As I reflect on 2017, I can’t figure out if it was one of the best years of my life or the worst. I experienced profound love, secured my first Actor’s Equity Association contract, performed with Anne Bogart, the SITI Company, the Los Angeles Opera, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, signed a contract with ABC, became a certified Yoga instructor, started a scholarship for yoga teachers of color, continued a scholarship for HBCU graduates to pursue their MFA training at UCLA, auditioned for amazing television projects, and taught yoga in Seattle, Mexico, Los Angeles, and New York. At the same time, I was $40,000 in debt and short on my rent each month, developed a terrifying allergic reaction, had the lowest-of-the-low health insurance, was constantly running out of money on my food stamps, ABC "went in a different direction," my father was in and out of the hospital, my grandfather passed away, a friend of mine died in a horrible accident, and my partner left me. By the time the year ended, I felt emotional whiplash and had no idea how to categorize my experience.
In 2017’s rough political climate, more people were awakened to injustices that many have faced for decades, and are now collectively working toward peace and equal rights for all beings. In my personal realm, everything that unfolded in 2017 was a result of me pursuing my best and most inspired life. Similar to hiking up a mountain, I found myself deep in the hard parts, too far in turn back around, and not close enough to the top to see the promise or make sense of my journey. As a result, faith became my lifeline, and I now have the unwavering strength and strategy to sustain and nurture all that I am working toward.
In Ghana, the word “Sankofa” teaches us to reflect on our past so that we can thrive in our forward movement. Now that we have entered 2018, what will you shed and what will you nourish? What rituals do you need to practice consistently so that you can offer the best version of you to yourself and others? Where can you be more selfish, and where can you be more kind? What are you afraid to let go of, and where do you need to work through the hard parts? These answers will change for us as we evolve over time. What brings us perfect peace and exponential evolution in one chapter may do the opposite in the next.
In hindsight, 2017 will be one of those years I reflect on as being pivotal and powerful beyond belief. It was the year of alignment. It was a beautifully strengthening and humbling season that allowed me to understand how supported, loved, worthy, talented, badass, alive, and human I truly am.
In 2018, I wish you endurance, peace, and abundant laughter. In the words of Winston Churchill, "If you're going through hell, keep going." Keep celebrating. Keep beginning. Keep growing. Keep checking in.
Love, Light, and Namasté,