From Action to Bold Freedom

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I've been wanting to write about my assessment of 2017 and intentions for 2018, but have found myself stopped many times. 2017 was a pivotal year and one that that I will look back on with great appreciation. So why have I been stopped? Ultimately, I think I've intimidated myself (if that's possible). 

I remember beginning 2017 frustrated and tired of myself. I was tired of dreaming and not doing. I had always had big dreams for myself, but held back in so many ways. The voice inside my head would say "that's a nice dream, but you'll never do it", or "what if you fail or get stuck?" But something shifted in me, and I ignored that voice and chose Action for my word and intention for the year. 

I had always enjoyed doing yoga but never wanted to commit to paying a monthly fee (I thought I'd be missing out on something else in life by giving up that money). On January 14th, I ignored my doubt and joined CorePower Yoga. And all I did was start. I didn't set out with any resolutions to be more active or any goals for attending a certain number of classes; I just started. It was clear from the very beginning that yoga would play a bigger part in my year - I just wasn't clear on how big it would be. 

My Year of Action documented on  Jon Acuff's  2017 Do Over Calendar.

My Year of Action documented on Jon Acuff's 2017 Do Over Calendar.

Yoga set the tone for my year. Once I started, it was as if I jumped on a wave and other actions in several areas of my life began to take motion. I started marking classes as I took them and documented other events and actions. As the year progressed, I would look at my calendar and smile at my achievements.  Through everything I did, Action was at the forefront of my mind. I found myself saying "Yes" to more things and taking more chances. 

Here are some of my proudest actions: 

  • Joined CorePower Yoga
  • Participated in several programs through Landmark Worldwide (Landmark Forum in Review, 10 session Integrity seminar, 5 month Self-Expression & Leadership Program)
  • Attended Chris Guillebeau's Side Hustle Workshop in Austin, TX and launched Wandering Aunt as a result :) 
  • Cleaned out my closet - rid myself of 160 items of clothing and 32 pairs of shoes!
  • Reconnected and deepened relationships in my life 
  • Got my first and second tattoo
  • Saw Hamilton in Chicago
  • Traveled all over the country and world (Jamaica, Guatemala, Scotland and many U.S. states)
  • Pressed through my fear of being under deep water and got my PADI Diving Certification
  • Attended Ashlie Wood's life-changing Wildhearted Retreat on Lake Atitlán in Guatemala
  • Hiked 13 miles roundtrip up a volcano
  • Got Invisalign (something I had been putting off for years)
  • Photographed my nephew being born
  • Took a whirlwind trip to Chicago that included 4 flights and 3 yoga classes all within a day
  • Completed a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification through CorePower Yoga
  • Conquered 202 Yoga classes
  • Moved into my first solo apartment! 

Through these actions I began to discover and reconnect with myself. It was not an easy year by any means. I faced many challenges, hurdles, and setbacks. I pushed myself to be vulnerable with myself and many in my life, and connect in ways I never imagined. I found the true meaning behind loving myself and slowly began to shed layers that I had been hiding beneath for far too long. I forced myself to uncover areas in my life where I'd been holding back and began taking steps towards healing. I shed many tears and discovered many hard truths. And all of this has only made me stronger. 

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So why am I intimidated by 2018? I took so many actions, and pushed myself in more ways than I had ever thought possible. Rather than being excited for the new year, I found myself in a low place. How could I top everything I did in 2017? But as my sister gently reminded me, it's not about topping last year, but rather building on it. I am still learning and discovering a lot from 2017. And I still find myself having many breakdowns, but I keep taking steps forward. So for 2018, I will continue to build on all that I did in 2017 and step into the year with my word/intention of Bold Freedom. 

Watch out, 2018. I'm just getting started.