It took a lot for me to get motived to sit down and write this sincerely personal post, but I think it is necessary for me to do.
2o16 was a year of hardships and rawness with a lot of beauty sprinkled in. For me, it was all about growth, expansion and letting go of control. So, here are 5 things that happened to me in 2016. A year that will forever be engraved in my heart.
My Dad Died
This is first because it is the most significant thing that has ever happened to me. The most sudden, heartbreaking and terrifying event that I’ve experienced in my 24 years on this earth. My dad died of a heart attack followed by a stroke. He was in a medically induced coma for three days, and didn’t wake up after the treatment. It was devastating to walk into the hospital every day with hope, and never receive the good news we so desperately wanted. My whole world changed when he passed. All of my biggest fears stared me straight in the face, and honestly, they still do. I had to ask for financial help from my community. Since his death was so sudden, we had no money saved for his funeral or medical bills. We started a GoFundMe campaign that helped pay for those things. I am still in awe of the strength in my community. Everyone pulled together to help us, and it was inspiring. I spoke at his funeral. I never imagined that I’d have enough courage to do it, but he deserved it. I wanted to honor the man that he was, and the way he changed so many of our lives. I miss him so much. Despite all of the sorrow, my world was shifted in a way that forever changed my perspective. A piece of me opened up – a shift occurred. I understand things in a more real sense. A very raw and open vibrancy is within me now, and I hope to share more of it as time goes on.
I talk about his death openly and honestly. I will not hold anything back. The West is so accustomed to holding it all in and acting like everything is fine. I try my hardest to be transparent with my feelings about death. The less afraid we are to talk about it, the more we realize it is going to happen to all of us.
I Went Skydiving
This was a “bucket list” item for me. I had to jump out of a plane! Who wouldn’t want to do that? 😉 It was more fun than I could’ve expected. I love to push my limits and fears. For me, the initial jump was the scariest part, but then we were just floating down to the ground. Floating in the sky made me realize just how small we really are. There’s an expansive universe out there that we know so little about. It all continues to amaze me.
My tandem jump instructor was named Ernie. He had more than 30,000 jumps logged, so he was pretty much a pro. During our jump, I shouted back to him “Ernie, we did it!” That is a phrase I’ll always remember!
I Traveled out of the Country for the First Time
This was HUGE for me! I finally got my passport and got out of the USA for a little bit. I was so blessed to go on a yoga retreat to Jamaica ‘mon with my yoga teacher and all of my closest yogi friends. The retreat was at a resort called Golden Clouds. Ms. Blossom was our chef and she cooked the most amazing meals for us daily.
The best part of the trip was the yoga. Every day, we woke up and practiced. It was the most transformative week that I’ve ever experienced. It helped me cope with the passing of my dad and a lot of other things that I’d been holding within myself.
My BFF got Married
My best friend of 12+ years, Lauren got married to the man of her dreams, David. The wedding was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever been a part of. It was small and so full of love, laughter and genuine fun. Lauren was the most relaxed and beautiful bride. Their personalities really made the wedding special. It went flawlessly from start to finish and we wish them all the happiness in the world.
I Experienced a Whole Shift in Perspective
The things that used to bother me just don’t anymore. The things I used to fear seem so small. As mentioned above, my whole world changed when my dad died, but 2016 really just changed me in general.
The election happened in our country and we now seem more divided and dark than ever. I want to say to everyone – please do not lose hope. There is so much love within us, and we’re all yearning for just that. The hardest problems come with the simplest solutions. Let love flow.
I wish everyone the happiest New Year. Namaste.