2018 Year in Review

2018 seemed to just wiz by. Before I knew it, it was over. Yesterday I partook in an annual ritual of reflection, to pay respect to all that manifested this past year. As I journeyed back to January, I was overwhelmingly humbled by how amazing 2018 truly was.

Instagram has a #tradition of reviewing the year by sharing nine images. Curating my nine images served as the starting point to my reflective practice and despite the fact that I did manage to select nine images, I came to the realization that there were many more moments that deserved acknowledgment.

Photo collage of Samm's year in review with the 9 highlights mentioned.

So here is my year in review and my most significant 18 moments of 2018.

Let’s begin with the nine events highlighted in my Instagram #2018bestnine.

  1. Yin Yoga Teacher Training (top row, left image): In 2017, I was fortunate to have yoga enter my life. In 2018, it truly became one of my primary practices for self-care. I developed a love and appreciation for the restorative and yin yoga styles. They were what my body, soul and mind needed after a week of being a wife, mother & entrepreneur. Not to mention, the benefits in recovery on rest days from weightlifting – my yang exercise of choice. This past Fall I had the privilege of participating in a Yin Yoga Teacher Training Certification Course. Although, I am still finishing my course requirements to fulfill and finalize my certification as a teacher. The weekends of class exposed me to Traditional Chinese Medicine concepts and the Yin Yoga philosophy, this new knowledge has opened my eyes in so many ways and I cannot wait to see how it will manifest in 2019.
  2. Unstuck U Book Launch (top row, middle image): In 2018, I somehow managed to publish two books, when the year prior I thought the idea of me publishing one book was ridiculous. Unstuck U was written and released in 2018 and the project itself manifested in a powerful way. It was in this project that my writer’s voice came barreling through with such clarity and I simply let the words flow. Unstuck U is truly a masterpiece that I am overwhelmingly proud of and my only hope is that it will find those it was meant to serve.
  3. Halloween (top row, right image): For my family, Halloween is filled with traditions. Although, life seems to be getting busier and more chaotic as the years fly by and the girls get older. However, this year we managed to keep one tradition, the family-themed costumes. I was proud to be Ursula to my daughter, Uma (aka Zozo) and her rival, Mal, (aka Madz). Next year, I hope to be even more present and ensure that we maintain this tradition and restore the others we lost sight of this year.
  4. Fun Run (middle row, left image): Well, it wasn’t me- I am not a runner. But my two little ladies took on their first fun run of 1-mile. Madelyn was the first girl finished and Zoey was the youngest to complete the race (she also wasn’t last). This was no doubt a proud Mom moment, I am in awe of who they are becoming and what they are able to do. They are going to be unstoppable!
  5. 2018 SHRM Leadership Development Conference (middle row, middle image): This year I was invited to speak as a breakout session speaker for my First National Conference. To put the cherry on top of the sundae, the topic I spoke on was completely driven by my book. It was the second major speaking engagement I did this year on a topic driven by my book. If you’ve read either of my books, you’ll know that they are very personal. Making these speaking engagements the most intimate I have done to date. A little intimidating but exhilarating at the same time. 2018 SHRM Leadership Development Conference was a beautiful experience, I met nothing but warm welcoming faces and I am simply just grateful.
  6. 2018 PA SHRM State Conference (middle row, left image): This is the first speaking engagement that I was hinting at above. This engagement was completely magical because I had the honor of co-facilitating with my close friend, Tony Hernandez. He is one of my favorite people to facilitate with, our ability to read the room and each other, allows us to hold beautiful spaces for learning to occur.
  7. LA Grand ReOpening (bottom row, left image): The LA Grand ReOpening was significant for so many reasons. The first and probably most obvious was the new office. The new office is ours, we are our own landlord and it truly is my home away from home. The other reason, this event was so significant to me is the team in the image. Since opening LA in 2014, I have ridden the wave of people coming and going for perfectly logical reasons. However, it always was heartbreaking because it felt like a setback to the vision I have for LA. This year we had two new members join our team, that have been in my life for years. Their caliber of talents, personalities, and backgrounds are just what we need to continue our growth and serve our clients fully. I am excited to see what 2019 holds with these two on board!
  8. What’s Your HR Personality? (bottom row, middle image): This past year, Maryrose and I were able to carve out some time and develop a Personality Assessment. Specifically a Personality Assessment for HR Practitioners using ourselves as the initial archetypes. We then had the privilege of sharing the assessment with your colleagues. MaryRose and I co-facilitated the sessions while actively highlighting our HR Personality types of a Dragon and Unicorn, needless to say, it was a lot of fun.  
  9. Travel Town Railroad (bottom row, right image): Our summer vacation was to California, where we got to spend lots of quality time with my family. The memories are always amazing but this year we got to do something extra special. I got to take Josh and the girls to Travel Town Railroad. This little park holds a very special place in my heart because I have so many memories of coming here with my Dad. My Dad’s Dad worked on the railroads and so trains always held a particular special significance. I even remember going to Travel Town with my cousin when she would come and visit from Ohio. Going to Travel Town Railroad with my Dad was some of my favorite childhood memories. The way his face would light up as he would talk about his parents, it was just a place that allowed him to feel connected to loved ones so far away.

Now for the remaining nine events that made 2018 monumental for me.

Top: Gabby Bernstein and Me
Bottom: Me and Bobbi

10. Gabby Bernstein & My Spiritual Sister: My Spiritual Sister, Bobbi and I ventured to New York City in early 2018 during a horrible snow storm. Our purpose for this journey was a Book Launch event by the incredible, Gabby Bernstein. Not only was the speaking event incredible but the entire trip was amazing and a total blessing.

(Whiteboard Activity from Class)

11. Call Me Professor: This year I began teaching as an Adjunct Professor at York College. This has been a goal of mine since I got accepted into Grad School. The opportunity to teach means so much because I am a true believer that we can make huge difference in the current climate of our work environments if we prepare these young hungry professionals appropriately.

(Points of You display during Retreat)

12. 2018 Annual LA Team Retreat: In April, we held our Annual Team Retreat. This was the first time that the team consisted of only two people, me and my best friend. We asked Tony Hernandez to facilitate the retreat and honestly were skeptical that he could really deliver anything monumental since MaryRose and I are so in-tuned as is. We challenged Tony to guide us through identifying a shared purpose and values that represent us as an organization. During the retreat, I learned things that I had never known about MaryRose, I also was challenged to share things that never come up in conversation with her. Needless to say, it was a monumental experience, one that brought us closer and even a clearer vision of Leadership Arts.

(My Tattoo)

13. I’m Tattoo Worthy: In May, MaryRose gave me my first tattoo for my birthday. It is colorful unicorn with the word worthy scripted across. This tattoo symbolizes my journey so far to my authentic self and my commitment to never going back.

(Sign at Surgeon’s Office)

14. Plastic Surgery: Most don’t know but in July, I had an operation to remove excess skin from my lower abdomen. It was a total of 6 lbs. they removed that had become a major nuisance and limitation for me since the birth of my two girls. This surgery was a very emotional journey for me. I shamed myself a lot believing that I was a failure in being able to take care of my own body. The plastic surgeon was a complete blessing after having a total emotional breakdown in her office, she made sure to comfort and reassure me along the way that this was not a failure on my part. The 6 lbs. removed was a complete game changer for me, I had no idea how much strain was being placed on my body by that extra skin. I am extremely grateful for everyone who was involved with the actual operation and recovery.

Madelyn in front of her Artwork.

15. My Little Artist: During the summer, I finally was able to get Madelyn into a summer art camp and she simply thrived. The girl sees the world with such beauty and I am overjoyed that she is now sharing what she sees. In August, her art piece placed Honorable Mentioned in YorkFest. Another super proud Mommy moment for me.

(Post-its from Artfully Moving Mountains)

16. Maddy is Moving Mountains: While we are on the subject of Madelyn and her amazingness, this year I was able to facilitate two sessions called Artfully Moving Mountains. The sessions focus on the topic of diversity and manifesting change. At the source of the lesson is Madelyn and the way she sees the world. These sessions have been so well received and seeing Madelyn’s story inspire others, moves me in the depths of my soul. It truly is a session that give me goosebumps every time I facilitate it. Madelyn is one of my greatest blessings!

Madelyn in my Reiki Room.

17. Reiki: This year I became a Level I Reiki Practitioner. It was completely unexpected but it has brought me so much joy. I hope in 2019 to pursue becoming a Level II Practitioner. Regardless, serving others through Reiki is a true love.

(2017 Vision Board & My Book)

18. My HRart: At the end of January 2018, I launched my first book, From Heart to HRart. I wasn’t totally sure what the book meant or really why I wrote it and felt so compelled to share it. I now know, looking back that the book laid the foundation for HRart work which is a lot of what’s to come in 2019. Not to mention it was also a true manifestation of my 2017 Vision Board.

Thank you 2018 for everything! Bring it 2019! I’m ready.


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