failures + healings: the year that was

Posted on December 31st, 2011

This post has been updated.

Every year since starting this blog I’ve done a NYE post (give or take a few days) that outlines my resolutions for the coming year. Last year I wrote a bunch of “intentions” for 2011.

My brother Nick and me - 17 years and 7 inches between us

Below I outline which ones I stuck to. And the other events that emerged, with intention, too. And then where I want to head in 2012.

But first I want to discuss “failure”.

My “failures” in 2011 have been observable by many due to the nature of this blog – in real time, with commentary and opinion from virtual strangers (very much literally). Which has been an interesting process to be a part of. But good. Definitely good.

Failure. I’ve had some this year. I observe many of us have. Or rather many of us have had plans that went awry. Complications. False starts. Steps backwards. Recalibrations that involved dismantling a few things in the interim.

But then – and tell me if it was this way for you, too? – the year has somehow ended with some resolution or settling or forgiveness or landing.

This has been the theme this year. It was a massive year. A hard year. But I grew more than I could ever imagine I would. And most of that growth came through sitting through “failures”. Astonishingly, I found myself over and over wedged into a position where I had to sit deeply in various sheddings, reversals, injuries and misfortunes. Each and every time, I couldn’t escape the discomfort of it. And each and every time…

I got closer

To what matters.

More than ever, this poem by Mary Oliver rings loudly and truly for me (definitely have another read and see if it does for you).

“…there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.”

This year, I also learned to trust. Because each and every time I failed or lost something or was knocked down, immediately after sitting through it, I got reinforcement that I was on a great path.

I’ve been steered. I think this sitting – unable to move or flee – allowed me the space to see what had to be seen. Then again, so did my fleeing. When I fled, I got painful reminders of what the path was probably NOT.

And – I love this – as 2011 closed, and the “failures” sped up, I began to find it all very funny. And all the stuff I used to care about – very much suddenly – mattered a whole lot less.

I’m sharing all this, BTW, in the hope? odd little belief? that some of you have experienced the same.

But a recap…

2011′s intentions, revisited:

* Less “no more” statements. More, “OK, let’s try this instead” statements. Eg: I intend to eat more green vegetables, instead of I intend to stop eating chocolate.

I DID get more positive.  I stopped denying myself. I ate fat as I quit sugar, for example.

* I’d ideally like a sugar-free life. But I’ll experiment gently. 

Absolutely! Done! Dusted!

* I intend to be gentle.

Yep…although, really, I’ve only learned it by going to new (sick!) depths of auto-immune dis-ease in the past few months (again, loss/failure/misfortune got me where I needed to go).

* To meditate more boldly, and more courageously… digging down deeper.

Yep…again, illness got me there. Some days I’ve been unable to do anything other than sit quietly in meditation. And, oooooh, the things I’ve seen and met there! Boldly meditating has meant not fleeing from the discomfort of it. Sitting longer. Not trying to dissolve uggggghhy thoughts. Sitting. Smiling at it. Because, frankly, what else could I do?

There were more…but I’ve had enough of recapping (the joys of blogging – you do what you want as you want!).

In 2011 I also:

* Got rid of a lot of stuff: my clothes and furniture (I gave it away and sold it, giving the $$ to charity), some of my income sources, big projects, unhelpful friendships, my car, toxic cosmetics, toxic food, and – to some extent – my pride.

* Left the city, screened a new TV show, wrote an ebook, blogged and ran my business from a small tin shed outside Byron Bay.

* Worked on great projects and new things with Jo, my care-full and kind assistant.

* Received ooooodles of support and help from good, kind folk. I experienced human kindness in all kinds of guises. And to an extent I never thought possible. I’m teary with gratitude on this point. Human kindness.

* Got some slap-downy lessons: running saw me fall over and break three bones, pull a tendon and tear open my knee (three separate accidents).

* Got some slap-downy reinforcements: when I gave up my book and Sunday Life column, the following week my computer screen was stolen (the robbers took little else of value, all of which was sitting nearby).

* Saw my health get worse. Which could be taken badly. But I see it as taking me to where I need to go to truly heal. This has all sped up in the past month or so. No surprise. I know it’s moving me into 2012 with a focus, a steadiness, a resolve, an aim. This is serious, Mum!

* And, as I say above, got closer to what friggen matters. Yes, I did! And, really, this is what mattered most to me.

So, 2012?

A few themes are emerging that I simply want to explore.

* I  will see what happens.

Let’s see. Let us see. Let (allow) you, me, the forces that steer the universe, see what happens.

* I will observe the ugggh factor.

When something or someone occurs to me and it makes me go “ugggh” on the inside, I know there’s resistance, something not right. And so I will walk away, shed it, let it go. Nothing is worth finding yourself a square peg jamming yourself into a round hole.

* I will exert less effort.

My brother Nick is my pin-up kid for this. He’s the smooth fella sitting with me, above. 17 years my junior, 7 inches taller and a wise old soul. His Facebook “interests” include finding the most comfortable position on the couch. He pares it all back…pretty much to finding the most comfortable position on the couch. And other such nourishing comforts.

* I will dedicate my efforts to helping and sharing. Human kindness both ways.

* I will find ordinariness really rather lovely.

* I will find my wellness again; I will find love and a deeper understanding of life.

* I will publish more ebooks that help people, do meaningful TV (and other) projects, travel overseas to learn, and I’ll keep free... while committing more.

* I will continue to find setbacks amusing.

Sometimes I just find myself saying, fuck it. I really do.

As I wrote this I got an email from a spiritual adviser I used to see when I was editing Cosmo (she kept me real! that was her brief). She wrote this, which I thought was fitting:

2011 has been an enormously challenging year for so many of us, in so many ways, at so many different levels. It has brought up the shadow, the core issue, both individually and globally, in ways that cannot easily be ignored. When we do not give attention to the feather hitting us in the face, we trip over the rock. And when we ignore the rock, many of us are now dealing with the tower falling on our heads.

The tower can be to do with a financial crisis, flooding or terminal illness – or it can be something much more insidious like out of control worry, anxiety or anger. Sometimes the tower falling on our heads has been falling a long time, and now the effect is being felt.

This time of shift is a powerful invitation to dive deeply into the hidden darkness, a final probe into the realm of fear where survival by one means or another is the name of the game. The human story of survival is one of dealing with earthly, physical reality. True freedom is not found in avoiding the demands of the material world around us. Freedom comes with our acceptance of all dimensions of earthly life, as divine design. Such a realisation brings the power to live life without fear. The human story becomes a story of living life fully and, where the name of the game is love.

As significant as this time is, it is an invitation which we may choose to accept or reject. This is not a passive acceptance but a proactive choice requiring rigour and strong intention. Compromises are out of the question now as they would be a denial of our inner reality. It is a time to stand up for love unconditionally! Trust your power for it is time we assert ourselves powerfully.

Over and out for 2011. Thank you for being here and sharing with me. Thank you to the lady in the wheelchair at The Pass that morning, the artist from Broken Hill, all my fellow AI people out there who “get it” and everyone’s who reached out to me here on this blog. It’s kept me ticking. I hope to see you here for more in 2012.

And please do tell me if you relate to the above…I’m interested!

 

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  • Dan_hillier

    Sarah. Summing it up, 2011 was about learning to be who we truly were meant to be. That was my journey and 2012 is the year where I let go completely and just be who I want to be – not who I think I should be…

    Big love to you…d x

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  • Julian hast

    Sarah love your intentions for 2011 & 2012. Glad 2011 is at an end it was the year I got thyroid disease, unfortunately but also the year I leant so much especially About nutrition, found yoga & Pilates too ! All your posts on thyroid disease have been invaluable resource & assistance for me. Without them I wouldn’t have recovered as quickly as I did. All the best for a fabulous & healthy 2012 x

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  • http://www.thirdontheright.blogspot.com le@third

    howdy dear one – you do know the only real failure is not trying in the first place … I am sure you know this :) and you are never guilty of that …. everything else is just feedback – and boy do you cop a bit of that here … your readers are a mixed bunch – lovers thru to haters … with all of the above does this mean 2012 is the year of the baby :) I just think motherhood would add another dimension to your being …. no rush though and really a personal choice I have no right suggesting :) so onwards and upwards – heres to a fab 2012 – best le

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    Sam Reply:

    Year of the baby?? Where does this come from? Nothing in what I read above suggests Sarah wants a baby next year (I stand corrected if I’m missing something here). Sounds like she wants to health & wellness, not morning sickness & sleepness nights.

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    Tash Reply:

    Amen to Sam!

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  • Sam

    ‘Failure’ is such a negative word. Even the way it sounds is harsh. I never see anything I do as wrong/bad and certainly don’t give myself a hard time when what I set out to do doesn’t go to plan. Instead, I put it down to a learning experience and look at what I would do differently next time.

    Sarah, please go easy on yourself. I guess the problem with sites like blogs is you put things out there to the public (i.e. writing a book), so of course there will be backlash. But who cares. Cop it for a while and move on…I’m sure your readers don’t dwell on it but look forward to your next adventure instead.

    Have a great NY and all the best for 2012. Oh, & your 6ft something brother looks pretty cool!

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  • http://X Dharma

    Hi Sarah,

    I just wanted to say a big thanks for all your wisdom over 2011 – I think it was a tough year for everybody! I’d be lost without your tips and advice – infact right now I am lounging in a beautiful home in Byron, thanks to your recommendation to check out the Atlantic – it’s amazing! I’ve already had a lovely yoga class today and look forward to working my way through the rest of your Byron tips.

    Thanks again and I wish you all the best for 2012, you deserve it :-).

    Xx

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  • http://www.smudgepot.com.au Sue

    “Ordinariness” is not a word I would associate with you. So much of what you say resonates with me. I can only assume that 2012 will be an amazing year for you. Surely you feel it! Your brother must be a Taurean/Libran…..comfort is paramount!

    Happy, healthy, prosperous 2012 to you and yours!

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  • Mia Bluegirl

    “I didn’t fail 1000 times. I just learned 999 ways how NOT to make a lightbulb.” – Thomas Edison, possibly one of life’s greatest inventors. No such thing as failure if you learn from it.

    That photo of you and Nick is gorgeous, by the way! You guys look so happy and shiny together. Clearly kindred spirits.

    I TOTALLY agree with you about 2011 being a year of “failure.” Of learning the paths not to take. Of shedding bark. Of falling down 6 times and getting up 7. And somehow, oddly, I too have emerged with a greater sense of self, a greater sense of what matters, and a greater love for myself and the universe. Even though it cut me open to experience it at the time, somehow I have been rebuilt both stronger and lighter. Is it possible that to lose all the things I thought were vital has shown me that, really, none of it was all that important to start with? Fuck it, life is awesome. Without the complicated stuffs I thought I needed to MAKE it awesome.

    It has been a pleasure riding this wave with you Sarah and I feel honoured and privileged to be able to share in this little piece of your journey. I feel both grateful and humbled. You truly make the world a little shinier, a little better, a little sweeter. A toast to you!

    Looking forward to seeing what 2012 will bring to all of us! xx

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  • Nikki

    Totally agree with Mia, I’m very grateful for Sarah writing her blog and sharing unconditional with us- it makes my day just that little but more special..
    Here’s to a healthier funnier 2012 to all..

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  • Trish

    This year has been quite testing for me and in reality went down a bit of a blah-blur path.
    The one thing I really want to acheive in 2012 is to learn how to not let people influence my mood – how I can grasp more control in how I feel and then in turn how I think about things.
    I’ve been in quite a anxious / depressive state for lots of this year and I really intend to turn that around so that I can engage more with both life and others! It is a challenge I am still struggling with but I know that it will be well worth my commitment.
    I intend also to try very hard to embrace the changes, come what may, because as sure as I write this that I am aware of how to live with setbacks and failure and the reason I have been stuck for so long and scares me the most is success and what may have to go by the wayside in order to achieve it.
    I hope 2012 brings you health, strength, encouragement, solace and maybe some love :)

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    Laura Reply:

    Sounds like we have been a lot in the same place… I suffer from anxiety and feel like over the years I have become a hermit. I am slowly trying to start reaching out and keeping in touch with people and also, try to interact a little bit even if it is only at the supermarket. I do think that 2012 will be a really good year!

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  • Terry

    Hi Sarah,
    Yes, I totally can relate to this blog.
    Nothing makes us go inwards & self-reflect more than when times are tough.
    An opportunity to grow.
    Thanks for yr contributions in 2011, & wish you health & happiness in the
    coming year

    Take Care

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  • Nina

    I wonder why 2011 has been the year for setbacks, hitting rock bottom and having to re evaluate our lives..it is such a common thread amongst so many people I know. We just came home from watching the fireworks over the harbour, and as I got the youngest boy out of the car, snoozing soundly, it occured to me that things have really improved since this time last year. Not without me nearly losing my marbles and having to seek help, but the storms have been weathered. Sarah, your comment about receiving oodles of support and human kindness resonated with me, and I think we can all learn a lesson from that. I intend to always always always offer support, and always always always ACCEPT it xxx Happy 2012 everyone xx

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  • Melanie B

    I have been thinking the exact same thing Nina, 2011 has not been a great year for my self or many people I know. Which gives me great hope that 2012 will be better.
    Thank you Sarah for sharing your experiences, wisdom, musings and access to so much knowledge. You are helping me and so many others learn about ourselves and each other, facilitated by healthy eating and good living.
    I found a quote last night that has given me great hope and comfort – it is from the first page of ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle
    “You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!”
    I love it! Happy new year and blessings to one and all :)

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  • http://www.pilatesevolutionnow.com Peta Serras

    Sarah, I LOVE your blog. You are a huge inspiration to me. Thank you for curing my writers block with your post. Good luck for 2012, not that you need it. You are amazing as you are x

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  • http://www.jeremyandkathleen.blogspot.com Kathleen

    My phrase for 2012 is Wabi-sabi – a Japanese world view or aesthetic which finds beauty in the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. To me it’s about truly being present to the beauty in the moment (no matter how imperfect, impermanent or incomplete) – I would say it resonates quite a bit with everything you’ve said above. It’s also important to me (through blogging, projects, work, etc.) to capture, shape and share these moments. To make them real and celebrate them.

    Happy 2012, Sarah.

    xo,
    Kathleen

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  • Mary

    could say lots more, but really i just want to say thank you.

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  • http://successforsolopreneurs.com Katy Tafoya | Success for Solopreneurs

    I love this. I also do a year-end review (it’s only 10AM here in Los Angeles so I still have time – LOL) and I advocate that my clients do them as well. I really enjoyed reading how you could take so many setbacks and challenges and see the positive in them. I think this is something that more people need to see…so I’ve been sharing it.

    Thank you for your sincerity. And don’t worry, you’re definitely not alone in wanting to say “fuck it” when things seem to stack up!

    Happy New Year and Many Successes!

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    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Thanks Katy…and happy NY to you as it arrives in your corner of the planet x

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  • Ms Jane

    Each year always presents challenges and difficult times. I have learnt to accept what I cannot change and to try to be graceful in the midst of the storm. With a terminally ill sister, who shows me everyday how to LIVE, I have finally learnt how to do the same. Thankyou Sarah for your insights, weaknesses, honesty and truth that has helped me. On this unfolding of my life xxx

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  • http://shambolicliving.wordpress.com/ Janine Fitzpatrick

    2011 was a better year than the last few but it still involved dealing with the remnants of some pretty crappy circumstances. There were some failures along the way but I’m determined to view them as learning opportunities and figure well at least I had a bloody go!! Here’s to a healthy and successful 2012.

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  • Karla

    I am just glad that you are still going to be writing the blog. Happy 2012 Sarah.

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  • Margot

    I absolutely relate to your post.

    New year’s resolutions is something I am familiar with but failures is concept I have not heard of until this week. And I agree with your blog and people’s comments that it is, unjustly, a negative concept. I like your spin on things – failures are necessary road blocks that should be acknowledge and even celebrated in order to grow.

    You and your blog have been a great inspiration to me this past year. It was like a little positive and constructive reminder every now and again, and has very much influenced my 2012 resolutions (this year I hope to quit sugar as well).

    Thank you and I hope 2012 brings you great things!

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  • Ross

    Happy new year!

    Just wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed your blog over the last year. Keep it up. Goodluck for 2012.

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  • julie

    That was exactly what i needed to read today. Love your energy and your outlook. Thank you for your honesty; it helps make others stronger. :)

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  • http://twitter.com/prettysnippets rebecca

    hello sarah,

    i discovered your blog earlier this year while hunting down fun holiday ideas for a trip to byron bay (thank you for your marvellous guide, which resulted in a lot of haloumi munching!). i have really enjoyed your words, wit and reflections. i look forward to reading more musings in 2012. may happiness, health and harmony be your close companions throughout the year.

    best wishes,
    rebecca

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  • http://www.project-frankie.com Frankie

    I love your approach towards treating your illness. I have fibromyalgia (have had for 20 years) and I’ve never taken the gentle approach. That’s what I’m doing in 2012. Happy New Year :)

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  • http://www.treadgoldcollection.blogspot.com Emma Treadgold

    Thanks Sarah and agree with everyone above, the gentle approach is something I need to discover as well after a fairly tumultuous 2011 – what is about the last year, must be something in the stars there….so many people I know have had a year of ups and downs.
    I have also finally bought your e-book, as a sufferer of migraines for 12 years I think this will help me with my issues too….many thanks again and look forward to seeing what you get up to in the year ahead.

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  • http://www.lifeonplanetbaby.com/ Jane

    Oh Sarah. You darling girl. This post is imbued with your trademark honesty, compassion, thoughtfulness and self-awareness. I applaud you for it, for holding your year up to the shining light.

    I totally agree with my friend Le above about the fact that you tried out new things – so many of us don’t even get that far out of fear of the unknown. Full plaudits to you for *having a go*.

    Finding you in Blogland in 2011 was a sweet spot in a hard year for me. I look forward immensely to sharing this bloggy caper with you in 2012. J x

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  • Helen

    Hi Sarah,
    I’d just like to say thanks for sharing your life and journey with us.
    I love your approach to life, and your final words sum it up perfectly and I try my best to always do the same when something goes wrong – ‘just fuck it and try again’.

    You have really inspired and encouraged me to make some changes in my life that have made a real difference and I wanted you to know -
    I moved down the coast and away from my friends to go back to uni and study nutrition… I live in a little beach-side town and I absolutely love it but my life was getting a bit lonely and stale at some times.
    All the science of the study sometimes got me down because it’s HARD! But your blog has re-invigorated me with passion for what I’m doing and encouraged me to go the extra mile.
    I also changed my work-out routine (i was teaching body attack but i was allllways injured so i stopped and was at a bit of a platau) to include 4x weekly strength training sessions (the style where you do 4-5-6 rounds of six things for a minute each) and I have never felt and looked stronger. I swim or walk every day too… Or mow the lawns!! My core strengjt has finally improved and is improving my back pain.I’ve even got a friend who lives near by and we do the work out in my back room followed by a brekky of eggs scrambled in coconut oil and zucchini, topped with chia and my activated nuts – because we’ve also quit sugar!

    There’s so much more i’d love to tell you about but perhaps ill wait to post under other related topics.
    So, thank you from the bottom of my heart. We may be strangers but you should know that you have helped me in many ways this year and I am deeply grateful.
    I hope that you are surrounded with love and this year brings you everything you wish for, too.
    Helen

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  • christina

    Hi Sarah,

    Reading your blog today made me cried. I/We have had a challenging year and your blog always helps and inspires me. I LOVED your column in the The Age….I am happy to logon and see what you are up to these days. Wishing you the best for 2012. Cxx

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  • Suellen

    Happy New Year Sarah. Thank you for your blog – its simple honesty of sharing what we all do in our own way ie stumbling through life while trying to do better everyday, keeps me coming back.

    Take care and be kind to yourself.

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  • http://angieathome.blogspot.com/ Angela

    Like Jane, finding you was also a “sweet spot” for me. My 2011 was quite grueling. I found myself dealing with unexpected grief, which had me questioning and looking for answers. Your blog has been a breath of fresh air. I love your honesty, and I love that you give so much in terms of information and research on things that really matter. Thanks to you, I have given up sugar, taken up a Paleo lifestyle, taken up meditation, read Louise Hay and Nora Gedgaudas and always have something interesting to read on the internet (you).

    These things have made a big difference in my life, so, Thank You!

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  • kris

    Hey sarah, Thanks so much for summing up your year. I could totally understand where you are coming from. It was like it for me also. There were shimmers of greatness, ups and downs….but I will admit I took some risks this year, which I’d forgotten how to do, maybe not forgotten, but were too scared due to failure, risk and so on. And with most of those risks the universe maybe not immediately but as some stage has come to the party.
    auto immune- although I’ve worked so hard this year to improve my health, my doctor says the tests show I have not improved but am stable…(need to be more realistic of outcomes as I was really disappointed…). On the 17th Dec we pulled all our close friends and family together for an end of year lunch..first time in years since we have done this….it was so lovely to have everyone together, i remember standing in the kitchen with a full heart, feeling extremely fortunate and grateful in that moment. The following day was my birthday funnily enough had booked your friends restaurant in Melb. And I had a phone call from the hospital telling us to get there straight away as a family member was bought in the that night and had hours to live… a week shy of Christmas..he died whilst we were on a mad dash to the hospital. It once again left me thinking. crap…I think Im still in shock about it, but as my wise little 6 year old said on christmas day…..”mum that’s just the way it is”, on Christmas day she wrote a letter which talked about choosing to have fun, no matter what and forgiving her grandfather for dying, although she wished to have christmas and more fun with him..” And she’s right sometimes, if its work, food, friends, disease…thats just the way it is.
    This year I am going to really try and deeply believe in the benefits of impermanence and use those down times for clarity. I want to tread lightly and continue supporting our homeless shelter, nurture and foster healthy friendships. And celebrate achievements more rather than forever striving to do better and moving onto the next thing.
    Sarah I look forward to reading your blog this year…

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  • http://oneaprilmorning.net Laura

    Beautiful post Sarah.

    As for failure… I love the way JK Rowling tells it: “I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive… And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

    Thank you for everything you write and share on this blog. You inspire me not because you are perfect but because you live openly and soulfully.

    Laura xx

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  • http://www.pattykikos.com Patty

    Sarah you summed up your experiences so beautifully. Im truly humbled as I only stumbled across your fabulous blog about 4 months ago, and had no idea of how much you have been through.

    You continue to inspire me immensely and although I’ve never personally met you, I feel that I can relate to the simplicity in which you wish to live your life by and your need to share so much online that can help benefit so many others.

    I’d also like to thank you for being so open about the less glamorous side of your life that you often speak of so candidly. I often keep so much of my private life ‘private’ from my students and kinesiology clients and I’m inspired to share much more with them this year.

    Looking forward to hearing and reading more from you n 2012. Have a great new years day xxx

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  • Keep-it-real

    I loved this blog the most Sarah. Was so spot on and completely resonated with me. The reflection of 2011 – the hope for 2012. And the kicker? This one …” the year has somehow ended with some resolution or settling or forgiveness or landing”‘. So unbelievably true.

    Oh and after having a cronic issue with my back, i finally went and saw Daniel Waldman. Love! His energy is so beautiful & soothing.

    Thanks for sharing. x

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  • http://www.yogag33k.com Yoga G33k

    First of all, you and your brother are so cute!! What a pair!
    Secondly, the universe never ceases to amaze me with its perfect timing that sometimes appears like the WORST timing or even failure. I am constantly surrendering to setbacks, game changers, or “failures” and its in that surrender that I find my strongest moments. When we start listening to what the universe is telling us it opens up so much more space to see a new path, goal, idea….
    I think we should all fall in love with failures, but that’s so much easier said than done.
    Cheers to 2012!!

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  • Katie

    Sarah, what about ‘rest’ – I don’t see that word mentioned in your 2012 intentions (or did it just apply to xmas?).

    Best wishes for the year ahead

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  • Kez

    Wow. This post really resonates with me. My 2011 has also been a hard year for many reasons, especially health wise and spiritually. And although I too have had many setbacks I am content in my ability to sit back, reflect, learn and feel quietly pleased in my efforts and the lessons I have learned. No doubt I have many goals to come for 2012 and beyond, as truly I hope my intentions outrun purely this year. But for now I begin with today and see where my goals, aspirations and hopes will take me.

    Thank you Sarah for brightening up my Sunday mornings with your column, making my internet boredom seem more meaningful when I read this blog, and allowing me to not only be inspired by your thoughts, but also be excited that I have an amazing person to admire and aspire to be like. I only just turned nineteen and although I am still young, you make me feel like my life can be meaningful and I can contribute to society in even the smallest of ways (whether this be in myself or for others) which brings me profound comfort and joy. Thank you.

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  • http://emmakgray.blogspot.com emma

    Thank you for this post. I feel better knowing it wasn’t just me that had a challenging year! I do agree with you that things had begun to shift and lessons were being revealed towards the end of the year….
    I am ready to 2012, i think it will be a time of shift, change, and of growth.
    My intention for this year is to simply be and see what is revealed.

    The Divine has me on this path, learning these lessons, having these particular challenges for a reason. I have faith that whatever hardships I am having it is for a gift that is pure joy.

    Love your blog, keep strong and 2012 is going to be Bliss~

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  • http://innerbeam.com Sarah Rose

    Sarah, sometimes I think you are the only one who gets it, but clearly there are lots of us who feel and experience these things, you’re one who will openly share, for the whole world web…even the world wide web, to see. A web it is, for we’re all so connected. I love what your wise spiritual adviser so aptly and accurately wrote, I love that you’re ‘getting it’ more. You’re right, many of us ‘see’ through what we read that you’ve got more room to take it easy to go gently, yet if you ‘arrived’ at this sooner,I’m not sure you’d be human, it is a journey, I walk a similar path to you and your courage and commitment helps me to solidify mine, your real-ness inspires mine, thank-you. I’ve got much to do with sitting in the dark, urghh, and this month I am doing it by not ‘doing’ sugar or alchohol- yikes. A commitment to not escaping. Feelin the love, sharing it. Thanks :-)

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  • http://www.lifelikelola.blogspot.com Karli

    What a gorgeous leggy photo of you both! You look really healthy and happy Sarah, whether that be the case or not. I enjoy your blog and find your intentions authentic. I think this year is one of getting things done and doing more that interests me. Happy 2012 x

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  • Sharon

    I found this blog this year, I’m now addicted, I’ve never been a reader of blogs but I find I am reading this one all the time both for Sarah’s blog but also for the comments from everyone on here. Thank you and I hope 2012 is a great year for all of us :-)

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  • http://fiftytwo.biz Katie

    Your excerpt from your spirtual advisor really resonated with me.
    Thank you for sharing it.

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  • Cecilia

    Thank you Sarah for sharing your findings, thoughts, and insights – I have found a wealth of ideas and motivations I can and have applied to my own life.

    For the past 3 years I’ve chosen a different theme as my main intention for the year. A guiding thought to carry through all my actions. It’s very interesting to look back and chart my progress.

    I honestly feel like each year is better and better not because more and more wonderful things happen, but because each year I grow to know myself better, I grow more into the person I want to be, I am far more mindful and grateful and awake to every wonderful element of my life and the world.

    Maybe my wants have reduced over time, so instead of wanting a hundred thousand things, I’ve pared back my life to just contain the most important things I need – my loved ones, love, connections, health, creativity, and living deeply.

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  • Lisa Ingram

    Hey Sarah, I am deeply unfashionable and don’t do life online. BUT I see a little glimmer of hope for Madam Luddite – I have you, Teresa Cutter and Crossfit! So lady, whatever messages the universe is putting out there that you catch hold of to guide you, you’re pootling along the right path as far as my humble opinion goes. This mantra may assist at times of ‘failure’: “Fuck Off I’m Fabulous”. Lisa

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  • http://www.restco.blogspot.com/ maria

    Love that shot of you and your brother. It just has that nostalgic mood- a photo that will bring back feel good memories for years to come.

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  • Terry

    It has been said that we shld be grateful for the good as well as the “bad” things that happen to us in life bcos, as mentioned before, we tend to self-reflect & learn more (esp abt ourselves) in the down times, but also bcos it helps us appreciate even more when things are good again. Must be something to do with the Yin & Yang: How can we really appreciate real happiness without ever having experienced some sadness in our lives, beauty without ugliness, good without evil, light without dark.

    Hard to appreciate when we’re younger, but if not totally welcomed, at least we can accept the bad times more with the understanding that comes with having lived life with all its ups & downs….

    Maybe that’s why adopting an attitude of Gratitude for Everything, Good & Bad is such a powerful way to live our lives….

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  • http://www.jacintafleur.com jacinta

    HELL YEAH! I agree. And thank you Sarah for your precious writing. I discovered your writing about 2 years ago in the newspaper, and have been following your blog ever since. You’ve inspired me to ditch the “world of going out and drinking too much” and I’ve re discovered a long lost focus on health & creativity & kindness that I haven’t felt in 20 years. I’m also loving the community of like minded souls that I am finding through your blog. Finding the strength to say no to friends who nag me to hit the pubs with them – has been life changing… I’ve found so much nourishment here. Healthy living, healthy thinking, healthy curiosity. I’ve found other ways of living and its inspiring me to find my own jacinta-way.

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  • D.

    I wish you all the best in 2012!

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  • Sylvia

    It has been wonderful to share your journey. I well know about the Universe ‘forcing’ one to do things we know we should be doing, but are ‘forced’ into doing, ie, sickness making you meditate…..I go to sleep with the Musical Rapture every night, so that I still have the earphones in my ears, when I wake up, so, what to do, listen to a guided meditation most mornings. ie, I was gently forced to do it, which I knew I had to do, and actually asked the Universe to help me do!! I got my wish, and as I said, meditate most mornings. I don’t sleep well, ‘cos of arthritis in my right hip, but meditating helps me make up for that. Wish I had the money to be able to do the TM course you did. Still, I’m happy doing what I do, lots of free MP3 downloads on the net.

    Good luck with it all in 2012, and I hope I will still be around to do the journey with you. I thank you so much for allowing people like me to do that.

    You are an Angel…indeed….
    Sylvia xx

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  • picardie.girl

    Oh my gosh, I relate so much, it almost made me gasp. 2011 was a year of ‘ugh’; a hard year, a learning year. But it settled near the end of the year, just as you said. 2012 will be a year of experimentation, where ‘try this and see’ comes to the fore – I second almost all of your themes for this year, but this one most of all. Thanks Sarah xx

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  • Priscilla

    Hi Sarah
    Keep the blogging! Are you able to share the name of your spiritual advisor? I am looking for one..
    Cheers Priscilla

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