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2021 Challenges & Lessons

Posted on January 04,2022 by Chloey Turner

As many share their highlights of 2021, I’ll share some of my personal challenges & lessons learned from this year. Perhaps some might resonate with some of you.

I thought this year would bring clarity as to where on this lovely Earth I wish to settle, however, I still have no idea. Some days I feel free, lucky & excited by this - as many of my posts have shown - but other days a little scared with a sense of unease.
The lesson/reminder: Surrender & trust. Leap & the net will appear. When it’s meant to happen, I will figure it out, but also, maybe it’s ok to be a bit of a nomad!

I’ve often looked back at old photos of myself in the height of my Riverdance career. Currently, I am 20 pounds heavier. I am by no means over weight &, in general, A LOT happier & healthier.  That doesn’t mean I don’t long for the time when I could eat whatever I wanted, had two hour shows every night, traveled & didn’t have to worry too much about staying lean! It’s a lot harder now.
The lesson: Being 20 pounds lighter & having a six pack didn’t bring happiness! I must continue to remind myself of this.

I have popped onto Instagram far too often & compared myself, my work, my love life (or lack thereof), amongst other things, to others, & not once has it made me feel good. I’ve wasted a lot of time. I could have been studying a little more, working on my book, focusing on myself, strumming the guitar I said I'd challenge myself to learn, but, instead, at times, I found myself here just scrolling away.
The lesson & actions that can be taken here are self-evident!

I am aware when old conditioned narratives and habits pop up (which in itself is great--awareness is huge!), but it takes a lot of work & skill to be able let go of attachments from the past. I meditate often & practice yoga both on & off of the matt, but I am also a human being & by no means enlightened. I am still very much working on all of those chakras being aligned. It will be a continuous practice for the rest of my life! A practice the whole world would benefit from.
The lesson: Continue to create space to observe & be curious when dipping into old habits, & when the inner critic creeps in, take time to observe it, manage it with compassion and kindness.. I ask myself “What would be the most helpful thing for me right now” and “what do I need.” I try to speak to myself as I would a child or a friend when the critic shows up. Again, it takes consistent practice. At times, I can be reactive & exacerbate a tough moment into something much worse. I remind myself that everything is impermanent & this too shall pass!

Sometimes this year, as I reached for my anti depressant in the morning, I’d judge myself. I’d tell myself I shouldn’t need medication, a pill . Then I’d remember how hard I’ve fought for better mental health & would feel a sense of pride and gratitude. I mean, I’m still here, I’m alive, I’m well, & for the most part, I’m content .
The lesson/reminder: I am not weak, broken or crazy for taking medication. Not everyone will understand & that is ok!

Far too often, I feel & think that I’m not doing enough. I know this comes from comparison—really that’s what most of us are doing when aimlessly scrolling social media.
The lesson: Stay in my own lane! It doesn’t matter how others are doing it. There’s only one me.

Overall, as each year passes, the relationship I have with myself does get much better &, therefore, I’m getting better at showing up for others too, which is wonderful because I feel the best version of me when of service to others;  for this I’m so grateful. I find life a whole lot better when I accept & embrace the challenges life throws at me, when I don’t judge myself for every tiny blip—like my relationship with technology, for example. I’ve almost thrown my laptop many times!

I hope you can begin this year with peace & not worry if every goal you had set for 2021 wasn’t reached or if you’re not in the place you hoped to be. It’s been a tough couple years for most, just getting through it is huge! Cut yourself some slack. May we remind ourselves that we cannot change the past. We can choose to let go & move forward with a little more awareness from the lessons we have learned & with new actions. Concluding with a gentle reminder that the relationship you have with yourself is the foundation of wellness, keep that with you this year!

Have a beautiful New Year all! x