Hello my friend!
It’s a 60 degree day in February and we’re getting the most sun we’ve seen in Chicago since January 18th (not that I’m counting …)
This month has been a little rough! I thought I was experiencing a little bit of the February Blues but it kept spiraling into the Winter Sad’s and there was this gloomy cloud blanketing my mojo and productivity. I’m finally feeling more like myself and shifting back into the light with the help of friends, people who I pay to listen to me vent, tons of Vitamin D, and longer days.
And that’s the truth about self care: it’s not always about yoga and bubble baths and good vibes only.
Sometimes self care means getting uncomfortable, feeling the feels, setting boundaries, re-evaluating expectations, and investing in support. Do what you gotta do to thrive and function as your best!
At the same time, I'm also trying to embrace the fact that I'm a human being with a wide range of emotions, and that feeling moody is totally fine and safe. So often we pressure ourselves to be "on" and happy 24/7 which is completely unrealistic and counterproductive. It's ok to feel the feels and meet yourself where you're at!
Anyways, long story short...
I’ve been planning to write my own personal “2017 in review” blog post since December annnnnd now it’s almost March 2018 … but it’s never too late, right? Right!
I think I’ve been procrastinating and resisting this post because 2017 was such a personally massive year for me and I’m still processing and integrating and trying to understand all the lessons I’ve learned. But let's be real - as a recovering perfectionist I know that if I wait until I have the perfect post ready to share with you, it will never happen.
So this is my imperfect but real and raw edition of 2017 in review!
Early in 2017 I traveled to Los Angeles for a leadership event for my health and fitness coaching business. It was my first time in LA so I had no idea what to expect except bad traffic and was prepared to be overwhelmed, but I was so surprised to fall in love with the energy of the city. It was like this magical, expansive energy of limitless possibility came over me that I'll never forget. I wrote in my notebook “this is the year everything changed" because I had this gut level intuitive feeling that whatever happened in the rest of 2017 would impact the course of the rest of my life, as if I was on the brink of a giant yet exciting sea change.
And it really was the year everything changed. Nothing like I expected, but in quieter, more subtle yet immensely powerful shifts.
I guess that's lesson #1: Life is never going to turn out as we expect.
If we're open and release our death grip on control, it might turn out to be even better.
I'll remember 2017 as the year I finally started to come home to myself. It was the year of alignment, flow, learning to trust myself.
2017 was the year I turned 30!
My birthday is April 26th so in Illinois, that means a crapshoot between freezing and rainy or sunny and 70's. This past year it was the latter, and I kicked off my new year with lunch with a girlfriend, drinks and dinner with Ben at our favorite local restaurant, and wandering around my favorite high vibe neighborhood to soak in the sun and flowers. It was the perfect way to kick off a new decade!
I was a little nervous to turn 30, I mean there's such a stigma around leaving your 20's behind and becoming an official "adult." But it has honestly been my favorite year of my entire life so far.
It's like all the bullshit of my 20's was instantly washed away. All the self doubt, insecurities, drama, emotional baggage, it all went *poof* and was replaced with a fresh slate.
30 has been the year I discovered my voice and really felt like I found my groove with life, relationships, business, and my purpose.
Lesson #2: 30 freaking rocks
2017 was the year I realized I'm creating a legit movement with Inspire Joy
I officially celebrated 3 years of coaching with Beachbody, my health and fitness platform. Three years is a long time -- officially the longest I've ever held one job. (#millennial) Ever since day one, I've had this crystal clear burning vision for the movement I wanted to create with my team of coaches, Inspire Joy.
I want our team to be a sisterhood, a leadership incubator for creative and big hearted women who are craving more in life -- more freedom, more connection, more impact, more purpose in their lives. A platform for self discovery, for sharing our stories to empower and serve others.
We do our work online, so every chance to get together in person is truly special. In July we travelled to New Orleans for our annual coach summit, and physically meeting my coaches' coaches' coaches and feeling the instant synergy like we are all long lost soul sisters was overwhelming.
I also officially launched my health and wellness website so I could branch out and keep the two arms of my business (life coaching vs. health and fitness coaching) separate! If you want to keep in the loop with my health and wellness groups and get my weekly motivational pep talks, you can join my mailing list here!
Lesson #3: Sometimes it's safe to stop hustling and striving and acknowledge that you have already arrived. Also -- it is possible to build an authentic, heart centered, and profitable network marketing business!
In 2017 I made family more of a priority. Ben and I live several hours away from both of our families and I sold my car last year but I was able to take the Amtrak home for several weekend visits, hosted my parents for a sunny and warm February weekend, visited the German Christmas Market here in Chicago with my grandma and mom, road-tripped to East Tennessee to visit Ben's mom (and hike!), got to see my younger siblings who are now adults living all over the country, and spent a little time on my grandma's farm in Iowa.
Lesson #4: The older I get, the more I realize how important family is to me, and also that I am happiest when I'm out of the city and in nature, whether that's a mountain or cornfield.
Ben and I didn't take any major trips together this past year but we made an effort to get out for mini weekend road trips as often as possible, to Madison, Michigan, Galena, Indiana Dunes, and a bigger trip to Tennessee. We love traveling and exploring new places together and want to enjoy the freedom we have in this season of life, pre-kids and pets!
Oh, and we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and continued our epic Halloween couples' costume tradition by dressing up as the eclipse :)
Lesson #5: Marriage rocks. At least when you're married to Ben. Also, it's worth it to break out of routine and explore new places even if they're right in your backyard!
2017 will go down as the year I discovered so much about myself.
I finished my life coaching certification and launched my 1:1 practice!
I learned how to invest in myself and my business, and was able to connect with many other incredibly inspiring coaches and entrepreneurs to share this crazy rollercoaster.
Lesson #6: I can trust myself and embrace the journey
I also started to take my personal development obsession to a whole new level, dove into spirituality and my faith journey, and opened myself up to learning about so many "woo woo" alternative things like astrology, crystals, human design, manifesting, feminine energy, basically anything I felt curious about that resonated with me.
Lesson #7: Entrepreneurship (and life in general) is a spiritual practice, and the more you open your heart and surrender to the bigger power we're all part of (whether you call that the universe, source, God, etc), the happier and more in flow your life will become.
Lesson #8: Follow your curiosity!
I've been working on my health and fitness for years, but as my life evolves my wellness journey has evolved as well.
Instead of working out and eating healthy to be skinny-fit, I've started appreciating my body for what it does for me. I feel more comfortable and confident than ever, and have shifted my goals towards hormone health, strength, and most of all having fun!
I joined a yoga studio, tried a 21 day vegan reset, have learned a ton about cycle syncing since quitting the birth control pill, and feel a lot more relaxed about the whole health and fitness thing.
Lesson #9: Embrace the journey and make your own rules when it comes to health and fitness. We only get one body and it has to last a lifetime!
2017 was the year I truly OPENED MY HEART! Instead of being an introverted hermit and playing victim mode, I actively searched and created community and belonging whether with my team, friends, and by hosting my first live workshop!
Lesson #10: It is safe to be yourself and share that with others. It's also ok to ask for help, lean on friends for support, and be a team player instead of putting yourself and others on pedestals.
What's coming in 2018?
Well, so far the year has been off to an exhilarating yet rocky start. Lots of up-leveling, growing pains, old fears bubbling to the surface, exciting new opportunities, but overall I feel like I'm finding my groove and am excited to keep growing, sharing the journey from the trenches, serving others, and having adventures!
I'm continuing to use my health and fitness coaching as a positive outlet for self care and mentor my coaches.
I'm also taking on 1:1 life coaching clients, and am super excited to be developing my first group program or e-course for creative entrepreneurs and women in biz who want to learn how to tap into their feminine energy and create authentic, sustainable success while making self care a priority!
My focus this year is to create more content, cultivate community, prioritize my creativity, and most of all relax and enjoy the journey.
Cheers to the next chapter!