• sparkfireswan

The Power of S: My 2018 Year in Review

Updated: Jan 13, 2020

The end of the year has closed in on us (and this one really snuck up on me, I must say). It’s the time of reflections on the lessons from the year behind us and intentions for the days ahead. I’m a heavy reflective (& nostalgic) type of person and love nothing more than to process through all I have learned and experienced, and to spend time setting my intentions for a fresh start. [Note: Intentions, not resolutions. I don’t like to make anything definitive, I’d rather set the tone for how I intend to be.] That’s what the new year is really about for me, a fresh start. I love the concept of a collective clean slate, a time where we can all start anew. I love the idea of checking in with yourself and seeing in what areas you can change or improve to ultimately better yourself and the life you live.

This year, when reflecting on the journey that has been 2018, I noticed a pattern – something which I haven’t really noticed in past years. Do you ever notice a certain them to your year, whether it’s a word or a phrase or even a feeling? Was there something a specific pattern or flavor to this year?

The power of S – this was a Year of S for me, in so many cosmic ways. Right from the very start, only a few weeks into 2018 I took my first adventure of the year to Sayulita, Mexico, one of the many places that has forever changed me. This really has been one of my most transformative years yet. I’m so thankful for all the experiences that have lead me to where I am right now, and it’s so exciting to me to look back at how far I have come in just 365 days.

Don’t get me wrong, this year hasn’t just been butterflies & rainbows through self-discovery, but instead it has been hard work! I’ve dealt with grief and immediate family loss (again), disagreements in my family, speaking my truth (even when it upsets others), a drastic job change, good friends moving states, understanding my own reactive emotional programming, fights, disagreements, swaying from my own self path, and everything else that comes with this stuff. The key factor here is how I’ve been able to learn and grow from my experiences and turn them into transformational moments instead of setbacks.

Fall in love with the process of becoming the very best version of yourself.

2018, the Year of S

I prefer to spend my money (& my time) on experiences, not things. Experiencing new places and new people are ultimately what shape me in life. For this reason alone, I have chosen to spend the most time reflecting on the powerful S places I’ve visited, versus some of the other S phrases/words/tools that have helped define my life this year. While ALL are equally important for who I’ve become, the places I’ve went are harder to put into words than the phrases or objects, and I’m always up for a good challenge. 🙂

Sayulita, MX

A hidden gem, an authentic Mexican town, and a beautiful beach oasis. New places always touch my heart in special ways, but this one vibrated with my soul on a new level. Sayulita set the tone for the year and filled me with such a sense of authentic self. The peaceful vibes of this Mexican culture made me think about how important it is to slow down in life and do things for you, things that make you truly happy inside. I remember walking down one of the cobblestone streets and coming across a sign in an office that said something along the lines of, “I used to be like you, and now the Beach is my office”… and it really made me think about life and how we don’t have to just do things the way society tells us to. If you want to move to the Beach and make that your office, than please by all means – DO IT. We now live in a world where so many things can be done remotely and done in ways that they have never been done before. There is no rulebook or guideline to your life – just DO YOU. Think of how much happier of a place this world would truly be if we all did more things that filled us with passion. In this way, Sayulita helped spark that deeper meaning for me, and helped me understand that it’s okay if I still don’t understand the greater picture of my own purpose, but that doesn’t mean I should stop trying to find it!

Sayulita taught me the importance of veering off uncharted roads, through unknown territory, and how this is the way to find the most magical parts of life. Just as we walked down a random path in the jungle and came across a secluded beautiful beach, and hidden cave – we have to do these same type of adventurous walks through life too. It didn’t even feel like I was on a tropical vacation here, it felt like I was at a retreat for the mind, and for the soul! Sayulita reminded me how much I enjoy the small town feel, the authentic vibe, the NOT RESORT/TOURIST part of traveling to new places. Sayulita quite literally reminded me how important it is to be authentic, with yourself, with what you do, and where you go! This beach oasis helped me realize I want so much more out of life, and that’s OK, but I need to go after it then. I can’t just sit around and think about it – I need to DO, BE, BECOME.

I’m learning to carry less. Not care less or be careless. Simply carry less of things that weigh my soul down.

Sedona, AZ

Quite possibly my favorite place I’ve ever been to, at least up until this point in time. I can’t even accurately describe in words how this place makes me feel, but it is otherworldly. Sedona is a place I could see myself ending up, coming back to again and again. Sedona is full of spirituality, adventure, and the most potent of all energy. It’s a breathtaking blend of forest, dessert, warmth, and rivers, and it mesmerized me! I’ve been through Sedona once before, a few years before, and just knew that I had to go back. Sometime around the start of Spring this year, I was getting anxious to book a new adventure and as much as I tried to think of somewhere new to go, my mind kept coming back to Sedona. I couldn’t shake the thought of going back no matter how hard I tried, I was being tugged – pulled even! Luckily for me, Adam agreed immediately that this could be our next spot and we were able to book our trip back for May. Sedona has energy unlike any place I’ve ever been to, and that’s not just from the several energy vortex spots located here.

The blend of red-orange rock hues, dark forest greens, baby blue skies and deep blue rivers just speaks to me on a whole other level. Sedona made me realize I might not only be this ‘ocean person’ I always thought I was – I might in fact really be a Mountain person, and even more so – a DESERT person. I found so many new layers of myself here! I wanted nothing more than to spend many more weeks exploring every hike and new opportunity to see Sedona from another viewpoint. I felt like this was the land where the spiritual go, with so many energy healing centers, energy tours, gem shops, psychic readings, and aura readings – on the corner of every road. The timing was something else, as I was just starting to dive into the many layers my spirituality journey has taken me this year. It truly felt like one of those right places at the right time kind of thing. I could go on about my love for Sedona forever, and I know I will be back again soon. This magical little place, just north of Phoenix in the beautiful red rock mountains, has imprinted on my heart forever. Sedona recharged me and at the same time ignited me to continue onward through my journeys of self-discovery. This weekend getaway was much like a retreat in a grander sense! (Hmm… I see a theme here?)

I want to live so densely, lush and slow.

Seattle, WA

I’m really glad I finally made it here, as I’ve been wanting to go here for so long! Seattle and the Pacific Northwest were the icing on the cake this year, the last chapter to my Year of S. Continuing with the theme of realizing I’m more of a  ‘mountain person’, and with a trip to Evergreen, CO in between Sedona and Seattle, the Pacific Northwest just felt like home. It’s moody here, in fact a lot more moody than I imagined, and it’s so comforting to be a part of (especially since I’m quite a moody soul myself). But that’s just it, Seattle helped me understand that moody is beautiful too. Moody is passion, moody is variety and change. Moody is RAW emotion, authentic emotion, and just as special as the perfect blue skies and beaming sun of Sedona. Everyone always tells you that it just rains in Seattle and it’s depressing and miserable, but in fact Seattle was one of the most refreshing places I’ve ever been to. The weather changed a lot, sometimes several times a day, (and it was still “winter” here too) but just as my moods and emotions change with the same frequency, it reminded me that nothing is concrete, nothing is set in stone. Life is ever changing and so are our emotions and the weather, and we must learn to adjust and adapt with it and appreciate things in every phase. In order to truly understand emotions we must sit with them, ride them out, truly FEEL them for what they are. It’s a point of perspective and really a new way of looking at things, and it ties together with so much inner personal work I’ve already been doing this year. It’s like putting that inner work into a real life experience too!

What a powerful place, to be surrounded by oceans and mountains and forests, and ACTIVE volcanoes – right on the edge of the country! The energy here was deep, and it was just what I was looking for. There is so much more than meets the eye, and I can’t wait to go back and explore more of the National Parks, the mountains and even the hidden rainforests! Just because a moody emotion (or weather front) appears one way on the surface, doesn’t mean that there isn’t so much more to it underneath it all. Just as the rain fell in downtown Seattle, the clouds turned to blue skies and rays of sunshine as we crossed the bay and ventured into Olympic National Park. I’m on a path to retrain all of my emotional programming in life so that I can start reacting to things through my most authentic self, and not the way I was taught or the way reactions were passed down to me from my family. Emotions are beautiful, and we must treat them that way.

We are all living in cages with the doors wide open.


I could literally speak volumes here, but I will try to contain myself. I’ve always been much of a spiritual type of person, non-religious, against the grain, always questioning and searching for new truths. I don’t blame my parents for raising me Catholic, they did what they thought was right and I listened to what I was told, for a while anyway. I started really venturing into my own ‘spiritual realm of higher power’ at a very young age, falling head over heels in love with space, astronomy and astrology. I always have had a gypsy-hippy mindset to life, but never necessarily sunk into deeper layers of it all until this year. This year has completely TRANSFORMED my entire existence. I have traveled through more layers of spirituality than I ever thought I would, and now I feel like I’m only just getting started with it all. I used to view the concept of ‘spirituality’ as something so basic and boring. Now I see spirituality as my entire life, my soul, my passions, the way I live, how I want to be, everything – all of it! I can thank most of my spiritual journey this year to my discovery of podcasts and the amount of time I’ve spent in my car learning and growing, instead of being troubled and angered by back and forth commutes to jobs that suck my soul away instead of ignite it. Discovering a whole new path of spirituality has lit my life up this year and helped reshape negative thoughts and reactions. Quite literally, spirituality has helped allow me to live my life more positively. And the timing of the places I traveled to while amidst my spiritual path this year have just added fuel to the fire.

Stop asking why this is happening to you, and instead start asking what this is teaching you. Learn to respond to life through your spiritual practice, rather than your emotional programming.

Everything is perspective. You change your thoughts and you change your whole life experience. You change your whole vibration!

To sum up some of the things I’ve found myself getting into on the spiritual side of things, here is a list of what I’ve experienced or discovered: MEDITATION (no, I’m not good at it – yet!), yoga (same story here, but for the first time ever I can say I LOVE yoga. I used to be so unfairly biased towards it! Now I understand that it’s so much more than ‘stretching’ and physical exercise is so much more than lifting weights or running for hours), journaling by the phases and signs of the moon – self reflecting, intention setting, and creating based on the moon phases,  REIKI (I completed my level 1 certification!), and dove even more in depth to the world of energy healing, HUMAN DESIGN (I’ve wrote about this before … but dudes, it’s basically astrology on crack!), CRYSTALS (now I have this outstanding collection going and have gotten new gems from most new places I’ve been this year), spirit guides (or angels, or whatever you want to call those from above that are helping guide you through life), learning to tune into the vibrations of life, learning to TRUST my intuition and use it more often, learning to FEEL through everything, my first ever Mind/Body/Spirit convention, a whole new world of astrologers to follow and live and breathe by (The AstroTwins – basically my favorite!), spiritual podcasts, and on and on with spirituality and its ties to self-awareness and self-improvement. I’m absolutely amazed by how much I’ve grown this year, and yet at the same time I know I’m only just breaking out of my shell. I know in my heart that 2019 is going to be twice as transformative!

I think the most important thing my spirituality journey has taught me this year is the concept of self-love. Unfortunately, you don’t learn how to really love yourself in school, or from anyone else, self-love only comes from within. I’ve posted about this before, but it’s taken me almost my whole 30 years of existence to truly understand how to unconditionally love my body, and with that comes the greater sense of self-love. This year, and this path through spirituality, has allowed me to say I love who I am (& who I am becoming) and I actually mean it for once.

I have changed so much this year, and yet I’m more myself than I’ve ever been before. Once you begin to take the spiritual world more seriously you will start to see signs in everything, everyone and every situation, to help lead you further on the right path. Everything starts to make more sense, holistically. And there are not many feelings better than realizing that you no longer live in the same realm that you used to. Growth is so fucking beautiful!

The list continues, with so many other ways the Power of S has transformed my life this year…

  1. Shadow Side – To every spiritual side, there is your shadow side. You won’t grow deeper in your spiritual practice if you don’t approach, sit with, and heal your shadow side. The true way to grow interpersonally is to learn to understand, admit, and work through your dark side. Without this darkness there would be no light! This work isn’t easy, and a lot of people don’t ever feel comfortable enough to do it, but that’s the point – to get out of your comfort zone in an effort to better yourself!

  2. Sensuality – I’ve learned so much about my own sensuality, the real powers of sexual energy, and how this all relates to the bigger picture of spirituality and sense of self. “There is so much intimacy in understanding.” This includes sensuality of the body, AND mind! (If you’re just getting into sensuality and sexual energy, then I’ve got some amazing podcast episodes I can recommend you!) Sexuality is a huge part of life, human nature, and a way to connect with yourself, others, and the Divine.

  3. Self // -awareness, discovery, growth, …. etc.! – I’ve been through it all this year! What a powerful year of ‘self’ in so many ways. One of my absolutely favorite things in the world is self-awareness and personal growth and I’ve enjoyed focusing on all of it this year! [Self-awareness is forever sexy!] My favorite people are those who are always actively working to better themselves.

  4. Self-CARE – This one gets its own bullet point because it is just that fucking important! I have spent more time on myself this year than any other year, and its exactly what I needed! It’s OK to say no to things so you can work on yourself, it’s OK to spend time recharging in the ways you need to, and it’s all NECESSARY if you want to be able to be the best you that you can be both for yourself, and other people! Self-care is one very STRONG way that I took my power back this year and it’s helped me to establish a sense of boundaries with toxicities, negativities, friends & family, and within my own self too.

  5. Social Media – This might sound silly, but honestly this has been a huge part of my personal growth this year! I started my blog on January 1, 2018, and have started to channel more of my authentic, creative, vulnerable self through all social media channels since then. I’ve really starting to find my community, my ‘tribe’ on social media, and have been growing my own accounts too. [Not to mention, I was also on the local news for following more of my passions through plant medicine and the education of Cannabis and CBD!]

  6. Speaking My Truth – I’ve started writing again, and really finding my voice in this world. I had my first ever PUBLISHED piece, and many more to follow after that. I’ve started putting out content on the regular, and regularly contributing writing pieces to other online websites and magazines. This is HUGE for me and has really helped me put my passions to use and continue with my childhood love for writing and speaking my truth. “Never apologize for being a powerful fucking woman!”

  7. Supplements! – This year has been a HUGE game changer for supplements. I’ve discovered so many new things to help live a more well-rounded life! I did a whole blog review series this summer talking about all kind of different products I love, but I didn’t spend as much time this year talking about the supplements. That has been more of a personal journey for me as I find tune my health and wellness and I’m excited to share more here in 2019! [A few of my favorite everyday MUST HAVES include: CBD, Biotin, propolis, vitamin D, collagen, MCTs, CBD, CBD, CBD!]

Why stay cellular, when you could be Galactic?

I hope as you are looking back on things this past year, that you can say it’s changed you. I hope you have learned something new and found ways to grow. I hope you are always moving forward and looking forward to something. This year had a lot of difficulties – politically and environmentally speaking, and on personal levels for everyone too, but none of those things should define us. I hope you can find a way to let go of that which no longer serves you and your wellbeing, and leave behind any low vibrations in 2018. Only take with you into 2019 that in which will lift you higher and elevate you to a new level of you. Fuck the rest!

2019, I’m ready for you. I’m ready to grow into new energy. Let’s do this!

Happy New Year.


I am the soul of a witch, the fire of a lioness, the heart of a hippie, & the mouth of a sailor!


For more reviews, content, and other adventures, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Spark Fire Swan.


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