Here we are. Halfway through 2016.  Mind-blowing, huh?! I don’t know about you, but it’s been one helluva year so far. In the best possible + most incredibly challenging ways all at the same time.

Because so much has happened (plus I just love to…), I can’t help but take some time to look back, reflect, and then look forward.

And, with the summer solstice having just passed, it is also a natural time for pausing as we shift from the first half of the year to the second. It’s a moment of truth, a chance to asses how the year is going. To see if we are creating the life that we envisioned on New Year’s Day, or not. And, if not, why?

Of course, life unfolds in its own way. But, I am also absolutely responsible for creating and making those visions and dreams I have a reality. So, now’s the time for me to look back and be honest with myself. What is happening? How am I feeling? Am I accomplishing what I wanted to accomplish? Am I holding myself back? Do I want the rest of the year to continue in the same way, or do I want to make some changes?

After I do all of this looking back + reflecting on the present moment, then it’s time to look forward into the future. A future that holds infinite possibility. Now is the time to step out in faith, to take the leaps that I haven’t taken yet, to challenge myself even more. To imagine what is fully possible in 2016.

evolve

The Word: E V O L V E

I absolutely believe that the word that I chose to focus on this year is exactly what my soul had in mind. It all feels so aligned and right. So, checking back on the word of the year, evolving is exactly is exactly what I have been experiencing.

My vision of evolving was centered around the idea that it was time for me to shift into a higher gear… it was a vision of taking all that I had learned in 2015 about living a slow, intentional life, and feeling called to a higher, deeper, even more meaningful way of life. A life that manifests balance. A life in which i take all that i have learned, continue to apply it to my life, and begin to create a life and a way to share my spiritual story, incorporating my way of life as my work. I felt that it was time to focus outward, to teach and guide and support others as they are on their own journey.

Evolve is a word that keeps me balanced and dancing between the earth and the cosmos. Between practical, everyday life and spiritual mysteries + magic. It is a word that reminds me to share the message that I have learned… that all of life, every single moment, every single thing, is sacred. We do not have to go outside of ourselves, or to some far off place, or seek some wise guru or god. The sacred is within. We are the guru. We are the manifestation of god. Light-bearers. Love in the flesh. The sacred is all around. The sacred is right here, right now.

It is a word that keeps me ever pushing on. always journeying. always open, ready + willing to be transformed.

Evolving for me means being grounded, connected, attached to the earth. Stable, calm, strong, and at peace. Part of the world. And yet, reaching up to the heavens, being blown to + fro, freely, as the spirit moves through me. And, always growing upward. Outward. And downward.

Now, I have no conclusions about it all yet, or how I am evolving, but that will come with my end of the year summary as I seek to gather all to all of my thoughts about 2016 in choosing my word for 2017. Right now, I am in the middle of evolving still. *wink wink*

In keeping with my understanding of evolving as creating + living a life of balance, I intended to use this year to focus on me and you. So, I set a theme for each month of the year. And, now, I’ve lived through the first 6 themes. So, how have I done? Is this theme thing something that is working for me? Let’s find out…

intention lantern january evolve

The Intentions

Here are the intentions that I set forth back on the first day of 2016 + how I am doing in living up to them:

Me:

For me, evolving is all about becoming even more who I am called to be as a teacher, guide, mentor, life coach.  A spiritual professional (whether i talk about spirituality or not, that doesn’t matter). It is about accepting this calling and really putting it to use in all that I am and all that I do. It is about going even deeper + higher in my own spiritual practices. Becoming even more aware of the simplicity of slow, intentional living. The importance of gathering together, of living life to the fullest, of simply being with others, and of staying grounded.

deepen my spiritual practices // I have begun to really do my own thing for my morning meditations. It’s very rare these days that I use a guided meditation or podcast. Instead, I breathe. listen to music. sit in silence. I have also incorporated my own little yoga sequence as an opening to my meditation session. All of this means that I am listening to my soul, creating on my own, and that is exactly the direction in which I wish to evolve.

grow into my work as a mentor // My work as a mentor has been incredible. It’s tough, stressful, and wonderful. I absolutely love it, and I feel like I have really gotten into my own groove. I am standing on my own two feet. No more new girl t work feelings at all. Now, looking forward to the second half of the year, I hope to dig deeply into who I am, my personality and my way of doing things, now that I have “learned the ropes”.

live slowly + intentionally // This is mindful awareness for me. And it has truly become my way of living. I cannot imagine life before I accepted and understood that this is how I am meant to live my life. To feel the stress and worries, but to also know that it all will pass. Staying centered and at peace through it all.

gather+ celebrate // With the move into our new apartment, my full time job, and Lina’s way back to health, we have not gathered quite as much as I would like. There have been more quiet gatherings than big ones. That said, it all feels on track and right. As the second half of the year approaches, I know that we have tons of gatherings, celebrations, and holidays to look forward to. Times to soak in what is really important, and to share it with others. (Plus, we’ve got a few special parties planned after summer vacation)!

stay grounded // This is directly connected to my spiritual practices and my vision of living slowly and intentionally. So, this is all going very well. I feel so deeply grounded. What I am hoping will evolve even more is the grounding that I receive from writing. Again, with all of the literal busy-ness of the first six months, I have not had time, made time, or even felt that it was time for me to write. Let’s see how the rest of the year turns out!

You:

For you, evolving means that this website is going to grow and transform and expand. It means that I will have more to offer. I will be changing things, adding series, and yet keeping my everyday life the focus of it all. Part of my message of finding the sacred in every thing is sharing my everyday life and how I do just that. I will always place importance on sharing my story, my journey, only as an example of how I live my life. But, I will begin to offer more + more resources for you, should you want to begin your own journey towards bliss. your own journey toward discovering the sacred moments in your life, grounding and inspiring you. Your own journey toward taking control over your own life so that you live life as authentically + fully as possible.

weekly look backs // Check! Every week, mostly on Sundays, but not always, I post something on the week that has just passed. I absolutely love this look back on my regular, everyday life and seeing the magic and meaning that unfolds in the simplest things.

mixed tapes // Check! Every month, I create and publish a new playlist on Spotify. based on the theme for the month. So, but the end of the year, we will have 12 months worth of evolving in music. I looooove creating these playlists.

theme of the month // Check-ish! Yes, I am fulfilling my intention of writing about the theme of the month at the beginning of each month. I also wanted to do some posts throughout the month, continuing the reflections and digging deeper into the theme. But, that has proved to be too daunting for me. When I am still and listen, I am not sure if my soul is whispering for me to try to add more in throughout the rest of the year, or to just let it go. Perhaps it is to let it go and let something else arise…

moon magic + love // Check-ish! My intention was to post for every full and new moon this year. Full moons are good, but I have missed a few new moons. And that feels totally ok. S0, I am adjusting my intention and following what the energy of each moon feels like to me.

video blog posts // Ehhh… I have definitely completed and shared a few videos, but not at all what I intended. This is something that I am feeling drawn to, and with summer break, I intend to create way more videos, moving towards a weekly or monthly video blog post. So exciting!!

monthly emails // Nope. And it’s not time yet. I will let this evolve, as my Life Coach business evolves.

photo challenges // Another nope. I have not felt led or inspired to follow through with this intention, so I am setting it aside. Keeping it in the pile, but trusting that when it is time to focus on photography, then I will.

rituals // Kinda. I have created + shared a very small amount of rituals here on my website. I really, really want to create more. To really make my own curriculum/e-courses/tips to share with you all. I don’t think it has been time for it yet, but I feel that the time will come. I know that this is something that I am called to do. To create services that help us see the sacred in our everyday life. I am trusting it all to unfold in its time.

sky brave airplane

My intentions were set in January, and then I was off + running. Little did I know what life had in store for me…

February brought chaos and confusion to me + my love. Just as I was starting my new job and my love was facing new challenges in her treatment, we found out that we had to move. Quickly. We suddenly had to be out of the apartment we were subletting within 6 weeks. We absolutely were on the verge of freaking out, but somehow, were able to repeat the mantra that things would work out exactly as they should. In the midst of the underlying calm + trust that we called upon, we felt lost, scared, and yet hopeful. And by March, it all seemed to work out…

march playlist wild

March was wild, not in an adventurous way, but in a very quiet, unfamiliar way. The beginning of the month came with its share of super busy crazy wildness – buying a home, moving and settling in. It was ridiculously stressful + exciting all at the same time.

The bulk of the month, however, was quiet and still. Work was busy and very good, but everything else seemed to just be put on hold. We had no internet or tv or contact with the outside world at home throughout the entire month. And, of course, the data was out on our phones too, so we literally had to go somewhere to get an internet connection.

Honestly, though, it was exactly the wildness that we needed. Sure we missed blogging and surfing and posting and such, but it gave us a very intentional, slow month of really settling into our new home, creating our new space. I recall nights and days spent reading, candles lit. Cozy meals around the table. And just being with my love. It was definitely the universe’s gift to us – and we took full advantage of it… living an off the grid wild month of simplicity.april playlist

The arrival of tiny bits of spring to Sweden during April was exactly the grounding that I needed. It was my chance to get outside a little bit more, to see, literally all around me, life returning to the earth. At the same time, I felt that life returning + shifting within me, as this new life of work and home began to take hold.

I started realizing that I’d found a new height and depth to my life. A new way of not learning how to live in the present moment, but that I’d actually shifted into living it.

That became my new normal.

There was also a little break in work during the Easter holidays, and a visit from Gesine, our friend from Germany to start the month,and a visit from Kat, my cousin living in Paris, to celebrate the arrival of spring at the end of the month. And a nice little pause in the middle of the month to just soak in our home, family, friends, and some much needed time off for 5 days.

By the end of April, just as I was feeling quite settled and grounded and slowly adjusting to my new normal, my job threw me a curve ball by offering me a chance to work 100% = 5 days a week (up until now I’d worked 80% = 4 days a week). Beginning in May and continuing through next year, and perhaps until… well, permanently.

change may playlist

So, yeah. Change. It happens. And it totally happened during May.

The month started off with my last Life Coaching training weekend. It was inspiring, emotional, magical, and super empowering. I felt  (and still do!) so focused and ready. The energy swirling in me was begging me to move + move fast with all of my life coaching stuff. And, yet, my life circumstances prevented me from jumping head first into everything. My work at the school ramped up to super warp speed, with my colleague leaving for maternity leave early, meaning that I took care of all of the students in the school (instead of just my regular half) for the rest of the school year. I worked 5 days a week. Long days, lots of stress and heavy stuff, and still loved every minute of it.

But, I was exhausted in the midst of feeling so inspired. It was quite the crazy feeling. But, I simply did my best to live in the moment, staying present and grounded, and resting as much as a I could.

The energy that I felt was like a slow awakening of letting whatever changes that are occurring sink in and seep up from within my soul. It’s was been a time for quick, crazy, abrupt change… but, instead, of slow, intentional transformation.

I realized that the change that I was experiencing was one that is deep. It was one that is evolving and showing me a whole new way of living. I can certainly see, once I look back, how I approach, live, and experience life is very different that I ever have before.

So far, the main priority has been for me to live intentionally, slowly, and mindfully aware. And, it became clear to me, especially after this month, that this is how i live. I don’t have to try to do it, or even practice it. I am truly doing it. Being it.

So, while outside things changes drastically + kept me busy, inside my soul remained quite calm, while also in the midst of great change. Now, instead of creating a life that is slow + mindful, it has become time to focus on making shit happen. The change has been about living fully out of this life, this foundation, that i have created. The phase that I entered in May was the yin to my yang. or vice versa. It’s the doing from my being.

june unfold playlist woods trees

June is still underway as I write this. But, I have a few reflections already…

It started off with the climax of my busy craziness at work. I felt I I was moving at warp speed, yearning for a break, but knowing that I needed to push through. At the same time, I felt complete calm + peace. And that came with the understanding that I have evolved into understanding what letting life unfold really looks like. But, not only knowing about it, actually accepting and surrendering to it as my way of life. Somewhere along the way, I have discovered that I can live no other way than to simply stay grounded, trusting, calm, intentional, and mindful… knowing that life will unfold exactly as it will.

My job is to simply be me through it all. To tap into the flow, to stay true to my soul, to live out my calling, to simply and actively be me. To actively take part in creating my life, yet trusting, that whatever life throws my way, will only add to my experience of fully being alive.

Finally, this week, life has slowed down and I have welcomed summertime mode. The school year is done. The students have all gone home. My co-workerd have all begun their summer vacations. And I remain at work, with the principal, until the middle of July. But, it feels sooooo good. It’s now lazy days at the office. Feet up. Music on. Kicked back. All alone. Planning, organizing, dreaming, and preparing for the upcoming school year.

work moving office

I realized yesterday that I am now merging my personal Life Coaching + Mentoring work at the school into one beautiful, streamlined purpose + calling. Who knew that it would all unfold like this?! I have time to bring it all together this summer, and I am so inspired. It all seems to be aligning just perfectly.

As for the rest of the year… who knows what will happen. Inside, I feel a deep shift taking place. The growth and evolving that has taken place so far has sunk in, and it feels like there is much that is waiting for me. A lot of action. More change. And a chance to live out all that I have been learning.

But… after summer vacation! Hehe.

me life coach

And so, here we are, friends. Halfway through 2016. Pausing for just a moment to breathe. Breathing in + looking back. Breathing out + looking forward. Breathing again, exactly where we are. And just letting it all simply be for a while.

Summer is here for me. I have downshifted into a slower mode. It is time to soak up being alive. Time to recharge my batteries. Time to tend only to my soul. Time to listen and feel and soak in. Time to breathe deeply and to set my wild soul free.

My friends, whether you are facing the warm, life-filling energy of summer or the cozy, inward feelings of winter, it is the perfect time for us all to expand our vision for our lives. As the darkness ever so slowly returns to the Northern hemisphere, we bask in the aliveness of the moment, watching our dreams grow and preparing for the fullness of this phase before the harvest come autumn that will sustain us through the long winter that awaits us. We live life filled with energy and purpose. And, for those of you in the Southern hemisphere, the light is ever so slowly returning, and life is germinating and beginning to stir and take root. It is all unseen, but the energy is there. It is time for you to simply be, to reflect, to wait and plant seeds.

And, though we experience different phases of life, all of us can use this time to heal, to grow, to let go, to release, and to move forward. Either with the outward energy of light, or inward potential energy of the dark.

The Solstice has brought a moment of pause to us all… and with it, we shift and continue to evolve.

xoxo. liz