2017 in review

I have been struggling with writing my 2017 blog, and it's not because I don't have plenty to say about the year, but because I still feel like I'm processing it all.  Each beginning and end of year I come up with a word, or words, (because indecisive is definitely one of my words) for that year.  The beginning of 2017 I chose the words balance and purpose; half way through the year I added duality, because it was necessary.  To end the year I would say the word is unveiling, maybe I would even go as far to say, awakening.  

In a lot of ways 2017 was a direct reflection of the ways in which I am not living congruent with my beliefs.  Watching so much of the world be divided against one another, I had to really look at it as a mirror.  What ways am I being played?  What ways am I blindly consuming all that is handed to me?  Who am I finding myself divided against? 

I remember the first time a class project was to debate another student.  I so deeply recall thinking, "Why the hell are we being taught to throw our opinions around until we either offend the person or convince them to see our point of view? 9 times out of 10, that approach only leads to resentment.  Why aren't we being taught to find common ground, to even attempt to listen to others and see what we can learn?  Instead we are to listen just to respond why they are wrong."

Well, this same feeling I had about debate in middle school, is very similar to how I feel about it in 2017.  Boy, did this year hold more debate than I remember ever seeing in the past.  

Just as I believe in our education systems we are taught things, that truly don't serve us, it's still happening as adults.  We are literally being taught this is our only way, we must debate and be right.  Our truth is THE truth. It's not just that programming I've been really made aware of, but we're also programmed to consume, look out for just us, and the outside world is to be feared. Fear, fear, fear.  You fear God,  fear Santa, fear the republicans, or the liberals, or refugees, or anyone who worships a different God than you, or fear fear fear, all misguided. All being used to distract us from actually coming together and growing stronger. 

2017 to me and a lot more people than you'll hear about on any news channel is an awakening.  I guess really our ability to see if it's awakening vs the end of the world vs the world being made "great again" depends on how we perceive the world.  Each time my heart was hurt because of something I saw in the world, I started being shown in serious reflection, ways in which I have been part of the problem.  It's unnerving, and I supposed that's why so many people turn away from that, and just take the easy approach and say ugh, the problem is with everyone else.  Everyone sucks.  Trust me up until half way through the year I was screaming the same thing.  Everyone made me angry.

So angry in fact that I literally went mad this summer.  The extent of my madness can be summed up in a quick story. I got a ring at the door one day this summer, and it was one of my neighbors.  He handed me a bottle of wine and said, "We felt you could use this wine, it seems you're having a rough time, we heard you yelling, 'I Can't F***ng do this anymore.'' "Oh," I say, "You heard that?"" Yes," he replies matter of fact because of course he did I was screaming it bloody murder into the direction of Steve, God, the trees, my flowers, the dogs.  I mean I owe everyone a thank you for not getting my mad ass sent away.  I literally was a blaze and was burning everyone down with me. 

However that fire I started and let burn for longer than I could control was purposeful.  It was painful as hell, but fire transforms in beautiful ways, after some healing. Fall was the healing I needed to start to feel the regeneration.  Not facing my emotions, just isn't a possibility for me anymore.  If I let things go, it festers and becomes a wound! 

Speaking of wounds Steve's wound this year was all over the map. We started the year with a set back and the wound going to the worst it was, fast forward to summer, to it being healed,  to broken open, to healed, to broken open again.  Because that's how wounds are.  Even when they're healed, it leaves you fragile.  Fragile, and needing to be tended to with the same grace and care a real wound does. I hope you are all seeing how this is also an analogy and it applies to life and real life wounds. :) Just in case you're missing it just wanted to spell that one out.

 When Steve's wound healed, he was able to get up and paint again. (3 times this year)

When Steve's wound healed, he was able to get up and paint again. (3 times this year)


So my words:

In search of my purpose, I had a conversation with an amazing intuitive Rebecca, and she said something that really helped me ease into my actual being.  She said, "Your life is your purpose, you're never not in your purpose.  Every moment has been shaping you into who you are, and that is your purpose."  Those words which after hearing, felt very common sense, really shifted things for me.  I feel like I was spending a lot of times, chasing a purpose, because Steve was so sick so many times.  I was self preserving because I knew if I had some other "purpose" that was just mine, it would carry me through whatever was going to happen.  Well, fortunately I released that kind of crazy pressure, and felt myself settle into me more after the "fire." Even more fortunately Steve is here and stable!  Proving again that doctors words on Steve's fate mean nothing as long as he's in.  Thankful for all of this! :)  This understanding that my life is my purpose really helped me learn how sharing my story is a huge part of that. 

Balance. Well I like to describe this ever changing definition with a visual. Imagine what it takes to get to a point where you and a friend are being held up on teeter totters. Perfectly balanced and not one falling down to the ground. That kind of balance is a few steps forward, and a few steps back.  That visualization helped me see balance as a practice.  You get out of balance, and you come back to it, you do what it takes to stay there, and when you fall again, you stand up and try over. 

Duality.  The dark is as important as the light.  Finally coming to peace with some dark things this year, led to me actually making progress with my book.  I had been loosely working on this book for years, without a lot of direction, but finally facing the dark, led to me feeling okay to write about it.  After some direction from a coach Steve gifted me with for my birthday, I have been making progress on the book.  I don't want to write about it here too much, because I want my energy spent more on making small actions on it daily, instead of talking it up yet.  Putting my thoughts into tangible, readable paragraphs, has helped me in a lot of ways to really process some things that were holding me back. 

 Garden in late spring. 

Garden in late spring. 

As 2017 continued to show me my shortcomings, it also pushed me immediately into action.  I may struggle with consistency (introducing 2018 word number 1),However, action rather than talking about action has become a thing for me, and I'm holding on to it for dear life. :)  It's a post fire gift.  I was called out very clearly on the areas I wasn't committing to (2) my life or anything in it.  It also showed me where I wasn't being congruent (3).  I would find myself so upset about the ways people were mistreating the planet, without seeing ways in which I COULD do something about how I was mistreating the planet.  

My words for 2018 are commit, congruent, and consistency.  At the end of the day I've decided although it will take a lot of f'ng work it will be glorious. I feel amazing when I'm congruent, so my biggest lesson, take away, goal going into 2018 is to take the steps necessary to be more congruent with my beliefs, be consistent and committed to my health, my life, my work, Steve, my self care, whatever projects my mind takes me on,... Continue to take daily actions, and show up, and educate myself.  

Education was a large part of 2017, with me starting a 2 year herbal immersion class in January.  Now a year in the knowledge has helped me and everyone that comes in contact with me more than I could have imagined.  Becoming educated on subjects important to me grew through the year.  After taking an intuitive class, led me to a beekeeping class, and permaculture.  I want to be an educated steward of this Earth, and I know that until I have the knowledge I'm just fumbling around trying to make a difference.  However, another thing I've learned clearly this year is "Knowledge isn't power until it's applied." Dale Carnegie.  A key example is showing up in my health.  This year, the culmination of all the stress I've gone through the past 6 years (33 years) has left me weak and shaken.  If I'm honest it's 80% my fault.  From eating one meal a day, skipping work outs, eating foods that I know make me feel terrible, and having the yo yo diet.  By that I mean, I'm really strict and eliminate foods that bother me, and then eating donuts for breakfast and a bowl of ice cream for dinner, with nothing but coffee in between.  My health is screaming at me, by ways of low blood pressure and dizziness to actually commit to my health.

 Favorite advice of the year, "Drink as you pour." Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

Favorite advice of the year, "Drink as you pour." Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

In my years taking care of Steve, if anything it has taught me that our health is a gift. It's not a guarantee that I can keep running off of steam, especially with grueling days like wound care and when Steve is in distress.  Which is why commitment and consistency will be the most important thing I could do for myself in this moment. 

I won't share any concrete plans here, because I really just want to focus on building my balance between committed routines that will allow the space for free flow.  I want to focus on action, instead of taking my energy on telling others on what I plan to do.  So if you're still here with us on this journey, thank you. Truly your support has helped us so much in ways I don't believe they have proper language for.  I truly cannot adequately put the feeling you all give us into words, I just know its the biggest blessing of my life to have it.  I hope you'll stick around, because I'm excited for what 2018 holds.  I'm always hopeful that Steve gets to experience many many many more of these new year reviews, but for now i'll close on what's most important.  Him being here now, and me BEING here too. :) 

 December 2017

December 2017


Much love you all, and see you all in the new year!