What a year! On a purely physical level, I felt challenged. At the same time, it’s been a year of deep healing in the realms of emotion, mind, and spirit. I enjoyed periods of sweet bliss too.
And, like you may have experienced as well, I grappled with the undercurrent of tension and periodic shock waves that come with living in rocky and uncertain times.
Here are some personal highlights from my year:
- I chose “self-sovereignty” as my guiding word for 2016. As you might guess, I encountered any number of challenges that tested my ability to be true to myself. Most of the time, I managed brilliantly.
- I realigned with my life purpose as a writer that aspires to help others heal and transform through her words. Doing so finally put to rest a nagging inner whisper about something “else.”
- I’m especially proud I attended my 2-hour Tai Chi course three times each week, all year long. Tai Chi is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.
- I made slow but steady progress healing the residue of long-held trauma.
- I traveled from Hawaii to the mainland for the first time in 9 years and spent 18 days total in 3 different cities. I faired better health-wise than I ever imagined. Understandably, I experienced some physical repercussions, but my body gradually settled down once back on my Big Island refuge.
- I lost 22 pounds, so health affirming and confidence-giving. I gained a few back while traveling, but I still feel I’m at a good weight. And I know how to lose the extra pounds.
I live a relatively quiet life: writing for you, teaching mindfulness online, practicing meditation, tending our small fruit orchard (a glimpse in the photo above), resting, and healing from too much stress and trauma. At this point in my life, my accomplishments tend to be inner ones. I feel good with that.
What happened on Always Well Within in 2016? Here you go.
- I wrote and shared 50 articles on Always Well Within and 11 issues of Wild Arisings, my monthly note. That's about 60,000 words - the length of a substantial book. Sign up for Wild Arisings here.
- I finally set up my own mailing list after 6 years of blogging.
- I created my first major gift for subscribers to Wild Arisings: a 50-page ebook, 21 Simple Stress Tips.
- I set up the Always Well Within Library with more free worksheets, mini-guides, and workbooks.
The Best Always Well Within Posts 2016
It always gives me a thrill to read through my best posts of the year. I hope you enjoy this mix of the posts you liked best and my own personal favorites.
- Keep Going, You’re Doing Great: The 7 Paradoxes of Personal Growth
- How to Surrender Your Resentments and Feel Light Happy and Free
- Critical Choices on the Border of Life
- 3 Healthy Routines for a More Balanced Life
- Is It Time to Create a Culture of Care?
- The Buddha’s Essential Guide to Happiness
- Are You Living the Mystery? On Embrace of the Serpent
- My Morning Routine: How I Start Each Day with Ease
- 21 Ways to Eliminate Stress from Your Life
- Living Right Now: The True Meaning of Renunciation
- 9 Ways to Find Serenity in a World Gone Mad
Here' more of the best for those who would like to explore:
- The Best of Always Well Within 2015
- The Best of Always Well Within 2014
- The Best of Always Well Within 2013
- The Best of Always Well Within 2012
- The Best of Always Well Within 2011
What’s Ahead In 2017: Your Requests via My Reader Survey
Thank you so very much to everyone who responded to my Reader Survey. With your help, planning 2017 will be a snap. I’ll simply focus my 2017 writing and offerings according to your wishes, with a few of my own preferences thrown into the mix.
Here’s what you told me in essence.
I don’t ask many personal questions in my surveys, like your income or age, out of respect for your privacy. However, I was curious where you stand on the introvert-extrovert spectrum. Here’s what you said:
- Ambivert 50%
- Introvert 39%
- Extrovert 11%
That makes sense to me. Although I’m an introvert, I’m probably more toward the middle than most. So I feel like we’re a perfect fit. Of course, extroverts are welcome here too. But I understand why I might not attract many of you, since I don’t exude an outgoing energy.
I find it fascinating and wonderful that 36% of you don’t spend much time on social media at all!
Facebook is the best place to find 48% of you. The number of visits from Facebook to Always Well Within has steadily declined as Facebook limited Page reach more and more in recent years. But I won’t disappear from Facebook entirely because you’re there.
What are your three biggest life challenges or interests, ones that you would also like me to address in my posts on Always Well Within or in my monthly note, Wild Arisings?
This was my favorite question as it hones in on exactly what you would like me to write about.
Your top three choices:
- Self-Kindness, Self-Acceptance & Self-Love
- Intuition & Heart-Centered Living
- Mindfulness, Meditation & Spiritual Practice
Also of interest:
- Emotional Healing & Emotional Balance
- Stress Relief, Stress Management, Relaxation & Ease
- Life Balance
- Life with Chronic Illness
- Healthy Habits
- Confidence & Self-Esteem
- Manifesting My Dreams
- Overcoming Inner & Outer Obstacles
- Productivity & Motivation
- Communication & Relationships
- Global & Environmental Concerns, Humanitarian & Social Justice Issues
I feel eager to write on the topics you favor. Sadly, we live in a wounding culture. It makes sense that self-kindness, self-acceptance, and self-love made it to the top of the list. I like how this focus is balanced equally by an interest in mindfulness, meditation, and spiritual practice. I think we need to give our attention to both aspects to live a genuinely happy and meaningful life.
I’ll write more on your top three topics in 2017, but also some on the next five - doing my best to meet most everyone’s needs. I won’t write as much on the last six, with the exception of social issues. I'll write about those from time to time because they stir my passion.
I'll also respond to individual requests like these:
- Healing from the ugly, untrue messages of, “You’re rotten to the core!” Healing into my True Nature.
- Life with terminal illness.
- Dealing with rejection from my daughter. (See: How to Heal from Feeling Rejected by a Loved One)
- Superwoman addiction.
- I would love to hear more about your Qigong/Tai-Chi practice. (In the Nov. issue of Wild Arisings)
- Life balance for the elderly.
- I’m always looking for posts on compassion and loving kindness.
- Remember those of us with chronic illness from time to time.
I also want to write a series about what it means to be a spiritual warrior. I feel we need to encourage one to embody the qualities of a spiritual warrior in these challenging times.
Most of you like that I write about a variety of topics instead of sticking to just one. That's good because I would have trouble limiting myself.
Which 3 topics interest you the most as a short e-course?
One topic took a long lead: Cleaning Up Your Life - Physically, Emotionally & Mentally. I've written on this topic and will look at creating a course later in 2017.
Early in the year, I plan to update the courses I’ve already created: Living with Ease and Open Your Heart to You.
What 3 topics interest you the most as e-books?
- Overcoming Obstacles
- Finding Ease
- Emotional Mastery
Those are my favorites too. I plan to gather my best blog posts on these topics, add more, and edit to create a series of e-books over the coming years. If all goes well, I will try to produce at least one e-book in 2017.
What Do You Find Unique About Always Well Within and My Approach?
So many of you took the time to write individual responses and share what you feel is unique about my blog and my approach. I felt positively overwhelmed by your appreciation and kindness.
You said so much more, but to capture the essence, here are some of the words you used to describe the ambiance and writing on Always Well Within:
Did this send me over the moon? Absolutely! Thank you, I feel deeply loved, appreciated, and seen.
Keep Always Well Within Ticking
In 2016, I wrote and shared more than 60,000 words of free content, which took hundreds of hours and adds up to the size of a substantial book.
In 2017, I plan to continue offering the same level of free content. I always have big dreams about creating paid e-courses and ebooks too, but my ability to do so is limited by my health considerations. So if you would like to support my writing, here's one way you can help out.
Express Your Love & Support If you find inspiration, encouragement, and value through my writing on Always Well Within or Wild Arisings, please consider making a donation to help me continue. Just use the link below. Many thanks and deep gratitude.
Thank you for your presence. Writing for you gives meaning and purpose to my life. I'm grateful! Thank you for sharing my posts, commenting, connecting via email or simply reading my posts and monthly note I’m so happy to be connected with you!
What have you learned this year? What are you letting go of this year? If you have any special requests for blog topics, let me know that too. I would love to hear.
Sending loving thoughts your way today and everyday. Thank you for reading! I appreciate your presence. Have you signed up for my monthly note – Wild Arisings – yet? Learn more and join here – you’ll get some goodies too. May you be well, happy, and safe – always. With love, Sandra