December // 2016 Recap
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16 Things I Learned in 2016

Just because 2016 got a bad rap, doesn't mean it only encompassed negative, soul-crushing lessons. Poor 2016. It tried, really. It did. But ultimately, a lot of us feel betrayed by 2016. There's a lot that went wrong, on a more universal level. But there's also a lot that went right. The negative shade of 2016 has taken over, but that's not the end all be all of the year. We can still excavate the nuggets of wealth that this year served up, in all of their myriad manifestations. Perspective, people - it makes all the difference. That's something I learned in 2016, and here's another 16 to hopefully inspire your own reflections on what you gathered from this year we're about to lay to rest. 

1. For someone who is easily suggestible, a healthy dose of skepticism goes a long way. Discernment is key. 
2. Podcasts are the shit. I was really missing out, you guys! They’re like college lectures you ACTUALLY want to listen to and enjoy doing so! These goldmines of information wrapped up in audio format have made my commutes, cooking, and cleaning time way more enjoyable, educational, productive, and oftentimes, inspiring.

3. You can change your mind. Not just superficially, but truly decide that something as fundamental as your foundations or core beliefs have manifested in some funky ways and are in desperate need of some ball and chain wreckage action. We can never truly get back to a clean slate (if we ever even came into this life as one), but we sure as hell can dismantle and rebuild. As often as needed, without any feelings of shame or guilt for once falling into the traps of disillusionment.
4. Backpacking is fucking awesome!
5. How to coax a fire from a spark, literally. Making a fire is an intricate dance of sorts, from collecting and processing wood, gathering the proper materials to make a tinder bundle, carefully crafting and placing the bundle in the center of the fire pit, using a ferro rod to light a spark, and listening to what the fire needs to grow. Primitive survival skills are rad and I’m just beginning to hone in on these kinds of skill sets. Still have a lot to learn in this arena, but in just under a year, I’m well on my way.
6. My body knows best. 
7. Wild is sexy. Rewilding, that is. Beards, bushcraft, and bare feet. Nothing is hotter than a man being able to navigate the terrain of the wilderness in a spiritually conscious way. And nothing is sexier than a woman owning her fierce feminine power; that sacred connection between the cycles of her body and the world around her - there's wisdom in those workings, waiting for us to tap in and reconnect. 
8. The spiritual, new age world is filled with a lot of bullshit that’s easy to get caught up in. Once you take a detox from the kool-aid you’ve been drinkin’ it’s really apparent how much you’ve been manipulated by people who claim to be such great spiritual teachers. Blinders aren’t fashionable. Take ‘em off and see the true light by way of awareness.
9. Vulnerability is a serious strength that society has deconstructed as a weakness. 
10. Cold water therapy makes me feel alive. Humans are much more resilient that we give ourselves credit for. From swimming in chilly alpine lakes and running into a wintery Atlantic Ocean, I’m kinda hooked on the crazy exhilarating rush of cold water – I even dedicated an entire Lumen Letter to the telling’s of my journey with a 21-day cold water challenge.
11. Sometimes, being in love makes you feel insane. I mean that sentiment in the best way possible. Insane like you’re losing your mind, because you can’t even fathom how much love you have for this person. Literally, I’ve felt crazy before. Out of control. Mad with love. It’s an other-worldly, utterly intoxicating, visceral sensation to experience. And while it’s most definitely not sustainable to feel that way all the time, I gladly drink up that flowin’ love elixir whenever the feeling surfaces because love heals. 
12. When you clean up your diet, your body speaks volumes. The musings of a recovering sugar addict – moderation is one slippery slope. Excluding extremely dark chocolate…that seems to be my safe haven. Oh, and gluten makes my brain feel foggy. 
13. Dance is and always will be my first true love, regardless of how our relationship evolves over time. Taking a break from dancing this year due to an injury really clarified how strong of a connection I have with my art form. Just like love can make you feel insane, so can a lack of doing the thing you truly love. Withdrawal symptoms from my creative outlet were intense, but luckily, I have other creative passions I'm pursuing alongside my dance career. 

14. Tapping into that fierce warrior strength via martial arts, self-defense training, and by doing pull ups (assisted - I'm not solo with 'em, yet!) from tree branches is deeply satisfying.

15. This big city livin’ thing is not sustainable for me. The more I unearth this innate calling to be in closer connection with the earth, the more I want to get the hell out of this bubble of disconnected city madness. I long for the day when I can wake up, walk outside, feet bare, the newly risen sun glowing down on my bare skin, without a single soul in sight. You surely can’t do that in any big metropolis, well, at least without some very weird looks and obviously, many souls would be in sight. My years in NYC are numbered…you’ve been warned!

16. True healing happens in layers. You can’t just put a white light around your deep-seated wounds and expect miraculous healings to occur. Trust me, I’ve tried. In case you're wondering...it didn't work. True healing is messy, takes us to unexpected places, and is by no means an easy process. But it's well worth it. 

Luminous love,
Copyright © 2016 Luminous Architecture, All rights reserved.

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