Dear universe, thanks for the lessons learned in 2014.

As it so happens, I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions. I used to be. I used to spend every December 31st typing out a seemingly endless list of things I needed to change about myself and my life. Lose weight, save money, get more work done, yadda yadda.

These days, I’m of the opinion that life is more about acceptance and self-love than a constant obsession with MORE and BETTER. Starting the new year with a laundry list of things you don’t like about yourself seems a little less than productive, particularly considering the failure rate of resolutions.

Instead of focusing on failings, I think we should spend the last few hours of the year highlighting all that’s right and good and lovely in our lives. With that in mind, here’s my list of what I learned in 2014.

Dear Universe,

2014 has been, well, interesting. Of course, the same could be said for every year you’ve blessed with on planet earth. Never a dull moment on the roller coaster ride of mortality! To thank you for your endless grace and abundance, here’s a list of what I learned in 2014. Cheers to shiny new lessons in 2015.

You have your own time.
You, universe, aren’t working from the same schedule as the rest of us. Despite how badly I might want something RIGHT THIS MINUTE, I’ve learned that you frequently have other plans. Relaxing into your itinerary is a lot easier than trying to force mine into fruition.

LET GO are the two most important words in the English language.
It’s funny how words like work, strive, cling, fight, push are given such positive connotations in our society. Yet the longer I’m around, the more I realize that letting go is the way to sync up with you. Letting go requires faith, but faith is the first step towards making miracles happen. To “let go and let God” is always the best solution.

Uncertainty is the nature of you.
Quantum physics has taught us that infinite possibilities are the nature of the universe, and our choices determine our reality. But with possibilities comes uncertainty, irrevocably. Certainty = rigidity, and that’s not the nature of life. I have to learn to be more comfortable with not knowing. Good thing I love surprises. 😉

Other people are everything.
As an only child, I have a tendency to fly solo. While I’ve always been blessed with amazing friends, it’s easy for me to fall into lengthy periods of solitude, particularly if I’m not feeling so hot. Unfortunately, too much alone time contributes to depression in a big way. Don’t get me wrong — I’m all for individuality, but nurturing strong bonds with others is a must for a happy life. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone and into more social situations has made a world of difference in my life, as has volunteering to help others every chance I get. In short, embracing other people is a source of endless joy and fulfillment — they make life worth living. Really now, what would this world be if it were just me, myself and I?! #boring

I can live without cheese.
This may sound like the least contemplative item on this list, but it’s actually one of the most significant. 2014 was the year I went vegan, despite protestations that “I could never be vegan because I can’t live without cheese.” Turns out I can, and going vegan is one of the best things I’ve ever done. For me, there’s something vastly important about living my principles. How could I profess love for animals (and the planet!) when I was contributing to their suffering, all for the sake of my own pleasure? Now, I live my values, and it’s a hell of a feeling. Also, non-dairy cheese is pretty amazing (Daiya FTW!), and is getting better all the time. SO THERE CHEESEMAKERS.

Above all, I want to say THANK YOU. Thank you universe, for the lessons learned and for the chance to make the most of every moment I’ve been given. Endless gratitude, and virtual kisses.

Love you to the moon and back,

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