At the beginning of each year I choose a word… a word I will focus on throughout the year. This year I chose CULTIVATE. I chose it because it is a natural tendency of mine to want things to happen NOW (anyone relate?) In this world of fast paced everything we are getting more and more impatient and I knew that if I was ever going to be successful at developing my business or creating a beautiful, intimate relationship, or getting my body back to the place I wanted to be, it was going to take effort and time.

Prioritizing this word throughout the year has HELPED me so much as I’ve slowly and healthily begun losing the weight I gained last year. Doing the inner work so I can attract the kind of man I want and deserve. Developed consistency in my business and watched as the effort begins to pay off. Life is like a garden and the more you cultivate it the better it will grow.

It doesn’t happen overnight. But the wait and the effort are worth it.

2. COMMUNITY IS EVERYTHING: At the beginning of this year I felt so alone and isolated. It was my own creation and I was tired of it. I had spent the previous 3 years being pretty stubborn about the fact that I was an introvert who needed lots of alone time, that I was proudly an independent woman and therefore perfectly fine alone, and that I didn’t need the support of anyone around me.

I said that the thing I wanted more than anything was COMMUNITY and wow, has 2018 brought me that. I have met more people this year than I have met probably in the last 5 years combined. I have felt my heart expand to a size I didn’t know it could be and develop relationships, real deep, run to each other to hug relationships with more people than I can believe and I have a community of INCREDIBLE people that have my back 100%. They take a stand for me. They hold me high. They don’t let me quit. And they love me anyways.

Everything is better shared.

3. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERYTHING: We are responsible for everything we create in our lives. Everything. And when I fully grasped that, everything changed. I am not a victim to my life circumstance. I created the circumstance out of necessity of what I wanted to learn. Knowing this changed everything.

Relationships were healed, forgiveness was found, and acceptance was attained. When I stopped making myself a victim to my circumstance I started owning my LIFE and MAKING SHIT HAPPEN.

4. THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING GROUNDED: I have been drifting for a long time. In the past 5 years I have lived in 6 cities, 2 countries, and I don’t even know how many houses and jobs… all in the name of being a gypsy. But really I was drifting. I was lost. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted. And I was running from commitment and intimacy. You never have to get hurt if you leave before you can get attached. Wow. People have told me they never know where I’m going to be. Men have told me they are scared to date me because I may just leave.

And they were right. Up until now. I have realized how important it is to be grounded. To be grounded in a vision. To a community. To a direction. To a place. You can’t make much happen when you’re floating. Put your feet on the ground and start walking.

5. I’VE BEEN LOVED. I AM LOVED. I WILL ALWAYS BE LOVED: There was a moment this year when I literally felt my entire heart come back together. Every person I’ve ever loved. Every time I’ve ever had my heart broken. Every person that has walked out of my life. Every person I have left. I realized that every one of those people, no matter their place in my life now, loved me, taught me, and was there for a very specific reason. Every one of those people has a small part of them left in me.

“In my heart there will always be a place for you for all my life. I’ll keep a part of you with me. And everywhere I am there you’ll be.”

I could finally stand tall. I am whole.

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6. HOW IT FEELS TO ACTUALLY JUST BE ME: I have always felt like I wasn’t enough. Like people wouldn’t like me if I showed up as myself. I constantly felt exhausted from trying to be something I wasn’t and be “ENOUGH.” One night this summer I got home from a date and I just cried with a joy because I realized that for the first time EVER I had been 100% myself and it felt absolutely incredible. How freeing to realized that I am enough. I can just be me. And I am enough.

A dear friend gave me a bracelet this year that said, “BE YOURSELF” with a note that said, “When you have the courage to be yourself, you’ll feel a freedom like no other. The right people will love the real, beautiful, and creative soul that you are - quirks and all. Take a stand for authenticity and openness. Believe in yourself. To be yourself is to be free.”

I couldn’t say it better myself. I get to show my true colors.

7. THE MAGIC OF COMMITMENT: I have laughed the past couple of years saying that I am a commitment-phobe. It was funny until this year when I realized it was true. I realized that I hadn’t made a true commitment since I got divorced. After my marriage ended I think I lost trust in myself to make wise decisions and every single thing I did always came with a back-up plan and a back door in case I “changed my mind.”

This year I have realized the power that comes from making a declaration and committing to stay true to it no matter what happens, no matter what things get in the way, no matter what other people think you should do, no matter what doesn’t make sense. You can create anything you set your mind to. Confidence and self-trust comes from commitment and discipline. I trust myself and I have created magic this year.

8. TRUST THE PROCESS: I am a little bit of a control freak. I know, I know… I’m getting better. I feel like my entire life has been a test in faith and trust and believing that everything is happening FOR me. I have started to embrace the idea of living a life where I don’t need to have all the answers. Wow it’s hard. But I’m getting better.

9. MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD: This one might surprise you… yes I have struggled with my relationship with God for my whole life. I always felt like my relationship with God was dependent on what religion I participated in and was conditional on my actions. I have fought these beliefs tooth and nail for the last 4 years. This year I have finally let go of the struggle and learned to just be. God loves me. And he loves you. No Matter What.

10. GIVE TO GIVE: Service. Service without any expectation of anything in return. Giving just because your heart wants to. Loving without needing it in return. This concept has changed my life and I know will continue to play out in so many ways.

I never knew how much I gave to get before. How often I kept score in my head about who owed me what and who I could call on for a favor. Up until now. Now I give as much as I can. It feels so good to live in an abundance mindset, give without question, and ask for support when I need it. It’s not a game of who owes what. It is just about kindness. About generosity. About love.

Also, it’s incredibly sexy.

11. CLAIM YOUR LIFE AND TAKE A STAND: There is one more too important not to list. There have been several times in my life that I have considered the option of taking my own life. Even a year ago I had a few moments of despair. This year I had an opportunity to claim my life. To realize that there is no honor in being a martyr. That I get to live and use my life to create all of the incredible things I am destined to create. My life matters. My worth isn’t contingent on whether or not I have a partner, whether or not I have kids, whether or not my message is spreading to millions yet, whether or not I am debt-free.

I am worthy. I get to wake up every morning, recommit to the person I want to be, to the life I want to live, and then go out into the world and make things happen.

Well there you have it. The beautiful nuggets of wisdom I have gained this year.

Some of them are not little at all. Some of them are absolutely life altering. I am a confident, loving, radiant woman and I choose life. This life. Just the way I’ve created it. I’ve created this life to teach me all of the things I desired to learn. And I will continue walking forward, every day with my head held high, knowing that I am strong, I am loved, and that that is enough.

And 2019…. bring it on because it just keeps getting better.

What has 2018 brought and taught you?

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