Lessons Learned in 2017

Photo by William Adoasi of Vitaelondon.

What has 2017 taught me?

Well for starters, the importance of self-reflection and awareness. It’s only through looking at our highs, lows and in betweens where we can learn to move forward.

Today is the perfect day for self-reflection, as I’m sure you’ve seen the theme on your timelines. Here are the main lessons I learned in 2017 that’ll be carried into the New Year. I hope it sparks yours in return! 

1. Less pressure, more breathing.

A huge teaching point of 2017 was that it’s essential to take time to breathe, and appreciate the progress made.

It’s easy to put pressure on ourselves when it comes to accomplishing our dreams and goals. To be honest, I even began to judge myself for not being exactly where I wanted to be yet.

I had to realize that I am where I am, and there’s beauty in that. 

2. Face + feel your truths.

You can’t run from you who are, that’s for sure. I found myself being so busy with everything else except for the one thing I’m most passionate about: poetry.

I was avoiding it for several reasons, but the main one being that it reminded me of my father who was also a poet. And for those of you who may not know, he passed away in 2016 from cancer.

I had to face and feel my truths. No more hiding from the pain, pushing it aside as if it would magically disappear or dissipate. I had to accept this new reality, and not pretend it didn’t exist. That’s when peace came into view, and poetry was a part of that. 

3. Mind your thoughts + energy.

I am my biggest critic, and sometimes I would think and think and think about the things I wanted to do, how I wanted them done, how they would be once they were done, and then just let it sit in my thoughts instead of actually doing it!

After reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, it helped me see that it’s an energy-drain to give so much care to the wrong things, and not enough care to the right ones.

Once we know what we value, it’s easier to navigate what to give our energy to, and what doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of our lives. This is true for our thoughts, words and actions.

4. Declutter regularly.

I had to not only declutter my mind, but my actual living space.

I had baggage physically, emotionally and mentally and they were all connected. Heck, it almost felt like my drawers were throwing up clothes. I realized a good declutter session is necessary every few months. As we grow, we also out grow the things we no longer need.

They say you have to get rid of the old to make space for the new. Or maybe it’s just my mom that says that. Whichever the case, it’s a cleansing way of living.

5. Celebrate your wins.

All of them.

I’m learning to let go of the mindset of small vs. big wins, they’re all wins because each one leads to the next. In other words, it’s a domino effect.

Every step forward is part of our progress, and it influences our journeys. Acknowledging this is a biggie. 

6. Don’t compare your journey to others.

I had to stop looking at everyone else’s green grass and focus on my own.

Social media is the king of social comparison. Don’t let the likes and comments blind you from your self-worth. 

Everyone has their time to glow up, ours will come too. And when it does, we’ll be that much more grateful for the shine.

7. Write down your goals + take action.

Faith without works is dead.
—James 2:14

It’s not just envisioning ourselves where we want to be, but taking the actual steps to getting there. These steps are an act of faith because it shows that you believe in the desired end result.

More importantly, it shows you believe in God and you making it happen together. Teamwork makes the dreamwork.

8. Network more, alone!

Whenever I found myself attending an event alone, that’s when I ended up meeting some of the most amazing people. Writers. Poets. Photographers. Fellow creatives. Sometimes all in one night span!

I was so used to waiting for someone to come with me places, or working around someone else’s schedule to attend events. But opportunities don’t wait. We have to go out and get them, even if it’s in our sole company.

9. Be kind to everyone.

Your family. Friends. Strangers. Homeless people. The person next to you on the train. People who aren’t kind to you. Yourself. Everyone. 

Kindness has no limits. The hardest part is exuding it everywhere we go, even if it’s not returned. And Lord knows it takes a strong person to be kind when everything in you screams not to.

10. Don’t worry, be happy.😊

Whistle the melody if you have to. This might be the most important lesson of all. We are alive and breathing, we are in good health, we have family and loved ones around us. And we’re able to pursue our goals and dreams because of all of these things combined.

We are blessed beyond measure, let’s make self-joy a thing in 2018 . 

I’m claiming 2018 is

the year of evolution. The year of faith, believing and walking in it. Of stepping outside of comfort zones and into our purpose. Of thinking with abundance. Of doing things that make us nervous simply because they make us nervous. Of being compassionate and patient with ourselves and those around us. It’s the year of new beginnings and exploring our true selves.

I highly recommend to look back over your past year and acknowledge how far you’ve come, and what needs a little extra love in 2018.

Cheers to walking into the New Year of growth, blessings and fruition!  🎉

Feel free to tweet me a lesson you learned this year, we’re in this thing together. Also, be sure to join my mailing list below, I’ll be sharing new visuals + poetry in 2018! 💛

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