21 Things I’ve Learned In 2018

At the end of every year I typically say… “woah — this year flew by,” but surprisingly [!] this year feels different — it feels longer than years passed. My intention for 2018 was: the year of deep experiences. ++ I’m not going to lie… I crushed it. : ) Unique experiences paired with forming new friendships totally slowed the year down in such a beautiful way.

Last year I wrote a post on what I learned in 2017, ++ I’m going to do the same today! Here we go!

#1] Backpacked for the first time… + loved it! Dried mangos are everything ++ pooping outdoors is way less scary than I thought it would be, ++ surprisingly prefer it to a toilet [as long as I have baby wipes… ] #ThatDeepSquatThough. More thoughts about backpacking here!

#2] My coffee is gone?! Read all about my “No Coffee November” experiment here — I’m still going strong! Literally never thought I would be coffee-less for this long.

#3] Cross-country skiied for the first time! I hadn’t skiied in like 10 years, so was a little nervous. But cross-country skiing is a lot like running — it’s about endurance. I’m obsessed! If you’re looking for a cross-country ski weekend, these huts were magical — rendezvous huts.

#4] Book that inspired me this year = Woman Code. While alternative medicine can be helpful [think: acupuncture, massage, naturopathy, herbalism, etc] it’s food that is able to generate the deep changes needed to improve our health. This book changed the way I look at my food//hormones//body! Read my takeaways here.

#5] Living alone isn’t scary! I was nervous that I would be lonely when I moved into my space — but that’s far from the case. It’s so nice to have my own space to nurture + make it a representation of me. Also, TIDYING has become a favorite past time… what doesn’t spark joy anymore? If you haven’t read The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, add it to your list!

#6] The CHAARG Podcast has been my favorite project ever. I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I started the podcast?! All of the guests are truly amazing + inspire me in so many ways. Some of my fav episodes: Creating A Workout RoutineManifesting Your Dreams//DesiresAcne, + Diets.

#7] Got really into ayurveda — the oldest medicine system in the world.After hearing about ayurveda from Cat [listen to our podcast on Ayurveda here!], doing a Panchakarma, + then reading “The Idiot’s Guide To Ayurveda,” I’ve gotten hooked. From oil pulling to dry brushing to tongue scrapping to eating slower… I love it all! Eventually want to get my ayurvedic coaching certification : ).

#8] Became Reiki 1 certified! I’m fascinated by energy work, so when the opportunity came to get reiki certified — I took it! Learn more about reiki in this podcast with my teacher — Molly Coeling.

#9] Started working with a spiritual director. You guys know I loved all things “woo woo” — working with a spiritual director has helped ground me + really ask myself, what’s my truth? Also, her son is a clairvoyant, ++ he was so cool to talk to. I believe that we are our own best healer, but it sometimes helps to have a guide.

#10] Can’t stop won’t stop traveling. Jamaica, Washington, New Orleans, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Israel, India… I need to PINCH myself. Travel feeds me on such a deep level — it’s one of my greatest teachers. ++ really does s l o w life down — 5 days of traveling feels like a month. This year, I found a new appreciation for the USA, especially our natural landmarks.

#11] Continuing to learn how important communication is. Something that Isaac + I have been working on when we have a “challenge” is having each person share: “I would love your support through… X.” If Isaac was sharing how he wants my support, I would be active listening. After he shares, I have the choice to say, “no, I can’t support you that way,” or of course I could support him. This exercise is about shifting the perspective of an argument [which typically involves pointing fingers] + instead addresses it as a collaborative “how do we each need to be supported?” Try it!

#12] Ashtanga yoga is my favorite. It’s such a physically demanding practice, but at the same time it’s a moving meditation [you hold ever posture for five breaths!] + you get THE BEST adjustmenets. I recommend! Learn more about ashtanga in this podcast with my teacher — Bridgett Piacenti.

#13] Completed my first one day silent meditation retreat. ++ had the most crazy experience on feeling the “dead”… read about it here. I’m taking on a ten day silent retreat in 2019, ah!

#14] Traveled alone for the first time. I’ve never been one to want to travel solo [I love traveling intimately with one friend… cough, Melissa ; )] — but, when the opportunity came to go to both Israel + India on a group retreat, I had to say yes. It was interesting to observe + partake in “high school dynamics” as an adult [cliques, shy vs outgoing, gossip, etc], but also noticing that the moment I am vulnerable + stand in my truth, the labels melt away + don’t matter anymore. Growth : )

#15] Tony Robbins rocked my world. TOOOOONY! I had been wanting to go to one of Tony’s events ever since I saw the documentary, “I Am Not Your Guru”. When I saw Unleash The Power was coming to Chicago, I knew that I had to go. He is such a trip. Read all about my experience at Tony’s retreat here.

#16] Paying extra to be one of the first rows at a concert is so worth it.Or, if it’s general admission… squeeze your way up there ; ). This year, I’ve seen Francis + The Lights, Nahko, Trevor Hall, Chance, Sam Smith, + Usher [?!] all up close + personal, + it’s been a dream! Also, SoFarSounds is a incredible way to meet local artists.

#17] Getting serious about my skin. I’ve been on a picking spree this past year… not sure why [anxiety?] — I’ve invested in way too many skin products, + finally I decided to ditch all the products + work with an aesthetician — chemical peels, laser, microneedling… it’s been quite the investment, but I’ve seen positive results that make the investment worth it! Stay tuned!

#18] Documentary that inspired [+ terrified] me this year = Stink!Fragrance has a whole new meaning in my life. I’m so sick of hidden chemicals, + CRAP that companies put in their products. I feel drawn to understand not only what is in the products that I buy, but who the people behind the companies are. Buying local is even more important to me after watching Stink!

#19] Thankful for Industrious. CHAARG was ran from my house//coffee shops for 3 years + then 1871 [a shared coworking space] for 2 years. This past year we moved into a coworking space that has offices. I didn’t realize how beneficial it would be to have our own space, but wow. So much quieter + productive! Plus, Industrious has locations across the USA — hello work-aways!

#20] Body positivity is still something I struggle with at times. ++ I hate that I have to say that. It’s easy to shame ourselves — whether it’s about looks, feelings, thoughts, etc… we can be so critical of ourselves. After talking to so many women, I noticed that many felt the exact same. That is why we created The Body Positivity Challenge that we will be completed in February. How can we adopt a growth mindset that has the foundation of love? How can we step into our truth every freaking day + radically love ourselves? How can we turn the focus of “how I look” to “how is my energy” — these + more questions we will be addressing in the challenge. I hope you join us!

#21] I choose how I respond. If you just looked at all the items above [besides body positivity], you might think, “wow, her life is amazing,” + truly — it was an incredible year. BUT, I also had a lot of evil, challenges, + tough conversations that I had to work with. I believe that both meditation//mindfulness + my faith [what’s the lesson here?] played into how I coped + healed. I don’t have to take things personally. Everyone has their own demons. We are all doing the best we can.

Last year, this is what I said I was currently working on: not assuming//releasing expectations + judgment, trying to cook meals other than eggs…, self-love, giving [+ understanding] my time, simplifying, teaching yoga, making more space for God,+ connecting with my family more.

+ funny enough, those items are still at top of mine… expect teaching yoga. The podcast has gotten my fix for “teaching” — but of course I still love doingyoga… being yoga. : )

Cheers to another year of BEING ALIVE! We are all so blessed. How can I help you? What do you want to learn this year?

Rooting for you,

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