40 things I learned this year

Turns out 2017 may have been just as magical as 1977. I was born in 1977, and in a way, I was reborn in 2017. This is evident from the list you’ll see below. This is also the year our first child will be born. Like I said, pretty magical.

I’d love to know which listed lesson stood out for you, so please leave me a comment. It would be fun to write a full blog post on that particular topic. These were hard to boil down to only a few sentences!

A large portion of what I’ve learned this year comes from the alchemy of the Ayurveda Yoga Teacher Training (Leadership) course; the Emerge mentorship program with Elizabeth DiAlto and 21 other women; and Terri Cole‘s Real Love Revolution course. I’ve also learned a great deal from my baby-to-be. There’s nothing like a body forming in your womb for you to gain perspective. Talk about alchemy.

In no particular order (except that the first one pretty much encompasses them all), here we go!

1. Everything I’ve ever needed has always been inside of me.

2. Being part of a community who is on the same page is necessary for me to live the abundant life I want. Without the supportive and loving women and men I’ve surrounded myself with this year, I never could have become the person I am now.

3. Asking for help is helpful! That’s why this world is full of people with their own unique strengths: to help each other.

4. Having an accountability partner who helps keep my spiritual, emotional, and professional goals in check is conducive to success. I’m so grateful for mine, April Monique. Check out the important work she’s doing with helping people live whole, brave, and loving lives.

5. When I put myself out there, I get positive results. Sure, I may get negative reactions, but it’s by expressing myself and connecting with others that life emerges. It’s exciting stuff! It’s good to dream, but I also have to do.

6. Witnessing someone’s suffering is more helpful than saying “the right thing”. Hearing “I witness your suffering,” or “I witness you during this challenging time,” does something pretty miraculous to the heart.

7. Healthy boundaries are incredibly important and necessary in order to live a calm and content life.

8. Codependency ruins relationships. It’s a common, and often accepted, way to function, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You also don’t have to be in a relationship with someone who is an alcoholic, a drug addict, or who is highly neglectful for you exhibit codependent behaviour.

9. It’s helpful to know the difference between discernment and judgment. Judgment puts power outside of me. Discernment puts power within me.

10. There are topics I can talk about with some people but not with others. Knowing the difference saves me energy.

11. Letting people have their own experience, and relinquishing control over others or outcomes, keeps me from feeling stressed and anxious.

12. Confidence comes from evidence.

13. I don’t need to be an expert. I can own what I know now and even teach from this place. A fifth grader can teach a fourth grader.

14. There’s power in the pause.

15. When I do things that don’t resonate with my heart, I end up feeling resentful. I know I’m feeling resentful when I blame others or I complain about the environment I’m in. Whenever I feel resentful about a person or project, it’s a good sign I need to get out of the situation or relationship, or at least change my approach to it.

16. Perfectionism is a sign I’m not dealing with my uncomfortable feelings.

17. I have more to learn about surrendering to and receiving the natural flow of the Universe, but it’s one of my most intriguing points of growth.

18. When I speak my truth and I don’t fear what others will say, I feel so much more energized and ready to do more work than if I have to conform to what I think others want me to do. Doesn’t that sound so convoluted? That’s because it is. Just be you.

19. If I’m worried about how much people are judging me, it usually means I’m judging others as much.

20. Being able to clearly articulate my values has helped me put in perspective concepts that have challenged me, and helps me make better decisions about my life.

21. Life is full of paradoxes and the more I accept this, the happier I am.

22. When I let go of trying to control the outcome, I allow miracles to happen.

23. It’s okay for me to change my mind if the decision I made doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t mean I’m not reliable. It means I know myself, and I’m evolving.

24. All I need to do to make a decision is listen to my intuition, but this listening takes practice.

25. Grounding myself in my body is essential to my mental health. It helps me tune into my intuition so I can make decisions I can stand by.

26. It’s important to have people in my life to honestly and openly talk about my problems, but true answers come from within.

27. The opinion of others can derail me quickly, so it’s really not helpful to ask for it.

28. We project of our feelings and experiences onto other people, and it’s important to check in to see if the story we tell ourselves is actually true. Our imaginations can get us into trouble.

29. While culture brings so much beauty and diversity to the world, and it should be respected in many ways, it isn’t something we need to put on a pedestal. It can brainwash us into believing certain things about ourselves that probably aren’t true.

30. I can’t get over the ridiculous idea that’s been perpetuated in most cultures for years: that women are weak. Women’s bodies are the embodiment of strength an resiliency. We go through menstrual cycles (not to mention everything that goes along with this), pregnancy, and birth, and come back from all this kicking more ass. How is this weak?

31. I’m in awe of the female body. It’s an example of the ultimate surrender. I’m not doing anything except eating, resting, and exercising, and my body is creating a human.

32. It’s taken pregnancy to help me understand that my body is pivotal to my self-development.

33. Working with my body improves my mental health. Doing a daily breathing and movement practice makes me feel calmer, more relaxed, and more present.

34. Baby moons are a thing, and I’m glad we learned about this as a way to transition into parenthood. Life will never be the same, and it was important to honour that.

Guam – August 2017
35. The menstrual cycle is a superpower, and I’m grateful I can experience its wisdom.

36. It’s okay, and healthy, to cry. I still struggle with this — I still apologize when I cry — but I hold back less than I did. Feeling shame for crying is not helpful for anyone.

37. When I don’t allow myself to feel feelings, most importantly the “ugly” ones, they control me.

38. Looking at the dark spots in my life is the only way to make room for lighter moments. It’s worth honestly looking at mistakes I’ve made or pain I may have caused. Having this witnessed by someone I trust helps make that light come in more clearly. It removes blocks I didn’t even know existed.

39. I have a lot to learn about equality, diversity, and inclusivity.

40. Forty feels fabulous.

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17 thoughts on “40 things I learned this year

  1. Wow – What an amazing list! Too many pieces of wisdom to comment on, but #1 and 7 are particularly potent reminders right now! (Have you listening to Rising Strong yet?) Lots of Love and Blessings from both Bee and I! (she follows you a lot on FB!)


    1. Thank you Chaz and Bee! Happy to celebrate this moment with both of you. And thank you for letting me know what resonated. The first one comes from my mentor Elizabeth DiAlto. I’ve been working with her for the last 9 months. She’s doing amazing work with women, namely helping us trust ourselves.

      When you ask if I’ve listened to Rising Strong, are you referring to Brené Brown’s book with the same title?


    1. Ah yes. That was long process to figure out. Years! I’m still working on it, but much more at peace with this expert ideal. Just not fun. Ill definitely write a full post on this. Is there something in particular you’d like to explore on this?


  2. Oh Josette, your number 14 hit home for me. “There’s power in the pause.” I’m currently waiting for a change I have planned to be accessible. Waiting for my house to sell so I can take my next step by cutting that tie of responsibility. In this I’m trying to focus on the moments as they present themselves and not long for the future. It’s a long breath. One that is hard to be patient though on some days. But you’re right, there’s a power here in honoring an ending and new beginning.
    Much love my friend and many congratulations on the soon to be here bundle of joy. You’re gonna rock this mom thing!


    1. Thank you for letting me know which one resonated Louise! This is definitely a hard one for me too. You really hit on what makes this one such a juicy lesson, “there’s a power here in honoring an ending and new beginning.” It’s like the Viktor Frankl quote: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” You got this Louise. There’s something beautiful coming in this pause.

      I wish you all the best with the sale of your house.

      And thank you for subscribing to my blog! Greatly appreciated. Big love to you!


  3. Oh Josette! What an amazing year you’ve had!! So blessed by you and you sweet friendship & much needed accountability. And to witness these amazing shifts and transformations is awe inspiring! Thank you for including me in your life &your list. So much love to you mama!


    1. And in the spirit of imperfection, typos galore. Love that we can show up in all our messiness and still be amazing humans. ❤️😎


      1. April, thank you so much for these words! We are blessed together. I am so grateful to Elizabeth for her intuitive skills of putting us together. May we continue showing up in our messiness for many years to come, dear friend. <3


  4. I don’t know if I ever told you this directly, but I find your writing and philosophy inspiring – indeed, ideas like ‘nonviolent communication,’ which I heard about first from you, have inspired me to reshape a lot of what I do in my teaching (or at least try to). Thanks a lot for that.

    Looking at this list, I notice that there’s a lot of points that I very much agree with but have not yet been able to internalize. I’m drawn to number 11:

    ’11. Letting people have their own experience, and relinquishing control over others or outcomes, keeps me from feeling stressed and anxious.’

    ~~I’ve been trying to let go of control for a long time in my teaching, but it’s proving rather difficult.

    Anyway, thanks a lot for your writing, and please keep it up.


    1. I really appreciate you telling me this Stewart. I didn’t know that you’ve been taking these ideas of nonviolent communication to heart. It is a great gift to me to know that it has impacted you. Thank you.

      Number 11 is indeed a very challenging one. I applaud you for being aware of it and for doing what you can to make the shift. Please be gentle with yourself. I found that the only way to truly change is to first be aware and then show kindness toward ourselves. We are trying our best. Then I remind myself that this is the path they have chosen. Who am I to interfere with their path?

      I will definitely be writing a full post on this topic because it’s been such a long journey for me. Is there any point in particular that you are interested in exploring here?


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