A few days before New Years, while out traipsing around the city, I walked by this bar that was advertising their “Good Riddance, 2016” NYE party. I found it particularly amusing, given the political turmoil, environmental crises, mass shootings, and all the other terrible happenings of the past year. I mean, why shouldn’t we celebrate 2016 finally being over?
As if that alone wasn’t enough, my personal life was also a glorious mess. I mean, you know it’s bad when Mike Posner straight up tells you that you’re “quite the cynical one.” Thanks, Mike.
However, since I was graduating, moving to a new city, and embarking on a journey down a new career path, I was full of hope for the coming year. I finally felt as if I started to get a grasp on my life, and I couldn’t wait to leave 2016 behind.
But then, I happened to come across this quote by John Green…
“Without pain, how could we know joy?”
This made me stop and think about my whole perspective on the whole “Good Riddance 2016” spiel. It made me realize that perhaps what truly brings joy, perspective, and growth is, in fact, the very thing that we so desperately want to run from. Without the valleys, how can you ever fully appreciate the peaks? Without the bad times, we are far less likely to recognize the good ones. Without pain, we cannot know true joy.
Instead of looking at the past with regret and anger, try to instead practice gratitude and really appreciate how all your negative experiences have given you perspective and propelled you to grow in ways you never could have expected. Now, when I look back over 2016, I realize how wonderful it really was. Looking back, even though it didn’t always feel so great in the moment, I learned so much and really felt myself slowly morphing into the person I truly am. I hit a lot of lows, but now I am so much more thankful for the highs.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to study with yoga/meditation guru and life-coach Jessie Sandhu. With four sessions spread out over NYE and New Years Day, we had the physical practice of yoga as well as the emotional/spiritual practice of meditation and journaling. During one of our journaling sessions, she asked us to go through the following four questions. Over the next day or so, try taking some time to meditate/journal over them and see where it leads you!
What do I need to let go of that didn’t serve me in 2016?
What do I need to give more attention & care to in my life in 2017?
What are the strengths I wish to bring forward in 2017?
Do I have the courage to be the best version of myself in 2017?
As a fun little freebie, I’ve created a PDF of some awesome journaling prompts that should get your “dream big” juices flowing. These are all prompts that have come from various teachers/workshops I’ve had, and let me tell ya, they are so incredibly helpful for prompting inspiration and personal growth. Sometimes half the battle of turning your dreams into reality is figuring out what the heck your dreams even are.
Click HERE to download!
I encourage you to begin 2017 with hopeful expectation, but also grateful remembrance. Let the past propel you forward, and see just how far you can really go.