The first week of 2017 has already raced by and I write this from the skies, flying from DC to LA.

Greetings from 30,000 feet somewhere over Wyoming!

All I can say is, 2016 has been PACKED with important choices. For me, the blunt truth is that 2016 completely kicked my butt.

This year, by far, has been a difficult, at times painful and trying one. My last birthday in January was to say the least, memorable. I broke off a long-term relationship which sent me on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. That, combined with grieving the loss of a close relative, a more recent passing away of another direct family member, adjusting to living alone in a new city and a job transition really sucked the life out of me in a literal sense; I was frequently with very little energy and zero drive to get a handle over myself.

That “hopeless” feeling was foreign to me and scary! There were many times that I honestly didn’t think I could make it. In terms of my relationship, I didn’t really miss it per se; after attempting to salvage it, I knew I had to let it go. Rather, I was more disappointed in myself for tolerating it for as long as I did, and increasingly frustrated that I still had to run through the ‘typical break up emotions’ we all have experienced at some point.

Looking back, I can see quite plainly that the relationship along with my internal strife was simply a reflection on me and the (lack of) value I had for myself. And that was not a good feeling at all.  

I’m not proud of the lack of confidence I credited myself with in early 2016. Neglecting my health, I spent a few months working 12 hour days and the rest of my time was reserved for sulking. I felt that I was being pulled in so many directions mentally, that I actively chose to avoid what I was going through by working to the point of fatigue.

That nightmare of a time was just 50 weeks ago….but…..

I MADE IT. If you are reading this, SO DID YOU.

And I am incredibly humbled.

The lows quite often seemed impossible to deal with, and I’m sure you can relate with your own experiences. The worst part was that ‘lows’ hit at any moment with me having no control over them: personal lows, emotional ones and frequently, pure physical exhaustion.

What I actively started realizing however, was that all the negative experiences brought on some pretty amazing side effects. I decided that I didn’t have to deal with all of this alone, and in a short amount of time, I found myself making deeper and more meaningful connections to friends, family members, colleagues and even to myself. I also figured that feeling sorry for myself was not getting me anywhere and I mentally made it a point to not do it. Why not focus all that energy into something productive that would help me?

That brings me to side effect #1. My aunt motivated me to tap into my spirituality. She guided me and called every single day (still does, even though it is now a habit) to make sure I took out time to start deep meditation with full concentration. This gave me newfound energy and for those few minutes every day, I discovered I had some control over my inner turmoil.

Side effect #2: I started a six-month study plan for the GRE exam to channel my emotions and anger into a focused goal. Why I chose of all things, the GRE, I am not entirely sure. My friends joke now, claiming that it was my ‘inner nerd’ wanting to finally express itself in full.Their theory is as good as mine!

Side effect #3: I started dancing again after almost two years. I did some research and found some schools in DC. Through it, I’ve made some awesome friendships in a new city and found myself consistently in a better mood because of the exercise endorphins.

The best side effect (#4) of all, however, was that G.E.M expanded, and a solidified partnership between Rachel and I was founded. An even stronger connection was established between G.E.M and all of you, as we saw your incredible support through a subscribed community of over 6000.

Simultaneously, Rachel and I strategized our vision for G.E.M. We made it a massive goal to form an accessible support group for women across the globe. Through this process, I noticed the value of having strong and independent women willing to work with me (Rachel included).

What started out for me as a personal outlet during a time of emotional, mental and spiritual “bankruptcy,” has turned into something beyond what I could have ever anticipated. And this is only thanks to all of you.

Rachel used to often call me during our check-ins while to tell me that the G.E.M newsletter had more and more subscriptions every week. Each and every one of you not only drove me to focus my energy on helping Rachel with expanding G.E.M internationally, but also, more importantly, gave me a straight walkway out of my own emotional turmoil and stress.

For this, I thank you from the deepest part of my heart. It’s as simple as that. I can’t say this enough to each of you except that I am indebted and grateful.

2017 has already entered on us with full throttle. I abhor the idea of creating a list of resolutions. They limit you to a few goals and tend to, in a way, mock you, should you fail to achieve them. It is a rather frivolous tradition.

Change comes like unpredictable wind; sometimes a breeze that you are fully aware of, but sometimes in uncontrolled tempest force. I feel that new resolutions come more into play when you find better and more mature ways of how to deal with such changes, both emotionally and logically.

Today, I ask all of you to advocate a more pro-active approach for the new year.

Think about what motivates you regardless of what your current mind-frame may be.  If you need help, reach out to us at G.E.M Coaching for guidance.

Think of something that gets you out of your bed in the morning without an alarm.

Act on it.

Pick something that you can control. I say this because things you cannot completely control (ie. emotions, love, grief, etc.) tend to take their own courses; attempting to control them is both impossibly frustrating and frustratingly impossible. Things you can control can be as simple as a side shuffle, a promotion, a job change, helping others, networking or getting more fit.

Get rid of as much negativity as you can. Cut people out that are toxic to you. Cut out the bad eating. Surround yourself with a positive crowd and a positive atmosphere. This will lift you from your lows and consistently act as a reminder that everything will be okay.

Don’t worry about the result so much– give more focus to the journey, to your self-realizations and to the good and bad interactions along the way.

Most importantly, I ask you to have faith. Faith in the universe, faith in your support group and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS, faith in YOURSELF.

Listen your intuitions and your gut. Open your guarded heart to new opportunities by consciously identifying the positives of every small and large situation that comes your way.

Recognize that you are REALLY an immeasurable gem; put on this planet for a DAMN GOOD REASON.

When you start believing your worth, you begin to attract all of those things that you can’t fully control from the universe. Luck always comes to those that work hard. Similarly, when you value yourself and are more sure-footed in your undertakings, the world will recognize it and reward you for it.

You have just one life to lead, so may as well make it your time.

Both Rachel and I can promise, we will try our hardest to ensure that G.E.M will be with you every step of the way!

Happy 2017! Here’s to a solid start!

Love, Priyanka