For any of you who know me, you know that every year, at the end of the year, I send out a list of questions for reflection of the closing year, intentions for the new year, and a share of some of my own greatest learnings. I love doing it and it feels like an important ritual that grows me in different ways each time.

If you're familiar with this process, or are on my mailing list, you likely also know that every year, I say the year was BIG. Rich. Educational. Serendipitous. Painful. Delightful. Always learning from both. Always expansive (if I let it be). My heart, soul, and brain integrating as I go.

This annual ritual serves me, those I love and lead, and the incoming year, very well.


It grounds.


2016, of course, was also big. And a bit different. Call it aging, wisdom, purpose, fatigue, post-book writing brain, surrender, hunger, politics, travel, parenting, teenagers, love, healing, joy, gratitude, or whatever you wish… Stuff came up.


Good stuff. Tough stuff. Beautiful stuff. It’s all stuff.


The last (~) three years of my life included finalizing the completion of a marriage (aka “a divorce”) after 16 years, moving 3 times, writing a book, taking the IEP work global, creating a “Stewardship” Program to expand that work, building my team, shrinking my team, rebuilding my team, finding my nest, collaborating with a community of business leaders, taking on new projects and questions, growing culture (healthy culture) with organizations, speaking (a lot), learning the new dance of co-parenting and being a “single mom”, growing client relationships, serving awesome people, nourishing and leaning in with my own posse, dating (oh, my!), failing at dating, killing it at dating, changing business models, love (so much love!), frustration, unnecessary (but necessary) struggle, and flopping it, flowing it, and crushing it in many other ways.


Again, rich.


I learned a lot.


Here are some grounding principles I found for myself in 2016. I thought they might be useful to you as food for thought. As always, take, tweak or toss as they serve:


  1. Pain is inevitable, suffering and struggle is optional. So true. Good God, I love this. It has been guiding light for me. We choose over and over and over again.
  2. Personal growth and self-awareness is an ever expanding, evolving and unfolding process. I knew this. And this year, I got this on a soul level. Just when you think it’s safe to go back in the water again, more growth. Holy smokes. And thank God.
  3. People come into your life at the right time for a reason. Don’t ignore any coincidences. There are no coincidences, just the Universe offering healing, opportunity, and whatever magic or clarity needs or wants or gets to unfold from this “coincidence”.
  4. Constriction and expansion offer wisdom and guidance. Pay attention. Constriction in your breath and body and soul have purpose. So does expansion. Get curious. Breathe. Learn from them.
  5. Protecting your energetic field and staying high vibe are our own responsibilities as leaders. No one can do this for us. We must do our own work. To be able to do this work, for ourselves and with each other, is a major privilege and honor. (To support this, see #6 & 7.)
  6. Follow the light, stay high vibe. The dark and low vibe is easy to match. Contagious. Ambiguous. Exhausting. Tempting at times. And a choice. Choose the light. Stay high vibe. This is your call. (And your Super Power.) Bonus: High vibe fortunately is also contagious!
  7. Self-care is king. I’ve been singing and dancing to the beat of this song since I was 16. Clearly my young self knew some things that would save my life. What I’ve found, more than ever this last year and as I step into 2017, self-care makes everything clearer, easier, more sustainable, and simply increases our ability to kick-a**, contribute to others, have more impact, and enjoy our lives.
  8. Relationship is everything. The people you hang out with have a big impact on your energetic field, your success, your mindset, and what you create — as you do their’s. Be intentional here.
  9. Everything is a choice. No matter how crappy (or awesome) something is — we are at choice with how we allow ourselves to have authentic emotion in it, how we decide to respond, how we decide to Show Up, and if we decide to contribute to making it better or worse by our regard, intentions, presence, and mindset. We choose. #SuperPower.
  10. It’s NEVER too late to pull yourself back together, reboot, change your mind, or clean something up. You can do it all in the moment you choose. Some clean up may take longer than others, some choices may not net your desired outcomes, not everyone will agree, you may ruffle some feathers… it’s okay — cleaning stuff up, rebooting, choosing, and getting right with yourself and relationship and integrity is key to your leadership presence, confidence, joy, and yep, impact.
  11. Being “conscious and collaborative” does not mean you have to tolerate and hangout with unkindness or unconsciousness. You can’t control others, you can control you — this includes your assumptions, your boundaries, your regard, and your voice. Hold your space. Mind your business. Stay in YOUR space. Be kind, AND take care. (Ironically, from this place, you have more power to influence others — sometimes. Don’t be attached to that outcome.)
  12. Sisters and tribe are magic. Enough said. 
  13. Contribution, gratitude, love, and impact rock, create clarity, and get stuff done. If I knew this and lived this before, this year I had this tattoo'd on my heart and soul at a whole new level. The quickest way to clear your space, get real, get out of your own way, and to clean up your energy is by focusing on contributing to others, being grateful, loving a lot (and allowing yourself to be loved by your peeps), and intending your impact in service of something way greater than you. (And all the while of course, tending to 1-12 above.)


So that’s part one of my learning as I head into 2017.  2016 changed me. It grounded. It expanded. It taught me a lot.


As a result, there will be new things coming around the bend in terms of my writing, our programs, my speaking, and things that make me go “mmmm” WHILE being a contribution to others. I hope you’ll join me. Let’s rock 2017 together, shall we?


Looking forward to the conversation…


Up next on the blog post (Monday!)… I created something for myself in 2016 that rocked my world. I shared it with colleagues and clients and it rocked their’s. So I’m making it available to possibly rock yours. I’ll be inviting you into it shortly — registration opens Monday, 1/9, and the magic starts Thursday, 1/26 — climb on. More deets around the corner. XO