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New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday.

Charles Lamb

Even though I know that the New Year is just another day, it feels like a fresh start. And, quite honestly, I am ready to bid 2014 buh-bye! But, before I dance into the New Year with Champagne in hand, I want to take a deep breath and reflect on one of the most exhilarating and transformative years of my life. There’s only one name for this year:  REBIRTH.

New name.  New home. New relationship status. New insurance.  New accountant.  New team.  New chapter.

As you can imagine, that kind of change isn’t easy.  If fact, it’s the kind that can wake you up at 3AM in sheer panic.  OMG…where am I, who am I, what was that noise?  

Yet, throughout the year and my occasional meltdowns, I’ve clinged (actually, more like a death grip) on the School of Self-image principles.  And, man, oh man, do they work.

Here’s the deal:  Living fully is not about your life being perfect, all wrapped up in a pretty box with a bow on top.  Oh no!  If that were the case, most of us would be doomed.

It’s about embracing whatever challenge or circumstance that is before you, and doing it with elegance, passion and joie de vivre.  It’s about harnessing your feminine power and inner knowing that you are strong and capable enough to saunter right through fear.

Here’s what kept me sane and, and dare I say full of joie de vivre, during a very intense year.

  1. Take time for the non-essentials.  When my brain was telling me that my world might fall apart if I didn’t go out there and crush it, I poured myself a cup of tea (and sometimes Champagne), journaled, took naps, met up with friends, lit candles, put on my signature perfume.  Making space for these things increased my energy and productivity. Fascinating, right?  And, as to date, everything is working just fine.
  2.  Play and have fun.  I worked harder than ever this year, but I made play and fun a priority.   I learned to wakeboard, spent a week in a Chateau in France, frequented the hot springs, hiked mountains, danced every day, had ping pong tournaments and partied the night away in Paris.  If you don’t make fun a priority, you’ll sink into the abyss of your mind, and when your world feels less than stellar, that’s the last place you need to be.  Play brings you back to the present moment and is good for the soul.Aspen
  3. The answers are rarely found in your head.  Back in July, I had this issue that left me frustrated and bewildered.  I journaled, prayed, meditated and spent days trying to figure out the solution.  Nothing happened.  I finally said, “Screw this,” and called up a girlfriend for a lunch date.  When I came home, the answer was waiting for me in an email, an answer that I had been trying to force for weeks.  Moral of this story:  Go out and live.  Allow for the answers.
  4. Say no to the crazy.  When you live elegantly, you do not have time for drama.  And, still, it sneaks into my life on occasion.  For what I want to do and experience in this world, I seriously have no time for it. I’m going to wrap myself in yellow tape that says, “Do not cross if you have drama.”
  5. Take exquisite care of your body.  Taking care of your body shouldn’t be a brutal attempt to lose weight or whip yourself into shape.  It’s should be an act of self-love, a desire for vitality and a gift you give yourself every day.  From the foods you eat, to the lotions you lather onto your skin to the movement you engage in – it’s about exquisite self-care.  After injuring my back (in my failed wakeboard attempt), I had so much appreciation for my body and a deeper desire to care for her.Take care of your body


  6. Simplify.  I’m convinced that most stress and overwhelm is created from packing our calendars, closets and cabinets with too much stuff. Part of my rebirth has been all about letting go of any and everything that doesn’t nourish my soul.  Some examples:  clothes, books, people, kitchen gadgets and beliefs (the last one is the most delicious!).
  7. Cultivate Your Secret Garden.  I’ve had several secret gardens this year – those places, things and people that are my refuge – that are only for me.  And, this concept may come back to bite me in the derriere.  When I asked the School of Self-image community if they’d recommend the program to a friend, some of them responded, “Absolutely, every woman needs this program, but I don’t want my friends to know because this is my secret garden.” Well, at least I’ve taught them well!
  8. Trade comfort for adventure.  This could definitely be my other main theme this year, doing those things that scare me most.  But here’s God’s honest truth:  your best life will not be created by you trying to be comfortable.  Sure, it’s all cozy and sweet there, but it’s also usually boring, unfulfilling and frustrating because you know you are capable of more.  If you want to talk about walking through fear, I’m your lady!
  9. Being a mom is not for the faint of heart.  Having a kid is like having your heart walking around outside of you.  And, a teenager?  Oh, dear.  You worry, obsess, protect, and create images in your head of doom and gloom.  Then, your kid turns to you one day with Beyonce playing in the background and says, “Mom, you need to practice what you preach.”  And, you realize that your kid is actually really wise and your best teacher ever.  You also know that worrying doesn’t protect them; it harms you.  And, yet, you still worry.  Learning to not be a maniac about it is the work.
  10. Mom
    Adorn your body every day
    .  I received a nasty email from a reader who completely disagrees with my stance on the importance of adorning your body.  So, I did a little experiment.  For seven days straight, no makeup, perfume, or anything out of the ordinary.  Basically, I wore yoga pants and PJs and gave very little attention to my appearance for an entire week.  The result?  Quelle horrible!  I found myself snacking more, less productive, and just felt blah.  So, I’m sticking to my belief: Adorning yourself does matter.  It’s not about impressing others; it’s about being your best self!
  11. You never feel ready.  But, that doesn’t mean you’re not.  This year has been all about saying YES to some pretty big things (more on that coming soon).  For every single one of them, I didn’t feel ready. I could hear those excuses boiling up, “Oh, wait, give me another month.” or, “Let’s do this first.”  My 90-year old self gave me a slap on the back of the head and said YES before I could say NO.  She’s such a saucy rebel like that!
  12.  Paris continues to be my greatest teacher.  I had the chance to spend two weeks in Paris this fall.  She reminded me to embrace my sensuality, to take great pleasure in food and wine, to saunter without the need to get somewhere and to just be. She reminded me of the importance of infusing simple everyday life with beauty, care, and attention.  Every woman needs a little Paris in her life, regardless of where she resides, because, Paris is a state of mind.

Paris is a state of mind

So, there you have it, my top 12 lessons relearned from 2014.  I actually had 25, but another lesson I’m trying to learn is the art of brevity. I have a long way to go on that one!

Happy New Year, my friend!

2015 is going to be spectacular.

Hhhmmmm….what should my word be for 2015?

Maybe it’s RISING!

It fits, as it’s my maiden name and after this past year, it feels like the only direction to go.

What was your theme of 2014?  And, what will your 2015 theme be?

Do share with the community and me in the comments below.

With Closure + Anticipation,


(P.S.  Thank you for a fantastic year!  Next year is going to be even better.  Just wait and see!)

Self-Image Makeover

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