Sitting down and reflecting back on 2015 and what it taught me, I’m looking out the window of a friend’s house. The front yard is parched, the grass so dry it crackles under your feet as you walk over it. Ancient Manna gums own their place on the landscape and other varieties of gum trees and She Oak’s join them.
Today the sky is partly cloudy, the temperature having dropped from the extreme highs of New Year’s Eve. I feel grateful that I can open the windows and let the fresh air and sounds of nature into the house.
Watching the colourful Lorikeets being chased away by the swooping Magpie whenever they dare to leave the safety of the She Oak for the ground and listening to the bleating of the lambs as they try to convince me they need more food, my body begins to relax as i begin reflecting back on 2015 and all of its lessons.
The ancient Manna gums seem to contain in every branch, leaf and dying limb my journey of 2015. Like so many people, it was a year of contrasts, a year of challenges, a year of deep emotion. So much happened that my mind finds it difficult to even recall what occurred in the first five months of last year!
Once again, my plan for the year went out the window. Just as the limbs of the Manna gum are gnarled and twisted, so it was that in 2015 my life involved many twists and turns. Some that took me in new and exciting directions, others that involved blockages and pain. Emotions of fear, doubt, joy, excitement, grief, sadness, frustration, love, anger joined themes of loss, creativity, trust, faith, letting go, birthing, truth and struggle.
Reflecting back on 2015, I did not start the year with the intention to write a book that lay bare my heart and soul. I did not imagine that for the second time I would need to postpone my France tour. I did not imagine that I would come face to face with my mother after six years. I did not imagine that I would be challenged financially to the point of despair and feeling trapped. I did not imagine that I would find within me the strength to write and publish a book in 4 months as well as rebrand and build a new website…. And that is just a snippet.
This last year I followed the calling of my soul to a much deeper level than I have in the past. I allowed the vision for my life and the whispers of my heart to drive me forward in those many moments when fear and doubt tried to hold me back.
That vision propelled me forward and allowed me to break down and crash through limiting beliefs. The call of my soul willed me to dig deeper and find the inner strength to keep going, to keep believing in what I feel passionate about. Quite simply in those moments when I thought I could not keep going, I knew within the core of my being that there was no going back (hell no!) and so the only way was forward.
Postponing my tour to France meant I had more time to spend with my terminally ill dad. As it turned out, May (when the tour was scheduled) was the month in which my book flowed out of me – the Universe had kindly created space for this to occur!
Grief would define the last three months of 2015 for me. My dad’s passing just 10 days after the launch of my book opened up many, many layers for me to process and heal. Issues around my family, around my mother, around the grander plan and meaning of events throughout one’s life, rose up for me to face head on. There was so much learning, understanding and insight just in this event that was enough for one year! But that is for my next book 🙂
As I look up from the keyboard, the Manna gum reminds me that like the dead and barren branches that have fallen to the ground, there is much that I let go of in 2015. Deep anger and rage around my mother and my maternal line that flared up to be acknowledged healed and released was the biggest one for me. Letting go of the belief that if I’m seen I will be cut down and betrayed was another huge one.
Whatever layers of internal ‘stuff’ that still held me back, weighed me down and no longer nourished me have been shed and let go of. I also found a growing and very strong desire to purge items from my physical life as the year went on.
Then there are the branches of the Manna gum with new growth that are reaching for the light and for the sky. I took many leaps in 2015 that took me upward. Writing my book showed me how much I love writing – it opened up an aspect of me that I was trying to suppress and deny.
Speaking publicly about what I feel passionate about in 2015, was another huge leap but I discovered that I love speaking from my heart and sharing what matters deeply to me. Writing and speaking has stretched me and made me reach for the light within.
Rebranding and standing strong in my own name was a huge statement and a way of owning my message and who I am. The four months I spent on the book, rebranding and website was literally like giving birth, with many painful contractions thrown in (and it wasn’t pleasant reliving contractions!). But standing in front of my loved ones as I launched my book, every one of those contractions was worth it.
Watching the branches and leaves of the Manna gum bending and moving in the wind, at one with its environment, I realize that 2015 has taught me more than ever to let go and allow myself to be in the flow… to be in the flow with whatever arises in my life, to be flexible and trust that what is happening is okay and to understand that I have all the resources, foundation and inner strength to survive it all.
Knowing that doesn’t mean I haven’t stumbled and hit rock bottom during the last year. I have fallen into the pit of self-despair, of not believing in myself or what I’m doing, of doubting my intuition and more. I’ve pleaded with the Universe to help me understand ‘why?’ in those dark moments, I’ve considered walking away from my business and all that I have worked for.
What I’ve been reminded of though in 2015, is those moments of darkness always precede the dawn… a time of growth, a time of breakthrough, a time of shifting something big. I have a deep gratitude for my girlfriends who’ve helped me through those moments and who’ve kept the light shining for me when I’d almost extinguished it for myself.
In fact, one of the things that really struck me last year was the love that surrounds me. Although I have a deep longing for a partner (an equal), I know that I already have an abundance of love in my life. My girlfriends are amazing and their love, support, encouragement and belief in me was never clearer than last year, especially during my book launch and the loss of my dad. It is a love that I cherish and do not take for granted.
The love of my boys continues to nourish me. Their support and belief in me especially in regards to my book was incredible. They were both so proud of me at the book launch and they continue to celebrate every book sale with me as if it were the first. I loved watching them blossom and reveal more of who they are.
So as the wind increases and the Manna gum outside bends and moves with the breeze, this is what I know to be true after reflecting on 2015:
I know that all that happened last year has been a foundation block for 2016 and the years beyond. For that reason I have a deep reverence and gratitude for all that happened (and didn’t)… and I know for sure that despite those parts of me that want to weigh me down, I will keep reaching for the light and growing… growing and discovering with a deep curiosity the more of who I am.
In love and light Jody x
Ps. I’d love to hear what your greatest learning from 2015 was. Can you see a theme that ran through your year? What did your challenges teach you about yourself? Please leave a comment below…
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