2015: From Balance to Flow

While I had many goals and aspirations for 2014, my main focus was trying to find balance in my life. To achieve that balance, I ended up creating a lot of healthy habits and letting go of old beliefs and patterns. I learned so much about things I never thought had anything to do with balance. I guess that is why I didn’t feel like my life was in balance in the first place.

For the past few years at various times I’ve had experiences of burnout from trying to work a full time job, grow a business, enjoy a happy life with meaningful relationships and take care of my physical, emotional and spiritual needs as best I could. This year was no different and I had a very difficult time in the winter as my workload felt like it was at an all time high. I developed adrenal fatigue syndrome and effectively hit rock bottom. I knew this wasn’t balance. When it felt like all the pieces were crumbling, I completely surrendered and let go of any attachment to an outcome. After letting go, everything started to fall back into place. It was one final lesson (I hope) in realizing that I can’t continue that same pattern over and over again. I can celebrate this now, because I feel like it’s a lesson I finally nailed!

I’ve learned and integrated so much this year, it’s hard to narrow it down to the most meaningful, but these are the top habits I created to bring balance into my life.

Core Desired Feelings

One major shift that took place this year was discovering my core desired feelings – the ways I want to feel every day to experience a full and satisfying life. They are joyfully radiant, connection, flow, abundance and supported in case you were wondering. I became focused on how I could feel those feelings every single day and became way less focused on arbitrary goals I had previously set for myself because I hoped that they would make me feel something that I thought I might want. I became more aware of how I wanted to be instead of focused on the things I wanted to do. This was HUGE for me. Plus, through this I also learned to let go of the belief that I’m only lovable or worthy if I do this thing or that thing. I know that my worth is inherent on a conscious level, but in 2014 I actually started to to believe it at a soul level. I would highly recommend checking out The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte if you’re interested in discovering your core desired feelings.

Boundaries

In 2014, I learned that I really didn’t have any boundaries and that was causing me to give more than I wanted to and take on more than I could reasonably do. My expectations of myself were too high. I learned how to set boundaries and took back some of the power in my life I had given away.

I now use my core desired feelings as a guide. I check in with them whenever I have to make a decision and I’m not sure which way I should go. I set boundaries around how I would spend my time and used my desired feelings as a guide to ensure I was staying in alignment with it all. If an opportunity doesn’t satisfy at least one of my core desired feelings, I won’t do it. With that being said, I know there are some things that I have to do that I don’t particularly enjoy, like cleaning the house. I have learned to shift my perspective about it though from something I hate doing, to something that can help me feel a desired feeling, so a clean house can help me feel flow because I’ve cleared out stagnant.

Support

Another huge shift was learning to recognize when I needed support and how to ask for what I needed. I’m discovering that this is a hard thing for many people, because often we don’t know what we need and we certainly don’t know how to ask for it. Because I understood my core desired feelings and delved a little into non-violent communication and discovering my needs, I was able to recognize much easier when a need wasn’t being met. When you have that clarity, it’s so much easier to ask for what you need. To explore more about how to identify needs, check out my musings on the subject in this post.

Over the past year and a bit, I’ve been part of a Creation Circle. A small group of us meet monthly to learn content that can be integrated into our lives to help us create the amazing life we want and deserve. This group has been so instrumental in helping me feel supported, which is clearly important to me as it’s one of my core desired feelings. I’ve got so much other support too, from my naturopath, acupuncurist, massage therapist, chiropractor, kundalini dance facilitator, yoga teacher, meditation guides, from my husband, family and friends.

Support showed up in a big way in my work life this year in the form of a committee for the NAIT United Way campaign that I Chair. I truly appreciate the support I was given to run the campaign. For the last 6 years I had only a little support, but this year I had a committee of six other people helping me out. That support helped me to stay in alignment with my boundaries around the amount of time I feel comfortable putting into work.

This year, I celebrate all of the support I have called into my life and the ease and joy it has created.

Celebrate

Celebration is another thing we worked on integrating into our everyday lives in the Creation Circle. Practicing celebration helps me to feel and recognize all the ways abundance shows up in my life, it helps me to feel present and satisfied with what I’ve achieved and it helps me to feel joyfully radiant! I’ve made gratitude a daily practice in my life and I’ve posted what I’m grateful for on Facebook for 113 days so far. I can’t begin to express how much this has changed my life. It has helped open my heart more than I ever could have guessed. This isn’t to say that I’m happy all the time, but I now choose to see the gift in each challenging situation that shows up, whatever that may be.

This practice has allowed me to expand my context for recognizing how my core desired feelings show up in my life. When I first started out, I had very specific and limited ideas of what each feeling looked like, for example joyfully radiant meant teaching hoop classes but now I can experience that feeling from just about any activity. Practicing gratitude has taught me, it’s not what I’m doing that helps me to feel the ways I want to feel, rather, what I’m searching for is a state of being. Practicing gratitude gives me an opportunity to be the way I want to feel.

I celebrate and am grateful for all the gifts practicing gratitude has given me.

2015: Feeling Flow

As I move forward to 2015, I want to continue Flowembodying all of my core desired feelings with a focus on flow as my theme for the year. I think balance is really just about finding the flow space in life anyways. Some times are busier than others, so balance is more about going with the flow and accepting life as it comes, accepting the good and the bad. Flow is also about trusting my intuition and inner guidance. If I’m in the flow, I can let go of attachment to a specific outcome and remain open to the endless possibility that awaits. Flow is also about letting go of timelines. Goals with timelines are important, but I’m also no longer going to beat myself up if I don’t achieve everything in the initial time frame I had set out for myself. I’ve noticed this year that many things I had on my 2014 vision board will actually happen in 2015, and I’m completely OK with that.

If I embody flow, I’m sure my other desired feelings will naturally follow. I can see the flow in abundance and support showing up as giving and receiving, watching the flow of money come and go, the flow of the seasons and the food that is provided. I can see the flow in connection literally as the energy flowing in my body or as the flow in conversation with a friend. If I go with the flow I believe that I will experience all of the above and then I will certainly feel joyfully radiant.

While I don’t have a big list of to do’s in 2015, I do have a small list of big things to focus on. I want to continue supporting the local hoop dance community with Pop Up Prop Jams, I want to create an awesome reunion with my sister for our family in August, I want to support and inspire other women to with the Radiant Soul Women’s Retreat I’m hosting in September with the support of a few lovely and amazing women like Kacie Beluse Knight from Dancing into Being, Anastasia Kutt from Luminous Tranquility and Nina Infinity from Infinity Hoopdance.  I’ve got a lot to look forward to!

I am setting the intention that I will experience 2015 with ease and flow, that I will feel supported and connection and that I will feel joyfully radiant all year long.

I hope your 2015 brings you all you desire!

Aho

2014 – I’m ready for you!

I can’t believe it’s been 365 days since I set the intention to make 2013 my best year yet. Although 2013 has had its ups and downs, I’d say overall it was pretty awesome because I learned a lot and tried my best to enjoy the ride. I do feel like I set out to accomplish a lot this past year and ended up getting majorly derailed by forces beyond my control which sent me into one of the most difficult periods of my adult life. Because of that I didn’t do all the things on my list. I’ve been having a hard time feeling like I accomplished anything this year as I complete the “Closing 2013” section of my Amazing Life Workbook because I didn’t complete all the tangible goals I had set out for myself. The good news is, that when I look back on my Dec 31, 2012 blog about my intentions, I actually really did well at integrating them into my life. They weren’t just things I could do once and cross them off, they were about making long term changes in my life. I think that this means I’ve become more of the person I want to be and that is an accomplishment. A few accomplishments do stick out for me in 2013; a friend told me I inspired him to start playing the harmonica, I taught an 86 year old lady how to hoop and I feel like I created stronger relationships with friends and family. Way to go, me!

In 2013, I have actively practiced loving more and judging less as I realize what I judge in others, I’m judging in myself, what I accept in others, I accept in myself. I continue to nourish myself with healthy food, yoga, meditation and hooping. All acts of self love that fill me up so I can be ready for the next intention I set for myself in 2013.

I have shared and given back in different ways but most significant to me was by teaching hooping to teens with addiction abuse issues. They are attending a program I completed when I was a teen. It was an emotional experience going back and revisiting my youth, but it felt so good knowing that I could have an influence on their lives like the people who worked there had on my life.

I have had periods of living in flow this past year, I experienced serendipity and have learned many lessons about surrendering and releasing control. I have learned over and over again that when you surrender and let go, life just works itself out. I spent a lot of time worrying about how things will play out and realized when I just stopped worrying, life is much more enjoyable. I blogged about one of these flow experiences recently because it was such an incredible learning experience for me.

This year I gained a much deeper understanding of human being vs. human doing. I thought I just did too much and didn’t allow myself to chill. At the Sacred Circularities retreat I attended in Sedona, I discovered an imbalance of masculine and feminine within me and I think me doing all the time is the physical manifestation of that imbalance. I have gained much deeper awareness of what this means to me, but am still struggling with it. I’m still learning to be and to accept what has unfolded, knowing that I’m not going to get everything done and that is OK. I’m realizing that this life is not a race to the finish line and my success wont be measured by how many things I cross off my list. I think the lessons I learn are more important that the things I do and I intend to integrate this lesson more in 2014.

For 2014 I set the intention to come into balance. I see duality or polarity in my life, with my go-go-go attitude and then burn out as the opposite. I’d like to have balance so I can focus on my dreams but also want to be able to give myself space to just be. When I think of this I see a pendulum swinging really wide. In 2014, I envision it slowing down and coming closer to stillness. I feel that focusing on this intention will bring everything into my life that is supposed to be there. It will lead me to where I’m supposed to go and give me the lessons that I most need to learn to continue growing. I believe this intention will help me to know myself even more and to love myself even more which I see as the key to creating the best experience I possibly can for myself.

Oh, one more thing. In 2013 I didn’t end up doing a cartwheel. Not for lack of trying, I had numerous people trying to show me how to do it but for some reason I won’t just let myself go through with it. I get all caught up in the mechanics of what my body should be doing, the fear of falling and hurting myself and I just freeze. Kind of like a metaphor for my life I guess. I’m OK that I’m not quite ready for it yet and will lovingly keep working on it in 2014.

Much love and best wishes for the new year,
Nicole