The year of 2017 has been a complete and total whirlwind! It marked the busiest and most eventful year of my entire life. The year started out with plenty of challenges which lead to it being a very transformational year. In 2017 I started my own company, quit my job, became a graduate instructor in functional nutrition, and learned to live completely by myself. After a year filled with many positive life shifts, I’m headed into 2018 filled with gratitude for this year. Read this post to find out about the new focus that I have created for 2018!  

Choosing Courage

Some of our biggest obstacles in life often end up being our biggest blessings. It was hard to see it that way last January. After experiencing a few devastations I laid on the floor of my new apartment on January 31, 2017 (because I hardly had any furniture) completely alone. I spent New Years Eve reflecting on how I was going to pick myself back up again. I knew that I had a choice, as my dad has always said: you can feel sorry for yourself or you can get back on the horse and keep living your life. Thankfully I chose the horse (even though I don’t horseback ride!). Today I’m grateful for the rocky start that I experienced in 2017–it awakened me, challenged me, and made me stronger.

When journaling on January 1, 2017, I wrote the word ‘courage’ in big letters. I had put my mind to showing up with courage in the year of 2017. For those of you that are in a place that is in need of courage and healing, I want to share some of the ways that I was able to find courage. I found courage in sitting with my pain. I spent time journaling, practicing Breathless yoga regularly, working out and pushing myself passed my comfort zone, going to church every Sunday and reading the book The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein (highly recommend this read). I also signed up for yoga teacher training with the magical Diana Vitantonio. I had no intention of being a yoga instructor–just a deep desire to heal myself. This was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made.

Highlights of 2017

The Highs and Lows of 2017 AND a New Focus for 2018 BeingBrigid

I made a commitment to fully to show up for myself, to be courageous, and to trust in the mystery of life. As a result, it turned out to be an incredible year. Here are some of the high points that followed:

  • Learned to meditate (thanks to Breathless Yoga) and start everyday ‘calling my spirit back’ or in other words..finding my center
  • Started a functional nutrition consulting business
  • Finished my advanced clinician training in functional medicine through the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) which (only) took me three years!
  • Ended my relationship with treadmills and started working out in the basement of the gym with the weights
  • Co-created a graduate course in integrative and functional nutrition and co-taught 17 incredible future dietitians and healthcare practitioners
  • Created the HealthySelf Reset with my amazing team (Julie Foucher, MD, MS; Dani Urcuyo, MD; and Patricia Urcuyo). You can still signup for our 2018 program at healthyselfreset.com
  • Created a monthly subscription program with Julie and Dani called the Functional Feed which includes monthly functional nutrition meal plans, functional medicine articles, and functional workouts. thefunctionalfeed.com
  • Developed incredible friendships and relationships
  • Completed Breathless Yoga Teacher Training–one of the most healing experiences of my life breathlessyoga.com
  • Attended the Mind Body Green Revitalize conference in Arizona where I was awarded one of Mind Body Green’s Next Great Nutritionists with Sammi Haber and Carlene Thomas
  • Represented the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy (IFNA) at the annual food and nutrition conference with my mentor Kathie Swift and some of my favorite RDs!
  • Published a research paper on dietary supplement use in elderly patients
  • Found the courage to QUIT my job where I was no longer growing and learning

The Highs and Lows of 2017 AND a New Focus for 2018 BeingBrigid

What is Stopping You?

One of the most significant bullet points on this list is quitting my job. This was a job that felt like it was so much a part of me and my identity. I worked there for five years and in functional medicine for three years. But I had reached a point where I felt like I was no longer growing and learning—two things that I REALLY value. I showed up to yoga teacher training in July and stated that I hoped to eventually quit my job. When asked what was stopping me, I listed every ‘reasonable’ excuse imaginable. I was tied to so many external reasons for why people stay in jobs that they dislike: I need a secure source of income, it provides good health insurance, I didn’t want to lose the association with a very reputable hospital, I was afraid of what I would miss out on.

I finally realized that listening to my fear-based way of thinking was robbing me of happiness, fulfillment and growth. I started to wonder if I was possibly missing out on more by staying at my job than if I left. I woke up on a Monday morning–sat in meditation for 45 minutes and decided that was the day that I would put in my notice. The beautiful part about our intuition is that it’s always there and it always knows. The hardest part was making the decision but since then, I have not looked back. When trying to make the ‘right’ decision I felt anxious but after finally committing to leaving I was filled with lightness and freedom. What fears are holding you back from making necessary changes in your own life?

I Choose Balance & Space

In thinking about this upcoming year of 2018, I want to focus more on creating balance and space in my life—two things that I’ve always undervalued. I want to spend more time doing nothing, being bored, cleaning my apartment, scrapbooking (something that I used to love when I was younger), learning to sleep in and not view it as a waste of time. I want to be more present as a friend, sister, daughter, girlfriend and less as a dietitian/blogger.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a dietitian, talking to people about their diets and teaching students in this field (probably way too much)! But I want to focus on going back to the basics of just being a good human.

Here is a high-level overview of the rest of my intentions for the year of 2018:

  1. Listen more intently. I am a great (and loud) talker but not as good of a listener. I want to listen without an agenda and better support the people in my life. I’ve found that the easiest way to do this is to meditate more frequently.
  2. Complete my training with the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy https://www.ifnacademy.com/. This is my second training program in functional medicine and it’s focused specifically on integrative and functional nutrition. This is something that I’ve been working towards for two years and I hope to be ready to sit for the exam by the end of January in order to become a Certified Integrative and Functional Nutrition Practitioner. I would highly recommend this path for any other dietitians!
  3. Say no more often. I learned through yoga teacher training that I need more boundaries in every area of my life. I typically say yes to every opportunity that is presented which leads to feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Instead I am going to focus on my priorities, say no more often, and be ok with disappointing people.
  4. Find balance. My goal is to work less and prioritize spending time with my family and those that I care about. I want to give more of my time and attention to those that I love instead of being completely consumed by my work.
  5. Travel more. Now that I work for myself (which is super scary and exciting!) I have the luxury of being able to work from essentially anywhere. I fully intend to travel more and explore the world. I also plan to take a vacation by myself.
  6. Launch a new business concept that will provide incredible valuable to the field of integrative and functional nutrition. More to come on that one!
  7. Start a youtube channel discussing various functional nutrition topics and frequently asked questions!

Wishing you a Happy and Bright 2018!

Thank you for each of your support throughout this past year. I’ve loved sharing functional nutrition tips and recipes with you and hearing from many of you! I’m wishing you a happy and balanced new year.

Cheers to a new year and new chapter that’s filled with balance and space! <3

Brigid