We Need To Talk About 2017: power, sweetness, courage, surrender

I knew 2017 was a year to level up and put myself out there in a big way. I had been doing so much growth, unravelling and learning for years prior that I was ready and so pumped to share all that I learned in a way more massive way.

As such, I set the intention of having a year filled with power, courage, sweetness and surrender.

I then set unrealistic intentions/goals that came from my heart in my journal (obvi):

  • I want to encourage 20,000 women to love themselves more unconditionally
  • I want to be featured in more media
  • I want to run a retreat
  • I want to live as an example of compassion, grace and courage
  • I want to run goddess circle twice a month
  • I want to transition to a plant based diet
  • I want to fall in love with an incredible man who supports me to level up
  • I want to have a consistent Mysore yoga practice
  • I want to have 3-6 coaching clients I work with a month
  • I want to do several speaking engagements

And holy F. Was I not given crazy opportunities by the universe to do all those things. Did they all happen the way I thought they would? Absolutely not. This year was massive about surrendering - trusting that if I was following the signs - that the things I wanted to happen just would.

Let’s look at how the Universe, spirit and my soul took me on a wild ass ride that ended up in me having all the things I VERY CLEARLY ASKED FOR come my way.  Having a tall, blonde, athletic Chris was only a tiny drop in the ocean of the things I actually asked for. 

Power

This year, I started Goddess Circles.  I originally got the idea back in December to start them and wanted to put it off, but then my intuition actually yelled at me, “no. you’ll start now. You’re starting in January.” 

I was not ready, but I also felt really passionate about the idea.  I felt like when I was first exploring self-reflection, meditation, and personal growth  it was so isolating and I couldn’t find a conscious community that resonated with me.  I decided I would create what I wish existed, and what I still need today.

Entire the Circle. 

It has blown my mind to see the events sell out, for anywhere between 20-40 women show up every month to bear with me and one another their hearts and their dreams. The transformation I have seen in myself and the women in this beautiful community has blown my mind.  Truly. It is incredibly powerful.  If you haven’t come to one yet, please come join us.

It also took a lot of power for me to lead a group like this.  To own my leadership.  To know that I could lead because I had a lot I had studied, and could teach from that place and share my experiences, and was able hold the energy of the group.  I was so nervous at first, but now I feel in such a flow with it.  Power. 

Power also manifested in opportunities to start to share my story of learning that outward success was never going to lead to inner happiness.  I shared my story on stage to larger and larger groups.  Power.  I did a number of workshops on meditation and stress hacks for different corporate and University groups.  Power. 

Surrender 

This really came into play with my intentions for the year.  I wanted all of the above to happen, but had no idea how in the eff any of it was going to happen.  In particular, how I was going to inspire 20,000 to love themselves more unconditionally.  I knew I was doing the goddess circles, but I mean, how would I ever reach that many people?

Also, I knew I wanted to be featured in more media, and had been asked to do a number of podcasts and interviews on mindfulness, meditation, and self-love earlier this year, but then….

Enter going on national TV, connecting with an audience of millions and the media storm that ensued subsequent to that experience.

I did fall in love with incredible men who supported me to level up – twice.  Did either of them work out? No. The thing is with an open heart, you can extend that love to someone else truly unconditionally. That meant that while I extended that love in a big way to two different men this year (you can have a quick guess as to whether they were both named Chris, and both blonde, and both athletic… what are the chances?!), it can from a truly unconditional place of not expecting anything in return. I loved them because I did and wanted to extend that love.  Did my life end when it didn’t work out with either of them? No. 

I had done so much personal work in the past few years about learning to have a truly open heart that it was beautiful for me to look back this year and see that I was rooted enough in my own self-love to be able to vulnerably extend it twice this year to guys who ultimately could not give me what I was looking for.  Being single is such a gift for the growth it brings.

I knew I wanted a regular Mysore yoga practice.  When I was filming the Bachelor, I did mysore yoga every day when we were in Costa Rica because I couldn’t do anything else.  I finally did realize my daily yoga practice, if only for the month that we were filming there.  Since that time, I still do mysore a few times a month, which is technically still “regular”, but I just prefer Sheldon Shannon’s classes at Downward Dog because they are truly incredible and inspire me so much. 

All of the other things happened in ways I couldn’t imagine – I was approached about sharing my story of achieving all my goals by 25 and realizing that no external “thing” was ever going to make me happy and that true happiness and success are an inside job at a large speaking gig in the Fall, and led several workshops on how to incorporate meditation into your daily life where I share my story about why I am so passionate about it. 

The plant based diet came easily as a bi-product of my vibration continuing to change over the course of the year. Ram Dass says that eventually things fall away as we evolve, so to not try and push things like fasting or eating more plant-based until it feels natural. I found that my appetite for non-plant products naturally waned as my conscious continued to shift. 

I changed the way in which I coach, and transitioned it to “soul coaching/soul sessions”, and sure enough, now regularly have 6 coaching sessions a month. 

I wanted to lead a retreat, and then two girlfriends of mine who had both run retreats before asked if I wanted to collaborate with them.  Yes, please.  See you guys in Costa Rica next year.

Sweetness

This year was filled with so many sweet, magical moments.  Sweetness for life.  Amazing, beautiful trips to NYC, LA and Tulum with new and old friends.  Finding myself watching the moon rise in Tulum on top of a hotel, or dancing in a warehouse in NYC with other love warriors.  Going to one of my best friend’s weddings this summer and staying in a house in Niagara with my girlfriends.  Spending time at the cottage and in Florida with my family. Welcoming new, amazing, sweet souls into my life.

Sweetness came from learning, more and more, to be gentle with myself and sweet with myself, particularly as I navigated these new edges of radical self-acceptance and honesty.

Sweetness also came from loving myself through having this insane stress rash that broke out all over my torso in the summer just in time for bikini season after I got home from filming.  Turns out, you cannot flip your life upside down and the plug back into normal life and pretend everything is okay.  Your body will fight back. To be sweet with myself while patiently waiting for this skin flare up to go away (it took seven weeks) in the middle of the summer, was work. 

Lastly, sweetness came as I sat beside my ailing Nana, a woman so pivotal in me becoming the woman I am today, in our final moments together in Sunnybrook Hospital, holding hands with her, my mom and I in a circle, three generations of strong women, and telling her how much we loved her, how much she inspired us, how her legacy would live on, and how it was okay for her to finally let go.  

Courage

With that in mind, that whole "courage" thing I was seeking this year really manifested in a profound way. Try uprooting your life for two months just as the Circles were really grooving and I had a bunch of speaking engagements and workshops flowing my way, to go into isolation with strangers and film a TV show, then catapult yourself back into your "real life", and then watch it, and your most vulnerable and raw moments, get played back to a national audience.

I had no idea what doing reality TV would be like, and suffice to say, it took way more courage than I could have ever imagined at the time.  If I really want to inspire other people to love themselves more unconditionally – that means loving the beautiful, exciting, polished parts of yourself – and also loving the uncontained, unpolished, and unsavoury sides of yourself too – then I had to embody it in a huge way.  It takes tremendous courage to love yourself so fiercely.  All sides of you.  To get up every time that you’ve been smacked down.  To love yourself when things aren’t going to plan, or when you’ve made a decision and you’re not sure why you have. To love yourself when you're stressed.  To love yourself when you feel regret.

To actually have my jaw actually drop on national TV, but still exit with grace, and still be able to face Chris Leroux and the audience with an open heart, with compassion for where Chris is at and his decisions, as well as myself for how the experience unfolded, took a lot of courage. To be completely authentic and real and open, and to have persevered from an experience that was marked by a lot of pain for me, again, took courage.  

I had a lot of time where I “in the smoke” this year – that stage where things are not going to plan, or something has happened and you just don’t know why it is happening.  The answer is not supposed to come yet.  All you can do is love yourself through that, turn to your faith and grounding practices (for me that’s meditation, yoga, soul-cycle, deep connection with friends and family, nature and journaling) and wait it out until the smoke clears. Courage.

Love Warrior

The path of the love warrior is no effing joke, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you're doing to do life, why not try really being all-in, you know?

I hope this year review encourages you to remember that anything you want for yourself in your life is completely possible for you, but that doesn’t mean it is going to be easy.  Are you ready? If you ask the Universe, be prepared to level up.  Be prepared for it to fuck with your shit.  Be prepared to watch everything that is holding you back to be ripped from you.  But also be prepared for more love, more joy, more excitement and expansion than you have ever experienced before. 

And also be prepared for the best feeling – that feeling of looking back at all – and thinking “I DID THAT. I CREATED THAT.” 

You are incredible. You are so powerful.  You can have anything you desire. 

You got this.