2019 Year In Review
In December of 2009, I had an almost two year old daughter, a dream ( and plans) to open a family based yoga studio and I was 31. I was teaching Itsy Bitsy Yoga classes a few days a week babies, toddlers and prenatal. I was so excited about my stage of life, full of dreams and creating a yoga home for DC families. How fabulous.
Looking back, I see everything happening and unfolding JUST AS IT SHOULD. In perfect divine order and time. It’s been 4 years since lil omm yoga studio closed and I honestly could not be more content in my life AND I loved the studio so much. A total paradox? yep.
That’s why going through old calendars, journals and taking the time to pause is an ESSENTIAL part of conscious living. So we can really see, in our lives, the changes, stages and shifts that have been made. B/c guess what? There’s certainly more to come. And one of the only things that has brought me through the dark times is the DEEP TRUST AND KNOWING that all is well.
10 years ago, I spent my nights with my baby girl, figuring out who I was now that I was not in a DCPS classroom or school. I read and studied all I could about yoga for kids and babies ( there was not a ton out there are the time) and I was a young mom, just doing the best I could as the market crashed and my husband lost most of his work and identity. It was beautiful. It was scary. It was totally energizing. How was I to know what was to come? The studio ( s) the little boy, the rental house in AU Park, selling our Delaware home, finding our way back to each in marriage, in life, ALL THE THINGS. I’m such a sentimental person, this kind of remembering just makes me so happy!
Now I spend most nights talking about much bigger emotional and societal norms and stressors, like what it means to be Jewish and Catholic and Buddhist. Domestic Violence. Gun Violence. Racial Violence. And what happens when your friend is filmed talking behind your back or social anxiety with another child who has a hard time connecting with classmates.
Everything I’m going through is completely normal. And it’s hard. So there’s that.
In the past, I have always shared my WOTY ( word of the year)
Magic- 2014, Whole-2015, Delight-2016, Limitless- 2017, Integrate-2017, It’s Possible-2017, Harmony-2018
POTY ( phrase of the year) Cake and Eat It Too- 2018, GET OUT OF THE WAY — 2019
****** This year, I am bringing together a few concepts and phrases for guidance. I keep seeing the word Illuminate, Ignite and different versions of the phrase “My Soul is On Fire”. I’m also crafting a QUESTION of the YEAR- which feels really interesting and fun.
As for practical daily life, I’m going to look for all the opportunities I can to sing, dance & laugh. Earlier this year, I was reminded, We are the singing and dancing people- so it’s important to live into that and prioritize being in my body.
What will your word or phrase or theme or question of the year be?
I’ll start with what was really hard. Looking back, the theme for 2019 was death. There was death all around me, in all kinds of ways. From friends and neighbors actually dying, to relationships ending, parts of my identity dissolving and the loss of our family home.
2019 was a year of destruction. If you know anything about Goddesses and energy they bring to your life, it was all Kali, all fire. She comes in to destroy BUT with your greater purpose, mission and meaning in her heart. Not out of anger or hatred but with a greater vision in mind. A beginning. A middle. An end.
I also read numerous books on death and dying and have decided I do want to pursue becoming a death doula, in the future.
Growth With Others
With my private clients this year, I had the incredible honor to:
*help support a woman who wanted to grow her businesses while stabilizing and organizing her nervous system, plan rhythms and routines for her family and create more of the life she wants to live.
*support a woman with her own dreams of opening a school.
*support a woman in her self- care and healing as she navigates motherhood, divorce and a thriving career.
*create a solid financial plan with a woman who was overspending and overeating as a response to her emotions.
I could go on and on with stories of how wonderful these women are ( and all the humans in the LOLA Circles) and what a pleasure it is for me to be a part of their accountability, action, and life design. YUM. I AM THE LUCKIEST.
Drinking & Smoking
In 2019, I spent part of the year not drinking. It was great. And then I wanted to drink again, so I did. And that was great. I found my way to a just right place that is not auto pilot or bad habit but is something I enjoy and taking that very long extended break was essential to my own growth and healing.
There is a very subtle “ holier than thou” culture in sobriety that I really don’t want to be part of. I notice and acknowledge that there is a huge spectrum of abuse of alcohol and addiction in society and have found my way with what feels good for me, in my life, now. But in late Spring, I gave myself permission to drink again and I’ve enjoyed it. Who knows what the future holds.
And smoking. This year, when one of my oldest relationships was in crisis, I went and bought a pack of cigarettes. Smoking was something this friend and I had done together for so many years. I was so sad about losing her and part of myself that I was holding onto- that I thought cigarettes would make it feel all better.
Guess what, it didn’t . I smoked one. It was gross, I threw them out.
I share this because I feel like it’s super important to face all the dark shadowy messy sides of our life that social media, etc does not always show, especially in health culture. If you knew me before the yoga days, you knew me as a smoker. A heavy smoker. Then I went to occasionally and I still loved them. Then a little less, and a little less. But I ALWAYS went back to smoking when I wanted to rebel against parts of my life or find my naughty side or go to my past. With the ending of this friendship, I also lost the power of the cigarette to soothe myself. Again, not saying I will or won’t ever again, just saying, it feels different now. Really different.
Money, is just another one of the topics I love to dive into that most peeps don’t want to talk about. But I do. I made LESS with lil omm offers this year, because I increased my time and energy at American University which pays much less than I make on my own. However, the energy and joy factor of being at AU greatly out weighs the finances at this season and as long as I keep my expenses down, it works really well. I am SO proud that I was able to create the LOLA Network on Mighty Network ( instead of Facebook groups) which is the home for our circles.
I am SO proud of what we have created, we have a few Community Leaders who have been an essential part of growing our community in authentic and sustainable ways and this truly makes all the difference in having a range of voices lead calls and host gatherings. So awesome. The bottom line is I am a teacher. I love facilitating groups and circles, live or online in classrooms, yoga studios or conferences, it’s what I do. Private coaching and mentoring can be very powerful but I know that humans grow, evolve and transform MUCH faster and more deeply TOGETHER. So I’m focusing my attention on the group thing, even thought it means somewhat less moola overall, for now.
Also, I STILL do take private clients ESPECIALLY when I know some specific accountability, support, mentoring and guidance WILL HELP THEM. So like everything in my life, there’s no line in the sand saying NEVER, just saying maybe and it depends.
In 2019 I learned so much. I read and read and read and read. I “ should” gather a list together but honestly, I post my favorites on the @lilommyoga Instagram so you can find them there.
I attended the National Ayurveda Medical Association Conference, Shakti School Ayurveda Certification Level 1, Center for Mind- Body Medicine Facilitators Training, Cate Stillman’s leadership retreat/ training/ workshop weekend, A weekend studying RASA integrating Emotions, Tantra and Ayurveda, and a handful of other workshops and webinars and classes on trauma, nervous system, healing, racism, justice, attachment theory and Ayurveda. WHAT A YEAR!
I got to travel to new places and host a handful of retreats that were so delightful.
This is huge. So, you know I am deeply concerned with the state of humanity including the stressed out culture we live in, racism, patriarchy and ALL THE THINGS. So, when Adrienne Marree Brown’s Pleasure Activism came out, my whole body got the chills and said, “ YES! WHAT IS THIS!?!?!”
And thus, my journey to joy began. I CAN be part of the change I want to see.
I can do it with how I show up at work and in my personal relationships. I can do it with EVERY. SINGLE. INTERACTION. I have in life. AND I can do with joy and ease.
I am naturally quite serious and intense, so the whole idea that I can work with humanity to illuminate this experience AND HAVE SENSUAL PLEASURE!!?!?!! What the what?
I think many, many women who have had any kind of abuse or trauma in the world or in life would not necessarily link the two. But now, we do.
You CAN have a pleasurable life, in all the ways AND be part of shifting consciousness in humanity. You can have a passion to be antiracist, stop fat shaming culture, lift up our youth and do basically ANY thing that feels good to you to be involved in while also experiencing the senses, noticing the cycles of nature and being in your body.
The culmination of Peter Levine, Bessel van, Adrienne Maree and MY Grandmother’s hands. Yep. That’s it. ALL coming together into this idea of COMMUNITY CARE-
So, as I mentioned above. In 2020, I will continue to show up, read, do the work, and ALSO, sing, dance and laugh.
What I am Proud Of:
Honestly, so many things.
- PARENTING. Deciding to send Saylor to a new school (I am so excited for her, even though it has been very challenging in many ways) AND working with Milo’s anxiety and doing my own work to support him.
- Starting the LOLA Lifeline Membership where I can share teachings, podcasts, books, ALL THE things, I love love love to share and talk about and integrate!
- Creating and teaching the 7 month LOLA Curriculum. I can’t wait to see how/ where this will evolve. These teachings are so potent and powerful for transformation.
- Enrolling our first male students in a LOLA courses, The Artist’s Way ( 2 men enrolled!) and the LOLA 6 month Membership. We have been primarily for WOMEN over the past 4 years. Our first male was interested in joining to learn more about our circle and we invited him in. Feels like a step in the right direction.
- Testifying for the Decoding Dyslexia hearing to the DC City Council with Saylor. HUGE.
What I’m most excited about for 2020:
Trips/ trainings/ retreat and speaking gigs from January- June. SO many wonderful things happening and I love doing the planning for January- June now so I can map out time/ energy for all the things I want to do.
Starting a year long Ayurveda Circle. I always learn something from the group and I’m always so grateful to hold these gatherings and share the wisdom. The impact on lives is something that is very hard to explain, and I am so honored to do this work.
Studying for my Bat Mitzvah with Saylor. I became obsessed with my return to Judaism in 2019 and now going deeper in 2020.
Attending Tina Strawn’s Legacy Trip in 2020 to the Lynching Memorial and The Equity Center in Alabama. Excited? no.. important, yes.
Teaching AUX-2, a course on privilege, intersectionality, oppression, social justice &anti-racism practices.
My Universe To DO List. This is the list where I just let go of my expectations, pushing and striving. I put what I’m thinking/struggling with on that list, and let it sit and breathe and grow or die and do what it’s going to do. AHH. So much less stress.
The Unknown. So much is shifting, so many ideas marinating.
And lastly updates on writing and podcasting. I am not sure what either will look like in 2020. I’m not inspired to do podcasts since there is SO MUCH noise in the world and there are wonderful podcasts that I love. I am very practical and at this point, I don’t see a reason to continue podcasting b/c I really do think I have said all that I want to say BUT who knows. Right now, leaving the podcast on the Universe TO DO list and focusing on writing and live gatherings and attending/attuning to the wonderful people in my life.