There are a few rituals I love doing at the end of a year, and at the beginning of a new one.
If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I am a huge believer in gratitude and practice it daily. Intentionally practicing gratitude in my daily life has completely changed my life and has become a non-negotiable for me over the years. The daily practice of gratitude alone has filled my life with so much of that feel-it-in-your-soul goodness, a deeper spiritual connection, and a much stronger sense of self-love, which is why I believe a gratitude practice to be an essential piece to your self-love journey.
On the last day of 2017, I decided to write a letter to it – thanking it. For the memories, special moments, and all of the lessons it provided to me. This is like high-level gratitude, babes, and I welcome you to join me in doing this! Let me know if you do!
I wanted to thank you for…
Continuing to show me what it’s like to suffer with a health issue that most people don’t understand and are unable to physically see.
In October 2015, I was infected with a parasite, which resulted in many health challenges and symptoms that left me feeling the most ill, alone, isolated, and confused with my body than ever before. The health challenges I faced from my parasitic infection began in October 2015 and continued throughout all of 2016 and the first half of 2017.
Dealing with a health challenge such as a parasite for almost two years taught me how to be compassionate toward myself and also with others. Those who struggle with illness that are not visible, also known as silent illness, don’t always receive the compassion they need because the outside world cannot actually see the pain and suffering they are experiencing. I am so grateful for my parasitic infection because it allowed me to connect with others who struggle with silent illness, provide them with the compassion they are so desperately in need and deserving of, and support them in a way I wouldn’t have been able to if I didn’t suffer from a parasite. You can read more about my journey as I dealt with a parasite here.
Freeing me from the parasite that once was holding me back from living my best life.
Although I am extremely grateful for all of the lessons having a parasite taught me, I am extremely grateful that 2017 also blessed me with a comprehensive stool test showing that I was completely free of parasites! I found out in June that I no longer had a parasite and my health has only began to improve ever since. Today, I can truthfully say I feel the healthiest I have ever felt in my entire life. Being free from the parasite has also allowed me to be so much more grateful for my health and appreciate every moment I have of feeling back to me. There is not a day that goes by without me giving thanks for my health.
The month I lived in Washington, DC with one of my best friends.
Truthfully, living in Washington, DC for the entire month of February this year, wasn’t something I was planning on doing, but I was required to provide the publishers of my book, Keto Freedom, with photographs for each of my 70+ recipes that will be included in my book. Since photography is not something I do nor wanted to stress about figuring out how to do, I hired one of my best and most talented friends, Kara, moved in with her for the entire month of February, and photographed every single recipe I created for Keto Freedom all while living above the cutest coffee shop, overlooking the most sought after street in all of Washington, DC. For the entire month, I felt like I was in a movie. To this day, I kind of still can’t believe this entire experience happened. But it did and it taught me so much.
I learnt that I can do hard things, that I am a really good cook and recipe creator, which aspects of my career truly set my soul on fire and light me up, there’s no place like home, to begin truly and wholeheartedly deeply appreciating and loving my country, who my true friends are, and that if we tell the Universe we want something – it’ll happen if we show it that we’re open and ready for its magic.
So many new friendships, I can’t even count them all.
My dad always jokes with me about the insane amount of friends I have – and how I should have an ongoing list to keep track of them all. Every time I welcome a new friend into my life, he says, “you’ll have to add them to your friend list!” I honestly do have a lot of friends, but it seems as though 2017 brought me so many new friendships, strengthened certain ones I already had, and brought to light the friendships that are the most special and meaningful. You know, the true ones.
The new friends I made through the year have inspired me to put action behind my visions, reminded me how incredible it feels to belly laugh, understand the importance of having a special few people who always allow you to feel safe and share your dreams with, and how important it is to have a close-knit group that allows you to feel and be you.
The many times I experienced complete independence, freedom, and pride.
This year brought a lot of growth to my business and allowed me to accomplish visions I had for myself far before I planned for them to happen. With this growth, I was able to experience independence, freedom, and a huge sense of pride for myself and all that I am accomplishing. Freedom is one of the best feelings ever, in my opinion, and every time I experienced these feelings throughout this year, reminded me why I do what I do and to keep sharing my story, supporting women just like you, and making my mark on the world.
Having a career that allows me to travel.
Traveling is and always has been one of my most favourite things to do. It easily holds the top place on my joy list and I am so grateful that, for the majority of the months of this year, I was on a plane to a new destination! Washington, DC, Orlando, FL, Barbados, Boulder, CO, London, ON, Kelowna, BC, Salt Lake City, UT, and New Orleans, LA were some of the places I traveled this year and I am so grateful for the experiences each one provided to me. Most of these were solo and work-related trips, but Scotty and I were finally able to take our first trip alone together as a couple!
Traveling allows me to grow, connect with myself on a deeper level, understand what no longer serves me, be the best version of my self, and so much more. I am truly grateful for the amount of travel that 2017 gave to me!
Becoming a fur mama.
For years I’ve been wanting a puppy and I am so grateful it didn’t happen any sooner than it did because in May of this year, I was blessed with the best puppy I could have ever asked for. Truly, it’s like she was specifically made for me.
I got Penny at the very end of my parasite health struggles. I was in desperate need to shift my focus from worrying about my health to something else. This is when Penny came into my life and, as crazy as it sounds, I started to feel better almost instantly.
In addition to helping me focus on something other than my health, Penny taught me something about love I didn’t understand before – that it is not limited and how truly abundant it is. Ever since getting Penny, I also learnt how much I love taking care of something else and that I was meant to be a mom to babies of my own some day.
The time to strengthen my spiritual journey.
I was given a lot of time this year – time to spend with myself. I used this time to try new spiritual practices, which allowed me to strengthen and deepen my spiritual journey.
When I think about and reflect on this year, the word connection keeps coming up for me. I am so grateful that 2017 gave me the time to connect with myself on a much deeper level than ever before and become aligned with who I am.
I am incredibly blessed that 2017 allowed me to spend so much time with both of my parents, my boyfriend, Scott, and so many other family members who are so important and special to me. As much as I love travelling, each time I went away this year, I would always miss my family so much and be counting down the days until I saw them again. I also received a huge amount of support from my family this year – from writing my manuscript for Keto Freedom to feeling extremely ill from the parasite, I am so grateful for the understanding, support, and compassion I received from them all year.
2017, you truly were incredible.