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Dear 2017 Jen

Dear Jen,

In this moment it is January 1, 2018 and you are taking some time for you this morning, You really need this letter because in this moment you are beating yourself up a lot over spilt milk (literally) on a ceramic stove. You have spent the morning in a bad pattern of self loathing. You woke up beating yourself up over not getting up earlier. Then you beat yourself up over not cleaning up and decluttering. Then you spent some time worrying about how to spend your time. Then you finally decided to make some hot chocolate for yourself and to enjoy that treat while you wrote this letter and did some intentional work to kick off your new year and for your clients and friends. And then you burnt the milk for the hot chocolate and it has been all downhill from there.

The ceramic stove is covered in burn stains and you have spent the last 30 minutes scrubbing and the last hour beating yourself up over it. You texted your husband in an almost a guilty confessional--like you’re looking for punishment for your actions. Amid all of this, you saw a picture of a heart in the burn and something inside of you knew that all of this was happening for a reason--to send you a message. You took the picture and then an orb appeared. All spiritual confirmation….someone is there for you, someone has your back and even though this is a hard pill to swallow, even if that stain never goes away, perhaps there is beauty and meaning there--just as our scars hold our stories and teach us lessons, so too does this burn mark. (But yes there is still a bit of ickiness surrounding the burn)

As with any good journey this letter is not going in the direction I was expecting, but I am choosing to be okay with that. As Emily Ley’s book has been teaching me, it’s about grace-- not perfection. It is about appreciating where your feet are, even if they aren’t surrounded by rainbows and sunshine. That’s not real life and what you want and need from this life experience is something real.

And so with all of that brain dump and all of these swirling thoughts, I intend to raise my vibes by reflecting on 2017 with love and gratitude for all of the experiences, up and down, that brought you into this new year.

2017 wow! What a year. 2016 was perhaps one of the worst years of your life--panic attacks and feelings of self doubt, transitioning into motherhood, loneliness, listlessness and a lack of purpose. Miscarriage and confusion. Pain and so much suffering. Continuing to be weighed down by unprocessed energy. Riding the wave of depression and anxiety and not knowing how to get out of the wake.

But in the end it gave you the groundwork that you needed to transform...again.

And thus began 2017. From the start 2017 had a new energy and you were ready to say good riddance to the year before. You started strong with the slogan that you had found for your vision board “Transform Ideas Into Impact” and you made that your own. You hosted a few paid small groups like January Envisioning, Following Your Heart, and Manifesting Abundance. You hosted a vision boarding and essential oils workshop, that even though got a low turnout, has been a major dream of yours, and set you on a good path for your own visions.

You invested in in yourself in groups like Mighty Mamas and Sacred Circle (x3). You followed your heart and inner guidance to seek out like minded individuals.

You grew your essential oils business and achieved the rank of senior star. You started actively writing for Natural Awakenings and connecting with the community and those that are doing important local work and sharing their message for them by using your writing voice. You found and used your voice and weren’t afraid to get vulnerable, publishing work in Red Tricycle, Motherly, Her View From Home, and Charleston Mom Blog.

You paid off your medical debt and your student loan. You navigated the difficult miscarriage journey, conceived a baby boy, and tuned out the noise of people’s opinions on the Zika Virus. You put up boundaries for what wasn’t serving you. You co created a group called The Courage to Create with Jackie and helped others discover the power of their voice and creations and in doing so, strengthened your own.

You made the commitment to turn inward and say no to commitments--to put your growing baby first. You taught 3 semesters of graduate courses, revamped your website, launched Mindfull Mamas, got an A in a graduate course on Gifted and Talented. You stepped deeper into the work in your classroom, earned Teacher of the Month for November, got nominated for Teacher of the Year, helped your students get their voices heard in local and national writing contests, and successfully launched an Entrepreneurship course.

You have committed to CAN-I in many ways--listening to podcasts, reading more, and even dabbling with creating your own podcast. You manifested a scholarship to The Omega Institute, which has been a lifelong goal, and connected with others, got a personal response email from Elizabeth Lesser, and did some deep healing through Somatic Energy work.

You have committed to healing old patterns and wounds, no matter how painful. You have decluttered and learned the power of minimalism, even sharing your thoughts with others. You have spent an entire summer (your first in her 3 years of life) raising your daughter, making memories, and navigating the waters of full time parenthood.

You have inspired others through your actions and your words. You have taken time to do things that bring you pleasure--even if it means binge watching Shameless on Netflix with your husband or taking a nap when you could, arguably should, be doing other things.

To say that you have transformed your own ideas into impact would be an understatement. 2017 was an action packed year where you learned more and more of the value of who you are and that you are here for a really big purpose. There is still work to be done, and as always, you are learning to have grace, but for now I just want you to realize how proud I am of you. Thank you for having the courage to ask the right questions, seek the answers, and put yourself out there.

You continue to flip your script and destroy the limit on the ceiling of self imposed limitations that you have created for yourself. You continue to learn that you just need to rip the band aid off and do hard things and the things that scare you and once you do, you create a ripple effect in yourself and others.

I could go on and on as I beam with pride as I write this. Just remember this sweet girl ---on your journey, the only thing that is holding you back is yourself. Come from a place of love and you will never go astray.

Love and gratitude,

Your Higher and, Arguably More Centered, Self :)

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