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Top 10 Highlights of 2018
I am a bit late on schedule for wrapping up 2018, I am doing it anyway. I have been doing Self Loving Annual Reviews for about seven years now (previously on The Global Yogi website), and I find them very useful for keeping me on track with realising my dreams and showing up as the best me possible.
The end of the old year and beginning of the new is a great time for stepping back and making a review of your own life so you can take stock, relish the things that are manifesting nicely, and do whatever tweaking you need to do for your dreams to come through more fully so you can live more in your truth.
I hope the list inspires you to make one of your own and get ready to rock 2019. Because you are here to shine!
Number 1: I taught the Mindfulness Works ‘Intro to Mindfulness’ Course to about 180 students in 9 courses Victoria, Australia.
I really enjoyed the experience of teaching this course last year to students in Geelong and Bendigo. It is so inspiring to me how brave people are. Many of the students on this course had been or were still suffering from anxiety and / or depression and instead of going to the doctor and getting a prescription (which in tough cases, is a good idea as well), they came to learn techniques for healing mind, body and soul. They opened their hearts with each other and together we were able to really start to understand how our mental and emotional processes function on auto-pilot, and through this understanding slowly start to change these processes by taking back the reins of control of our mind.
Read some of the lovely Testimonials of students’ experiences with me in the Intro to Mindfulness course.
Lesson Learnt: I love to teach mindfulness and meditation! It doesn’t feel like a ‘job’!
Number 2: I Hosted two retreats for the first time ever, the ‘Radical Self Love Retreat’ in June at Rocklyn Yoga Ashram and the ‘Inner Freedom’ Silent Meditation Retreat in October at Atisha Centre in Bendigo
I hosted my first ever retreats! Radical Self Love looked like it wasn’t going to happen and then at the last minute I got bookings from Annette and Bien and we ran a beautiful and intimate retreat with the two of them. We did meditation and yoga each morning together in a stunning room with an open fire (lit for us by the ashram staff at 5.30am), then we continued with journalling practice, and workshops on different practices for increasing our Self-Love. We also joined the ashramites for some of their programs.
The Inner Freedom retreat was sightly different, being a silent meditation retreat. Held at the beautiful oasis in the bush, Atisha Centre (a Tibetan Buddhist monastery and retreat centre), this retreat was all about going inwards and developing healthier mental and emotional habits through the techniques of Insight (Vipassana) meditation. I also hosted a sound healing session and we did a lovely afternoon meditative walk in silence up the hill and around the monastics living quarters and back around the impressive Stupa that will eventually (when complete) be the biggest Buddhist stupa in the southern hemisphere. Thanks to Jenni, Georgia and Lance for joining me on this retreat.
Lesson Learnt: If you offer something from your heart, those who need it will come. Watch this space for more retreats to be announced soon!
Number 3: Left my business, Global Yogi in ‘Sleeping mode’ for a whole year.
This was a difficult decision. I had been running The Global Yogi website for seven years from 2011 – 2018. I felt somewhat conflicted about the business side of the business, and as a result felt I needed to take a step back from it. This was hard as a big part of my identity was wrapped up in GY. But like the Buddha says, all of our problems come from these three little words: ‘I, me and mine’. When my identity is so attached to a creation perhaps it is a sign I need to take a deeper look. Will The Global Yogi re-emerge in the future like a phoenix? Only time will tell.
Harvest: Letting go can be the hardest lesson but it frees up inner space for growth.
Number 4: I held my first ever Art Exhibition!
I have always painted or drawn in some form or another, though never all the time and never really thought of myself as dedicated painter. My belief system said: ‘well, do it seriously or don’t do it at all’! But who says? Why not try something new even though you don’t know what will come of it? So I stepped out of my comfort zone and created a series of paintings based on my inner journeys over the past five years or so. Many of them I painted in a painting class I signed up for where I painted with many students my parents age (Aside: What I noticed about them: more passionate about life than your average 70+ person).
I held an exhibition at a yoga studio and invited all my family and friends. My parents and friends pitched in with food and help and I had lots of fun on opening night and played a few of my songs as well.
Lesson Learnt: The joy is always in the process. If something wants to be birthed, step out of the way and allow it to come through.
See my virtual gallery of the You-Ni-Verse exhibition here.
Number 5: Decided to take the focus off my business and help others build their businesses
As a part of my therapy in letting go of my beloved Global Yogi, I decided to dedicate part of my time and energy in 2018 to helping friends build their businesses. I know that my personality doesn’t suit working for anyone as an employee and I need to be the queen of my own starship enterprise, BUT, to take a break from the stress of running my own show, I choose to help my two friends with their starships.
I helped my friends at the wonderful Happy Buddha Retreat in the Blue Mountains, by writing a fortnightly Reflection for their email subscribers, and I helped my friends at the fabulous Sadhana Studios by teaching some classes in their studio and generally doing what I could to support their new business.
Lessons Learned: As long as I am doing something I love (writing for the Happy Buddhas and teaching for Sadhana Studios) I can enjoy being a contractor for others, but my over-riding archetype is as a creator. I will only be fully satisfied if I am creating and building my own work. So I need to continue on the path of steering my own starship (translate: running my own business!)
Number 6: I Manifested a Car!
As I was teaching my Mindfulness courses last year outside of Melbourne, I thought to myself one day that it would be nice to have a car. But the Mindfulness courses were not so lucrative so I didn’t really have extra funds for a car. Regardless I decided to ‘put it out there in the vortex’ to borrow a phrase of the spiritual teacher Abrahram Hicks. So I put it out there: I would love to have a car!
The next week I went to visit Rocklyn yoga ashram and guess what?! I met a fabulous Scottish lady who was soon to be travelling to Europe and would not be needing her car so wondered if I would like to borrow it?
YES! Thanks to the amazing generosity of Marjorie, I had the use of her car for about four months. I was able to drive the 6 hours up to Gippsland to participate in the Calm Abiding Meditation Tibetan Buddhist retreat, and to visit Rocklyn yoga ashram quite a few times, as well as to drive up to host my retreat in Bendigo and to go on a road trip along the Great Ocean Road to drop the car off.
Number 7: Continued my Open Mic performances
During 2018 I continued my occasional performances playing piano and singing at Open Mics in St Kilda where I am based in Melbourne. This is a big ‘stepping into my fears’ for me, but each time it gets a little easier and I am a little less nervous.
Harvest: More and more confidence in my ability as a performer and a musician and great lessons learnt in interacting with the public
Number 8: I became a life model!
At my painting class I met a woman who was a life model. She was actually modelling for our class, but since I was painting my own paintings she spent her time during our sessions looking over at my progress and giving me the occasional tip. We became friends and I asked if I could try modelling too. So, stepping into another quite big fear, I did a life modelling session, sans clothes, in October in a cosy artists’s studio in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Surprisingly enough I really enjoyed the session and I particularly loved seeing all the different artworks. So interesting how differently each person sees the world.
Number 9: Made lots of new friends!
Spending time, as I do (left over from being a Global Yogi!) at a lot of yoga and meditation retreats, I always meet a lot of fantastic like-minded people. I am really grateful for these opportunities to share with like-minded souls. In 2018 I spent time as a volunteer teacher at the Bali Silent Retreat, I went on a ten day Calm Abiding retreat and I visited Rocklyn Yoga Ashram quite a few times.
In each of these places I met lovely people and also connected up with some old friends.
Number 10: Returned to India!
Since my first trip to India in 2009, when I stayed for a month in an ashram in Rishikesh, yoga capital of the world, I have wanted to return to India. I had the idea back then, that I would come every year. Almost ten years had past and I had not returned, so in 2018 when I received a gift from my Grandma (thanks, Billie!), I booked my ticket to India. And now here I am, staying in another yoga ashram, this time in Rajastan. I have been teaching classes in yoga and meditation, and leading kirtan chants every few nights at the evening Puja (prayers). Then of course, there was the camel trip, which was the most fun of all! More stories from India to come.
PS: I am planning a retreat here also for 2019!
Harvest: A lot of peace and joy. Great feeling of self-honouring through coming here to practice yoga and connect with my inner self. Lots of love received from beautiful smiley people all over India.
Biggest Lesson Learned from 2018? Fears are always false expectations appearing real. I am capable (as are we all) of much more than I think I am. So, just keep on doing my thing!
Further Info: Places I visited in 2018
Happy Buddha Retreat, Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Sadhana Studios, St Kilda, Melbourne
Rocklyn Yoga Ashram, Daylesford, Vic, Australia
Atisha Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, Bendigo, Vic, Australia
SIBA Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Centre, Gippsland, Australia
Bali Sandat Guesthouse, Bondalem, Bali, Indonesia
Bali Silent Retreat, Tabanan, Bali, Indonesia
Shri Jasnath Yoga Ashram, Rajastan, India
Want to learn more about being the truest version of you? Read my reflections on the book, The Art of Selfishness by David Seabury.
Would you like some help in creating your own Self-Loving Annual Review?
I make a Worksheet you can download to help you do just that. I would love to hear in the comments what were some of the highlights of 2018 for you. 🙂