2018 Annual Review
I have a New Year ritual where I look back on the previous year to see how much I've grown, what I've learned, and how I can apply that wisdom to the next year.
I take a holistic approach, reflecting on what I was going through in my personal life, what lessons I was working through, what workshops I was teaching, and what clients and students were responding to. Essentially, I'm taking a look at the exchange of energy and my relationship to my life throughout the previous twelve months.
I have been doing these reviews for over five years and have begun sharing them publicly the past few years. You can read about my year of deep healing and trust development in 2017 here and how a year of heartbreak and grief transformed me in 2016 here.
Below I’m going to share with you what I learned from my 2018 review, how it’s influencing my intentions for 2019, and how you can create your own review.
I usually like to do these reviews a few days before the year ends but holidays and travel tend to make that challenging for me so I don’t really sweat when it gets done. If you are even reading this a few months into the year I don’t think it’s too late to reflect and review. You can do a review any time of the year and go back as far as you like. It’s a great way to step back and get clarity on your life.
My 2018 Annual Review
There has been a clear evolution of healing over the past few years:
2016 was the year of Heartbreak.
2017 was the year of Healing.
2018 was the year of Mastery & Manifestation.
2019 will be a year of Fine Tuning & Opening.
Often, when I work with a word for a year the lessons begin to really show themselves once the full year has passed. At the top of 2018 I declared my word of the year to be Open, though it wasn’t until the fourth quarter of the year did I begin to feel that things were opening.
Most of the year I was hibernating literally and figuratively. In spite of my desire to open, I surrendered into a deeper level of healing because it was what my soul needed.
Once the year approached a close I could feel that everything was opening. What we want doesn’t always happen the way we think it will or as quickly as we’d like.
2018 Annual Review Highlights
Mastering Self Worth
This past year I got really clear on the ways my actions were holding me back from creating what I actually want in relationships. I let go of a man who I allowed to flow in and out of my life for six years. Once I made a deep, solid decision to release him, I felt a sense of relief that this back and forth was finally over.
We can confuse ourselves as a way to maintain beliefs that devalue our desires.
Once I made the decision to get real with myself about how I was contributing to keeping myself stuck, I was able to clearly see that this person was not actually who I wanted. I cared deeply for him, but there was no question that he was not acting in alignment with the partner I am ready for. Letting go of him made that truth even more clear.
Making the difficult choice to walk away from a soul connection but was not the healthy relationship I know I deserve was a huge lesson in mastering my own self-worth. I had to really lean into my trust in Spirit and recognize that I am worthy of the partnership my soul is craving.
This lesson wasn’t just in romantic partnership, but also in my friendships. Several of my relationships felt out of balance and in general I felt I had been longing for something in my relationships that I wasn’t fully experiencing.
My prior habit was to complain or feel sorry for myself because I didn’t have what I wanted.
This year was about stepping into my own spiritual power and recognizing I have the power to align myself with what I what.
The process is uncomfortable and challenging, but was a very big lesson for me this year.
I began to say no to everyone asking me to hang out and took some major alone time. This was during the summer months when I really wanted to be out in the world, but my soul made it very clear that I needed to go deeper inward.
Saying no to relationships that felt out of balance brought up some big feelings of loneliness and doubt that I was able to work through on my own. I stopped asking people to be for me what they were incapable of being or just unable to be at that time. I gave it all to myself, and though it’s not a sustainable way to live because we all need support and community, it was important for me to love myself more deeply through this process.
During this time alone, I got real with myself about the kinds of friendships I have been deeply longing for: soul connection, safety, deep knowing, inspiring conversation, acceptance, love, and fun. I wasn’t feeling those connections strongly but knew they were in my field.
Taking space from my relationships for a while and committing to deeper healing helped me develop my self worth even more so I could trust that I was worthy of those kinds of relationships and allow them in.
Over the second half of the year those relationships, all of which were already part of my life, deepened and became clearer. I celebrated my 35th Birthday with several of those friends and felt so grateful to be fully seen and known by such incredible people. I was able to let their love in, to let them see me, and to receive their support.
Feeling nourished in this way also helped my other relationships find their own equilibrium because I wasn’t asking them to be what they couldn’t be.
As Spring was unfolding in the desert, I imagined myself spending the summer in LA going to pool parties, laughing, dancing, and meeting new people. Instead, I spent most of the summer inside, crying, breathing, and learning to love myself deeper.
During this time I went through the first period of depression since my breakup. I was depressed because a part of me believed that I couldn’t have what I really wanted. I felt alone and lonely. I felt unheard and unseen. I felt lost and stuck.
And because of the foundation of self love that I had already developed, I could be with it all and learn from it.
After a Breathwork session one afternoon, I received a clear download of a course I needed to teach on working through depression called Unbroken. It poured through me, and because I was experiencing depression I could observe how I healed myself through it. It was the first full program I taught that was entirely my curriculum, and I loved teaching it.
Mastering Self Love
Self love is an unending process of plucking out segments of the self that reveal themselves from the shadow, meeting, and holding them with love. I am a complex human full of a range of emotions and qualities just like everyone else. Some of those qualities are deemed positive by society and some of them not so much.
My job has been, and continues to be, to love and accept all parts of who I am. This year I have more deeply embraced the parts of myself that our society may deem rough around the edges. I’ve worked on being OK with that, recognizing the value these parts of myself bring to my life, and maybe even really beginning to like those parts of myself.
In the times when I have felt like I didn’t belong, felt unheard or invisible, felt alone or misunderstood, felt unworthy or even unlovable, I leaned into a deeper love for myself.
In very practical ways that meant not reaching out for other people to sooth me and soothing myself instead. It meant reassuring myself that it was going to be OK and that I was OK. It meant booking sessions with my teacher to be supported in a way my soul needed. It meant giving myself grace and compassion when my life didn’t look the way I wanted it to.
I fully, wholeheartedly trust that my partner is on his way to me. While I am excited to meet him, I’m not anxious about it. I don’t feel distraught when I meet someone who I think might be him, and he isn’t.
To get to this place I had to get very clear about what I am looking for and bump my self worth up a few notches to align with those desires. My self worth grew each time I made choices that showed the Universe that I know I deserve what I want. That meant setting crystal clear boundaries with people who kept me stuck in unhealthy relationships. It meant saying no to second dates when I knew it wasn’t him. It also meant developing a stronger, deeper relationship to Spirit.
After months of deeper self love and making tough choices to align my worth with my desires, I found myself saying out loud all the time, “I feel really supported.” This is the first time in my life where I can honestly say I feel fully supported, and this confidence comes from traveling to the most painful parts of myself and moving through years of deep healing. It took years of grieving, patience, and hundreds of Breathwork sessions.
It was a culmination of all of the healing, all of the Breathwork, all of the mundane and profound moments of loving myself when I felt sad, lonely, confused, or stuck.
It was all the times I let nature into my heart, prayed with my eyes closed and my heart open, trusted that it would all be OK even when it hurt. It was receiving support and love from those I admire and trust. It all came together to create solid Earth beneath my feet. I feel into the depth of my bones that I will be caught when I fall. This feeling is worth every moment of pain I’ve had to process to get here.
Fine Tuning Purpose
I am incredibly grateful to have been guided to my soul work. It is something that continues to be fine tuned. To be frank, the entire first half of 2018 I felt really stuck in my work. Though the feedback to it was positive, I wasn’t working with many clients and some of my offerings fell flat.
At a time when I felt particularly stuck, I said to my teacher, “I feel in my heart that I can really help people.” He told me that was the key and to work with it. That is the heart of why I am here—incarnate—to be of service.
Through being stuck I began to develop a closer relationship to my Spirit Guides and received some clear messages that deeply resonated.
I am here to help people process their pain.
I know pain intimately. I know how to process it. I know how scary emotions can be (especially grief and anger). I know how to love myself through it all, how to move that energy, and how to take the most challenging life experiences and alchemize them.
As I became clearer on what I am here to do, what my deepest wisdom is, and my intention in my work, things began to open, though it’s not to say that clarity is what caused the opening. This year has truly felt like a culmination of my healing. The deeper I have gone into my pain and loved myself through it, the clearer I have become about who I am, why I am here, and how capable I am.
Part of that process was about letting some things die. I had to be willing to let things look differently than I had imagined. I had to be willing to stop pouring energy into places that didn’t feel right to me. A small example of this was my decision to stop curating my Instagram feed and spending energy on beating an algorithm or fitting into an aesthetic.
It also meant I needed to continue to lean into areas where I felt called. This year I was inspired to create a YouTube channel. For me, it’s always about leaning into the areas where I feel a little (or a lot) uncomfortable. Speaking into a mic by myself, without interviewing people or communicating with another person, and feeling comfortable doing so was how my podcast was created. Being seen in front of camera and expressing myself unscripted was next with the YouTube channel.
Instead of spending a lot of my energy trying to sell my work, I ended the year actually doing my work.
Waking Up to My Privilege & Unconscious Biases
In March of this year I got the hit that it was time to stop teaching Danielle LaPorte’s work. When I chose to teach her work I knew that it was temporary until my own program was ready to come through me. In March I knew that I needed to stop teaching her work to create space to let my own teaching reveal itself.
Simultaneously, I felt that the work was out of alignment, and I wasn’t totally sure why. A few weeks later Danielle was called out for using racist language and imagery in her program Lighter which she has since shut down.
I paid very close attention to how Danielle and her team chose to handle the situation, and I was disturbed. Not only did she cause harm to people of color while handling the situation, but I felt she was more interested in maintaining her power than in doing what is right. I knew that I had been called away from her work for more than one reason.
During the time I was coming out of my depression this summer I committed to doing Layla Saad’s Me & White Supremacy Challenge publicly on social media. I went through some of my own resistance to doing the challenge publicly, on Instagram. I found myself complaining and making excuses.
I could clearly see that this resistance was the same energy that shows up in any area of my life to keep me stuck and small, though this time it wasn’t just about me and my life (though it never really is).
I knew I didn’t want to create any further harm for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, so I quickly got over myself and committed to the Me & White Supremacy public challenge.
A few months later I was involved in a private Facebook group conversation calling out Lacy Phillips around her dialogue with Jenna Zoe on a podcast. Along with a number of other women, I was blocked from the group after speaking out against the racist, anti-feminist, and power driven comments made by Lacy in the group. I decided to speak out about it publicly on Instagram and wrote an article about what I see happening around power in the wellness world which was published on Thirlby and also here on my site.
This year I have done deeper unpacking of the ways white supremacy and the patriarchy are alive within me.
I have more and more work to do to dismantle the ways I see the world through these oppressive systems. It has been, and continues to be, an area where I feel stickiness. There is the desire to do what is right and just, and I would be lying if I said there wasn’t still some fear of fucking up and hurting someone.
I often grapple with what I am doing, how much I am doing, and what is and isn’t enough. This past year I have offered discounts on programming to BIPOC, have chosen select organizations and people to support, and continue to educate myself.
People will always have their opinions, and I have to reckon with myself at the end of each day, so it’s on me. It’s important to me. And I’m not as involved or doing as much as I would like which is a good place to segway into 2019 goals and intentions.
He’ll get here when he gets here. Until then, I love my life, who I am, and where I am going. Nothing is missing, but he is so welcome to arrive.
Thriving Healing Work
This year I want to revamp my offerings and align everything with the wisdom I have gained through the past five years of Relentless Healing. I want everything to feel very energetically clear and hone in on those I am meant to be connected with even more. It feels like a fine tuning and an upgrade.
Clear Physical Energetic Channels
I am working with the energy channels in my body and the areas energy is lodged in my body. I have taken up boxing for energetic purification. I am also committed to dancing more to continue to wake up the subtle energetic body and open up more feminine energy.
Each year I work on creative projects. I’m not sure what will emerge this year aside from my programs and workshops, but I feel something wants to come through that is a slower, intentional project.
Keep On Waking Up
I commit to continuing to educate myself about systems of oppression that I benefit from. I am actively working to communicate about these topics even if it makes me and others uncomfortable. This year I will find some in person opportunities to educate myself and participate in dismantling these structures. I am also committing to doing this in a way that honors my soul’s journey and not becoming a sheep. I want to stand in alignment and support with those who are marginalized.
Exploration, Adventure, Fun, Soften
The past five years have been dedicated to my healing, though I am increasingly loving my life with each moment of healing, the past 3 years have been particularly intense. While my healing will never be done, this year feels like it wants to be more about creating fun, laughter, movement, and alchemy.
I want to explore parts of the earth. I want to adventure with loved ones. I want to create beautiful memories. I want my energy to open and expand.
It feels like 2018 was a year that primed me to Open. For 2019 I pulled the Camel. Camel energy is about knowing who you are. It teaches you that you can handle anything and with ease. It’s a calming force that balances energies. It also brings in the energy of travel.
My word for the year is plain, simple, good ol’ down and dirty FUN.
I was on the verge of using Radiance, but FUN feels like a big permission slip I need to grant myself. It has already infused itself into the seemingly unexpected nooks and crannies of my life
This year I call in FUN in the subtleties. I want to have FUN moving my body, making my meals, driving my car, adventuring through life, talking to my clients, buying my groceries, and healing myself. It has been several grueling years of processing deep heartbreak, grief, and depression. Now even as sadness releases I can find joy on the other side. I can cry deeply and laugh right after. I am so grateful to be on this ride of life, in this body, with this soul. This year I want to express my gratitude by having a whole lotta fun.
I will leave you with words I wrote last year that still feel just as powerful:
This year, my eyes have laser focus and I see it all. Wisdom moves through my body and truth is carried in my heart. I trust and trust until I can trust even more. I make space for my heart to be rocked and cradled, and my soul churns her scepter into the ground.
This year my arms are wide open. I am ready, with the flick of a wrist, to keep out of my energy field those who aren't ready to dance with me.
This year I am hearing, seeing, and knowing the truth. I make choices that align with my self-worth.
This year I open my heart to loving bigger than I can imagine. This year I am willing for it to be easy. I call in my soulmate. I call in sacred land. I call in magic, magic, magic. I call in the powerful ripple effect of waking up the hearts of the change makers and truth tellers of the world.
There is laughter in my sorrow and bubbles of joy in my pain. There is love in my borders and a door that hangs on a swinging chain. This year I am basking in the hard work I've done. I am honoring the beauty of who I am, who I am becoming, and who I have yet to discover.
May you have the courage to sign up, on your dotted line, to live beyond the borders of your body and in the calling of your soul.
How To Create Your Own Annual Review
Ok, now it’s your turn. The easiest way to reflect on your year is if you have something you can look back on like a journal, planner, or social media feed. These things really help jog our memory to to moments that we can so easily forget.
Here are some steps:
Create a sacred space where you won’t be interrupted, and you can really dedicate the time and energy to reflecting on the year and opening up to the possibilities of this year. This is a big one because it can be emotional to reflect on some of the pain points from last year, but remember that there will also be nuggets of beauty that will surprise you along the way.
Have all your resources in front of you. Anything that will help you jog your memory about what went down that month will be helpful.
Work by month, and don’t get too caught up in the details. This can end up being a little like opening up old photo albums. You can get sucked in for hours. Try to keep it fluctuating between macro and micro. When you get too caught in the details pull yourself back out.
Look for themes. Pay attention to patterns of behavior that you are still holding on to. For example, I noticed I was writing a lot about releasing residual fear around money this time last year, and it’s still lingering so there is some major work I need to do around that ASAP.
Connect your actions to your emotions. Remember how doing certain things made you feel. Take note. You’ll want to stop doing some of those things or do more of others in 2017 based on that information.
I like to consider the following:
Big events like
Beginning or ending of relationships of any kind
Death & Birth
Starting something new
Doing something scary
How was I showing up for myself?
Who was I spending time with?
How much money I made
What things I was doing to nourish my soul
Books I was reading
What was I doing to move my body and how often?
How did each of these things make me feel?
Once you've completed your annual review let me know what you discovered in the comments below.