2014 learnings.

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” ~Isaac Asimov

Last year was a magical year of learning & living my learnings. I had some incredible events, people, and circumstances through which I was able to learn these myriad lessons. The following learnings are those that stand out as I look back on 2014...

I learned about Love.

I learned about Fear.

I learned about Strength, Courage, and Vulnerability.

I learned to make conscious choices and to be clear in my deepest intentions. I learned the value in having ideal outcomes. I learned that staying open to other outcomes means staying open to Life.

I learned about getting clear. I learned to listen to my Inner Truth. I learned to identify how I most want to feel and to use core desired feelings as my driving force in life.

I learned how to stop caring about what other people think about my choices. I learned the value of doing something only if it’s a HELL YES for me. I learned to acknowledge myself for choosing ways of being that serve me.

I learned how to break down in Eric's arms without worrying about what he was thinking. I learned how to lean on him physically, mentally, and emotionally. I learned that snuggles fix basically everything. I learned the value of having intentional weekly check-ins. I learned the benefits of getting away & adventuring together at least once every three months. I learned how much the little things matter. I learned how important it is for us to do what feels right for us, regardless of what the world may think of our choices. I learned to own the fact that I choose to put our marriage above all other relationships in my life. I learned how much fun it is to live our life from HELL YES to HELL YES.

I learned it's ok to be scared. I learned to acknowledge & fully feel my emotions without judgment. I learned how to take action despite fear. I learned how to ask for what I want. I learned how to accept help without judging myself as weak.

I learned how to ask for what others want. I learned how to give others what they want only if it aligns with my deepest values. I learned how to authentically share feedback with the intention of the other person getting it, as opposed to just delivering it in the way that's easiest for me.

I learned how to define family for myself, and it's about way more than just shared genes. I learned the importance of mindfully surrounding myself with people I'm excited to be around.

I learned to trust that people are always making the best choice they know how to make from moment to moment. I learned how easy it is to return to judgment when I'm not intentional about choosing acceptance & love.

I learned how to go with the flow. I learned the positive emotional impact of choosing to look for the positives in any situation. I learned the value of taking things (especially myself) lightly.

I learned how detrimental labeling things as “bad” or “tough” can be. I learned how to have an “it is what it is, so what am I going to do about it?” mindset. I learned that my experience of life is 100% in my own hands. I therefore learned the value of choosing to see life as an exciting adventure.

I learned how to trust Life. I learned it doesn't matter whether I believe "everything happens for a reason" or "I can come up with a reason for why everything happens" as long as I'm committed to personal growth.

I learned about the bucket-filling impact of deep, honest, authentic conversations. I learned how to ask the questions that inspire digging & conscious choice. I learned how to support others in achieving their goals. I learned that my view of Life adds value to those around me. I learned that I make a positive difference in the world just by being.

I learned about the instantaneous spark of love & connection that can come with meeting someone new. I learned about constantly staying open to the possibility of meeting a new important person in my life.

I learned about the comfort of an established friendship. I learned how much I truly am who I am because of the people I choose to surround myself with. I learned how to navigate fulfilling long-distance friendships.

I learned the negative impact that expectations, especially secret expectations, can have on a friendship. I learned how to define what best friend means to me. I learned it's ok (and sometimes necessary) to distinguish between friends and best friends.

I learned how to stay calm & centered in situations I used to get frazzled in.

I learned how to pursue my goals with a gusto. I learned about creating, brainstorming, leading, and facilitating.

I learned how to embrace BEING MYSELF wholeheartedly.

And with all of the above learning...I also learned the value of having a beginner’s mind:

Shoshin (初心) is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind.” It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few." ~ Shunryu Suzuki

I commit to having a beginner's mind and to flowing with Life, using my learnings to inspire curiosity.

Thank you to everyone who taught, supported, and loved me this year. I’m excited to make 2015 my best year yet alongside my best friend in the world!! LET'S DO THIS, 2015!!!!

xo Nic