2017 went by like a blink in my house, but maybe that is because I was following a one and three year old around with a vacuum cleaner like Groundhog Day for about 365 days straight. One of the worst days of my year was when we ALL had the flu at the same time and my husband was conveniently out of town. They say children will make you work through all the issues you thought you already worked through and I can say that is true and then some in my case. Children have this unique ability to make us act our best and our worst, sometimes simultaneously. 2017 was a year my husband and I decided if we were to thrive, not just survive the years with our young children that we love “to Pluto and back” as my now four year old says, that we must polish off our old tools and add some new ones to our spiritual toolboxes of sorts. It was time to move like a team like we never have before and redefine our life goals, values and expectations as a family, opposed to the outdated and individual roadmaps of living we were using to navigate life. 

I’m nowhere close to having it all figured out, but I”m moving more confidently towards a life of more joy, fulfillment and love. Maybe you will find some value in some of the things I’ve found to be true in 2017. Happy New Year! 

 1) The only thing I ever regret is not following my intuition. Call it our internal compass, our heart or the small still voice inside. It never lies, and when we don’t listen we can guarantee it will never, ever stop knocking. Nobody wants to live asking themselves “what if?” My intuition is strong but I have some work to do in the listening department.

2) Remaining present will get us through just about any situation, especially an argument with our significant other. Not leaving when all goes to hell might be the worst thing ever, but the more discomfort we can sit through the more we learn to experience love on a deeper level. Men, this will score you huge points. Women just want you to understand. Women, men just want you to put his needs before your own for once in your life. You know what I qmean.

3) We all have a need for significance. When our main source of significance comes from the amount of money we earn, the number of social medial likes we get or how big our house is we will always be miserable. What makes me feel most significant is sharing love and joy with my family, feeling connected to a higher power and contributing in a positive way to the world.

4) Speaking of social media, I’ve never felt better better about myself by scrolling through Instagram. On that note, not even looking at my phone in the first hour upon waking completely changes my day in a positive way. Scrolling through my feed still half asleep to check what someone I”ve never met is doing on vacation still counts as looking at the phone. On that note, having an actual meet up with a real friend is one of my favorite natural highs. 

6) More people are addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, work, pills, achievement, social media, sex, gambling, eating disorders, nail biting and other things that alter the way we feel or mask discomfort than any of us want to admit. The antidote in my opinion? A 12 step and mindfulness program for humans, not just alcoholics, food and drug addicts. 

7) Occasionally yoga teachers get drunk, pastors say dumb things and mentors make inappropriate remarks. Go easy on them. It doesn’t make any lesson they taught us less valuable. 

8) Every mom in public with more than one kid in tow has to go to the bathroom. Give her some grace if this is affecting her attitude. Especially if she is on an airplane or in the  checkout line at the grocery store. 

9) Dairy isn’t good for anyone, no matter what we tell ourselves. I may decide to ignore this for raw cheese or whipped cream.

10) Our income will average that of the five people we spend the most time with. 

11) Everyone, on some level is afraid of not being enough, being alone or being unloved. Especially those that deny it the most. Try to be kindest to those who claim they have none of these problems.  

12) To remove the scum of a disgustingly dirty pan used to cook food, simply put a dishwasher detergent pod in it overnight with water and the next morning it all washes off very easily. 

13) My femininity is my greatest power. I used to believe I needed to toughen up, hold it all in and achieve achieve achieve to get what I wanted. It turns out that softening, radiating joy, love, beauty and expressing the kindness at my core is actually much more powerful. 

I’d love to hear from you and what your top lessons from 2017 were. Let’s connect on Instagram @erinjoyhenry.