winter-654442_1920     Is it just me, or was December a tough month? I was sick for most of it, and got some sad news that’s affecting someone very important to me, then capped it off with not-so-fun quarrel that had me pretty stressed and heart-sick for a few days. I’m certainly not sad to have been able to set the counter back to zero at midnight. Since I missed my usual Gratitude Review last month and I want to give January a fighting chance, I thought I’d actually start the month with some of the highlights from my 2015 and share them with all of you. So Duke, roll that beautiful bean footage…

yoga meditation

I started my year accomplishing something that I still sit in total thankful awe over. In January of last year I completed my Meditation Teacher’s Certification. It was the best experience, and one I’m so proud of.

busted ankle

In June I slipped and seriously injured my ankle.  I know that isn’t really a thing most people jump for joy about, or in my case hobble, but a mighty good lesson came out of it.  Rest. I started out the year thinking I was going to get sh!t done. If anything, I was overeager about it. When I fell, it forced me to take a looooong look at my schedule and do some serious soul searching. What it did is teach me to slow down and learn to say no when saying yes was really not in my best interest. I also got to heap a lot of self-care on myself because, dang yo, it really hurt. I’m better now thankfully, and I have been applying this lesson ever since.

aromatherapy school

In July, I started aromatherapy school. I’m still at it, albeit after changing schools and finding an instructor that was a better fit for me, but I’m on track to finish early this year. The timing of this is perfect, as I was blessed with about a thousand ideas this week that I want to bring to life in the form of classes, books and products in 2016. Cannot friggin’ wait.

stevie

I caught two shows this year that made me pretty dang happy. I went to see Janeane Garofalo and Stevie Wonder within a week of each other and I’m still riding that high. If you were a teenager in the 90’s and you tended more toward alt-rock than pop, you know why Janeane is important. She was really my first foray into feminism and I’m glad of it. If I need to tell you why Stevie Wonder is important, than I feel I should give you my personal phone number so we can have a little talk. I’m a concert-goer. I love a live show. I’ve seen everybody from Aerosmith to Tori Amos. This one was the best one. The talent in that man will bring tears to your eyes. It also came with a soulful sermon about how we all need to be nicer to each other that I really appreciated. Go see him if you can. The words living legend fit him like a glove.

thankscollage

In November, I also did a 30-day photo challenge to up my game in the thankfulness department and boy, am I ever glad I did it. I practice gratitude daily, choosing at least 3 things that I’m thankful for and committing them to paper, but this wasn’t just picking an item and jotting it down. It was hunting for or taking a photo that represented the feeling, which allowed me to be creative regularly. It was taking several minutes to describe to a stranger why that item had importance to me, which gave me the gift of truly and totally getting into that space of thankfulness about it so that it translated to others. It let me share feelings with others that helped them feel gratitude in their own lives.  It was basically a big old love fest, and I will be doing it again this year and at least once a week on my social media accounts. Such a worthwhile activity!

This week, I challenge you to take the time to sit down and write your own year in review. You don’t have to share it, but do make sure you get real. Not all of it will be good, but it is good to be honest about what went weird on you so you can make positive changes and it’s also a great tool for looking back and seeing where there were lessons in the things that started out rotten, but helped you realize something great by year’s end. Hindsight is always 20/20, after all! When you’re done with the not-so-fab, more on to the things that really lit your fire and gave you goosebumps and shout that stuff from the rooftops. Happy reviewing and share some of your highlights in the comments!

 

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer