To say 2016 went out like a bang would be an understatement. During the holiday break while traveling with my family, my laptop and ipad were stolen at the airport, my husband’s luggage was lost, we all got the stomach flu, I left my phone on an airplane and my company’s email was hacked and we almost lost thousands of dollars. I felt like I was living one of the run-on sentences on the front of one of my skyn ICELAND product packaging!
I wondered if this was because Mercury was in retrograde or because someone somewhere wanted me to appreciate how good I have it. To take the end of the year to reflect on all of the reasons I have to be thankful and to make solid resolutions for 2017. It is a very stressful world right now; it keeps getting more stressful every year. I had no idea when I created skyn ICELAND in 2005 (12 years ago?!) that people would be far more stressed in 2017 than they were in 2005.
It means that we all have to figure out how to slow down and unplug. Whether that’s in small ways (coming home, lighting a candle and getting in a bubble bath), big ways (going on a 5-day yoga retreat) or in life changing ways (quitting your job, becoming a yoga instructor and moving to Nepal! Yes, I know someone who did that this year!) Our health and our sanity depends on finding these moments of calm as well as learning how to let the stress roll off when it does happen, because it WILL happen! It’s these moments that bring us clarity, resolution and inspiration.
At the end of the day, I realized that all in all, I had a pretty amazing 2016. Skyn ICELAND was really soaring! It has been our best year ever and after many years of struggling and stressing and killing myself, it was finally happening!! This felt SO good and was very exciting for my whole team and I. Now is the time to keep the momentum going so we can rise above the competition and really break through!
Most importantly, on a more personal note, I cured my daughter of her life threatening tree nut allergy. It was a long haul – 9 months of going to California every other week, daily dosing that sometimes took 2 hours on a school night, feeling sick, wanting to give up, being exhausted – but in the end she is cured and she is safe and I would give up every single thing in my life for this. It has completely changed our lives and taken a huge component of stress off of our shoulders. We no longer have to check every single ingredient list, we can go to any restaurant that we want, my daughter can go to a birthday party and eat cake (!), we can travel, I can leave her with a babysitter, the list goes on… but anxiety, as an outgrowth of stress, was a huge cloud that hung over us at all times and that has evaporated.
It reminds me of the ‘power of one’ — a personal inspiration I live by. It means that one person can change the world. To expand on that, it implies that one person can have an impulse, an emotion, a thought that becomes a vision or a mission that when pursued, can change the lives of thousands or even millions. Someone who represents that to me is the doctor at Stanford University who developed the protocol to desensitize children to multiple food allergies. This woman, Dr Kari Nadeau, is a huge inspiration to me. She had an idea and went for it, researching a cause that had little support and no advances, and she is going to change the lives of millions of children, including my daughter. I try to live by that inspiration every day.
And, I think about what I can do and how can I make a difference? What can I do to justify my existence on this earth? How can I get beyond the daily stresses and nuisances, push them aside and stop focusing on me, my life, my ‘things’… especially the material things… and focus on helping others, sharing my good fortune (like my education) and using skyn ICELAND to change the world?
In 2016 I started mentoring a student from YearUp (link this to the Giving Tuesday blog post). Mentoring young women and sharing my experiences as a female entrepreneur, is one of the ways I feel like I can give back and make a difference. This particular experience has been one of the most inspiring aspects of my year. It’s amazing how you can start by helping someone and in the end, they help you!! I’m so encouraged and elevated by the strength, positivity and ambition of my mentee. The power of someone wanting to change his/her life is infectious.
So for 2017, I want to do more and figure out what’s next. I want to continue to strive to make the world a better place by reducing stress and helping others, whether that’s individually or via skyn ICELAND. And, think about this, if every person did one thing to make the world a better place, imagine what we could do? The Power of One turns into the Power of Millions.
All of my best this year,
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P.S. I haven’t forgotten about you, our fans and continued supporters. As a special gift from me to you, I want to offer the first 50 people to comment a under the blog post image on our Instagram @skynICELAND to receive one of our newest products to test out before its official release!