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Lessons Learned in 2015

Written by Founder and CEO of Femfessionals, Violette De Ayala

At the beginning of each year, I define the year by theme. 2015 was themed “Living More”. As I prepare the transition from one year to the next, I purge items that I no longer need and reflect on the previous 12 months. I donate bags to a local charity with toys my kids have outgrown, clothes that haven’t been touched over the course of 2015, and anything else I don’t need or use. 

Removing those items and activities that no longer serve our greater good, allows us to fill that “space” with items that do fit our next and upcoming theme. For 2016, my theme is “Serving More within my Authentic Purpose” and it will be a goodie of a year. My recap of 2015 is chock full of simplicity and being more present. I am sharing my notes in the hopes that they inspire you in someway. Torn from my personal journal, below are personal bits and pieces of how my soul evolved this year and led into a great year of growth in various ways. When we share from the heart unfiltered it serves to help others tune into their path and at times refocus to their vision. 

Here is my personal recap:

Your Gut Always Knows: We can create focus groups, ask friends for advice, perhaps seek out professional help, but deep down your intuition is always right. I really focused on my gut in 2015 and though I can improve the statistics on this task, I took risks based on my internal voice and won every single time. If you can’t hear your voice, unplug, meditate/pray and ask yourself to choose. Listen to your voice. It most likely knows best. 

People change: This was a big one! I changed and so did my former husband who is now my boyfriend/domestic partner. After being married for over 20 years we took a break and we grew up. We both changed and as fate would have it, roads led us back to one another. I never envisioned this outcome, but did envision happiness for us both. Even after the age of 40, people can change if that is their priority. Give yourself the opportunity to see where you need to grow, I certainly did and the results have been magical.

Invest in Yourself: I invested in myself more than ever this year! From workshops, placing more advertisement, traveling more for work…it’s critical to invest in yourself. Whether it’s a spa treatment to recharge, a certification you have been wanting or a coach you need to hire…it’s great to invest in you! Your future starts with you, why wouldn’t you invest in the biggest component of your tomorrow?

Authenticity: Everyone is searching to be more like so and so over there. This year, I voiced [more than ever] my past challenges, struggles and adversity and it helped everything around me grow. When we share our truth with others, we connect with their soul. I recently was a keynote speaker for a Womens Organization in Durham NC and received my first standing ovation. It was rather emotional and my eyes were glossy from the response. Some in the audience had tears in their eyes as I exited the stage. It was quite emotional. But I shared a story that was vulnerable and raw. I shared my truth, and they felt it. Be you. Just Be You.

Fear: This year I focused on doing things that really scared me. Stepping out of my comfort box was a key topic for me. I ventured to Amsterdam for a day this year and toured the city solo. I handled the streets of Brussles for a few days solo as well. Through the fear of it all, I grew and felt stronger. It was life changing needless to say. Laugh in the face of fear in 2016!

Friends: I worked so much in 2014 which was great and we had 457% increase in growth. YAY business growth! On the down side, I lost connections with key people in my life; my friends. This year I did a better job reaching out to them weekly and dedicating good quality time to them. Friends make the world go round. Friends rock!

Creation: I attended the Oprah Live the Life You Want weekend last year, and it was a day that knocked me upside down in a good way. It was a much needed kick in the butt. My intention after the program was to create the life I wanted. I love to travel. As an illustration for my creation to travel more, I found ways to travel to Europe twice resulting in nearly a month overseas. I found a way to create all that I had added to my goal list in 2015. Your life is really in your hands. The life you want is there for the taking. I know you may not believe me, but I am proof. The secret is in your mindset. 

Focus: At the end of 2014, I created a list of my intentions and goals for 2015. I kept them handy and posted notes in my journal regarding the steps to get there. If you aren’t happy with your current situation, focus on stepping out of your current pattern.  Focus on living bigger in connection with your personal vision. Keep your eye on the prize. FOCUS regularly and focus hard.

Eat: Diagnosed with pre-diabetes this year was a shock to me and everyone around me. It’s genetic and diet was the first thing to edit per my physician. I decided to really change up my eating and became Vegan this summer while removing refined sugar. After a few months, I still consider myself plant based but every once in awhile I enjoy a slab of salmon and a spoonful of Nutella. I feel better and some say I look younger [not a focus but nice to hear]. It’s the Vegan living. My advice on this line item is if you aren’t feeling great, cut out some food choices. I feel great and it was one of the best changes I made in 2015.

Fitness: I have always loved working out. I owned a Pilates studio for nearly a decade because I’m honestly addicted to exercise. I still spin like a crazy woman but I was starting to get bored. I changed it up this year a bit and tossed in some frequent barre, pilates, and boot camps. Committing to a more active lifestyle is great if you want to get fit and trying different types of exercise can be so much fun. Many commit to getting ripped and losing a bunch of weight as their New Year Resolution. Being fit is more than just a number on the scale. Commit to moving and mixing your activities up a bit. Your body and mind will thank you. You’ll have more clarity as well. 

Nature: Even though I live 300 feet from the beach [insert sigh of blessings], I didn’t see as much of it as I had wanted in 2014. In 2015, I found myself hosting conference calls on the beach and writing my best pieces with sandy toes. I set out to incorporate more nature time which allowed for more serenity. Nature time is essential, as it makes us pause and feel life surrounding us. 

Your year: This is not really something I learned this year but something I want to emphasize for you.  This is your year to make the changes in your life and business you have dreamt of for so long. This is the year that you will accomplish what you set out to conquer. This is your year and start by setting your intention for 2016 today. Make a list of your goals and intentions. Then create a strategy to implement daily and weekly to achieve each of them. Plan and prepare for your greatness to shine in 2016. Set intentions today!

Wishing you a very bright 2016 filled of happiness, peace, love and prosperity.


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