By Cassandra Bodzak
Another year has come to a close and a fresh new chapter opens in front of you in the days ahead. Before you launch into all the excitement of your dreams, goals, and plans for 2016, I want you to take a moment and take in all that came with 2015, the highs and lows, victories and defeats. It was a wild ride at times, but you ended up with your two feet strongly planted on the ground and your head more in the stars and full of possibility than ever.
You greeted 2015 with a bang, rushing on to a bus up to Boston in your pajamas to be by your brother’s side in the hospital after yet another complication from his life-altering surgery. Spending New Year’s Eve in a small, partitioned off cubicle of the emergency room, the air thick with silence and concern, it was nothing new. Just another day, after months practically living in that hospital.
A few days later you were on a plane to Vegas to speak at a conference while simultaneously re-launching your brand. Can you believe it’s only been a year since you closed shop on “Go Sweet and Skinny,” and stepped into owning your name as your brand? Seven years of blogging healthy treat recipes morphed your entire life more than you could have ever imagined, and now you were a bit terrified to come out behind the cutesy name and just be you. But you did, and boy did it feel good once you got comfortable in it.
This past year pushed you to expand in ways you didn’t think possible. It forced you to learn how to support this new level of being you, that you had been thrust into. You became a speaker, an author (working on two books simultaneously), launched your podcast, and created “Eat with Intention TV.” You traveled to Portland, Miami, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Barcelona, Paris, and Shanghai. You even moved across the country in October and created a home for yourself in Santa Monica, California, because you heard your soul calling you there. You fell in love, realized the relationship wasn’t for you, had one of your great loves come back into your life only to leave again, and managed to keep everything afloat while nursing a broken heart.
You learned that taking care of yourself is no longer a luxury, but a necessity, if you want to show up fully for your work in the world. You spent many nights in lavender epsom salt baths, every morning meditating, and learned in a deeper way than ever to start saying no to things that didn’t serve you or that just weren’t aligned with your highest good at the moment. You gained a new sense of gratitude for your body after watching your brother lose his large intestine and struggling for months as his body failed him, and thanked God everyday for this fully-working vehicle that you’ve been given to take you through this lifetime. You spent many moments in tears of appreciation for this beautiful life you have, and for the wellness of all those you love. Best of all, you got to watch your little brother start getting back to his life and start on his road to recovery.
I am proud of you, Cassandra, and I’m sorry I don’t take the time to say it enough. What I’m most proud you for? Listening. Time and time again, listening to that niggling feeling in your soul and honoring it, leaning into your joy and following what felt expansive every step of the way. It wasn’t always easy, sometimes it meant leaving someone you cared about, uprooting your life across the country, or spending long hours working on birthing a project near and dear to your heart, but you always showed up.
Now as 2016 approaches and you take the time to look back on the year coming to a close, you are more present than ever at the possibilities for the new year. It’s almost hard to believe how transformational last year was for you, and how much you were able to navigate and accomplish. Now, living in your dream spot in Santa Monica and visiting NYC to host events and lead meditations, you have to nurture many of last year’s babies (the podcast & Eat with Intention TV) as they learn to walk and speak in the new year. It’s time to get more clear than ever of how you can serve as many people, while still supporting your own well-being and happiness. It’s time to take an honest inventory of what is no longer working for you, and new systems that need to be put into place for the next level of your life.
Those babies — Eat with Intention TV and The LightMaker Podcast — are luckily healthy, fast growing, and well on their way to bigger things for 2016. Eat with Intention TV is in talks to be picked up for a second season with an amazing brand partnership, and The LightMaker Podcast is closing out 2015 by hitting New and Noteworthy on iTunes, allowing you take a deep breath and just keep doing what you’re doing, maintaining the integrity and purpose that they were created from. You’ve already got some big ideas for what this next year holds, but are even more excited about the surprises that are sure to come. You feel more centered than ever, more in flow than ever, and more ready than ever to sail through whatever the waters of 2016 hold.
Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep learning, growing, and following what sets your soul on fire. Oh and most importantly, keep laughing at yourself. One of the best things you did this year was learn how serious and how not serious life is at the same time. You loved the you that is so far from perfect at times, it is laughable. You made plenty of mistakes, learned some not so pleasant but much-needed life lessons, and loved yourself through it all. You started cherishing every day, each sunrise and sunset, every phone call from family, fully celebrating the joys and allowing yourself to nurse through the pains.
Cassandra, I hope you sit in some deep gratitude for 2015 and all it has taught you, given you, and shown you. And 2016, it’s going to be an even more incredible ride, so I hope you buckle up, get ready, and keep following your heart.
Cassandra Bodzak is a global meditation and wellness teacher. She’s an author, speaker, TV personality, and works with clients one-on-one all over the world. She merges the food and spirituality conversation to help people create a life that LIGHTS them up from the inside out. She has been seen on ABC’s The Taste, SHAPE.com's healthy cooking video series, and in many other wellness publications. To learn more, click here to get her weekly tips and recipes for blissful well-being. Also, get her free Beginner's Guide to Bliss audio here.