This is a post that I was so excited to share but for some reason I really struggled to write.
Maybe because this year I’ve experienced so much growth, had many new life experiences, navigated a roller coaster of ups and downs and embraced the fact that time just generally passed at the speed of light!
2015 has been nothing short of epic and I feel called to share my year and the oh-so important lessons I’ve learned. But I don’t want this to be a post that is wholly ‘Ainslie’s Year in Review’….boring!
I’m conscious that this post also has to serve you.
So below I’ve shared the most transformational pieces of my 2015 ‘jigsaw puzzle’ and I finish off with 15 powerful (and fun) questions you can dive into to help you reflect on ‘the year that was’ for YOU!
Rewind, Review & Recap of 2015
2015 has been my ‘foundation year.’
Moving to Hong Kong forced me to start my life from scratch and after a week of moping around and constantly whinging about the miserable winter weather (and life in general) I realised I needed some positive structure and inspiring guidelines to keep moving me forward.
So I sought out Danielle La Porte’s life changing Desire Map. I took my time to set some overarching intentions and identified how I wanted to feel everyday for the rest of the year.
At the start of the year the only goal or intention I had was “To make the most of every experience Hong Kong has to offer,” and looking back I can proudly declare that I did just that and MORE!
Digging deeper, I also defined what my ‘core desired feelings’ were going to be for the year and I declared that I wanted to feel:
Reviewing my messy handwriting that fills my journal as well as replaying the show reel of 2015 in my mind, I can clearly see how these feelings were present in my everyday life and I’m so grateful for this.
Feeling ‘connected’ has been the most prominent core desired feeling I’ve experienced this year.
After returning to Hong Kong from an Australian Christmas I yearned to feel a part of something again. I had left my family and friends; I had no job; my identity was in pieces and put simply, I was lost.
I felt so alone and I knew that I had to do something, (anything!), to turn this around…..so I went about connecting with myself first.
I had toyed with the idea of starting a blog and early in the New Year I created ‘Starting With A’ even though I pretty much had no idea where I wanted to take it (which is so NOT me).
Funnily enough my little blog was the catalyst in helping me connect with my inner most thoughts and feelings and genuinely share how vulnerable I felt.
Blogging also helped me to connect with so many awesome people; both in Hong Kong and online, and some really great opportunities slowly came my way.
I started to regain my self-confidence and I actively put myself out there. I joined random MeetUp groups, sat on the Social Committee of the Australian Association and said ‘yes’ to just about every single invitation that was offered up.
As a result of being more connected with myself I’ve also become more spiritual….certain family members think I’ve turned a bit ‘hippie!’
I regularly meditate, cleanse my chakras with white light, consult my crystals and light candles, draw oracle cards, hug trees, join my beautiful friends at Moon Circle each week, willingly practice yoga and consult the lunar cycle. (Ok, that does sound kinda ‘hippie’…..especially compared to the ‘Ainslie circa 2014’).
But through this deeper connection I have with myself I now really listen to my intuition AND I act on it; I wholeheartedly believe in divine timing; I’m not so worried about what others think of me and I’ve dropped the comparison game and I trust that I’m on the right path even though things don’t seem 100% clear….I trust everything will work out.
To be honest – I’ve totally impressed myself! Ha!
+ A TIP FROM ME TO YOU +
Take the time to really connect with yourself (as woo-woo as it sounds).
Don’t just keep coasting through life and avoid answering those niggling and soul-stirring questions that keep popping up. They are popping up for a reason. Take time to sit with them, get comfortable with being uncomfortable, uncover the life-changing answers and do something positive with them!
Despite earning a minuscule amount of money this year, I have never felt more abundant.
My initial intention of choosing to feel abundant was closely linked to my finances. But as time passed and I regularly practiced gratitude my mind and heart opened and I could see how my life was overflowing with abundance.
Living in Hong Kong has provided me with so many amazing opportunities.
I’m so grateful to my husband because all his hard work (and he works ridiculously hard) has allowed me to take this year to work out who I am, what I’m all about and how I want to turn my passions and my talents into a business. I know this is a very rare gift and I’m so god damn appreciative. Thank you James.
I’ve also had the incredible opportunity to explore more of Asia and I calculated that this year alone I’ve been on 31 flights (which is nothing compared to my husband!).
I’ve been lucky enough to visit Thailand for the first time (including Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket), revisit Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, Shanghai, take a few days trips to Shenzhen and Macau and journey back home to Australia six times for significant events including my sister’s wedding, my Pa’s 90th, my Pop’s funeral and my Life Coaching graduation plus Christmas celebrations!
Abundance also comes in the form of relationships.
Living abroad forces you to rapidly acquire new friends who soon become your family. The beautiful friendships I’ve been lucky enough to form this year proves how really abundant I am. The deep connections that’ve been created with a number of different people from all walks of life and the incredible conversations we regularly have really light me up.
Being away from home also shines a light on the incredible people I’ve left back home. Even though I now live in another hemisphere I think I feel closer to my family than ever before. Their unconditional love and support is pure abundance and I thank my lucky stars everyday.
+ A TIP FROM ME TO YOU +
Take the time to practice gratitude and assess how abundant you are in ALL aspects of your life. I have a feeling you will be surprised at how god damn lucky and abundant you truly are. And if you’re feeling less than abundant in your finances my tip for you is to embrace the power of manifestation. I declared I wanted to earn $10k AUD before the end of the year (having no idea how I was going to do this without a revenue generating business). But after assessing all income streams (personal and business) I actually earned more! So declare it!
I came into 2015 with and extreme lack of energy.
I was vibrating on a really low frequency physically, emotionally and spiritually.
On one of my trips back to Australia I discovered that I had adrenal fatigue, which really woke me up and forced me to embrace the idea of nourishing myself. Initially I thought ‘nourished’ was linked more to the physical side of things in terms of food and exercise.
But I started nourishing myself from the inside out and I made self-love the starting point. I stopped going without, dropped feelings of guilt, created a beautiful morning ritual of meditation and journal writing, did a few random spiritual things like a 5Rhythms class and a day of healing and discovery and continually asked myself what do I need in each moment to feel nourished.
I found that once I felt more nourished emotionally and spiritually I was then able to focus on my physical health. I started to pay attention to what I was putting into my body and I started to see food as fuel and a source of nourishment (however the last 2 weeks this has gone out the window thanks to Christmas!). But I like to think that I now eat with intention.
I also paid more attention to the types of exercise that was nourishing for my mind and body. Whilst recovering from adrenal fatigue I (reluctantly) let go of my love affair for running and sweating it out at the gym and hooked back into pilates and took up yoga again.
Slowly but surely I’ve built my physical energy back up and I plan to get back into running again (depending on how my crappy skeleton holds up!).
+ A TIP FROM ME TO YOU +
Tap into what activities nourish your mind, body and spirit and always ask yourself ‘how is this nourishing me?’ And when I say ‘nourish’ I mean ‘serve.’ So if you hate running, don’t do it. If eating Lindt sea salt dark chocolate is a guilty pleasure, drop the guilt and just enjoy it. If you’re not keen to go out for dinner with friends, politely decline the invitation. If it doesn’t serve or nourish you in some shape or form, just don’t do it.
Throughout 2015 I experienced many pockets of joy and often my heart was completely full.
I made it my mission to be more curious, ask questions and to genuinely feel alive and live in the moment (easier said than done, I know).
But one experience that really stands out was riding through the buzzing streets of Bangkok with James. I felt wild and free and the overwhelming feeling of fun flooded my body.
My inner child had re-emerged and I literally didn’t have a care in the world…..even the chaotic and kind of scary traffic didn’t bother me!
This year I also felt an immense amount of joy for others and what was going on in their lives – family and friends getting married and having babies, friends and colleagues creating amazing businesses, loved ones celebrating significant birthday’s and the amazing, life changing breakthroughs that each and everyone of my clients achieved.
Their joy fuelled my joy.
+ A TIP FROM ME TO YOU +
Out of all my cored desired feelings ‘joy’ was the one that kind of got pushed to the side. Just like abundance, joy can be found in all aspects of our lives. But you have to be open to it, aknowledge it and be grateful for each experience that brings joy along for the ride. It’s so easy to continually move through life and not acknowledge the pure beauty in your life or even your achievements. Based on this I think I’m going to include ‘joy’ as a CDF for 2016 and REALLY take note. I plan to be mindful each day about the pockets of joy that are present and celebrate every win, big and small.
++ Accepting that Hong Kong is now my home – overcoming fear and loneliness, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, exceptional growth and expansion, immense gratitude, love and optimism.
++ The birth of ‘Starting With A’ – discovering I can actually write and I have a creative streak, wearing my heart on my sleeve and openly sharing what I’ve learned via the internet and with my gorgeous clients….AND posting 120 times this year!
++ The closing of Young The Label – looking at the positives, redefining success, drawing from the experience and holding all of the beautiful memories and extraordinary people close to my heart so I can move forward
++ Frequently flying – travel is my elixir and I have loved every minute of exploring Asia this year. I can’t wait for more travel adventures in 2016.
++ Huffington Post – creating an inspiring and purposeful vision, putting myself out there and having Arianna Huffington ask ME via Instagram to blog for HuffPost = mind blown!
++ Beautiful You – following my intuition and enrolling in the Beautiful You Life Coaching Academy and becoming a life coaching. What a life changing experience! I now have a far deeper understanding of who I am, how I can truly help others live their own version of an extraordinaty life and I now have a phenomenal group of BYCA soul sista’s and lifelong friends.
Below I’ve curated a number of prompts that will help you reflect on your year, appreciate the highs and acknowledge the challenges.
And the final question aims to get you feeling excited about what you want to create in the New Year!
- If you had to describe your 2015 in 3 words, what would they be?
- What things did you discover or re-discover about yourself?
- What was your favourite place that you visited in 2015?
- Who did you have the greatest connection with this year – name 5 people
- What was the most important lesson you learnt?
- What book, blog post, movie, artwork had the most profound affect on you?
- What was the best compliment you received and why?
- Which major obstacle did you overcome?
- What new life-experiences did you enjoy this year?
- What amazing things did you create?
- What one thing would you do differently and why?
- What was your favourite gift that you received?
- What accomplishment are you most proud of?
- How did your whole outlook on life develop?
15. Looking forward – What do you want to see, discover, explore in 2016?
WOW – 2269 words later and I’m done!
Hopefully you were able to take a few lessons away with you and you found the above questions thought-provoking and rewarding to reflect on.
If you’re feeling game, I would love for you to share with me in the comments below how you would describe your 2015 in 3 words!
Also, if you haven’t jumped on my ‘Great Mail’ list now is the perfect time! I have so many ah-mazing things coming up for my exclusive newsletter tribe in the New Year…..you don’t want to miss out!
Just sign up below this post – simple!
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If you’re feeling all inspired and you’d like to work together in the New Year you have until midnight tomorrow night (NY’s Eve) to take advantage of my HALF PRICE coaching offer!
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I’d love to support you to shake off anything that you feel is holding you back so you can experience all the love, abundance, success and happiness that you deserve in 2016!
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Hope you have a stellar New Years Eve and celebrate in style!