1. I restored my home. Our home. An old home that we inherited from my in-laws and it was a labor of love to create a soulful space and recycle what was already there. It was one of my major achievements. I decluttered spaces, rooms, cupboards, wardrobes, boxes, attics and gave away all items we did not need. It felt good. I felt light. Decluttering is a form of healing, cleansing and clearing energy ties with objects and memories that block our progress. The spaces we live and work in are so sacred.

2. I deleted the Facebook app from my phone and left just the one related to my groups and messages because that's what I really need. I can always have time on my laptop to look at all the rest. Because Social Media is optional.

3. I was even more intentional and aware of where I put my energy this year. Not only my focus and energy but also our energy as a couple and family. My life partner and I spent some good intentional time using our emotions, intuition and imagination to set our dreams and desires for the coming year.  We also set specific intentions of how we wish and need to serve ourself. We kept on saying we want to simplify our life.

4. I said NO a lot this year. I was fiercer about checking with myself if each of the activities coming my way were in line with my core values and what really lights me up. No to impersonal invitations. No to work projects that don't fit with my mission. No to collaborations with people who don't reciprocate the value of generosity in business. No to energy vampires. No to news that divides people.

5. I hired a cook. I hired an assistant. Because we need to invest in the help we need to keep going. I love cooking, I'm very hands on and delegating isn't my forte. And there are 24-hours in a day that I have to use wisely. I've flirted with burn out before and that made me realise over the years that: I'm human, I'm good enough and I can't be doing everything around here. So I choose my priorities. And priorities change. All. The. Time. Working out my Delegation Muscles.

6. I did more of what expands my joy. Deep conversations. Walks in nature. Visiting my family. Hanging out with my niece. Karaoke. Dancing. Silence. Writing. Creating my Art. Spurr of the moment escapades. Dinners with my besties. Being off the grid with no phone and no internet connection.

7. I adopted plants of all shapes and forms. Collected from our friends gardens and desolated places. Replanted them in our home. Green expands the Heart Chakra.

8. I caught myself every time I'd get into perfectionist mode. Reminded myself that "it's better to have a bit of progress Chérine" rather than looking for things to be perfect. Perfectionism is a form of fear. And it's a toxic pattern that delays my dreams and waits for the perfect blissful moment that never comes. And that self-awareness alone is my daily practice. I choose progress as my antidote.

9. I regulated my sleep. Because our energy is everything. And I'm a hyper-sensitive soul that needs to recharge. Recipe: Black out. No food after 7pm. No heavy conversations. No disturbing news. Magnesium oil to relax those muscles. A puff of essential oils. The right pillows. Great mattress. Electronics + Phone out of the room. So much gets into producing a good night sleep. Yes. So worth it. Yes.

I allowed myself to take mini naps too. I've never done this before. It helps with energy on those longer full days.

Now, there are days where I wasn't able to follow through on my sleep routine. Cos life happens. We get side tracked. And instead of beating myself up, I'd just reminded myself: "it's about progress not being perfect.

"Slowing down", "less is more" and "resting" are now part of my vocabulary. It's important that we not only encourage each other to achieve but also be on each other case to rest and recuperate.

10. I accepted that people will be disturbed by my opinions and by who I am. I'm ok with that. I won't shrink for anyone. Being myself is a form of courage. And being me is my political stand.

11. I confessed to myself that there are people in my life who broke Sacred Trust that I do not wish to forgive. And that confession liberated me. It actually made me feel I moved into forgiving myself for not wanting to forgive. And then after forgiveness filled my heart, I felt that I don't want to include those people in my life. Ever. Again.

12. I fully grieved our baby's heart beat stopping in my belly. Actually my life partner and I grieved together and separately. Cos grieving is a very unique experience to you. I noticed people around us sometimes are clumsy around grief. They most of the time don't want us to be sad. They don't know what to say or how to be. And that's ok.

I find that Pain, Loss, Anger, Grief and Sadness are beautiful feelings that allow me to feel my life. To see what matters and feel profoundly grateful for who I am and what I have. Trusting my process of grieving kept me in my genuine flow and respecting my pace. It's important to allow each other to grieve so we can move on to other feelings. I know Life needs Beings with a strong heartbeat.

13. I understand the difference between battles that are worth battling and those that are useless. I can make the clear distinction now. It frees up a lot of brain and soul power. Knowing: People I can't change. Questions that will never be answered. Apologies I'll never receive. Conflicts that are too deep to solve. Situations that will remain the same. Ungrateful jerks who never appreciate you no matter the kindness and respect you extend their way.

And that has taught me to be real, humble and present. I feel comfortable with life's paradoxes. I manage my energy and have healthy and loving boundaries. I know what I'm responsible for and what others are responsible for. And above all, I focus on MY part and contribution. I will always fight for love in every shape and form.

Wherever you are, enjoy the last few rays of light of 2017 or soak up the new ones of 2018.

Rest. Inhale. Love. Be gentle with yourself and others.
And, remember you're the soul behind everything you do.

All love,