Embrace the beauty in living life unfiltered.

Thank you for reading my stories, laughing along, and being brave enough to share yours! 

that's a wrap

Though it didn't take much convincing, I believe hindsight when she says that 2016 was a great and very big year. Always thoughtful in her reflection, she has an honest way of remembering all time before now.

Rounding out the year also marks the one-year anniversary of naked life living here on the blog. One year of being open and sharing honestly, creating a relatable space where people felt understood, and most importantly, not alone. Though I shared very publicly it was the more personal connections that were cultivated that left the biggest impact. My circle of people who valued showing up authentically continued to grow and nurture one another.

To be completely transparent, none of that was planned. I enjoyed writing and have always found myself to be funny. That was the logic before buying a domain name, people. I’d love to tell you otherwise but we value honesty here and that’s the naked truth. Though to our wonderful surprise, look what we’ve I made.

While writing has largely been a gift it also came with some unexpected downsides. Most unanticipated were that I would tire of hearing my own voice and that some shares would leave me later feeling like a fraud.

You see, hindsight is where my writing happens. Sometimes I wonder if those closest to me give an eye roll when they read my finished thoughts, for they are on the front line, managing all the moods that come before lessons are learned. It ain't always easy.

With that said, 2016 truly was one of my favorite years yet! It was full of oodles of wonderful moments, happy events, cool adventures, new opportunities, and the best of the best people. Growth isn't born from happy moments though. You'll find it in times of friction. Were all 365 days perfect? Of course not.

Being human and all, I had missteps. There were moments where I could have softened and others I should have stood firmer ground. "Yes's" that should have been "no's." Words I wish hadn’t been spoken. Choices made that could have been better and details omitted in therapy sessions. There’s no more classic tell tale sign you were not being your best when that happens. *

Like it or not, the end of 2016 is fast approaching. Endings give us a chance to check in, reflect on what has passed, what worked, and what flopped. I can self-scrutinize to an extreme so I use hindsight's help to thoughtfully take an honest look at my year in review, making sure not to berate myself for flops, especially those that were out of my control.

In moments of friction, when things aren't going my way despite my efforts, the feelings of "I'm not good enough" kick in like a virus. "Not good enough" is a battle of mine. Good can be swapped out for smart, fit, pretty, quiet, put-together, etc. I know this not to be true but it lingers in the background, ready to pounce in friction moments.

Like a virus, it comes in quickly and takes me out. Blame this false belief on what you will. Regardless, when I react from this space, I can show up in a way that I don't prefer.

This year I exhausted myself biting off more than I can chew trying to keep up with what I thought everyone else was managing well. I said "yes" to almost everything. It was after teaching a class that could have gone better and an oversight at work that made me realize I needed to slow down. Saying "no" was not only ok, it was self-care. I needed to learn how to say "no" and to say it without feeling bad.

I look back and catch anything that looks patterned. I scan through the past year and see where bad habits showed up and how they didn't serve me. I give credit where it's due and avoid ruminating over what could have gone better.

Without fail though, endings will always gift us a new beginning. Beginnings give us the choice to stay stuck and attached to old patterns and habits or to release and transform into something greater than before.

We all have our own unique battles. If you think you don’t, then you’re in luck- I found one! Living the life of our dreams is entirely up to us but we have to let go of that which tries to limit us from actualizing such a dream life. Ridding ourselves of the battles, the B.S., and the bad habits requires fresh approaches. What better time than now to try on something new?

Luckily, we don’t have to wait for a year to pass to begin again. We’ll always have the moment-to-moment opportunity to start over, to choose a fresh approach, and grow. Aren't we so lucky?

Undoubtedly, I’ll have new and different missteps in 2017. That’s pretty much a guarantee. I’ll remember to go easy on myself** knowing that much of life is a process and positive change takes time. Newsflash, if you’re trying (and especially if you’re not), you’re going to have some missteps, too. Be easy on yourself. If you forget, I’ll be here to remind you.

I’m releasing what didn't work from 2016, only taking the lessons learned into the new year. The 2016 people that came into my life- the powerhouse, change-making human beings, well, you’re stuck with me. Can’t wait to see what you’re up to next!

Moving fresh and freely into 2017,

Cheers!

Jen

“There is no becoming, only continuing.” Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior

*Stars, they’re just like us.

** I'll likely still forget. Please direct me back here if you notice. K, thanks.

i'm like, hey, what's up? hello

play big