Inhale 2015. Exhale 2014I’m feeling humbled by 2014, so much so that I’m hesitant to proclaim anything bold for 2015.

In fact, this may be the big lesson from 2014–to expect nothing.

Here are my top hard-learned lessons from 2014. I hope they will bring us ease!

1. Growth and change will come mostly only from necessity and the force of circumstance.

I’m pretty self-motivated and actualized, but there were steps and leaps even I hesitated around taking because, well, I didn’t really HAVE to. Then, circumstance kicked my ass and she forced change upon me.  How impolite.

A coach of mine always asks WHY you want what you want–what for, how will it change your life? There needs to be a pull (or push) for growth, in order for it to happen. It’s all too easy to just stay the same, right?

So as you think about the changes you want for 2015, consider the WHY of it and focus on that. Then the change will seem all the more important.

And if it’s not that compelling, you probably won’t change. Until life forces your hand.

2. Falling in love is the easy part–learning to keep your loved one is where the magic (and hard work!!!) begins.

Love will certainly make you do all kinds of things that you never thought, or planned, or anticipated doing.

As my beloved says, love is a good reason to try.

To try what, you might ask? To grow, to be a better person, to be bigger of heart.

Often I found myself feeling the opposite: small, hard, angry. And one thing that helped me often was the question: What would love do?

Would love respond in a way preoccupied with its own interests?

No.

Would love not try to listen, try to understand, focus on the beloved even in a moment of strife?

Absolutely. Especially then.

Try using that question as a guidepost when in a difficult spot with your beloved: what would love do?

3. People can be full of fear, malice, and selfishness. Be open, kind, generous any way.

This year has been full of all kinds of heartbreaks for black people in our country. While my sorrows pale in comparison, personally, I’ve been trod on a little bit too.

But, another lesson I learned from my beloved, is not to let those experiences harden you, or change your true nature. Continue to be kind. Continue to be generous. Continue to find ways to open your heart. Why on earth would you allow horrible people make YOU horrible too?

Finally, like I stated at the beginning, the biggest lesson of 2014 was (IS!) to learn to let go.

As Lao Tzu says in Tao #9: this is the way of heaven: do your work, then quietly step back.

If you win, great. If you lose, great.

Do your work. Then let go. Breathe and smile.

I must remind myself of this, continually.

Let the lessons of 2014 prepare us for all that 2015 will bring. Many blessings for you in 2015. May she be a kind, generous, and forgiving year.