I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions but I felt a strong urge to set a mantra in 2015.
I dedicated this year to taking risks, facing the things I feared most, while marking some things off a very long bucket list. I’ve noticed that a lot of people have been getting very personal on their blogs lately. Maybe some would say it’s “over-sharing”, but it seems that readers really like it. If you’ve read this blog for long you know I have no problem getting personal. I’m pretty transparent, not only about my views and opinions, but with my life. This year was a series of ups and downs. It’s ending off with a bang; I’m following my passion of traveling and teaching with a new travel business: Blissed Out Retreats. I even made it an LLC and feel so official. This year was full of profound introspection and getting deep into what I really want to do with the later part of my life. I guess your mid-30s does that to you haha.
Below are some of the highlights of the year of NO FEAR. I highly recommend this way of living. It can be a scary world out there, but living in fear is not a way to live. It can hold you back from doing all the amazing things you were meant to do. If you feel a connection with anything of these things tell me about it in the comments!
1. I went to India
On my long list of places I’d like to visit, India is very near the bottom. I wanted to go before I die but the negative things I’ve heard scared me off. The extreme poverty, dirtiness, etc reminded me of what I didn’t like about Cambodia. But a few friends loved visiting India so it couldn’t be so bad.
When I started researching yoga teacher trainings, India came up many times. It turns out it was cheaper for me to fly to India and do the training then anywhere else in the world. With it being the birthplace of yoga and all that I thought why not. I had to get over the fear of being uncomfortable and dealing with a culture vastly different than my own.
2. I became a yoga teacher
You can read about my training here and I’ll soon share the struggle that lead me to it but the gist of it is I had limiting beliefs that prevented me from becoming a yoga teacher. Even though I’m a natural educator and it’s my passion and mission to teach others I felt like I couldn’t be a yoga teacher because I can’t do the splits or other various difficult poses you see on Instagram yoga porn. I’ve practiced all kinds of yoga for over 17 years (though not regularly until this year!). Taking a lot of different classes with many types of teachers I realized that I don’t have to be perfect at every pose to be a teacher of yoga. Sharing my journey will help others who are also not the perfect yogi.
3. I moved back home (that’s my childhood home behind me!)
My lease was up at the end of March in Austin. Rather than sign another lease I decided to move to Portland. But I needed time to save up money. On top of that I knew I’d be traveling so it didn’t make sense to move to Portland then pay rent for an empty room (or sign another lease in Austin). My dad welcomed me back and then I realized how he fell off the healthy eating path I set him on some 3 years ago. Moving back home gave me a chance to try one more time to help him make sustainable changes. So I sold most my things and moved back home. Living at home at 36 is not glamorous. But it’s allowing me to get out of debt, and devote time to that new business! Side note: Dad is doing pretty good! He’s eating better and exercising daily.
4. I got my first tattoo
The pain is what I feared the most about getting a tattoo. Second, I didn’t know what I wanted to put on my body forever. It’s a big decision! After many months of brainstorming I came up with a design I knew I could live with: a lotus flower. I love how they bloom out of murky waters to shine brilliantly. The word “ahimsa” kept lurking in my mind; it meant so much to me. My life is dedicated to doing no harm to myself and all living creatures. And it’s the first Yama of yoga so often ignored. So my tattoo was born! And it was painful as hell! It’s located on my right side going up from my hip to my mid-ribs. My artist, Rianne at Golden Goat Tattoo, was amazing and quick. The whole process took about 25 minutes. I’m very happy with it.
5. I took a chance on love
It didn’t work out but at least I tried.
6. I didn’t count calories
This year I switched from bodybuilding and CrossFit (and most intense activity) to yoga and cycling to help my ankle continue to recover. After doing a month long yoga challenge my ankle finally stopped causing me pain. I got centered with myself for the first time in years since I started bodybuilding. The obsessive nature I picked up fell away and I stopped counting calories. I stopped exercising obsessively. I started eating whatever I wanted (which is still pretty healthy imo) and didn’t count my macros. Intuitive eating became the name of the game again. And I don’t feel guilty about my food choices. It’s a wonderful place to be! I’m not as lean or muscular. I’m not going to lie, I sometimes miss that physique, but I can honestly say I haven’t felt this happy about my being in many years. As I inch closer to 40, and finally start seeing the signs of aging, this is a good place to be.
7. I decide to move to Portland…then changed my mind to travel the world
This was a decision made in 2015 but when I decided to travel to India I pushed the move to spring 2016. When I decided I was done with Austin I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d want to live besides Portland. It’s my favorite vegan city in the country! Also my best friend lives there so it made sense. Then I got back from India and felt lost and disconnected. I pondered what my life would be like all settled down in Portland and it just didn’t feel right. I started looking at sites like Workaway and planning my next retreat. Why did I need to settle down? It just doesn’t suit me to have a traditional lifestyle! So I started Blissed Out Retreats. The whole thing came together very quickly so I knew I was on the right path. The plan is to be mostly out of the country in 2016, volunteering and teaching yoga all over the world. Details have been posted about our first retreat in April in bali and more info on retreats coming soon! Be sure to bookmark my new website.
8. I continued to not give two f*cks about what people think about me
I very much enjoy when people like me as a person, enjoy my classes, get benefits from my programs, want to spend time with me, etc. but when someone doesn’t like me I don’t take it personal or get all bent out of shape. I started not giving a f*ck a few years ago but have continued to put it into practice this year. This isn’t about lack of empathy, rather acknowledging that you can’t please everyone. I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. Not caring what others think of you allows you to live more authentically, “live your truth”, and not be in constant fear of your actions and voice. It can save you stress, heartache, energy and brain space. Living this way has allowed me to strengthen important relationships and have more to give to important causes.
What ways did you rock 2015? Share your accomplishments in the comments below! Go ahead and brag!