In January 2015, while at my friend Naomi‘s yoga retreat, we did some serious introspection stuff along with a whole lotta word vomit (aka journaling). I still have the journal and I page through it often. It was a crazy time in my life and the chaotic, nearly-illegible scribbles are proof of that for sure. I’d lock the journal up but there’s no need, no one but me would ever be able to read it.

But there is one thing in that journal that seems a little out of place. There, in amongst the scribbles that detail my brain dump from that emotional weekend, I wrote down a single word on one of the pages — EVOLVE.

And evolve I did. That was, as they say, the beginning of a wonderful adventure. 

2015 was the year I quit my 12-year legal career to start my own coaching business. It was the year I started my yoga teacher training. It was the year I struck out on my own in so many ways, leaving so much of the old me behind. The year was bittersweet but mostly, it was raw. I systematically dismantled my old life in favor of something I could taste but still couldn’t see. If you’ve read my other posts on this site, you already know that 2015 was a ginormous leap of faith…oh, and by the way, completely out of character for me.

Loving this concept of using a single word as my intention for the year, I went with RESILIENCE in 2016. If 2015 was the undoing of my former life then 2016 was going to be the year when I figured out whether or not I could survive all the destruction.

And now as I reflect back, I’m so proud to report that I accomplished what I’d set out to do. I absolutely embodied resilience in every aspect of my life. Truth be told, I was challenged quite a bit this year – professionally, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Professionally, nothing seemed to go to plan and yet, somehow my business endured and grew in lots of exciting ways. I went from losing a single contract in February that comprised ½ my monthly income (devastating) to ending the year feeling inspired and confident about what’s to come (awesome).

Personally, I went through the painful process of growth and it didn’t crush me. My new path in life meant saying good-bye to things that once were very dear to me (ugh) but I ultimately learned to let it go and somehow I managed to keep going, slowly building the life I was meant to have with the incredibly supportive people I was meant to be surrounded by (awesome).

Physically, I took some big risks this year — running an unprecedented 1800 annual miles including 8 races that were a marathon distance (26.2 miles) or longer, for the first time ever winning my age group in both a marathon and a 50k. To top the year off, I ran 2 marathons a week apart just to see if I could — which apparently I can…and quite well I might add. To be honest, prior to this year, I’ve never really stepped into this ultra-running person that I’ve become. I’ve always held this fear that I’m just getting lucky but someday my luck would run out. So this year I tested the theory. But instead of having my fears validated and my theories proven correct, I rose to the challenge and developed an unshakeable faith in myself. I started the year wondering if I was just a fraud (boo) and ended the year feeling stronger than I thought possible (awesome).

Through it all — the tears, pain, rawness and anger — I didn’t just survive…I effing thrived. And as I write this now, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for every awful moment that seemed to be tearing me down. Because if not for those moments, I would not be here, happy and at peace. I now get it — I AM REALLY STRONG. There is no doubt in my mind that I have within me the ability to survive anything thrive in all circumstances and despite all obstacles.

In 2015, I literally let it all crash down and what didn’t fall down, I tore down myself. My whole world unraveled right before my eyes. But this year, in among all the devastation and destruction, the grass slowly began to grow again. And this time the roots are infinitely stronger. From those strong roots, emerged a life filled with more joy, love and support than I could’ve imagined.

I began to let go of the illusion of perfection and allow myself to truly be seen. I got picky about who I kept company with. I set firm boundaries and defended them fiercely. I learned to be more patient with the healing process (in my body and in my heart) and to let it run its course. I began to trust myself and, in doing so, discovered that I can withstand any storm and survive any loss. I learned that my capacity to heal and carry on is limitless. My relationship with myself has been changed forever.

If that’s not the essence of resilience, then I don’t know what is.

So what’s next for me in 2017? Well, this year, my word is CONNECTION. Not sure where it’ll take me but let’s see what kind of magic I can pull out of my hat this year 😉

xo

P.S. If you wanna connect with me and all I’m up to this year and beyond, sign up for my monthly newsletter here.

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