*shit yeah* (looking back over 2016)

Dec 27, 2016

Taking Stock of The Year | www.nalumana.com

It’s that time of year:  time to look back on the highs and lows of the year previous, to learn the lessons and celebrate the victories.  In honour of the full disclosure of that which is messy, alongside the full permission to give big cheers and pats on the back for that which is aaaaamazing, today I am going to share some of Nalumana’s successes and lessons learned from 2016!  This may be a little self-indulgent, but I’m gonna own it…I’m celebrating a challenging and rewarding year in business – here’s an inside peek into my world over here.

Here they are, in no particular order:


Lessons Learned


  • I prepared and showed up for two talks that no one else showed up for.  It was a bummer, but all water under the bridge, as far as I’m concerned.
  • I totally bombed a coaching call and felt compelled to offer my first make-up session to a client.  I learned to ask more questions and that it’s okay to check in with clients to see what their experience of the session is, even right in the moment that it’s happening.
  • On that note, I spent a good many months in a painful period of conscious incompetence when it came to my coaching.  I knew I was about to arrive at a new level of mastery, but getting there was a bitch.
  • I pitched 17 guest articles to various and sundry magazines; I didn’t hear back from a good many of them.  I’ve learned, at this point, to just move on to the next pitch without thinking too much about it.
  • It took me way longer than I thought it would to get a fully booked coaching roster.  There were even a few months when I wasn’t sure when my next paying client gig would appear.  Those were scary, but it all worked out in the end (incidentally, usually better than I could have planned!)
  • My biggest lesson learned – although I profess that I will probably be learning this lesson daily and forever – is that I have fully failed at self-care this year.  I know that this season of my life and this business is crazy right now as I work a full time job and often work more than full time on my business (while parenting two kids and knitting the occasional hat), but rather than *giving* in any other aspect of my life, I have virtually given up what I actually need (not want!) in terms of self-care.  The biggest thing that I’ve foregone is movement and space and time in the outdoors.  I know, intellectually, that I can do more and better in all other areas of my life when I have these key components, and yet this year I have struggled to make that happen.  I’m putting self-care on the top of the list for 2017…




  • I quit my Grey Cubicle Job and found another job that aligned much better with my values.  It feels good to do meaningful work in my community while I build my business to the point when I’m ready to take The Leap
  • I hired my own Real Life Coach, and she helped me dive in and muck around in the messy-ness and vulnerability of entrepreneurship, and the self-doubt that often rears its head during coaching.  She continues to be an amazing mentor, and an example of what I aspire to in my coaching practice.
  • I started working with a mentorship program, coordinated by my aforementioned coach.  This was an intensive four month long process of evaluating and re-evaluating various aspects of my business, from the tangible “nuts and bolts” stuff to the more ethereal, energetic properties of putting good work out into the world and being of service.  I have seen massive shifts in my work and the people that are attracted to it as a result.  Plus, I get to connect with other coaches in real time on a monthly call which helps me to grow my coaching skills!
  • I met with approximately 38, 756 people to talk about my business and about business in general; I networked like a motherfucker this year.  And some amazing things came out of it, including joyous partnerships and collaborations and coffee dates with likeminded women.
  • I read three massively juicy tomes on coaching theory, followed by about a dozen peer reviewed articles on topics like coaching and courage, coaching as a tool for emancipation, and supporting clients’ transformational change through coaching.  Continuing education FTW!  ( /geek-out!)
  • I started getting up at 4:30a.m. to work for a few hours when my brain is at its best.  It sounds crazy, but it’s AWESOME.  I look forward to that time in silence every day, and usually wake up before my alarm with sheer excitement.  Every. damn. day.
  • I uncovered the concept of the Third-Life Alignment in a series of interviews with my “ideal clients.”  I continued formal and informal research and conversations on the topic for the remainder of the year, feeling like I had finally found both “my people” and my purpose as a coach.
  • I wrote 63 blog posts.
  • I witnessed 9 babies being brought earthside and took several hundred birth photos

Nalumana Birth Photography | www.nalumana.com

  • I did over 60 hours of coaching
  • I organized and led 8 Women’s Outdoors Club excursions

Wild Adventure | www.nalumana.com

  • I collaborated on some incredible workshops, including Embodied Alignment, the Summer Solstice Goddess Photo Shoot and the Winter Solstice Women’s Circle

Goddesss Photo Shoot | www.nalumana.com

  • I held 3 Sacred Pregnancy Retreats

The Neuroscience of Ritual | www.nalumana.com

  • I organized 1 Community Mother Blessing, a free event to honour mothers and mothers-to-be in my community

1st Annual Community Mother Blessing | www.nalumana.com

  • I was a guest speaker three times at the maternity clothing boutique Hazelnut and Rose, gave a fun talk on vulnerability and voice in blogging at BlogJam, did a session on the Third-Life Alignment for the Centre for Applied Neuroscience, talked about Finding Yourself Outdoors at the Trail Shop, and was interviewed for the Gather for Wellness podcast
  • I did Spinning Babies training, Reiki Level II, Birth Story Integration and Healing Training, Get Your First 1000 Subscribers training, Hike Leaders training, and the Becoming an Outdoorswoman weekend workshop.
  • I created a crap-ton of free resources for y’all including the Heart and Soul Business Development Workbook, the Aligned Life Starter Kit and the Birth Principles Workbook.
  • I started writing not one but TWO books.
  • I started developing not one but TWO online courses for release in 2017.
  • I wrote and recorded my first two guided meditations, and realized that I LOVE doing these!
  • I did my first two webinars, and realized that I LOVE doing these, too!
  • I hosted the Aligned Life Challenge and a week-long self-care intensive, and really enjoyed the feeling of community and support among the women that surround Nalumana.
  • I had 12 guest articles accepted to blogs and magazines including Mind Body Green, Elephant Journal, Huffington Post, Inspired Coach Magazine, Misadventures Magazine and Pranamama.tv.
  • This September, I celebrated my first sold-out season of coaching
  • Every day, I’m grateful that I get to do this work, and that it resonates with the community I’m building.  Thank-you for being here.

The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!