2016 was a long, winding road for me. There were so many highs and few lows for good measure. The past year was one of learning and growing for me. I started the year in India singing to a sea of smiling people. In that moment, I knew I was were I was supposed to be doing exactly what I was meant to do. It was such an incredible feeling. I was surrounded by people I adore who share the same desire to grow spiritually. That first trip to India was something I will never forget and it will always be seared into my soul.
Once I left the Ashram in January I met up with my mom in Delhi and we traveled throughout India and Vietnam. Every day and in every new city, I felt my eyes widening and my heart opening. And as incredible as the scenery was, the spirit of the people is what inspired me most.
Once back in the states, I didn’t stay for long. I spent the month of March catching up with friends, celebrating my 39th birthday, and writing. In April I ventured off to Puerto Vallarta twice. First with my step mom, my step mom’s boyfriend, sister, brother in law, niece and nephew. We laughed, we relaxed, and we enjoyed each other’s company. Right after, I met up with my biological mom in Cabo for a week and then back to Puerto Vallarta. Though our time together was special, I was in Cabo when I hit my first, and biggest low of 2016. I found out my Grandfather Gene had passed away. I l always felt a special connection to him. He was larger than life and so charismatic. I think of him often and have no doubt his spirit is watching out for me.
After that trip, I went into a contemplative mode. I spent a lot of time writing and reflecting. I decided to further my yoga studies and enrolled in a 500 hour yoga teacher training. Though I was already a yoga teacher, I knew there was so much more to learn. I spent two months in gorgeous Costa Rica where I practiced yoga all day every day and made amazing friends a long the way. I am so grateful for every single second. I came home for a quick two weeks where I spent time with family and friends before repacking my suitcase to head back to India.
India the second time around was different but just as magical. I taught singing and swimming, sang for tens of thousands, spent time with my spiritual teacher Amma, and went deeper into my yoga and meditation practice. I even made two quick trips to neighboring beach cities with friends to explore. After two months in India, I headed to London for three weeks. I spent most of my time there with my best friend Nicole. We laughed, we danced, we worked out, and enjoyed each other’s company. I also made incredible new friendships and reconnected with old friends I hadn’t seen in a long time. I love London and I have a feeling I will be back in 2017.
After London, I flew back to my home town of Orange County to study and receive my certification as a life coach which was something I had dreamed of doing for years. I am always looking to learn new tools for both myself and others. Not long after my London trip, it was off to the Caribbean to celebrate my mom’s birthday. The first few days were awesome and then I came down with the stomach flu. It laid me out. Traveling while ill is never fun and the anxiety I felt trying to travel home was so bad I didn’t even make it home. I ended up cancelling the last flight and staying in Phoenix with my mom and step dad to recuperate. My Christmas consisted of a lot of sleep, saltine crackers, and Pedialyte. While I was sad to miss out on my original plans of watching niece and nephew tear through their Christmas gifts, the silver lining to being so sick was that it forced me to be still. I have been running around the globe so hard for the last two years and it was like the Universe said “STOP!” It was a blessing in disguise. Having that downtime led to me working on some writing and website projects I had been neglecting. Another low in 2016 was my continuing battle with anxiety. I wish I could say it has been easy, but it hasn’t. Still, I am proud of myself for not letting it stop me from living the life I love which includes a lot of travel. Strangely, when I am in countries like India and Costa Rica, I have no issues. It is when I am back in the US that I struggle the most. I look forward to learning new ways to manage my anxiety to not only help myself, but to help all the people that have reached out to me that share my struggle.
This year my New Years Eve will look quite different. I am still recovering from whatever I had so I am passing up the parties to spend New Years Eve ALONE bringing my ideas to life. Yes, that’s right, I want to spend New Years by myself and literally write myself into the New Year. I am so looking forward to the new year and new adventures. Sending Love and Light to each and everyone of you reading this blog post. So thankful to share this journey with you all!