Year in Review - Personal Lessons

As I began my day today, I found myself feeling a little burnt out from all of the holiday festivities.  However, as I sat here and ATTEMPTED to find a mindful moment and reflect I started thinking…

Living my BIG life or “ideal” is a lot tougher than I imagined.  Over this past year, I have been on a true journey both professionally and personally.  I have been exhausted by multiple night feedings with my baby, tense with the pressure of passing my Marriage and Family Therapy licensure exam, and my own anxiety tested while trying to build my very own private therapy practice in Spokane, WA.  To be completely honest, I let these discomforts win out much of the time.  However, through this journey I also had blissful glimpses of what choosing to fight to be present can feel like.  For example, at moments, I could sit quietly with my little baby and just breath in her smell or  after my exam, I could sit with myself and feel confident in my accomplishments (which is really difficult for me).

As my year progressed, and some of the really difficult challenges subsided, I have truly tried to continue my mindfulness practice.  To me this has meant, taking moments to just be.  Sometimes it is just soaking in a bath and noticing how the warm water makes me feel.  The really good moments are when I can stay anchored in with my girls and really just see their inner beauty and unique personalities.

I hope in 2018 I get more than glimpses.  I want to resist the urge to meet external expectations that force me out of the moment.  Instead I want to continue my practice of just being, no matter where I am.  If I am sad, I want to be sad.  If I am angry, I want to dig deeper and really explore that intense emotion.  If I am happy, I want to experience all that this brings.   Without the worry of how that impacts others.  Through my practice in 2017 I have learned some personal lessons.

3 Personal lessons I’ll take from 2017:

  • Taking deep breaths are not the same as taking mindful breaths.  I need to really stay curious and notice where my breath travels through my body.  I need to pause long enough to check in with my body and mind and where they are at that moment.
  • Relationships keep my grounded.  Connecting with people does a lot for me.  There have been times when I felt too busy to talk with a friend or check in with my husband about his day.  However, when I drop anchor and really try and connect, I feel more fulfilled than any other time.
  • I cannot predict or out maneuver life.  Ultimately, life will happen and I can chose what I do with it.  In past years, this has been genuinely difficult for me to see.  However, this year I feel like I actually saw the beauty in what feels like chaos at times.  There were a lot of unpredictable turns in my past year (and in life in general) and they did not all seem positive at the time.  However, now I see that I would not be where I am right now without them.  This will be a difficult one to hold on to but I think vital.

I know that mindfulness will continue to be something that I practice, build, and struggle with probably for the rest of my life’s journey.  However, when I think about my BIG life, it is more about the journey than the destination anyway.  So the challenges and obstacles are just as important to my path as the successes.  I hope to keep this in mind throughout 2018.  Happy New Years!


If you find yourself wanting to discover your Big life and explore the practice of mindfulness that works for you, please contact me, a therapist in Spokane, WA.  I would love to see how I can help you on your journey.

Billie Tyler