This past Saturday was my final workshop for the year, teaching part IV of my Fall series, The Healthy Woman. For a portion of our time together, we explored the need for ritual containers in our lives.
One of my favorite year-end rituals is sorting through my past journal entries from the year, looking at social media posts, and skimming through my google calendar.
What happened this year? What felt significant? What did I celebrate? What pushed me to my edges?
I really look forward to this practice every December.
But this year I met my beloved practice with a different sort of energy: RESISTANCE.
This was large in part due to 2015 being an incredibly challenging year for me.
I worked my edges TO THE MAX.
I’m in awe of what can unfold within 12 short months.
To wrap up the year, I’m sharing part of my ritual findings with you. I hope it inspires you to take inventory in whatever way feel good to you as well.
Real Food Wellness
Of course my work life is a major part of my world, and much of what brings you here to the Real Food Wellness community, so I’ll share this year’s honorable mentions:
I immersed myself in my professional study, diving into the work of Marion Woodman, exploring Richard C. Schwartz’s Internal Family Systems model, working with Eugene Gendlin’s Focusing, deepening shamanic counseling skills, and studying under the direct tutelage of Amy Pershing, C. Michael Smith, and Sara Avant Stover.
In February I was asked to speak at GVSU for a campus-wide event for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week – it wasn’t until a few days before the lecture that I realized I had dreamed up this scenario over a decade prior while I was a student. Giving the talk felt as if I had fulfilled a personal contract.
This spring I received a direct critique of my work after I gave a lecture at a local gym through a series of aggressive emails and voicemails. This rattled me. In the end, it forced me to clarify what I really stand for and also helped me practice really standing up for myself when I felt I was being bullied.
I had a successful launch of year #4 of my now online program, Empower Your Eating, that I am incredibly proud of.
I travelled back to Boulder, CO, for a class re-union at The Institute of the Psychology of Eating. I was invited to partake in a video project as a graduate from the school that now has a global reach. Here is the result.
I welcomed Ellen Day, my new intern, to Real Food Wellness. She is incredibly sweet, smart, and organized and has been in charge of many things behind the scenes including a new Instagram page for Real Food Wellness (feel free to follow us!)
I launched my 2nd year of my live workshop series, The Healthy Woman, this Fall. I consider it a sweet success and the group grew close. I was touched by the level of honesty and sharing. What a privilege!
And of course, I continue to feel very fed by my one-on-one work, the bulk of my practice, with clients from Grand Rapids, and extending to the East Coast, West Coast, and Mexico. I really love the work I do.
And a personal sharing…
This year was also a tough one.
I had to fully surrender to the release of security of my known life.
Earlier this year I began journeying through a separation and now recent divorce with my husband of whom I’ve been in primary relationship with for over a decade. This involved me moving twice this year and completely reorienting myself to a new way of living. It required all the courage and strength I could muster.
I have watched this process push me to new edges and pull me into an excavation uncovering deeply held feelings and beliefs that have needed loads of breathing room and compassion.
It has been a lot to navigate.
At the same time, I am in total awe of the mystery and unfolding of my own life. Looking back on the past three years, I have experienced uncanny synchronicities as well as stark moments of clarity. The journey has no doubt impacted my professional work. In fact, I feel I’ve done some of my best work this year with my one-on-one clients and do want to give credit to my added vulnerabilities this year.
Other personal highlights:
I started a weekly kundalini yoga practice in April that has been really rewarding
I took two major trips to South America to immerse myself in indigenous healing systems
I gifted myself with a much needed and transformative forest retreat this summer in SW Michigan
I shared some of my deepest vulnerabilities with those that I trust most
It’s been a big year. I will pause there for now.
And thanks for staying with me so far…
Whether you’ve been following my work for a few months or a few years, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude for your time and interest this year.
Know I intend to continue to offer work of integrity and value this coming year.
My work often starts with nutrition and eating, but I will tell you the lessons extend much farther than an eating experience alone. The work calls us to commit to evolving our ability to navigate life, to listen to the wisdom of our symptoms in a new way, to learn to be good parents to ourselves, and to touch our challenges with the medicinal qualities of grace, love, compassion, and humor.
The work is so worth it.
I’ll be in touch with more good stuff on January 1st. In the meantime, have a beautiful remainder to the year.
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