I sometimes feel like life is moving at a million miles per minute. Like I'm on a rollercoaster, watching scenes of my life appear and then quickly disappear. So much is happening, both good and bad, but it happens so fast. I'd wonder "Wait, have I actually acknowledged that moment or did it just simply happen?" I think I've finally learned how to get off the rollercoaster and onto the lazy river, where I can not only see and feel moments but fully experience them, even when they are over.

The first step was to become more present. You know, the be-here-now and put down your phone concept. I'm still working on the phone thing. But seriously, by practicing meditation, yoga, and mindfulness daily, I've been able to be more present, alert, awake, what-have-you, for people and the moments that truly matter. Another thing that has helped me is reflection. This is a new one for me. It takes some effort and thought, but reflecting on your day, week, a big event or experience, can be a really good way to actually experience the event fully, and it helps your brain categorize it and hence, have a better memory of it. It also helps us grow by focusing on what we learned or could have done differently.

So, here goes my reflection on 2016.

If you’ve been on the Internet this year, you’ve probably seen all of the “2016 is the devil” memes. Yes, I’ve seen them too. And I get it. This year has been challenging. Crazy shit has happened. People's lives have been forever changed. And the world has been coping with humour. I think the memes have made us laugh, cry, and feel a sense of we’re all in this shitstorm together.

On the flip side, I also feel like the memes have kind of put the entire year in a box labelled “return to sender”. And while many are hoping to say FUCK YOU 2016 and leave the past behind, I feel it's important to take a moment to reflect a bit on the year, and try to pull a few positives out of it. Or at least reflect on how the year made you feel, whatever that feeling may be. I think this helps us start 2017 on a new, blank slate.

For me personally, I can say that I am not the same person I was one year ago, and I am okay with that.This year has definitely changed me for the better. And it wasn't the year that changed me, it was me that changed me. 

 I recently read a post called 10 Questions To Ask Yourself To End 2016 Feeling Positive And Powerful on one of my favourite blogs, gala darling. Her post inspired me to reflect on the year in a positive way. I encourage you to take a moment to answer her 10 questions and see what happens. 

I chose three of them to answer on the blog today:

 How are you different today than you were 365 days ago?

One year ago, I was just four months single from an almost six year relationship. I remember feeling scared, emotional, shaky, and anxious. But I also remember feeling free, happy, and excited for my next chapter. This year has been all about self-love.

As you may know, this year I completed Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training. This training began in January 2016 and it has truly shaped my entire year. I felt my whole perspective change. Meditation literally re-wires your brain and I felt this happening to me. Today, I am fearless, strong, and determined. Most days, I feel incredible. I feel healthy, energetic, and truly alive. I savour moments, people, food, and even silence. I take the time to notice little miracles every day. I am grateful. I’m living a more meaningful life because I find meaning in each moment, each day. I have learned to love myself and this has been a big thing for me. Learning how to my body and to know my worth has been really hard but so worth it. 

These are all things I work on everyday. I still have many moments of weakness, hangriness, self-doubt and lack of energy but I'm learning how to snap back much faster than before. 

What is something you tolerated for a long time, but now you will not? 

Chasing happiness. I have declared my happiness and so now it is mine. I am happy here, now. And so, wherever I go, whatever I do, I am doing it with positive intentions rather than from a place of desperation for happiness. I don’t feel like I need to chase money or things or people for happiness when I already have it right here. YouknowwhatI'msayin?

Self-loathing. I will not tolerate feeling like I am not enough. Like I owe anybody anything, or like there is anything I can't do, because that's just bullshit my mind feeds me, that may derive from a number of things including social media, advertising, and shitty people.

Ah, shitty people. That's another thing I will not tolerate. I realized this year that I have really, really good friends. I am so grateful to have them in my life. I have truly surrounded myself with the best.

What was one thing that you found really challenging, but can now see supported your growth? 

Despite how much I enjoyed the yoga teacher training, it was super intense. It was early 5 am meditations, multiple yoga sets, lectures, trips. It was a lot. But as difficult as it was, it has given me tenfold in return. Everything I put into it, I got back and more. I am forever grateful to be able to participate in it. It supported my growth this year 100%.

Twenty-sixteen was all about self-love, growth, and transformation. Twenty-seventeen will be for dreams-manifesting, big big tings, and for inspiring more, uplifting more, loving more. 

Thank you to all my readers and friends who have supported me and this blog. Let's keep sharing and supporting each other.

If you’re in Ottawa and want to say goodbye to 2016 with me, I am teaching a special version of my WEEKLY Friday night class at 7:30 pm. We’ll do a Kundalini Yoga & Meditation for beginning the year with a fresh start and letting go of what no longer serves us. Then, cookies, tea, and a 2016 reflections / 2017 projections social circle. All are welcome. Come.

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