Reflections on 2015, Moving Forward with 2016.
2015 was a big year for me, perhaps the most influential year of my life.
Here are some highlights, major changes I made and significant reflections:
- I spent the better part of the first half of 2015 out of the country, living by the ocean, in a milder climate. It hit me: I don’t need to live in snowy winter climates for the rest of my life (what a shocking realization!). And so began my plotting to align my place of habitat with my peaceful place…
This inspired me to create the following image:
- I finally dipped my toe into the world of prisoner support volunteering. It’s always amazing the kinds of depth you can create in a relationship with someone who has been chronically denied the ability to be seen and affirmed as a human being due to their past mistakes or life circumstances and the way those are judged by those of us on the outside. People are complex.
- When I returned to Ottawa, I continued this work by working with and donating to the Prisoner Correspondence Project. You can learn more and donate to them by clicking here.
- I made a radical change in diet, based on the book 80/10/10 and became a raw vegan (well, mostly, it’s still a work in progress!). I made this decision as a way to feel more energized and vibrant. I am here to tell you that it’s been working, I feel better than I have ever felt before!
- I read one of the greatest autobiographies I’ve ever read. Janet Mock’s beautiful, brilliant and soul wrenching story of her life: Redefining Realness
- I had my first experience with the death of a loved one. My dog passed on December 21st 2015. This experience has changed me and I am thankful for it. Acceptance is all the more abundant in my life now. Here is a photo that accurately portrays how laid back, ridiculous and sweet she was.
- I realized that I needed to be treating myself with the same care and kindness that I treat anyone I come into contact with. This has meant that I’ve began to take more and more vacations, time to do things that bring me joy, and more time for myself overall. (And yes, this does mean that I will be less available in the New Year, now that I am carving more time out for myself. But I assure you, though I may be less frequently available, the quality of our time together will only deepen as I continue to put this change into practice).
- Toronto became a place that I visited more frequently. And in accordance with the reflection above, I began to tick some of these places to visit off my list and will continue to do so in 2016:
Moving forward and into 2016:
One of the big changes I’m making in my list of aspirations of 2016 is aspiring to things as motivated by self-kindness as opposed to doing things because “I should” do them. I recently read an article about how people use exercising as a form of self-punishment (punnishment as in when they force themselves to go to the gym when they overeat or to prove to themselves that they are not lazy).
This made me reflect on the idea that doing anything from a place of being harsh with yourself is simply not sustainable and does not work in the long term. So here is my list of what I am taking into 2016 with me from 2015 and things I am looking forward to:
- More Humour into the Every Day:
Who doesn’t love to laugh? I plan to attend more comedy shows, listen to Aisha Tyler’s hilarious audiobook, and spend at least 5 minutes every day laughing. If all else fails, I can always rely on the nostalgia of Mr. Bean or hilariously captioned photos from Doug the Pug (and I’ll take your podcast and blog recommendations too!)
Oh! and John Oliver! More John Oliver in 2016!
This is applicable to everything I do, really. One thing that comes to mind is the balance I’ll be more actively striving for between nurturing my intellectual side and my creative side (I’ve started writing and singing more in 2015, here’s to taking this into 2016!).
I plan to read more books by current or former sex workers. Right now I’m in the process of reading Sub Rosa by Amber Dawn
- Travel and Vacationing:
I will be traveling for vacation purposes more in 2016. On my list so far: Costa Rica, Brazil, Vancouver, Australia
- Business Developments:
By the end of 2016, I will have either fully or partially launched my second business in media marketing consulting, something I’m very excited about!
- And finally, I’ll be working on intentionally seeking to be more in tune with my body. On my radar: yoga therapy, mindfulness meditation, and continuing to practice intuitive eating. And seeking out more wisdom from other experts in the field of sexuality and embodiment (and re-reading Ecstasy is Necessary).
I hope you find a way to spend the New Year grounded in excitement of what 2016 brings.
Happiest of New Years, lovers.