“Gifts come to us when we open ourselves to the single greatest truth that those before us knew: there is a larger world behind the one we see around us every day.

That larger world loves us more than we can possibly imagine, and it is watching us at every moment, hoping that we will see hints in the world around us that it is there.”- Eben Alexander, M.D.

2015 was the year I put total trust in the universe.

You see, early last year I realized my usual end-of-December burning desire to change! Change! Change! just wasn’t there. I wasn’t sure what I wanted and I didn’t want to set goals if my heart just wasn’t in them. I didn’t really want to put myself on some crazy, strict weight loss regime. I had no burning desire to fix up my car. Or get a better haircut. The it came to me: all I really wanted was to go to bed each day feeling like it was a day well lived. I didn’t even know what that meant, but I’d had flashes of that feeling before and wanted to hold it for a more sustainable amount of time.

So for this year, I only set myself one goal: to throw myself at life full throttle, regardless of the outcome, and then track the results after like an experiment. What was the outcome? How different was it to my expectations? How did it make me feel and what did I learn from it? Like I had a thumb-sized me on my shoulder with a notepad at all times.

To do this I had to say yes to anything that scared the living crap out of me. Not just things like public speaking and performances in front of some pretty important people, but smaller things too.

Like saying the first ‘hey’ to people I felt I wanted to make friends with.

Like being honest and speaking the truth even when it was extremely uncomfortable.

Like allowing myself to be vulnerable, and be seen to be vulnerable.

So my mission was to say yes to anything that came my way that sang out ‘GROWTH” or “LESSON” or “LIFE EXPERIENCE”. Things that put me in the centre of the storm of raw, real human interaction and earthly existence but also things that opened me up to the plains of the divine and unexplainable.

I wanted to look back on 2015 with “fuck-yeah’s” and maybe an “oh, well” here and there, but no “what if’s.”

And i’m proud to say I’ve stuck to it right to the end.

Universe, I said, just give me what I need to learn and grow.

And it did just that. I signed a loyal contract with it, so in turn it showed me the same respect, never leaving my side.

When I needed to be blasted out of my complacency, it in turn broke my bank account, but later down the track sent me to Italy for free.

It shut down a publication i’d been writing for two years, a project we’d all poured our heart and soul into and had looked like it had a bright future. But then a few months later, put me in an office for two weeks with some of my absolute career idols at another publication, reigniting that spark to create to fever pitch once again.

When I was starting to subconsciously build homes out of people, or began to form fixed ideas of how my career should look or my life should be, the universe began moving people, places, adventures and career opportunities intermittently in and out of my life like a slow-moving kaleidoscope. Colours and shapes I never could have predicted or seen coming flared up out of nowhere. I never would have seen them had I stuck to fear of the unknown, and fixed ideals.

When I found myself becoming cynical about connections with the opposite sex, and weary of the social protocols of light small talk and the nature of social performance, the universe wasn’t having it. It plonked me on a park bench with a cute boy who said to me “let’s ditch the traditional script”, where we then talked car crashes, hookup culture, astral projection, spirituality, feminism, the universe, social protocol, societal expectations and The System for six hours straight. And it was in that moment when I was killing myself laughing at something he said that I felt the universe poke me in the back and say :”See? Don’t ever underestimate the treasures i’ve buried here, you cynical little thing.” Then the universe sent him to another country a few weeks later as if to say “But don’t get too attached, lol.”

(That’s another thing about the universe. People think it’s this nurturing, soulful, always righteous mother Theresa. And it can be. But it shapeshifts. Sometimes, the universe is actually just a cheeky Balinese man playing with you for the laughs, because he knows you can handle it.)

But now 2016 is here I want to pick up the slack a bit. 2015 was about throwing myself to the wind, and now 2016 will be about channelling that magic on a more concrete foundation. Something I want to build myself, intentionally and consistently. In 2015, I learnt anything was possible. I learnt every day of your life can be fucking magic if you’re curious, open minded and passionate enough.

2016 will be about working hard as a motherfucker. It will be about the baby steps, the integrity even while no ones watching, the slow-burning fire, not just the roaring flame. While the universe will sit on my shoulder and no doubt jump in and tweak this and that at the craziest times beyond my control, there are still factors I can control. I have the control to boot negative people, thoughts and brain patterns out of my head. I have the control to work hard, learn daily and push myself to be better. I have the control to fuel my body with foods that make it perform at it’s peak.

I now know that working hard and kicking goals doesn’t have to mean living for The Man, and passion doesn’t just have to be reserved for craft time or sexy time. I now know that childlike curiosity has just an important place in my life just as much as it did in kindergarten. I now know that there is no sweeter experience than collaborative creativity. I know now that, actually, this life can be really, really fun. Now 2016 it’s about cultivating that and making it a reality.

“Let the statues crumble.

You have always been the place.

You are a woman who can build it yourself.

You are born to build.”

 -Sarah Kay

Happy New Year, Salty Queens. Let’s not just make the same tired, overdone resolutions we’ll forget by February. Let’s admit to ourselves what it is we actually want out of this life, that image of a life that sets our soul on fire, and start hurling towards it full throttle. The world is our playground. Let’s go for it!