2014 – wow what a year!
BIG HUGE 2014
12 months ago, I had not anticipated quite how big this year was going to be for me. I mean, I knew that this was going to be one of those years that I’d remember. But going back over what has actually taken place in this time, I cannot quite believe this has all happened within the space of one year. The changes, transitions, shifts that have occurred have been truly life changing.
But to be entirely truthful, it has not always felt this way. Going through the year, I’ve been busy experiencing and had little time for taking stock of what’s gone by. I have been lifted and dropped; I have been pushed and pulled; I have been immersed and engulfed. I can without a doubt confirm I have felt every single emotion in the human experience: overwhelmed, excited, angry, disappointed, heart broken, loved up, in awe, fearful as hell, inspired, in love, jealous, powerful, weak, creative, engaged, impatient, deeply sad, grateful, lonely, greatly happy.
Twenty fourteen was a FULL year. Gratefully full of everything: projects, people, work, lessons, challenges, ups and downs. 2014 was the year I built foundations, played with identities, redefined my idea of love + relationships, challenged my boundaries, made some risky moves and focused on myself more than ever. It has been a year of exploration and discovery. It has felt expansive and scary.
It has felt wonderful.
2014 was the year I::
Went deep into my yoga + meditation journey.
Ate loads of avocados, drank lots of coffee and lived on coconut oil.
Played with my definition of spirituality.
Was introduced to crystals, chakra healing and started flirting with the Law of Attraction.
Started realising my own power and what happens when I choose to stand up for myself.
Completely and utterly let go of my career plan!
Turned 30. Yep.
This year’s intention was:
I am confident in myself.
And confident I was: to delve head first into self discovery, to deeply love and connect, to create my heart out and when needed, to fully surrender to life.
∇ SELF DISCOVERY
I became a yoga teacher. 2014 started with the end of my eighteen month teacher training journey with Yogacampus, signifying the beginning of my journey as a yoga teacher. The course was life changing. Throughout these 18 months I felt more challenged and confused than ever, which triggered what I now know is a life long adventure into exploration and self discovery. My book collection suddenly shifted from fiction to yoga and meditation, healing, nutrition and personal development. I held my first ever yoga workshop and absolutely loved it. I created Mini Bliss Retreats which will begin in early 2015 (read more here)!
I learned to take care of my body. I experimented with food, with detoxes, superfoods, juices and smoothies, supplements, raw chocolate. Massages, yoga, energy healing. I developed my meditation practice. I evolved my yoga practice at home and in classes. I learned that alcohol affects me – massively. So does dairy (damn it). I learned that I need to drink more water. And occasionally – I forgot it all. Read a little bit more about this here.
∇ LOVE + CONNECTION
My love and I got married. Twice. We worked hard to make the weddings ours and into something that represented who we are as a couple. We created visions (well I did, my man obediently tried), we played with traditions, we creatively combined our cultures and languages. We wanted to feel LOVE in an authentic, non-weddingy way, ironically. We had not seen it before, we did not know anyone else doing it, but decided to have a wedding by our own rules. And it was so crazy worth it! We created something I am honestly proud of, a manifestation of our joint energy and loving intention. I had the most amazing time with our friends and family. I danced to our own 8-hour playlist until my feet literally bled. I was overwhelmed by emotion. But above all, I fell in love with the prospect of our future together. You can read about the weddings here and here.
2014 marked the year that most of my closest people moved away. Two of my best friends left in 2013 for Switzerland and New York. Two friends moved back to Poland. My sister moved to Greece to write a book (or two). My daily life dramatically changed as I started questioning what the heck I am doing here. It took me a while to realise that this was a blessing in disguise as it freed up loads more time for me to dive into everything else and to make some room for new connections. It has also taught me that I needed to work on keeping relationships alive and that friendships require effort and commitment to remain strong.
I was inspired by some great, ass-kicking souls. And I met some of them, virtually + face to face. Women doing their thing, being themselves, redefining success. Over and over again. More of that please Universe.
∇ CREATION + EXPANSION
I started my beloved blog. The idea came to me at the beginning of the year and came into fruition around April time when I shyly took the initial steps at setting up my online space. I googled everything. I researched, read blog posts, looked for inspiration at my favourite sites. I bought my domain (after agonising over the name for a few days), downloaded WordPress and the experimentation began. Later on, in early June, I revealed yoga+other stories to the world along with my first ever blog post. I can proudly say I created it all by myself, from scratch, without the help of a designer. It became a creative obsession and I loved every minute of it. It now hosts my writing, my workshops, my yoga classes and soon much, much more.
I invested in Bright Eyed & Blog Hearted. By far, the best decision of 2014 (my wedding does not count, because we decided to get married back in 2013!). Rachel is without a doubt an absolute gem and an incredibly generous human being. The course helped me find clarity in my vision for my blog, it helped me channel my own voice and make it louder than the fears that come with self expression, and it taught me to trust that I am where I need to be. Through the course I have started building a tribe of people that I resonate with and who are on a similar journey, people I never knew existed who now inspire me daily to keep going, keep dreaming, keep beaming! If you are thinking of starting a blog, or want to take it into the next level, Rachel is your gal, I promise.
I was featured in some pretty awesome places: An Emergent Life, White Blank Pages and Falling Feathers Wild & Free. And I was given an online blogging award a month into my blogging journey – holy moly! Read about it here.
I said goodbye to my best friend’s mum. And she was much more than that, a mentor, a cheerleader, a loving presence in my life. Her laugh is forever engrained in my memory, as is her cooking and warm heart. Her loss has left a significant mark on this year, and was magnified by its timing as it happened a few days before our wedding in Greece. It made me realise all we have is this present moment and being grateful for this is truly life changing. Letting go of expectation and surrendering to what is, was what made that time so special. My heart was broken, but it was also cracked open: it reminded me of how love and connection truly trumps everything and in the end it’s all that matters.
I got promoted in my role in mental health. At a time when I thought I was going to change jobs, but had no idea where I was going, when I toyed with the idea of leaving Psychology entirely, when I taught more yoga and took on private clients, the promotion came as big shock to my system. I never thought I’d be part of management (after all, I hate management), and taking on the role meant that I had to let go of certain strong beliefs about who I am, which turned out to be total crap. This role has opened up so many new opportunities, including training in running Mindfulness Meditation courses to support people experiencing anxiety and depression.
Glorious lessons of 2014
→ When you open up and are willing to be challenged, opportunities appear. Believe me.
→ The Universe (God, Life, the Angels, the Ocean, Mother Earth, your uncle – whatever you experience it to be) does support you.
→ Have faith in the people in your life. They might surprise you. Be willing to share what you are going through, even if they are not on the same boat; look them in the eye and give them the opportunity to be part of your life if you want them there. My people really surprised me this year. At times when I least expected it, those few, special souls held a hand out and showed me how to be vulnerable when I was about to bolt.
→ Life will throw you into the deep end. It will throw at you whatever you need to learn that which you are meant to learn, even if it is not obvious at the time. And it will keep doing that because we never stop evolving. It your choice how you learn your lesson.
→ The most important relationship is that which you have with yourself. Period. When I take care of myself (and I mean my whole Self), I show up fully in all of my other relationships.
→ Yoga is way beyond what you do on the mat. It’s how you show up in life, day in and day out. The thing is though, your yoga mat becomes a microcosmos of your life. It teaches you powerful lessons about who you are as long as you are willing to listen and feel. When I don’t show up on my mat, I know I am not showing up fully in my life. This has been one of the most significant and liberating realisations of this year.
→ Time is yours to define. Sure we operate on a 24hr clock, but I know you’ve experienced time expanding and shrinking depending on what is going on in your life. What I have learned is that no matter how much time I have, I always have a choice in how I spend this time. Which in reality means we always make a choice about how we use our time. These days I am moving away from feeling like I don’t have enough time, to reminding myself that I will make time for the things that matter to me.
→ Your body is your vessel into your intuition, your spirit, your soul. Even if ultimately we are spiritual beings in a physical body, this still is only intellectually available to me. What I do understand in my core is when the mind is still, I get glimpses of knowledge, of deep feeling that cannot be described with rational language. You know that gut feeling? When I am in touch with my body, I become more in tune with my soul.
Before the year ends, I am thankful to::
The love, immense support and incredible faith that my man has given me. I am cheesily declaring myself the luckiest girl in the world!
My mum – without her patience and hard work our wedding in Greece would simply not have happened. My only regret is not having a photo of the two of us on the day, silly me.
Every single person who came to the little island of Sifnos this summer and made our day extra super special!
My closest friends (in London, in Poland, in Switzerland, in New York and Greece – you know who you are) for holding my hand and making me laugh and for simply putting up with me this year and every year before that. I could not have done it without you.
My body – for healing and patiently forgiving everything I put it through.
My family – all crazy, but we are all in it together!
The highs + lows – for teaching me resilience, patience, compassion and above all, gratitude.
2015 – bring on::
TRAVEL. I’ve been waiting long enough don’t you think? Bali, India… oh the places you’ll go.
More soulful connections. Like-minded souls.
Deep love + support in my marriage. Intimacy.
Living more out of intention, less out of habit.
Discipline + structure. ACTION. Accountability.
Creative projects. Inspiration. More blogging.
Bliss retreats. Live workshops. Coaching. Teaching.
Spirituality. Stillness. Connecting within.
Fear busting. Trust. Taking risks.
I am ready. BRING IT ON.
Which brings me over to you. 2014 would not have been the mind blowing year it was without YOU. Yes, you – the people coming across my space here, reading my words, my reflections, my blurbs! I am so incredibly grateful for each and every one of you and I want to THANK YOU for being here over the past 6 months from the bottom of my heart. I am constantly motivated and touched by your presence and feedback and know that it is my mission to be here, hoping to offer a little bit (or a whole lot) of inspiration, a space to reflect, to discover, to be supported in your own journey back to yourself.
Let’s do this! Let’s make 2015 an epic year, together.
Happy New Year!