For myself, 2013 was a year of truly unearthing my confidence as a woman with a purpose in this world. It was all what I was seeking, and had been working torwards for many years. I desired at such a deep level to really step into my talents, passions, and my relationship with myself and others - to stop holding back and being afraid to say what I really wanted. 2013 laid that solid blueprint for me to learn exactly how to do this.
FEBRUARY: I committed myself to physical movement.
Lesson #1: Exercise achieves more than just abs.
Running gave me an outlet to be real with myself. After jogging for just a few minutes, my mind is clearer, and I am alone with what is really important to me. Sometimes it is harder than other times. Sometimes I feel like I have wings. Sometimes I just cry like crazy after I finish. Or feel like I'm on cloud 9. Or be so inspired by a new idea that I jump right into it. Or have an amazing peace about something that had me conflicted. Running helps me let it all go. 15 minutes or less.
AUGUST: I opened AURA's new studio location.
Lesson #2: Desires will manifest in their own perfect time.
Now, I didn't know that I wanted to move right then, and didn't even know that I wanted to be in that particular space. I was so content where I was with everything that I wasn't even looking externally for these kinds of opportunities. But what I did know for certain, and what I was very connected to, was the dream that I wanted to be an awesome cosmetic tattoo artist. I wanted to be the best and offer the best. I wanted to help women feel amazing about themselves, and in the process - I wanted to find out how amazing I could be too. I wanted to know myself more, and take things to levels of my wildest imagination. I was infected with a crazy confidence that told me that no matter how challenging it felt, if I just kept the faith & kept moving forward that things would unravel naturally. And they did! And sure, it literally took a wall crumbling apart in my old studio to make me outta-this-world frustrated-enough to go see what other buildings might be available at that time, but it was all in perfect order. This new studio has given me the ability to be the artist I truly desire to be.
OCTOBER: I connected with my friends.
Lesson #3: Keep friendships simple and full of love - only.
The people who really love and understand me, are going to do JUST THAT. The friends that didn't understand and would constantly leave me feeling guilty - well, I finally got up the nerve to let those relationships go. In my heart I knew this was not only healthy for me, but for the other end as well. It doesn't mean that I don't love them still. I think it goes to say for all relationships, that it shouldn't feel like work. Or like prison. This sudden shift in perspective and newly found self-respect allowed me to begin enjoying the presence of friends in my life, the ones that placed no expectation or obligation on me, at a whole new level. It is my strongest intention to continue being there for those I love as well, and to be conscious of the expectations that I blindly place on them. Simply put: Drop the drama. Don't be afraid of letting go of what makes you feel anything less than joy.
DECEMBER: I got engaged to the love of my life.
Lesson #4: True love takes patience.
It is easy to fall in love. But true love - that takes trust, respect, vulnerability, compassion, and- it takes misunderstandings. All which needs your nurturing and patience while it plays out. How do I know for sure that I want to be with this particular man forever? It's partially things I can't explain, and partially what I can. And what I can explain is this: We are two different people, who want to feel like one person all the time. But that is obviously not how it always going to work. So what stands out to me, is that even when we aren't on the same page, we both have a crazy desire to work through things and find our sweet spot again. Even if we have to stay up all night to get there. When we figure it out, I feel closer to him than ever, and more truly in-love with everything about life because of it. I have never known a love like that. It took patience for us to grow together like this. And I know that connection we have is worth the commitment. And even though I am still infatuated with his handsomeness- it's so much more than that to me now. It's about growing together, as well as separately. But always weaving in and out. That kind of love has been 100% worth the wait.
From here, 2014 looks bright. Thank you for reading this reflection; it is by far the most personal topic I have shared here. But this is another stepping stone for me, a way to share and learn, to be more open and authentic, and hopefully inspire you to do the same. This year it is my intention to keep growing, learning, and bringing out the best that I have to offer my friends, my family, and the world around me. There is so much to look forward to in the future, and so much to be grateful for in the past.