Do you feel it? We are in the midst of those first few days of a fresh new year. 2018 is still stretched out before us, full of infinite possibilities.
It also feels like 2017 is still very close behind us. If we just take a quick glance back we can see it, just over the mountains. We can see the places we grew and the mines we dug wisdom out of. All of these lessons packed neatly (or chaotically) in our invisible back packs.
And so I look back on the year that is past to make a list of the things that most influenced me to grow in 2017.
I am a bit of a podcast junkie. If I can manage to squeeze in some information consumption while doing mundane things like cleaning the kitchen or driving then sign me up.
My top 3 go to podcasts at the moment right now are:
Casey O’Roarty hosts this show. She is a gentle discipline educator who is kick ass. She doesn’t hesitate to admit that she is still working on getting her shit together, and she has really kind and hopeful advice for her audience. Episode number 122 Shameproof Parenting was a particularly poignant episode for me.
Say what you will about Rob Bell, I am a fan. I am captivated by Rob’s curious nature and genuine interest in the stories of his fellow humans. From him I am learning to listen and ask questions instead of formulating my response in my brain to look smart or cool. This podcast reminds me over and over again that even if we don’t agree, kindness is almost always an option.
Sarah Blondin’s soothing voice is a tool I am using to help me with my 2018 intention to BE calm. I wrote about her beautiful words in a post about calming my inner perfectionist. I have listened to each of the episodes in Live Awake multiple times. Well worth the soul quieting.
Books! Oh how glorious that we live in a world where we can read each other’s thoughts… as long as they write them down. Books are where I find ideas that expand my views, open my mind and improve my life. I encourage you to also browse The 6 Books That Most Influenced My Life In 2016
Essentialism By Greg McKeown
The 3 takeaways I received from Essentialism were:
- There are trade offs in everything.
- Sleep is crazy important.
- Ask yourself “What’s important now?”
I found this book to be such a game changer that I asked Craig to read it as well. (And he actually did :))
I think I need to read this book at least yearly. The part of this book I hold dear is that mentally strong people “…don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves.” Feeling sorry for yourself zaps your strength. I want to be strong and truly live. I do not want to be a victim.
You can watch Amy Morin’s Ted Talk to get the condensed version of the book.
13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do is her latest book and it is definitely going on my 2018 to read list.
Friday Coffee Group
I’ve mentioned my Friday coffee group here and there over the last little while. It is truly something that has transformed the way I am loving myself and loving others. Friday coffee is a group of women who sit down (or stand up and bounce babies), get deep, and tell the truth about what’s going on in our lives. Every Friday morning I get to be at someone’s kitchen table with coffee and treats and take my turn sharing something heavy that I have been carrying over the past week and something I am rejoicing in.
I share without fear of judgement and I am comforted to find out that I am often not alone in my struggles or my celebrations.
In case you missed it, 2017 was a big year of travel for us. We bought a motor home and toured around beautiful British Columbia in it. We spent over 31 nights sleeping in our home on wheels and it helped us make some pretty big life changes.
The biggest change was that after living as a family of 6 in a 38 foot long space, we realized that we really didn’t need our 7 bedroom house anymore. So we downsized to a three and a half bedroom townhouse.
I learned (after a week of stress on the road) that most problems have solutions if we can stay calm and put our thinking caps on (or do a search on Google).
I learned to pause. To look around, take a breath, and be grateful for the present. The people around me are my heart and I was so privileged to spend this close time with them.
I want to hear from you! Tell me about some of the things that most influenced your 2017.