Sunday, 13 December 2015

Top 10 things I learned in 2015

I want to declare 2015 the worst year of my life.  But the more I think about it, the more I realize I don’t agree with that statement.  2015 was the best year of my life, actually.  I am standing here, in December, feeling strong. Strong doesn’t mean happy or full of answers about the future. To me it means having confidence to walk forward into 2016 and handle my business.  There were days this year when I was not ok, and truth be told, I thought it might be better to be dead.   I needed days like that to feel so much pain that I had to change and move.  And oh my God, how much I did move out of complacency this year.   God knows I have many socially acceptable reasons to play the sad victim of life card. I do not wish what happened to me upon anyone else.  That said, I am grateful for the life I got to live in 2015, and while it was nothing I could have ever imagined, I am better for it.   Here’s what I learned and can take into 2016 with me:

1. Be present—right now is all you’ve got. 

Slow it down and be mindful of what is happening in this very moment. I got blindsided at the beginning of 2015 with a marriage that blew up in a spectacular way. When I started asking, “Where have I been—how did I not see this coming?” the answer I found was always that I was a few steps ahead of the present.  Biggest lesson and I’m still learning it.   

2. Love, like everything we do and feel, is a choice.

It doesn’t happen to you or stop happening to you.  There’s no such thing as falling in love or out of love.  That’s a cop-out from choice. We are always in control.

3. Trust your intuition.

It’s a human survival mechanism, and we spend our lives trying to shut it down and look for rationalization or hard evidence. Even if you can’t prove what you are feeling is the right thing, you know a lot more than you think. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re crazy.

4. No risk, no reward.

Take your proverbial helmet off and let love, a new career, or whatever your fear of failure is take a shot at your head.  For me, the biggest risks I took in 2015 made me feel so scared and liberated and euphoric at the same time. It was all worth it, not because it was a wild ride, but because I learned that I am stronger than I think. I can take the failure that some of those risks brought, but also not everything failed dramatically.  There are sweet rewards too.  

5. Work so hard on your physical strength.

Be faster, be stronger, and do this every day. It’s a forever thing; if you view it this way you will do it this way. Life is intense; we need an avenue to burn off that intensity intensely!

6. Love your current conditions. 

Body shape, job, marriage, relationship…always there is someone else who wants what you’ve got really really bad. It surprises me to hear so many of my friends tell me, “you are living my dream life right now” or, “I am living vicariously through you”.  Really? You envy me?  I envy you!  I guess all I can do is learn to love what I’ve got.

7. You can’t love someone if you don’t love yourself. 

Like they say in the plane safety briefing before every flight—you’ve got to put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others.  I have to take care of myself before I can be of any value in someone else’s life—and that’s not being selfish.   
8. No one and nothing should be your “everything”. 
YOU are your everything.  It’s totally up to you.  Someone else can’t be your bandaid or your drugs.  That’s not fair to them or to you. I have to love myself enough to say, “I am enough.”

9. Getting better takes discipline and hard work. 

Simply allowing time to pass and hoping your grief or your crazy life will get better is not the wisest coping mechanism. Time does make some things better—it numbs out the rawness of recent events.  But time in and of itself does not heal you.  I turned the major corners out of grief this year when I chose to reframe my attitude. It is hard work because sometimes it's easier to have a pity party and get your energy out of playing the victim.   

10. Where you are right now is perfect. 

You might not feel that way in the moment but it’s serving a purpose. Everything I have done and chosen has led me to right now.  So it’s perfectly aligned with what is about to come.  That brings me back to my lesson learned number 1 – be present. I don't want to get ahead of myself if I am already in the perfect place! 

I hope some of this resonates with you. I'd love to hear about it! Wishing you a healthy, fulfilling 2016. 

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