I have chosen a photo from each month of the year to reflect on the changes that I've seen throughout the year. I hope that you enjoy and find some time to reflect on your own year.
2017 has been the year of pushing. The last few months of 2016 were the most difficult of my life. They shook me up in the ways that only close experiences with trauma or death can do. And yet time keeps pushing forward--and with it all of my dreams, all of my obligations, and all of the promises I made to myself and to the universe. I entered 2017 with a heavy sense of duty, but lacked the will to support the things I'd said I'd do. So I had to push through every day. To remind myself of my blessings, to release old pain, to do the things I know I was put here on Earth to do.
2017 felt like 5 years packed into 3 months. Somehow it flew by, and yet so many life changing events happened. This time last year I had just moved back to LA from NY after 4 and a half years. Now I'm preparing to return to the city to assist director Mia Lidofsky on a tv series called STRANGERS. As I reflect on the year, it has in many ways been more productive and successful than any other. I created two short films, traveled to two different continents, wrote my second feature, directed a visual poem, had my first solo show, and most importantly took the time to heal a lot of old and fresh wounds. But each of those moments felt like a push. Nothing came easily.
In all of that unease the universe never gave up on me, and I never gave up on myself. Instead, I kept pushing. Now I feel that I've arrived at a moment where I no longer need to. All of that relentless pushing and discomfort created a momentum. When I least expected to find it, there was flow again. An ease, a moment to breathe and recognize that even if things are hard or tiring, the inertia, the axé of the universe will keep me going.
Today I did 108 sun salutations at my Yoga Shala to ring in the new year. Our teacher chanted the gayatri mantra 108 times in sync with our movements. It felt like a soul cleanse, and finally in savasana, a moment of full-body/spirit release. I don't want to push anymore. I want to be present in each moment, to be there with my breath even if it is challenging, to rise to the challenge of the present without trying to push it forward or resist it.
I don't often reflect on the hardships and accomplishments of my year in a public way, but this year as I look back I feel incredibly proud of all that I have done both creatively and personally. 2016 left me in my most vulnerable, paranoid, and anxious self. Things that normally would excite me were cause for extreme anxiety. Fear followed me in all of my pursuits, and it has taken all of my energy to combat that, to heal. I am proud of that, and can't wait to put my best foot forward in 2018. For myself, and for the world.