2016 Review: Part 1.
I’ve had this year review aching away in the back of my mind for a while now, sort of felt it coming but have for some reason avoiding committing to writing it down – but finally, here goes…
Thinking back on 2016 the word to summarise it all will have to be CHANGE.
Change it all its forms. Welcome change, shocking change, painful change, dragged out ‘will it ever happen??’ change, so fast change, scary, exciting and everything in between change.
I feel like I have shapeshifted at such pace it has just about freaked me out at times!
You see, at the end of 2015 (jeez that sounds like a LONG time ago!) I had made a resolution within myself that I had to make some significant changes to my life. I felt trapped and out of touch with my passion and purpose. I had already taken quite a bit of (unfinished…) action in order to try to create this change. I’ve done lots of personal development, got myself a great coach and was just finishing up my Integrative Nutrition studies. But I had no real plan for how it was all going to happen. Heck, I didn’t even have time to think about that – I was just so busy being busy… I had a massive corporate job (that I thought I loved) that used up most of my time and energy and whatever slivers that were left was dedicated to my little family.
Then – BOOM. Literally.
A few days into the New Year my world came crashing down. I got the dreaded phone call and learnt that my hero, my dad, had suddenly and unexpectedly become very unwell on the other side of the world, back home in Sweden. A couple of hours later and I find myself 30,000 feet up in the air, staring out of an airplane window. On my way home – not knowing what would await me when I got there.
What I did know was this. There had to be no more waiting for this plan, this dream of ours that I’ve held for some many years, to be put into motion. You see, I’ve lived away from my home country since I was 21. At 38, that is almost half of my life. I’m not surprised that it happened this way, I kind of always knew that it would and when I met my partner on the ski fields in Colorado all those years ago and learnt that he was from NZ, I knew I was finally home and that for some reason it had to be this way. Over the last few years I have more and more realised why. I had to create space for myself to release what need to be let go and to connect back with me. I don’t think I ever really knew me back home. The irony of it all is that I come from a small and very intimately connected family and it has in a way been a daily grief being so far away from them.
Now, back to this dream of ours. For the last 10 or so years we’ve had a vision board on our bedroom wall saying “We want to live a happy and healthy outdoors life that is unhindered by work, location and finances”. Still to this day – this is it and since having our son 3yrs ago the desire to travel more freely and spend a bigger part of the year in Sweden has grown stronger. A year ago, busy with my corporate career, busy with daycare pickups and mortgage payments I found myself travelling in the absolute opposite direction!
I digress a bit…this will be a long end of year review!
Dad falling ill was not so much the wakeup call, but the very drastic reminder to take action NOW. I’m sorry you had to use such drastic methods pappa!
Back to the airplane – it did eventually make its way around the world and 24hrs after leaving a sunny, hot summers morning in NZ I found myself greeted by the most amazing frozen sunrise, somewhere between Helsinki and Gothenburg and somehow, I knew then that dad would be ok.
What followed was a couple of weeks that are quite hard to put words to. Many nights spent in ICU, lots of worry, toughness and trying to make sense. Lots of doctors, lots of questions, lots of that hospital smell that seem to make the world outside disappear. Also, some incredibly strong bonds. A reminder of all the love we have for each other. And most of all, the most incredible journey of grit, determination and sheer heart. Dad reminded us of it all, without our health and our love we really do have nothing.
Nothing else matters.
Eventually, I had to burst the bubble and return to NZ and my family waiting for me there. I spent the next couple of months trying to heal the shock and heartache of not being able to support my family in Sweden on the ground as I would have wanted. I felt like it was mid-Feb before I even realised that the New Year had actually begun.
My conviction of creating the change we needed was strong though and I held on to our vision of creating the biz and life that we dreamed of. The vision was crystal clear but I have no clear plan of how to make it all happen. Meanwhile, I was busier than ever at work and it felt like time was just slipping through my fingers. I held on to what I knew though, I wrote my vision down daily, I kept showing up with my coach who did an amazing job of helping my not lose faith and give up.
You see, that is the magic of change. Just as you are about to create a breakthrough your ego will do its best to pull you back home to safety. You start doubting it all, yourself and you start looking for evidence to validate those feelings. Like – “See, I tried so hard but it just wasn’t meant to be…” or “Maybe I should take that other promotion and stick to my knitting a few more years and you know, pay the mortgage off and stuff”..
Nah. Watching dad fight his way back to health with all that it took made my little mission seem pretty minor really. If not now – when? If not me – who?
I had an idea of resigning by the end of March which I kept repeating to my partner and myself. Again, no real plan but the universe came through for me and presented me with an opportunity of a part-time role that would allow me the breathing room I needed. I literally signed the contract the last day of March. Making this change away from a company that I had invested over 8 yrs into was so massive that the emotional stress just about made me implode. I got really sick and spent the next couple of months recovering from pneumonia. What a way to start my Wellness Career!
Jeepers – by now, we’re about half way through the year…
We went back home to Sweden for a bit and I connected back into my WHY. As hard as it can be to have your loved ones at opposite ends of the earth I am also deeply grateful. First of all for my family, wherever they are and second of all to have two amazing places in the world that we can call home. I know I would never be able to give either of them up so making our vision of “…unhindered by work, location and finances…” become reality feels more important than ever.
After returning back to NZ again I finally launched my biz and what a journey it has been. It has been everything. Beyond inspiring, exhausting, hugely confronting, filled with gratitude, sheer panic, amazing connections, new friendships, moments of being awestruck and full of self-doubt and old stories. But again, strong in the knowing that not doing this was not an option.
I deeply, passionately and “will rant forever kinda style” believe that we have to take ownership of our own health and happiness.
No one else will, nor can do it for us.
If ever my faith waivers, dad’s recovery and conviction reminds me. Without fully owning our own journeys we can fully live life – and that is now way to live life!
This is what I teach and what I love to coach. The women that I get to work with are nothing short of amazing. They show up, they do the work and they fully take ownership. So grateful for each and every one of you.
As this year draws to a close and I’m sitting here in the shade, writing this while on holiday I’m digesting another couple of pieces of massive change. Both my partner and I are now fully self-employed. It all “just happened” in the last month and dad has taken a massive step forward in his recovery and it feels like we’re finally ready to conclude this year and begin a New one.
Up-levelled, shifted, aligned and connected.
I cannot wait.
I’ve learnt so much about myself this past year, I feel like I’ve travelled an entire lifetime in one year alone. Like I’ve been broken apart and put back together many times over and finally, I feel a bit at peace.
I really had no idea this was going to be this long! My plan as I was sitting down was to write of a “top 10 learnings…” or something like that. I’ll still do that – but that will be the Part 2.
Rather than a review, this is really a story about gratitude. Gratitude for what we’ve learnt this year and how different our lives are in this moment, compared to this time last year. The change is massive and we have amongst all of this edge ever closer to that vision of ours.
I have put together the guide below, summarising some of the key strategies I have used this year to completely transform my reality. It’s my New Year’s gift to you – just click on the button to download. In there, you’ll find actions you can take to shift your world and take ownership of your health and happiness, today.
I’m absolutely passionate about supporting people to take ownership of their own and their families health through a holistic approach to health and wellness and I’m here to support you every step of the way.