2018 was an incredible year for my mental and spiritual growth. It was a year long time out from my day to day existence. I recommitment to being my capable, beautiful, smart human self. It was a year to let go of shoulds, pursue new things with reckless abandon, not fear failure, travel, write, not listen to anybody tell me what I should or can or can’t do and to dream big. I’m in a better, more giving headspace and am a more fun person to be around. I read more books and practiced more yoga and tried more new things that I have in a long time and the momentum has just rolled right into 2019 so beautifully!
I’m really proud of myself. Here are the highlights from 2018 in no particular order:
• Wrote over 100 articles for The Culture Trip
• Read over 50 books in print, e-books and audio books
• Had the best year of consistent home yoga practice in the 13 years I’ve been practicing including a few Instagram challenges, creating a home studio and painting two murals in it
• Taught yoga out of my home and at Green Climbers Home (and did a bunch of outdoor rock climbing)
• Hosted 3 friends from the US in Laos, a country they never would have sought out had I not lived there
• Fell in love
• Wrote 12 Shakespearean sonnets that were published on disoriented.me
• Published 7 episodes of Saturn Returns Podcast with more coming out weekly in 2019
• Got over my fear of buying nice things and bought a Salsa touring bicycle
• Road said bicycle 145 miles from Columbus to Cleveland, 500 miles from Boston to Masardis, Maine, and 600 miles from Milan, Italy to Split, Croatia
• Spent 9 weeks at Bushcraft School in northern Maine learning to be self-reliant and live off the grid
• Did a solo 700 mile scooter road trip from Cleveland to Chicago and back
• Spent 2 weeks on a motorcycle trip in northern Vietnam
• Spent time in 7 countries: Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, USA, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia
• Started Volunteering at the Ohio City Bike Coop
• Between bikepacking and bushcraft school superseded my goal of sleeping outside 50+ nights per year
• Presented at an international conference on using images in the EFL classroom
• Adopted and neutered a Lao kitten and found him a good home
• Started teaching English online
• Knit my first pair of socks
• Completed my Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Savannakhet, Laos
• Set myself up for an awesome 2019 including 3 months in Europe, a Vipassana silent meditation retreat, hiking the Camino de Santiago, spending 6 weeks in Africa, doing lots more writing and podcasting, camping and biking
I’m sharing my accomplishments not to gloat or present a seemingly unattainable crazy travel-filled life but rather to encourage anyone and everyone to follow your dreams. I didn’t do all of these things because I’m stronger, braver or smarter than the average bear but because I set real, tangible goals and then worked on them every single day. I cut out the unfulfilling fluff from my life, streamlined my schedule and finances and started checking off bucket list items. It doesn’t matter whether you want to start a business, write a book, run a marathon or simply be the best artist/scientist/parent/chef/professional you can be. I’m telling you there’s no time like the present, no reason not to set huge goals, and no reason not to reach them.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
This is your permission to shine. Make 2019 your best year yet.