As this year winds to a close, I’d like to share with you what I’ve been reflecting on for the last few weeks. At this time last year I was preparing for my book to be published and starting to think about how I was going to market it. When I revisited my musings from the end of last year, I made the intention to be more present in 2017. I knew presence would be especially important as I moved from writing my book to sharing it with the world. I was in the middle of a year of embodiment work that was clearing out remnants of old wounds and making space for me to hold my story in my body so I could speak it. I knew that I would be taken outside of my comfort zone, as my vulnerability was visible for all to see; those who read my book and those who heard my story. At the beginning of the year I still identified myself as a stutterer and I didn’t identify myself as an author.

Through the year I listened to my own voice like never before and I found my voice; the voice I use to communicate my work. I get chills and tears as I write those words. These are just some of the things that happened this year.

I did over 10 book events and practiced many hours for each one.
I joined Video Mojo Toastmasters thus becoming more comfortable speaking in front of a camera.
I took part in a workshop to develop my signature presentation.
I began working with a voice coach and focused on bringing even more vulnerability to my signature presentation.
I held several Samyama Circles and a Holiday Grief Workshop.

I now identify myself as an author and when I speak from my heart, I speak fluently.

All of these things came from presence and intentional deep listening,

from my inner knowing based upon sacred questions I asked myself. Each of the things I listed above are all things I previously resisted or refused to do earlier in my life. As the capacity in my body expanded, as I released old stuff, my own yearnings were allowed to be there. For some reason, maybe because I had released the wounds that made me resistant in the first place, as each one of these things arrived in my life I welcomed them with an open heart. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t still some apprehension, there was, and because they all arose from my intentional inquiry, I trusted that each one was the right step at the right time. My accomplishments this year far exceeded what I wrote down in my journal that I hoped to accomplish.

It feels like another experience of alchemy; entering this year with an open heart,

willing to do whatever I was moved to do from my inner guidance, and receiving so much more because I trusted the process. I never expected to ever get comfortable talking, let alone talking about the most vulnerable experiences of my life. As I entered the darkness of the solstice, I continued reflecting on where I have been and asked for guidance for where I am going next year, and what my focus will be.

What I know for sure right now is that I will complete my new signature presentation. After I returned from my books tour in Chicago, I was moved to bring more of my own story into my presentations. A part of my story that is even more vulnerable because it brings up some unpleasant memories from my childhood. It’s important because without those experiences, I would not be able to bring my work into the world in the way I’m being called to do so.

I’ll also be planning and offering some exciting new programs and workshops in 2018. These came from a compilation of all of the lessons and experiences that I learned this year.

I continue to be grateful and astounded that I can participate fully in my life, holding so much joy in one hand, and an equal amount of sadness in my other hand. That may be the most profound lesson of 2017. I can be joyful and sad at the same time and neither one takes away from the other. They are both valid feelings and can coexist.

I invite you to reflect on the lessons that are yours this year.

Is what are you pushing away exactly what you need to invite into your life to grow? What needs to be released to make room for something else?
Welcome everything and see what happens.