Her: Holistic Health

Scenes from a Year: The 2010 Edition

In Uncategorized on January 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm

As I rode the train in to work yesterday morning and thought about writing a post sharing my word for 2011 (more on that soon) I noticed that when I looked around my life, I often only see what isn’t going so well, what is missing. I rarely take the time to look at the bright spots, the successes, the highlights that make up my life. Later, I read this post written by a dear and treasured friend – her highlights from 2010. Suitably inspired, I decided that before I leave 2010 for the beautifully blank slate and new beginning of 2011, I should share with you some highlights from my little corner of the world.

Following my passion for health and wellness, this summer I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and became a certified holistic health and lifestyle coach.  Since then I have been incredibly delighted to work with some amazing clients. I continue to be constantly filled by their truth and their willingness to show up in their lives. It is so much my pleasure to play even a small part in their unfolding.

Determined to be the best health coach, counselor and human being that I can be, I enrolled in Interchange – A Course in Radical Counseling. Only three months into a year long process, this program is shaping up to be a life changing, heart opening, soul altering experience. I suspect that it will end up being truly one of the best (and scariest) things I have done for myself.

Embracing the notion of “YES,” 2010 fed my traveling soul.

First was a lovely and unexpected invitation from the very same inspiring, dear and treasured friend mentioned above. She found an ACE Camp workshop in Seattle with Sabrina Ward Harrison. Pure creative heaven!

Then there was a trip to Vancouver, Canada to see one of the loveliest people I know and to hear my favorite singer at Lilith Fair.

Polaroid by Vivienne McMaster

Did I mention that I was unexpectedly asked to travel to Florence, Italy to assist another of  my ridiculously inspiring friends at her first retreat?

In Italy?????

The stars magically aligned to get me there and Italy was, of course, Italy, but what I lives in my heart is the joy I felt witnessing someone I admire leap, arms and heart wide open, into her dreams.

I had the pleasure of going back to the Oregon Coast for a Be Present Retreat reunion. It was so soothing to find myself nestled in a familiar beach house with a group of women who simply rock my world.

Somehow, I also managed to find an unexpected path back to my body by reading every word written by Geneen Roth and then attending one of her retreats. Near the end of the last day I met two kindred soul sisters. Though the retreat was last May, we continue to talk and support each other each and every week. They bring their whole selves to our friendship and in turn give me space to bring my whole being. The unconditional support of people who want nothing but the best for you is such a remarkable feeling that I hope never to take for granted.

Despite all of the amazing things that have happened to me in 2010, I think my most significant highlight, the biggest success for me has been becoming debt free.  Deciding that I needed to shift my relationship to money, credit and abundance, I dove into my savings and wrote a ridiculously large check to my credit card company to pay off the balance owed. I also made the last payment on a three year car loan realizing that I haven’t been unencumbered by debt since before I got my first credit card at 18.

Living debt free is one of the things on my bucket list and I did it! A shift is already occurring as I step into a new way of mindful living. To remain debt free will require mindfulness – to live within my means and to pay as I go but this new found feeling of freedom and lightness tells me that I am so up for the challenge.

So these are snippets of a year.

On New Year’s Day, I had the pleasure of joining a yoga workshop benefiting a local food bank. As part of that workshop, we were invited to participate in a writing exercise that had us look at the surprises, the successes, the failures and the learnings of 2010. The last sentence that I scrawled on my journal page, a hastily written last learning from the year said:

“Forgiveness and acceptance of my human condition. I am not and never will be perfect. Can I be ok with that?”

I am not and never will I be perfect.

Can I be ok with that?

If it means that I continue to say yes without hesitation to the unexpected, if it means that I continue to set intentions and sometimes fall short only to learn an even more important lesson, if it means stretching beyond my comfort zone and into my life, arms and heart wide open, then I can wholehearted answer yes… I can definitely be ok with that!

  1. Valerie, my dear and brave friend…. what a year and what a beautiful perspective on it!! Lots to “chew on” here, as I always find in your posts. I want to personally congratulate you for each celebration you have shared with us. I’m so glad we could spend some time together once again this year and I look forward to continuing to follow your journey into 2011 and beyond!!! XOX

  2. That was a beautiful post and particularly a good one to read at the beginning of a new year. It is indeed important to remind ourselves of what we are accomplishing every day, and it is so easy to under-appreciate our own efforts.

    For this year I am making myself a custom book to keep all my ideas and projects in order, and one of the things I am consciously doing is NOT dismissing the things that are completed. They (or their tags) will go onto a special book ring, and whenever I feel discouraged or apt to beat myself up about all the things I’m not doing, it will be very easy to just look at the things on that ring to remind myself what I have, in fact, gotten done already. And it is also my clear intention that some of those items are things like “Observe and honor 10 occasions for joy in a day” or “Savor the simple pleasure of coffee in the morning while watching the squirrels play in the trees”. All these things are important.

    It was a great pleasure to find your blog last year. I hope this year brings more good experiences for you.

  3. What a year! Celebrating everything you’ve shared here right along with you!

    I love Geneen Roth’s books. When I read them, I can imagine that a retreat with her would be most transformative in nature.

  4. Wow – did you ever have a full year! Full on so many levels. And what a great feeling to be debt free, isn’t it? I guess I can’t say that I’m completely debt free anymore because I have a house mortgage – but I sure remember paying off all my loans/credit cards & it being such an amazing feeling. 🙂

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