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wHAT I learned in 2016

1. Good can happen that I don’t have to actively force

In my life the things that feel the best have been created by my hard work and sacrifice. I have never really had something just happen that felt so amazing as having my daughter.

Something that is such a huge blessing coming so easily.

Finding out that I was pregnant, having a healthy pregnancy and then delivering a beautiful healthy little girl is more good than I have ever experienced.

The fact that we can be pregnant with a baby and actively developing their organs without concentration blows my mind. It has been a real lesson in surrendering to the miracles of life that don’t have to be forced.

2. Surrender to what is

Having a baby has taught me that my A-type-personality schedule isn’t always going to fly and I have to be okay with that.

With my daughter I was in and out of the hospital in the first month for bilirubin testing. This was exhausting emotionally and physically. My daughter also barely slept for the first three months and the only time she would sleep is when I was holding her.

This means my high paced, efficiency oriented lifestyle has been completely flipped upside down since she has arrived.

I found myself conflicted with my desires to exercise, clean and further my career with the fact that my daughter needed me. I don’t want to miss this time with her and I also don’t want to regret not being present with her when she needed me.

This has driven me to completely surrender to slowing down and being in the moment. Putting her needs before mine.

3) Vegan works for me

I have been a vegan for many many years and a vegetarian for basically my entire life but being vegan while pregnant, delivering and then nursing a child just solidifies my belief in not eating meat or dairy.

I truly believe it contributed to effortless conception, healthy pregnancy and a fast, completely natural birth. I am so grateful for the work I put in towards my healthy lifestyle leading up to these moments.

The work I put towards changing my lifestyle seems beyond worth it.

4) I’m much stronger than I thought I was. I can do anything.

I once read that the pain you experience in labour is the shedding of your old self and the giving birth to becoming a mother.

For me, this rings so true.

I shed a lot of who I was during labour (and not in a negative way).

I realized that we can handle physical pain through mental work and our perception of the pain. Leading up to my labour I did a lot of visualization, affirmations and meditations surrounding labour.

One of the quotes that I said to myself at the beginning of labour and then when it got really intense was something Wayne Dyer said to his daughter when she was in labour – “remember all the women who have given birth in the world and call on their strength.”

I think we are all stronger than we think we are and the first thing we have to do to recognize our strength is frame it in our minds. Knowing you are strong and being through something that takes great strength changes you. It is so powerful.

It is a wonderful gift.

5) Spiritual and mental work is effective and powerful

It is real.

I have been doing spiritual, metaphysical, mental/emotional work/healing for almost a decade now. For many years in the beginning it felt good but I didn’t know if it was authentically effective.

What I’ve learned in the last year has solidified my knowledge that spiritual work is real and transformative and powerful.

In the last year I have more time to reflect. Who I am, who I’ve become, how significantly my life has changed – I can honestly say that my life is changed from the inside out. All of the changes that have happened in my life have been things I have done mental, emotional and spiritual work around.

I have changed and so has my outside world.

6) The best and worst things can happen in one year – life is fragile

Life is fragile and it is so important to love the people in your life fiercely while you are here.

The passing of my fur baby reminded me that this all ends.

Within three months I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, my beloved grandmother passed away, I received some great news and my sweet, precious Bridgette passed away unexpectedly.

I know a lot of people can’t relate to the feelings that we have towards our fur babies. The passing of Bridgette shook me to my core and made me refocus to being present in the moment with the people I really love.

7) People have a hard time having compassion for things they haven’t been through

We have to love them anyway. Some lessons you can’t learn without going through.

The first time I learned this lesson was with the passing of my father. My initial reaction when I lost my father at 26 was of course grief, but secondly I felt utterly ashamed and embarrassed by the lack of support I provided for my girlfriend who had lost her father the year before.

Yes, I went to her father’s funeral, I bought her the card, I told her I would be there for her. If she needed me just call. All the things a good person does when someone they love loses someone. But, I had no idea the depth of the pain she was going through and the things I was doing and saying we’re just so superficial.

I wish I had done more.

I was reminded of this ignorance we all carry this year when giving birth to my daughter, losing Bridgette and then being a new mom and full time entrepreneur.

I’ve had people make ignorant comments that I should be grateful it was “just” our dog that passed away and I was told off by a client when I was 5 weeks post partum for being a day late on an email. She flat out told me being a new mom is not an excuse.

These experiences usually would make me furious to the point of a headache but now I just completely understand that we all have our blindspots.

We all have ignorance.

And we all, no matter how compassionate we think we are, have areas where we can’t comprehend things until they happen to us. And that is okay.

I’m very happy to say goodbye to 2016. It was a doozie.

I would love to hear a lesson you have learned in 2016. Share below!

Amy Layne is the Co-Founder of DAMY Health Online & The Healthy Rebel App. Here at DAMY she is our Head Coach Specializing in Holistic Nutrition, Secretly Healthy Recipe Creation, Fitness, Self-Love, Inspiration and Living Your Best Life. She is the creator of the world famous DAMY Method and Bikini Body Programs. To see Amy’s Before and After Photos and DAMY Member Success Stories Click Here. For Amy’s complete story go

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