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  • Tara Thurber

Well..."2020 was tough, BUT it also created the space for BIG shifts..."

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

Great words my dear friend/life coach Christa Russo said to me the other day while discussing where we've gotten to over this past year. As we sit back and reflect through the ups and downs, potholes, geisers as well as the twists and turns we've either fallen down or tried to turn through I found myself also thinking heavily about where I've come this year, what's been accomplished and what I've learned from any failures.

Have I lost you yet?


But seriously, I not only started a new working relationship with an amazing team at DefinedLogic but we also started a brand new division, DEFINEDTALENT.com that has brought quality talent to top clients, new services, a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and culture as well as new partnerships and collectives that focus on helping others and making an impact within the recruiting industry.


It's all new territory as we navigate "virtually" EVERYTHING!


It has not been easy and there has been a lot of fear, questioning, concerns all within preparing for the unknown landscape that we all have faced over this past year. But if I can take a step back and really look at what has come out of all of this...there's definitely silver lining among it all.


Here's a bit of insight as well as ideas/access to new tools and ways of thinking that Christa from www.freedomcollective108.com has shared with us to end 2020 with a positive mindset and prepare for what is to come in 2021:


Your heart needs to break open from time to time; it's how we transform and grow. Even though these changes are uncomfortable and at times incredibly painful or scary, there's a silver lining; BIG shifts. 

When life rips the rug out from underneath you, challenges you, and sends chaos into your world, it is shaking you up to crack you open. Life needs you cracked open because it is through those cracks that the light pours through and from death or the closing of a chapter, we are reborn. When life rattles our world, it is allowing what is no longer in alignment to fall away, creating the space for what is waiting for us. 

I think it's safe to say we have all had a challenging year, but challenges bring change and transformation.

If I were to ask you how you would sum up the feeling of 2020, your immediate response might be a disaster, shit-sow, chaos, change, COVID-19, can we get out of 2020 already!" 

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in, open your mouth, and exhale it out. 

Without trying to use your mind to put 2020 into words, ask yourself what did 2020 feel like? For me it felt like being cracked open, emerging into a beautiful butterfly, or walking off of a battlefield, stronger, more real, raw, full of both the sorrow I carried and the beauty, liberated. For some, it might be space, or boundaries, for many it may be fear. Close your eyes and feel into the emotions and story that comes up for you. 

If I asked you to make a list of your 2020 memories, your biggest struggles, and some of the most painful memories, it would feel a lot different than if you were to journal on the most wonderful moments of the year. Our mindset and the way we wish to perceive the world shifts our entire experience. But more on this later. 

This year I closed some very big life chapters; I experienced loss, the ending of a 6-year relationship, moving my home, a shift in what my business looked like, and the majority of what I knew to be my "comfort zones and foundation" was rattled and ripped up. I found myself feeling continuously scared, sad, lonely, angry but at the same time mixed in all of those emotions, I was closer to my truth and more connected to my body's internal wisdom than ever before. Life had cracked me open and I was transforming. 

When 1 or multiple areas of our life have a big shift or change it takes away our feeling of safety. It's normal to feel ungrounded and scared when we step into the unknown, a road we have all been traveling down this past year. But something big shifts inside of us when we enter this unfamiliar territory. We realize that our safety is never lost, as it lives inside of us. When I had nowhere to turn, I hugged myself. Amid sobbing and true pain, I held myself. 

It was in those moments that I realized...

I CAN DO HARD THINGS; I AM SAFE AND I TRUST MYSELF!!

 The gift is that when we move through the unknown (no matter how messy that journey might get) we come out the other side able to show up to new challenges from a strength we did not know in the past and expand our capacity to both receive and give. We can CHOOSE to look at the road ahead with fear and as if nothing is coming to replace what was lost OR we can live in a space of expansion with limitless potential and excitement, consciously creating the future we want to be living. 

The Gifts of COVID

At the beginning of the lockdown, life was flowing for me. I had slowed down, was enjoying cooking, feeling closer to my family, taking long walks, surfing, and playing in nature. I felt inspired, was creating and taking a long pause to reconnect with life. Creative ideas were flowing, I was confident and started working on a huge project (Freedom Collective 108!) that I had been dreaming of birthing for years, which quarantine had carved out space for me to finally focus on, (this was a gift I think quarantine gave to many of us, space to finally focus on those dreams, projects, visions & decisions we had been putting off because life was always too "busy" to slow down for). I had let go of all of the pressures I was putting on myself (mainly financial and work) and started living life from a place of trust. It was in this space where I had slowed down enough that I heard the whispers come through and said it out loud, "I am avoiding dealing with my relationship". From that moment forward what was no longer in alignment began to fall away. I stayed incredibly connected to myself and a higher power throughout the process of ending my relationship, but by September the shifts and challenges took over. I started to lose myself, fear and living from a place of lack consumed me and I put many of the pressures back on. 

On Thanksgiving morning, I woke up with Covid-19. Luckily, I did not lose my sense of taste and smell till a few days later and was still able to enjoy my favorite meal! I had hit a point on my journey where my body was purging my breakup, the stress, pressures, fears, and old chapters I was leaving behind. For a second time, Covid-19 was forcing me to slow down. At first, I resisted, but continued to hear the whispers "rest" "let go". Finally, I listened, and with nowhere to move but the couch and my bed I completely surrendered and let go. 

When lockdown first hit, I remember thinking to myself, "I am building into my business plan that every year I take one month off to reconnect." Well, I need that twice a year. I spent 3 weeks, letting go of pressures and just focusing on my self-care. I realize we are not all able to check out of our responsibilities for weeks on end, but 2020 has taught us to look at life differently, to re-evaluate what is normal, to let go of what is not working, and to create more space and time for the practices, people, places and experiences that feed our soul instead of draining it. It was in this space that I realized I had been living in a lack mindset for months.

We are powerful beings. Getting stuck in a mindset where we feed our imbalances and fears will only continue to repeat those patterns. On the flip side, embodying your dreams today, cultivating a positive and abundant mindset, trusting and believing in yourself will send energy to the things you want to create in your life, re-writing your story and igniting the fresh beginning and new chapters you desire! 

So how do we cultivate a positive mindset;

If we want to change the way, we are experiencing life we need to change. We need to do something we have not done before. We cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it. Some powerful tools and habits for creating these shifts are; gratitude journaling, CRYING...I cried (A LOT), dancing, experiencing all of my emotions (no one emotion is good or bad, it is a gift to experience them all), meditating, committing to a shaking practice or conscious emotional release when needed, playing in nature (the garden, surfing. snowboarding, long walks, running, etc.), practicing yoga, asking for help, listening to inspiring podcasts and books, letting go of control, releasing the past, getting out of your head and into your body -trusting your intuition, stepping out of your comfort zone, and choosing to have your own back. You don't need to do all of these, see which ones work for you, take what you like, and leave the rest. 

In a nutshell...

This past year has taught us a lot, taken us out of our comfort zones, reminded us that we don't know how/when and where our journeys will unfold, has been a time of great healing for our Mother Earth, transformation, change, personal healing, sadness, self-reflection, pain, suffering, magic & so much more! One major theme throughout lockdown was "pause - take a break". It is/was a time to slow down and self-reflect. To let go of what's "normal", as for many of us - normal was no longer sustainable or healthy. When we slow down and reflect, we create the space for our internal wisdom to shine through. 

For many this meant...

  • Learning what lights, you up.

  • Ending chapters & Beginning new journeys.

  • Shining a light on what has been working and what's not working - and then taking action on that awareness.

  • Taking a deeper look into boundaries.

  • Big dreams or goals being revealed.

  • Taking time for self-care.

  • Learning what you need to live your most authentic and vibrant life.

  • Connecting with nature and living more consciously

2020 gave us the space to slow down. To look at life differently. To redefine what is normal and a broken system. To test our boundaries, see what we are made of, and realize we CAN do hard things. To let go of the things that were no longer in alignment with our authentic selves and re-fill that space with new beginnings that light up our souls. This year has cracked us open and both personally and as a collective we have shifted, threw out the old, and through the fire have been re-born. 

Change isn't easy, it's uncomfortable but the best views come after the hardest climbs. 


From all of us at DefinedTalent - we are looking forward to 2021. Make sure to keep an eye out for the new podcast where Christa Russo will be joining us in January to discuss her Top5 Tools for cultivating a healthy and positive Mindset for 2021.