7 Things I Did This Year That Transformed My Life
Gratitude lists have always been difficult for me. Not because I don’t feel gratitude for many things, but because they don’t always convey the BIG picture.
The big picture is that we can be grateful for the good moments and the challenging moments.
Looking at how our moments have transformed us cultivates a deeper appreciation and more clarity. That is something for which I am totally grateful.
Here are 7 things that have transformed my life in 2017.
1. Began eating completely plant-based.
It began as an effort to heal a few specific issues. It turned into a journey of reconnecting with nature and exponential spiritual growth. It’s still a work in progress, but eating green feels so good.
Plants are teachers and healers. This change was a lesson in finding the answers right in my own kitchen – and this has become the case in most of my health and wellness endeavors lately. As a bonus, aiming to fully enjoy plant-based foods, I somehow surpassed a lifetime of cooking skills in just a few short months.
2. Legally and spiritually married my sweetie.
Love. A spiritual connection. A deeply healing partnership. These are things I didn’t know I could have. After years of healing from trauma, I finally feel able to fully love and be loved. That is a blessing of its own.
3. Started writing my book.
The Book. It’s all the lessons I wish I had known about creating my own spiritual path.
It’s about devotion that doesn’t look much like any religion or any woo modern goddess workshop. It’s real. It’s simple.
It’s about creating a truly divine connection while joyfully living out this human experience. I’ve made the commitment and now even told a few people.
The early stages of writing and research have clarified for me what works and what’s fluff. Regardless of how the book turns out, this clarity is gold.
4. Rededicated my writing journal to healing and spiritual growth.
I’ve taught journaling workshops and writing to heal for some time. Yet, my own journal often gets bogged down with to-lists, potential blog post titles, and book marketing tips.
While the business of writing requires its own type of attention, writing as a spiritual practice requires a dedicated space – physically and psychically. I share more about this in my updated Writing to Heal e-course (coming in 2018), but the important thing to note here is intention.
Having a dedicated writing space for healing, self-discovery, and spiritual growth makes it more likely that we’ll create a dedicated space in our lives for the same. Then, even the to-do lists become a tool for healing.
5. Walked out of a sacred circle.
Love and light and the fellowship of healers…It’s all beautiful, until it’s not. I’ve learned this lesson before, but this year I actually lived it when a so-called healing circle became disrespectful, invasive, and threatening.
I’m all about honoring safe space and vulnerability as a source of strength. But if it offends your soul, you have the right to leave.
This includes sacred circles from family dinners to prayer groups, therapeutic workshops to shamanic spaces.
There is nothing so sacred you need to risk your sovereignty over. Or, in plain language, never feel like you have to stay somewhere that doesn’t feel safe – no matter what the healing is called or how much you paid to be there.
6. Learned to say Hell No with fierce conviction and loving-kindness.
More lessons from dealing with darkness. Being stuck in the all love and light mentality will keep you from acknowledging true darkness when it appears.
Learning to say no to create clear and strong protective boundaries is an essential practice in self-care.
Loving-kindness, compassion, truth—they are inseparable. Take care of yourself first and say no when you mean no, even if your voice shakes.
7. Committed to a deeper spiritual practice.
A desire for deepening my spiritual practice was one of the main discoveries I made while working on Goals with Soul 2017 – A Desire Map Program for the New Year.
My mind, body, and spirit yearned for more ritual, more devotion, more space for divine connection.
My spiritual practice includes Ashtanga yoga as a way to prepare my body for devotion, Insight Meditation to develop awareness, and writing as a tool for self-discovery.
I’m far from perfecting the asanas, and from being a “good meditator” and that’s okay. The goal is not to perfect or even to get good, but to practice and grow from the experience.
I’m grateful to feel positive shifts in my mind, body, and spirit along the way.
More than just gratitude, a list of transformative experiences helps with perspective. And from this place of honest self-reflection, true gratitude is inevitable.
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