It’s that time of year again. You know, the time of year where we all make promises to ourselves about what the “new” year is going to bring us or how we will behave, grow or change. I don’t get very fussy over New Year’s resolutions. In this day and age, there’s far more important things to take sides on and whether “to make or not to make resolutions” seems, well, silly.  

Instead, I think, in keeping with the symbolism of ends and beginnings, I’d like to take time and reflect on what I’ve learned this year, what worked and what didn’t, what I accomplished and how I can continue to grow and behave in a way that’s in alignment with the beliefs and values that have gotten me where I am.

Looking back on the year, the thing that sticks out most to me is my resilience. It hasn’t been easy to remain strong through most of the problems that I’ve had to face, but I have. I have survived every thing this year has left on my front step. I have persevered in the face of adversity. I have been authentic and genuine in the face of criticism. I have loved in spite of fear. I have been patient and kind despite wanting to lash out with hate. I haven’t done it perfectly or consistently but I have learned to do it better each time.

I resolve to continue acting from a place of love, patience, and kindness.

Now, it might seem like I’m tooting my own horn a little, and I am. However, there are many areas in my life that I’ve learned need far more attention. Treating others with respect, kindness and love comes easier to me than it does to treat myself the same. In some ways, my resilience grew from a place of taking on more than I was equipped to handle and then figuring out how to juggle all the chainsaws. Whether it was taking on multiple tasks, not asking for help, or trying to help others navigate their fears, I found myself, time after time, feeling overwhelmed, overworked, misunderstood and exhausted.

I resolve to put myself first, care for myself as well as I do others, and let go of anything that doesn’t foster personal growth.

Speaking of personal growth, I have made changes this year that have simultaneously grown me personally and spiritually. I have had a longstanding disdain for religion which has really hindered my ability to grow in my spirituality. However, that disdain has conflicted with my desire for my children to choose their own path to the God of their understanding. A few months ago, I sat aside my feelings and ambivalence to attend church with my family. It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made. Not only have I met amazing people that accept me for where I’m at in my spiritual journey, I’ve had a chance to fellowship with like-minded people, foster important conversations with my children and engage in service work that benefits my community. Sometimes our beliefs can block us from the greater good.

I resolve to be open minded and not allow past experiences to block me and my family from spiritual development.

Physically, I have grappled with the desire to have the body and the mindset I had when I was powerlifting, yet not being able to love the body I have now enough to counter my negative self image. This realization is a testament to my mental and spiritual fitness journey; lots of battles over loss of physical fitness have been waged in my head. The hardest dialogue to conquer has been “I used to be able to do ___, I used to look like ____”. My physique was my business card, it said “this woman knows her shit”. This fall, I stepped out of my fears and began teaching PiYo again. I recently re-certified as an instructor and am re-certifying as a personal trainer in January. As much as I am afraid of what feels like starting over, I am more determined to use my calling to help others achieve their goals. I don’t know what that journey will look like but I know it’s important to not look back with regret.

I resolve to use my mind-body-spirit fitness journey to serve others and not as a measuring stick for my own accomplishments. My struggles are more important than my triumphs and my human condition is better understood and more relatable when I’m not shouting down from a pedestal.

All in all, the overarching goal for the year and many years to come is to remember that it is all about the journey, the in-between, growth, change and even loss. I will never get THERE, I am THERE. The only time is NOW, not tomorrow, not next year. Being present and grateful is key to living, REALLY LIVING. Reflection is only helpful if it propels you forward, so here’s to all of us moving forward, onward and upward.

Peace. Love and Cheescake!!

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