Transformed and Trailblazing

Welcome 2016! It’s a grand pleasure to meet you! I have graciously bowed my head in reverence, and gratitude toward 2015 and bade him farewell. And I’ve also glanced back upon that monumental year in great remembrance; so much has happened and I have created so many new experiences and relationships! I have completely transformed my entire way of being, my mindset, and my attitude. I’d like to share these exciting revelations with you; they are what I value a lot and I hope that they can be inspirational!

This year was THE year for immense transformation in several facets of my life. Intensity, anxiety, pain, sadness were all what I endured to get to where I am today. I overcame serious personal struggles, family struggles along with some lingering relationship struggles. Now, I no longer fear who I am…I realized that I really DO have the power to have and do anything that I want in my life- ANYTHING! There’s nothing to hold me back- no emotions, no thoughts, no people, no fears. Only I am responsible for my life and I have harnessed that responsibility to make some serious changes! Some of these include feeling empowered in my everyday life to make a difference, feeling more motivated and organized to complete both productive and fun tasks, being fearless when it comes to difficult conversations- not expecting/fearing a predicted outcome (which almost always was bad in my mind!). Going along with that, I have made deep apologies to family members that I have hurt when I was younger—that wasn’t easy for me! I expressed these apologies for my past actions both verbally and in written form. The outcome wasn’t the happy one I hoped for, but for me, I completed something that felt incomplete; I no longer have to carry guilt for those transgressions.

I could NOT have gotten through all of that if it weren’t for my boyfriend Dave or the Landmark course I took in the spring of 2015. I looked back at my blog and realized that I never fully expanded on that weekend, but let me say that it was one of the most powerful, extraordinary, intense, grueling experiences of my entire life. When you are made to work with yourself and really dig down deep into your brain and soul in a compressed amount of time, you find out A LOT that you didn’t know. You discover things you never thought existed and you learn how to work through struggles- past, present and future so that they never are a problem. You learn honesty, integrity, responsibility and communication. I remember feeling quite terrified in the months leading up to the Landmark Forum in Philly in May, but I also remember how quickly the anxiety vanished and how rapidly I was adopting and adapting to the language, mindset and the distinctions that were presented to me steadily throughout the entire weekend. Also, for me personally it was a big challenge to talk with strangers one and one in short periods of time throughout the entire weekend. You’re also strongly encouraged to sit next to new people after every break. It was a positive experience for me as I got the opportunity to work through my social anxiety in order to meet and get to know some really cool people with amazing stories!

So, Landmark was incredible, and so was the seminar series called, “Living Passionately” that followed for a few months. I gained even more there and was actually able to apply new concepts weekly with those around me. Again, mainly family, but it felt supportive and encouraging to go back to a seminar after accomplishing (and even not accomplishing!) something I attempted and share it with the group who were working through the same concepts. They then shared what they were going through and every week felt like this massive build-up of accomplishments; the energy was astounding. Were there tears? Yes, but overall, there were smiles, laughs and boosted confidence. I have carried this confidence with me ever since and boldly clung to it for this new year. I’m hoping to partake in a new seminar in about a month called, “Causing the Miraculous”.

Aside from all in person ‘training’ if you will, I’ve done my own reflecting on something different- my beliefs.

The second biggest transformation next to the family stuff was my religion. In 2015 I renounced the label of “Christian” and adopted what for me was a more practical belief system- Buddhism and Taoism. Again, I realized I am free to choose my own path; I took myself out of what I viewed as a mainstream, organized religion and immersed myself into a new and refreshing path. There’s a lot to learn, but I’m taking it at my own pace, on my own, and am discovering more about myself, my soul, nature, and the God in everything! I no longer have to feel tied to one belief and live my life in a particular way because, “that’s what I’m supposed to do”, or because, “it’s the ONLY way”. In the same way, I wish not to disrespect those who still follow that faith, as that’s their choice and that’s what fulfills their life. For me, I’ve gotten a new perspective. The concepts of church, sermons, tithing, living my life for God don’t fit for me anymore. Instead, I meditate in Mother nature and listen to what she has to offer and take what I can use, I give my time and shed my struggles instead of money and in turn, I live a life with God- a divine presence that thrives in every living and non-living thing alike. I am grateful for all I have, but don’t feel that one God got me through and gave me it all. Instead, I realize that I was responsible for where I am, how I got here, how I succeed, etc. And having some faith helped me through, but I didn’t need to rely on God or Jesus. Never before have I had a freedom so rewarding or refreshing.

And lastly, this year I also had countless firsts with Dave- I did things, traveled places, (ate things!) that I never thought I’d do/go/eat…like, EVER. Those were all amazing and the result was a more open mind and greater appreciation for the small things. The biggest and most exciting experience was getting my passport and traveling to a new country for the first time: Dave and I’s vacation to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for my birthday. That was absolutely astounding. Being only the second time flying, I was a little nervous, and also nervous about the people in the DR, but in the end, everything and everyone was perfectly fine. My Spanish skills, even though not advanced by any means, got me through for the most part and even when we totally couldn’t understand someone who didn’t speak English, it was okay; we smiled, they smiled and all was good. Being around so many non-English speakers for so long gave me a perspective shift as well; it helped me appreciate other cultures and their lifestyles. It was humbling to have the opportunity to talk to people from different countries and I was amazed at how easy it was to connect. There weren’t any barriers! It’s hard to admit, but I can say it was easier to connect with foreigners in a mutually foreign country versus someone random on the street here in the US! All that aside, the entire vacation was an unforgettable experience! I could probably write 10 blog posts about just that!

There’s so much more I can say about the year! Dave and I spent a large chunk of time collecting our memories of bigger, fun events of the year and writing them all out on large sheets of paper in colored Sharpies! It was fantastic. 2015 was a miraculous year. My life has transformed and I’m certain there’s no going back to the “old me”. As Tarja sings in her song, “Falling Awake”–“…There is no returning to that emptiness, loneliness. The dream that lives inside of me won’t fade away, it’s wide awake!”

In this coming year, I will “fall awake” in new ways. I plan on being more of who I really am and showing it! Most importantly, I will adhere to all I’ve learned and stand for what I believe in…and stand for the most important, influential, deeply loving, caring man in my life- my lover, friend, soulmate and life partner- Dave. Our relationship is special- we both created a solid foundation- I want to see our lives flourish and grow in magnificent and magical ways.

I want to be more organised- make plans and no matter how big or small accomplish them! I wish to learn more and in a different way now that I’ve been out of school for a year; I want to read more– a little bit of everything– fiction, non-fiction, religion, science, language…the list goes on! I want to pursue crafting in a more serious way…create things with calligraphy to sell. I want to spend more time with family that I haven’t, see more friends that I haven’t and spend more time with the ones I can see easier…SO much! Oh yeah, and not to mention I want to blog on a steadier basis and begin to compile thoughts/posts that would be relevant and appropriate for an inspirational book…that’ll be a major accomplishment!

This year will be BIG. The first step in making it BIG for yourself is realizing that you can make whatever you want a reality! Then, the second is committing to that plan. After that, it just gets easier! Third, you can put your plan into action and when you see the results, become inspired to keep going! As you build up positive experiences, you can be motivated for more. Don’t take your tasks too seriously! Laugh along the way, and when a minor glitch occurs, or even a major one, take a step back, reassess and move forward in a new, progressive way. Funny, because there’s even a ton more I can say about that as Dave and I have been using a highly organised planning system with our “Franklin Covey” planners. (That’ll be another post!)

Best of all, the most beneficial thing you can do for yourself in the new year, and every new year that is to follow after that is, in the words of famed author Douglas Adams: