Can I just come out and say it?
2015 was CRAY CRAY!!
Crazy amazing. Crazy challenging. Crazy beautiful. Crazy in (mostly) all the best ways.
This was the year that… I got hate mail and death threats (yes, for SERIOUS). It was also the year that I found the courage to share some of my most powerful, vulnerable stories on stage, including the story of how I survived sexual assault. It was the year that I launched a new podcast.
The year that I visited Europe with my husband (we’ve been together over 24 years and it was our first Euro trip… ever!).
The year that I launched multiple new programs, including BARE, MAKE A SCENE and 7 DAYS OF BOLDNESS, some of my best work to date. It was also the year that I toured the world leading retreats in several countries that I’ve always wanted to visit. Including Ireland. Where we stayed in a historic mansion surrounded by emerald green hills and frolicking baby lambs. WTF.
While creating this “year in review” recap, I found myself literally LOL-ing at various intervals, thinking, “Did that seriously happen? How is this my life? FOR REAL, tho?”
But everything in this recap—every high, every low—is totally true.
It’s been a huge year and it feels really good to reflect and sum it all up in one place.
As you read along, I invite you to ask yourself, “What were the highs and lows of my year? What felt like a struggle? What did I learn? What were the moments where I felt most alive? What were my victories? Favorite memories? What will I do similarly, and/or differently, in 2016?”
Life tends to rush by in a blaze of activity and many of us rarely pause to breathe, reflect, and think about what the heck is going on in our lives—especially what’s going right.
I hope my 2015 recap inspires you to take some time for some year-end reflection.
You certainly don’t have to make a big ol’ blog post, like this one. You could just pop around the dinner table and ask each member of your family to share one “high” and one “low” from the past year. It will make for a fascinating conversation, I am sure!
Without further ado…
Here we go…
SEEING MY KIDS THRIVE. It was not a “perfect” year in the Hyatt Riot household—we had a few, ahem, “behavioral issues” that elevated my stress levels to skyscraper levels—but overall, it was a great year. Emily started high school and she loves it. Ryan continues earning great grades through an online high school program and it’s working for him. Em is obsessed with making music and Broadway musicals. Ryan is devoted to his boxing training. They’re both healthy, happy, and thriving. For me, that’s the biggest possible “high.”
CLARITY. After several years of waffling and pondering, I finally feel clear about what my next book is going to be about. Actually, my next two books. I’m ready to rock them out in 2016 and it feels so good to know where I’m “going” with these projects. So on it. Yesss.
LIBERATION. I will be blunt: I ended a friendship at the end of last year with someone who turned out to be not such a great “friend” after all. Things become ugly—I learned about some extremely hurtful trash talk that was happening behind my back—and I decided, “I’m done with this.” And then… my income nearly doubled after I cleared this relationship out of my life. Coincidence? I don’t think so. That’s what happens when you remove “energy drains” from your life! #SorryNotSorry
MY CLIENTS. This year, my clients and program participants have courageously faced their food and body image drama, collectively losing hundreds of pounds, naturally and safely, without dieting. My clients have quit jobs and launched profitable new businesses. They’ve earned new certifications. They’ve ended partnerships that weren’t satisfying or healthy. They’ve embarked on all kinds of new adventures. It’s amazing to witness. I’ve always loved my work as a life coach, but this year has felt supercharged.
I can’t wait to see the kinds of transformations that unfold in 2016!
MAKING A MOTHER-F*CKING SCENE. If there’s been a “theme” to my coaching work—and my life—this year, it has definitely been: MAKE A SCENE!
Throughout the entire year I’ve been reminding myself, my kids, and my clients: Don’t be passive. Be active. Don’t hang back and wait for opportunities, invitations, or extraordinary experiences to just “happen.” You want results? You want victories? You want a life that looks like your vision board? You want meaningful experiences that satisfy your deepest yearnings? Bust a move. DO something. You’ve got to create what you crave.
“Make a scene” is a message that I’ve been trying to live and lead, through example, and it’s been amazing to watch that message resonate so strongly with my clients and social media community too. When you start “making a scene” and assertively going after the goals that matter to you, it’s astounding how quickly your life can transform.
MY NEW WEBSITE. Isn’t it pretty? I was long overdue for a “re-brand” and I love love love the new look and layout. Big thanks to Chelsea Sanders for taking so many gorgeous new photos for the site and to her company Blueline’s design team for all of their web-coding work!
AND… THIS TEXT. I got the following text from my son Ryan. Was he temporarily abducted by aliens? Or is this my rebellious boy growing up and finally realizing that his mama is totally awesome? Either way, I am into it. I am going to get this text printed and framed. Or possibly stitched onto a throw pillow.
You know what? I’d rather not dwell on the lows—so this section will be fairly brief.
I did receive some extremely unpleasant messages via email and social media this year. I got messages from people who tried to shame me for posting photos of myself enjoying a lakeside vacation in my bikini (HOW DARE I???), messages from people who told me that I am a terrible role model for women and girls (well gee thanks!), messages criticizing my political and social beliefs, messages informing me that my blog posts had been plagiarized on another site, and one very special message that included a charming death threat. Fun!
It’s an unfortunate reality, but if you choose to run a business, express yourself online, share glimpses of your life via social media, or create any other kind of “public presence,” you will probably have to contend with creeps, bullies and trolls at some point or another. It’s not fun. It’s not fair. It’s not cool. But it is survivable.
Surround yourself with people who love you, breathe, and don’t let the haters derail you or shut you down. Don’t give them that power.
And that’s all I will say about… that.
MOST SURREAL MOMENT
My 42nd birthday, was spent boating (on Sharon Stone’s former boat—whaaaa?) from Positano, Italy to the Island of Capri. There was champagne and lovely ladyboss hugs and even Queen Beyonce’s driver involved. I seriously felt like I was in a movie.
Then I flew back home to Evansville, Indiana, where the kitchen was being torn up for a complete remodel, my own teenage kids greeted me with various urgent requests for lifts to band practice, money for movies, more snacks, and so on, and there was absolutely no birthday congratulations to be had. Oh well. At least I had my moment of glory!
Do I have to pick just one??? Oh wait. I don’t! Because it’s my blog and I can do what I want! Here are a few of my faves from the year:
FAVORITE MEAL – AT HOME
FAVORITE MEAL – OUT
For Thanksgiving this year, my family and I decided to defy tradition and do something totally different. Instead of the usual turkey, stuffing, and cranberry dealio at home, we went out for dinner at a swanky NYC restaurant. The food was elegant, the portions were small, and everything was exquisitely plated—each course was like an edible work of art. I will confess: my husband was initially disappointed by the “daintyness” of it all (“You call THIS Thanksgiving dinner?”) but the food was undeniably delicious and by the end of the meal, we were all totally satisfied.
It was a nice reminder that having a “celebratory holiday dinner” doesn’t necessarily have to end with a painfully full stomach or a groggy food coma. You can “celebrate” and “indulge” without overdoing it.
Definitely one of my favorite culinary experiences of the year!
Just a few women (both real and fictional) who inspired me big time this year:
Amy Schumer– She embodies everything that my BARE methodology is about in one photo.
Obiageli Ezekwesili– Bring back our girls.
Misty Copeland– I’m not the right body type? Watch this.
Reese Witherspoon– Actress, producer and mogul.
Beyonce’– I mean seriously?
Cookie Lyon– The walking talking poster woman for #makeascene.
Emily Hyatt– My daughter is my biggest inspiration.
Ronda Rousey– Badassery defined.
Always Oprah Winfrey– My 12 year old self, sitting on a tweed couch, hearing her say, “You can do anything. ANYTHING you want.”
OH, ABOUT THAT IRISH MANSION…
This recap-list would not be complete without mentioning my trip to Ireland, where I led a personal development retreat for eight women in one of the best places on the planet. (Full recap with tons of photos: here.)
We ate Irish cheese, met a cheerful old sea captain, hiked along majestic cliffs, saw baby lambs frolicking in the grass, drank cider, and experienced the warm, gracious, sincere hospitality of the Irish people. With my part-Irish heritage, it was an especially special trip for me. It truly felt like coming home, in body and soul.
Ohhh, bring it!
2016 is nearly here and I cannot wait for:
– More workout and running dates with my best friend, Frances.
– More homecooked meals in my newly revamped kitchen. (The remodel took FOREVER you better believe, I am taking full advantage of the space now that it’s done!)
– More traveling! Including this retreat at an Italian villa. Because Italy does not suck. And this retreat in the south of France. Because ditto.
– My 43rd birthday and my 23rd anniversary with my husband Scott, aka the Silver Fox.
– New episodes of Empire!! I intend to channel my inner “Cookie” all year long.
– Running my coaching programs—BARE and MAKE A SCENE—again, with fresh groups of participants, and running my LADY BOSS Mastermind group for women entrepreneurs which is gonna be on fiyaaah! (LADY BOSS has one spot left, FYI.)
– CLEAR COACHES LIVE! I am throwing a “mini conference” (about 50 participants, cozy and intimate) for the first time and it’s going to be HOT. Inspiring talks, amazing food, yoga classes, green juice, Prosecco, and valuable business training especially for coaches and other peeps who work in the personal development / self help industry. (If you want to grab a ticket, here’s where to do that.)
– Fewer death threats (HA! Let us pray…)
– My next book …. Coming your way!
Sweet baby Jesus & Cookie & Beyoncé… that’s a wrap for 2015!
Thank you for reading and for being part of my extended-online-family.
I am wishing you and your loved ones an incredible end of the year. We’ve got days to go until 2016. Plenty of time to make some beautiful new memories, and of course… make a scene. 🙂
See you next year!
PS. What’s on your vision board for 2016? If a fabulous, mind-, heart- and world-expanding travel experience is something you’ve been craving, consider joining me for a retreat! My retreats blend life coaching + career/business coaching + out-of-this-world adventures and sightseeing to recharge and inspire you in a way that jusssst doesn’t happen when you’re hanging at home in your jammies watching Netflix.
Next year, I’m doing a retreat in the south of France + another one in Italy. FYI: Italy was totally sold out, but the owners of the villa recently told me that they finished refurbishing a whole ‘nother level of the villa, so now we’ve got 4 additional bedrooms that we can use. Sweet! 4 more spaces! If you’d like to claim one of those rooms, click over HERE to learn more and make your deposit.
The Italian city of Positano is amazing, the people are so kind, the food will blow your mind, and May is the perrrfect time to go. If Italy is on your bucket list, this retreat would be a pretty sublime way to tick it off the list. Just make sure you have the world’s cutest Passport holder in time for your flight to ITALY!!! Viaggio Sicuro! (That’s Bon Voyage in Italian. Ci vediamo! See you there!)