2017 – Time to JUMP

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It’s a new year. A new chapter. A blank canvas waiting to be filled over the next twelve months. There is no need to dwell on anything that has happened in the years before this one. It’s time to look ahead. Time to lay down some more bricks towards building the next part of our lives.

I have spent several days and nights thinking, analyzing and trying to figure out what I want out of this year. How I’m going to go about making it happen and getting myself ready for the journey that awaits. A couple of weeks ago, I had an experience where I encountered a quote on three different occasions on the same day. It clearly demanded my attention. “Every next level of your life will demand a different you”. Powerful as that sounded and as much as it resonated with me, I was still trying to decipher what the universe was trying to tell me with this sign that followed me around all day. All I knew at the time was that it meant something to me and I would eventually figure it out.

Something else that makes it hard to clear the fog surrounding the vision of the future is all the voices and opinions all around trying to pitch in and say what is right and what isn’t. What would work and what wouldn’t. Sometimes we open ourselves up to those opinions because we hope they will somehow help us find our way and discover the best path to follow, but instead those opinions have the opposite effect. They make us question everything. They discourage us. They make us wonder if we know what we’re doing. If it’s the right thing and we get more and more entangled in the web of uncertainty and confusion.

Maybe that had something to do with how much I have needed to spend time on my own with my own thoughts. Listening to my own heart and trying to work things out by myself. And the more time I had, the more time I wanted. “Alone time is when I distance myself from the voices of the world so I can hear my own”. One of my favorite quotes by Oprah and it made its way into my thoughts and reminded me that there is nothing wrong with taking or needing this time by myself. It wasn’t simply an outright escape from “reality”. There was more to it. I needed to go into my own world where there is no noise from everything and everyone else. A chance for me to hear my own voice that was drowned out by everything else going on around me.

The pieces of the puzzle started coming together. What I want for this year more than anything else is to create a reality that I don’t want to or feel the need to escape from. We all have times we need to retreat and take a step back from our lives and “escape”. And sometimes we don’t want to come back from those spaces and places we escape to. It’s easy to spend the majority of our time on autopilot while our hearts long for a completely different energy. And that, to me, is the difference between living and merely existing… If we only wait for special occasions or isolated days and moments to truly feel alive, then we are spending the majority of our lives doing ourselves the injustice of merely existing.

So, the goal for 2017 is simple. Living a life which furthers and pursues the things that set my soul on fire. Things that make my heart happy and bring a smile to my face. Doing things that build the reality I want. One I don’t need an escape from. One that is not narrated by anything or anyone else outside of myself. Living my purpose. And getting there will take a lot of energy and come with its hurdles and challenges that will make the climb feel like an uphill battle at times, but that is not enough to stop me… Deep down we all know what we want. All we need to do is listen to ourselves. Listen to that little voice that silently, yet firmly, whispers what we want. And distancing ourselves from the voices of the world makes that little voice more audible.

After having listened to that inner voice, it may be scary… Oftentimes the answers are of a magnitude we are unsure whether or not we have the capacity to live up to… So what do we do then?…. Well… That’s when the third and final clue from the universe came through and completed the puzzle in my quest for answers…. JUMP!!!!! Yes, JUMP. One simple, yet powerful word. The first time I ever encountered this message by Steve Harvey was last year at a very critical time in my life and I “coincidentally” came across a reminder to JUMP a day or two ago. “Coincidences” are far from coincidences. I don’t believe in coincidence. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we need a “sign” to trigger something within us to clear the fog and give us a vivid picture of the answers in search of which we spend sleepless nights and time in solitude.

Three seemingly simple and “random” quotes formed a triangle which disentangled the confusion.  Remember that first quote? “Every next level of your life will demand a different you”. I found it to mean that in this new chapter of my life, I need to trust myself more. I need to listen to myself more. And now, more than ever before, I need to mute the outside voices and be more focused and relentless in making my dreams my reality. No room for fear, pride, ego, doubt or any other deterrent. This chapter calls for a more solid version of me. One that cannot be swayed. One that does not back down. A me that does not take “no” for an answer and believes completely in my abilities and makes the most of my opportunities. One that takes charge completely… One that doesn’t hold back… Doesn’t look back…. It’s 2017 and it’s time to JUMP!!!!

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2016 – Final Thoughts

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As I spend the final moments of 2016 reflecting on all that has happened this year, it’s really bitter-sweet and hard to put into words. I am all about focusing on the positive and being thankful for all the good things in our lives, but it hasn’t been an easy thing to do at times.

When this year started, I was aware of the fact that I had a lot of challenges to overcome. Personally, academically and professionally, I had a lot of things to get in order and I remained focused on my goals. The good by far outweighed the bad. I completed law school, passed my attorneys admission exams, got sworn in and admitted as an attorney, traveled, met people who changed my life for the better, had some unexpected surprises, many dreams came true, I discovered more and more about myself and my relationship with myself grew stronger. I am proud of the woman I’ve become and I know I still have work to do, but that’s what the twenties are about… That’s what life is about… The journey of discovery. Making the best of every situation and the most of the time we are given.

2016 has been the biggest roller-coaster of my life… I thought 2015 was a mix of some of the best and worst moments of my life… But then 2016 came along and took the cake. I achieved so much and so many of my dreams came true… But the number of obstacles I have encountered along the way have been more than ever before. With each year that goes by, the stakes are higher, the challenges bigger and I have to step things up and prove myself more and more. Sometimes it frustrates me, but it is what it is and feeling sorry for myself won’t get me anywhere…

Just as I have gained a lot, I have lost too…. I lost people I thought would always be there and I’ve had to learn and remind myself that nothing is guaranteed. Like many others, my life has been touched by death and I have been reminded of my mortality… That is something that drives me to keep going because every day is a blessing and a gift and I don’t want to find that I didn’t honour the fact I got to see another day when many didn’t.

2016 was no walk in the park… Everyone I know can attest to that. It hasn’t been easy for anyone. But no one ever promised us an easy life. No one ever promised us perfection. Those are things many may hope for, but the reality is, sometimes things will be hard. Sometimes we will be brought down to our knees and stripped of all we thought we had to hang on to… Sometimes all we are going to have is ourselves. And we have to find a way for that to be enough.

Solitude is what I’ve been holding on to more than ever before. I have never needed it before in the way that I have this year. Last year I was determined to make myself my main focus in 2016. Pushing the envelope and making my happiness and dreams my top priority while also celebrating my victories and being grateful for the good things in my life. I really believe I worked hard on that. I made breakthroughs. Sometimes a breakdown comes before the breakthrough, but it all contributes to building us and preparing us for what is ahead.

My motto this year was “face your fears, live your dreams”. I did a bit of both. And it feels good to know that. My heart didn’t go cold even though there were times it could have and perhaps even should have. I rediscovered and reconnected with some of my passions and what makes me feel most alive. I have seen very good days and really bad ones. I have cried tears of joy and tears of pain… But at the end of it all, I LIVED… I lived and made it through. And now I’m ready to look ahead. I’m ready to leave behind this year… I am ready to leave behind the disappointments and finish what I started.

2017 will be even more about me. I will not compromise on anything. I will reap the fruits of my labour. I will live, love, work and do all things with my full dedication. I will focus my time and energy on that which is worthy. I will not explain myself or apologize for doing what I need to do to be happy… I will strive to always remain and be a good person even if at times it seems like no one sees or appreciates it. I will dream bigger dreams and believe in my ability to make them come true. I will continue to push through both the good and bad days for as long as there is still breath in my body. I will travel, explore the world around me and put more of my energy on living in the moment. I will set goals and pursue them tirelessly.

I will LIVE life to the fullest and trust the process even though I know some things won’t make much sense at times.

Goodbye 2016… I hope 2017 makes up for all the hardships we all went through this year…

Here’s to a new chapter, new experiences, endless possibilities and living FEARLESSLY.

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