A couple of years ago, I decided to replace new years resolutions with a word, or theme, of the year. I have never been one to really set yearly resolutions because I am always striving to be better daily. I don’t mean that to sound pretentious, but damn, it really does. Sorry about that. What I mean is, I am a seeker and a self help junkie, so I am just always looking to improve and grow as a person. After getting sober in 2000, I have constantly worked on becoming a better person through self evaluation and prayer. I have never really been a goal setter simply because I find that I’m never really sure where I want to be in the future. I’d always like to be richer, happier, and better but I never really know how to get there so goal setting just felt like a waster of time. In 2018, though, I heard Dabo Swinney give a speech about his word of the year and it was very inspiring. I realize, now, that a lot of people do this, but Dabo was the one that introduced it to me first. In 2018, my theme was radical self care. If you’d like to read about the lessons I learned, you can read about it here. That article came at a time where I was feeling very low and I needed help. I committed to a few things that year, but the most important thing was self care. As you’ll read in that post, that year was life changing. It put me on a path of healing and self love and I am so so so grateful for that time. When 2019 rolled around, I was ready to do it all over again. My word for 2019 was Exploration. It was interesting reading back over what I had in mind when I came up with that word. It was even more interesting as I look back over the lessons I’ve learned and how that term played out in my life. And just as I did last year, I am here to recap this year and how the word “Exploration” played out in my life.





When I initially chose exploration as my word, my goal was to follow my curiosity where it lead me. I wanted to explore different styles of photography. It’s comical to look back on the year that I’ve had and realize that there were so many bigger lessons out there for me to learn. This is why it’s important for me to keep an open mind. When I stay in the present moment and open myself up to the flow of life, things happen that are so much bigger than I could even imagine. This year has been extremely healing for me. While 2018 was an act of self love, dedicating a year towards treating myself well, 2019 was a year where I really got to dig into some old beliefs and change how I viewed the world. It went beyond learning to treat myself well. It became learning how to operate in the world in a way that brought a lot of freedom, trust, and yes, more self love. I explored so much more than my creativity yet implemented some systems that helped me to thrive. I am going to list the lessons I am taking away from 2019 below, so I hope you’ll read along with me and see if any of these ring true for you as well. 

Lesson #1

A daily spiritual practice has changed me. In 2018, I began to meditate every day. I can’t even remember what all I tried, but somehow, I was lead to Kundalini Yoga. I have been interested in Kundalini for years, but have never been ready. This year, I was introduced to a variety of teachers and have been very dedicated and committed to the practice. I joined the 528 Academy with Brit and Tara of Elevate the Globe. I took some classes online with Guru Jagat and finally, at the end of the year, I participated in the Rise Up Challenge with Brit and Tara

Kundalini Yoga has been LIFE CHANGING FOR ME. It was a rigorous practice that includes a lot of mantra and breath work. It has been key in physically breaking old patterns that have shown up in my life over the years. Since I began the practice, I have been happier, more grateful, more easy going, and more open to the joys of my daily life. I have worked through issues that I’ve had for years and I feel so much lighter (not in weight but in spirit). I am so so so grateful for all that I have learned in the way of yoga this year. 

Lesson #2

I don’t have to do it perfectly. I’m allowed to make mistakes. Each decision, typically, doesn’t carry consequences that will ruin my life. If I choose wrong, I can just learn the lesson and decide if I want to do it differently next time. Man, that takes a lot of pressure away from my daily life. 

Lesson #3

I am trustworthy. I can trust myself. I have a strong inner voice guiding me and you know what, it’s right most of the time. There is SO MUCH FREAKING INFORMATION coming at us all of the time. And it feels like it’s always telling us what to do. The relief came to me when I realized that I don’t have to do what anyone else says and even when it seems to be different, my own decisions are best for me. I really can trust myself. And if I feel like I can’t trust myself, I can just refer back to #2.

Lesson #4

It’s okay that I am the way that I am. Over the past year, I have studied my natal chart, my enneagram number, my human design type, tarot, and lots of other things that have all given me clues as to my makeup. It’s not that I feel defined by those things, but it’s been interesting seeing that they all seem to ring true to how I am. I am light hearted, interested in making things pretty, interested in LOTS of things that don’t always seem connected, and maybe a little boujee. Or maybe a lot boujee. What I’ve taken away from it is that I am perfect as I am and I don’t have to feel shameful or guilty about any of it. 

Lesson #5

I can handle anything that comes my way and because of that, I can trust the process. Instead of always being focused on self preservation, I can just love fully and freely. 

Lesson #6

Things go so much easier when I have a graceful mind. I was taking this yoga class and as we began to do this hard pose for a second time, she said, “Keep your mind graceful. If you just said, Oh shit, we’re doing this again, try to reframe that thought and be grateful for the ability to move”. From that moment on, when I’ve encountered things that were annoying or difficult, I hear her in my head saying “keep the mind graceful”. Even though I KNOW that mindset has so much to do with my happiness, I am STILL blown away by this idea that I am in control of how I view the world and when I have an “attitude of gratitude”, things go more smoothly. Every. Single. Time. 

Lesson #7

There isn’t a destination. My goal in life isn’t to reach the pot at the end of the rainbow, it’s to enjoy the ride trying to get there. What I mean is, life is meant to be experienced and enjoyed. We’re meant to experience this life, in this moment, the good and the bad. It truly is all about the journey. 

In summary, I have learned to go with the flow of life. I have learned to relax and enjoy the process, even when it gets difficult, because that’s the beauty of being here. I don’t want to numb anymore through food, alcohol, shopping, or social media, I want to dig in and experience all that comes. It’s not that I’m never going to have negative emotions, it’s that I KNOW I’m going to have negative emotions and I can gladly welcome them knowing that it’s all part of the journey. These lessons may be things that everyone knew all along, but for me, they’ve been a huge shift in mindset and perspective. And they’ve had a huge impact on my life, so I am grateful. 

And with that, I will be revealing my word for 2020 very soon, so stay tuned!!