Transformational 2012


For me, the year of 2012 was one of monumental changes…

Shortly before ringing in the new year of twenty-twelve, I spent a weekend with someone who was quickly progressing in the realm of self-development. Little did I know that our time together would begin an inner process – one that would eventually alter how I saw reality. In a matter of days, he helped me recognize how out of touch I really was with the Now. He introduced me to the work of Eckhart Tolle – if you don’t know him, I heartily recommend looking him up – and sparked my interest in really delving into the process of self-discovery. Although the time we spent together was comparatively short, his impact was lasting.

The months following were filled with transformational self-exploration. Formerly strongly tied to the future, it was not easy for me to begin rooting myself in the Present. Although I still struggle with letting myself succumb to worry, months of practice have helped me stay more consistently grounded. It was during this time that I reconnected with an old acquaintance. We had met a few times in years past, but had never really gotten to know each other. Through social media, I realized that years passing had lead to us having similar interests! Although we barely knew each other, I invited her to travel from Ohio to my home in Tennessee. Though she didn’t have enough money to get here, fate was in our favor. Things were in alignment and the financial means presented themselves to her. It was at this time that I got to know one of the beautiful, soulful, kind, genuine people I have ever met. She helped me become even more in touch with my inner light and the beauty of life.

On a mid-summer’s day, I was speaking with a close friend about my plans for graduate school. I was frustrated, because I was unsure if my chosen path was really “right.” Despite this, I had been emailing back and forth with various programs, studying copious amounts for the GRE, and trying to make a decision that would dictate the next four years of my life. It was then that she asked me what would happen if I invested this time and money into a program, only to graduate and realize it wasn’t really what I wanted to do. For the first time in my academic career, I considered altering my plan. Previously, I had not really considered any other option beside continuing my education. Being a psychology major doesn’t really lend to many post-grad opportunities. After this conversation, I realized I didn’t need to be tied to this specific path. Previously, I had found validation through my academic standing. My self-exploration lead me to realize that nothing I will ever achieve academically, monetarily, or relationally will ever determine my intrinsic value. With that, I decided to use my youth to its fullest extent and postpone graduate school to travel Europe!

The past year has been a highly transitional time. I strengthened old relationships and made new ones. I shifted my focal point to the Now and started to make constant, conscious effort to stay positive. I realized fully that Present moment is all we really have and we need to take full advantage of it. I became introduced to people that have such a wealth of knowledge to share (you’ll do yourself a big favor to check out Eckhart Tolle, Abraham Hicks, Katie Freiling, Kyle Cease, and Mike Dooley). It’s not always easy to internalize, but I now know that my value and worth is not contingent upon anything I can ever achieve. I am so excited to see what 2013 holds and I plan to live it – and every year after I am blessed with – to its fullest extent! I wish all of you the very best!


 Stay positive, be Present, and set your intentions!



Highlights of 2012

– Decided to move to Europe

– Went skydiving

– Participated in a yoga flashmob

– Grew my own (little) garden

– Fully recognized the power of synchronicity

– Went bridge swinging

– Saw my baby sister graduate high school

– Went to a couple music festivals

– Attended my first APA conference

– Flew to Ohio for less than 24 hours to be a wedding date

– Realized my value isn’t contingent upon my actions

– Maintained a vegan diet for seven months

– Became introduced to raw foodism

– Saw my grandparents celebrate 50 years of marriage

– Watched Back to the Future with friends, on the side of an abandoned building, laying on a gravel parking lot

– Sporadically attended the World Yo-Yo Championship

– Did barrel rolls in a plane

– Made my first YouTube video

– Finally visited Disney World

– Adopted a kitten and named him Ug

– Went off-roading

– Started a blog

– Started living in the Present and not for the future

 – Randomly moved into a house and realized it was perfect!

– Got a cabin in the mountains with friends and made a ton of guacamole!

– Went on a girls’ road trip to Chicago

My dear friend/housemate and I playing in the leaves!

Became friends with the newly appointed world champions of yo-yo (Check out In Motion!)

Became friends with the newly appointed world champions of yo-yo (Check out In Motion!)

My wise grandfather and baby sister

My wise grandfather and baby sister

Megan Amigo and me watching the Goo Goo Dolls across the river (at a random house party we attended)!

Megan Amigo and I watching the Goo Goo Dolls across the river (at a random house party we attended)!

Megan Amigo and I belly dancing in the mountains of Tennessee

Megan Amigo and me belly dancing in the mountains of Tennessee

Yoga Flashmob

Yoga Flashmob

Girls' trip to Chicago

Girls’ trip to Chicago

Floating in bliss

Floating in bliss

First time at Disney World!

First time at Disney World!

Revelry after Summer Fest 2012

Revelry after Summer Fest 2012

My best friend since pre-school

My best friend since pre-school

First pair of climbing shoes!

First pair of climbing shoes!


Joyous children like this are why look forward to being an au pair


Kissing Princess, the camel!


Eating way too much ice cream!


Amazing people in Orlando, FL!


Enjoying an outdoor concert in TN


Exploring nature with Megan Amigo


I got to see my baby sister graduate high school!


“We just jumped out of a plane!”


My delectable, organic tomatoes!


Emma Parker’s “Yellow Chair Project” for charity


One of my delicious vegan creations – Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

First time bouldering!

First time bouldering!

Haley and I had our first, Southern off-roading experience!

Haley and I had our first, Southern off-roading experience!

Casual train yoga!

Casual train yoga!

APA Conference 2012

APA Conference 2012

Oh, just about to jump off a 100 foot bridge!

Oh, just about to jump off a 100 foot bridge!

I wish I could express how much I adore yoga, laughter, and friends!
I wish I could express how much I adore yoga, laughter, and friends!

Soaking up some vitamin D

Soaking up some vitamin D

Loved the looks on my family member’s faces when they realized I’d driven seven hours to surprise them!

Imitating the statues

Imitating the statues

Nothing like playing dress up in a country store

Nothing like playing dress up in a country store

Got to love football matches!

Got to love football matches!

Little kitten, Ug.

Little kitten, Ug.

Nothing can compare to nature.

Nothing can compare to nature.We're a silly family!

Happy NYE from the Nicholas sisters! Try and ignore our glowing eyes...

Happy NYE from the Nicholas sisters! Try and ignore our glowing eyes…


83 responses »

  1. Hi Andrea – I just wrote a funny post about Eckhart Tolle – and yoga, at 4incolorado. He knows some powerful truths – and it’s great that you can benefit from them. You’re on a great journey….Andrea

  2. An inspirational post. Thank you. I began my spiritual journey in earnest about ten years ago, and Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now” was one of the first books I read. I love to see your happy photos – when you are happy and fulfilled, you automatically share it with your world. Wishing you a bounty of blessings for 2013. Enjoy the journey!!

  3. Hey Andi! Awesome, awesome, awesome! You really rock, girlfriend!
    Loved the pix, and your review of the year – I admire your spunk, and your decision to put off grad school. I don’t think you’ll ever regret what you’re doing now!

    Happy 2013!!!

  4. A picture peak preview into the sort of 2012 you had?
    Seems amazing! Love all the pictures.
    You seem to have diverse interests which makes you a person I would want to know better.
    Happy New year!
    Hope you have a transcending year ahead!

    • It definitely has been! Yeah, it can certainly be a tough thing to do. In this video, my friend Megan – who I mentioned above – and I talk about ways in which we try and stay in the Present. Maybe it can give you some ideas!

  5. This is really great! The wisdom of Eckhart Tolle and Mike Dooley, et al, is so powerful. I am happy you were introduced to them. I am wishing you a prosperous NOW! 🙂

  6. Wow! I can SO relate to your journey! I have had a very similar year! I’m sending you a virtual high five! This quote really resignated with me (it’s from Eat, Pray, Love), “I’ve come to believe in something I call “The Physics of the Quest.” A force in nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity. The rule of Quest Physics goes something like this: If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.” Enjoy your journey… how exciting! I am living in South Korea right now teaching English, and am looking into being an au pair… that’s how I came across your blog. It is always inspiring to stumble across people that share a similar outlook/passion/values. Happy New Year! 🙂

    • Whitney,

      I’m so thrilled that you were able to discover my blog and connect! It sounds like you’re having such a beautiful, enlightening journey.

      I loved your advice about viewing all who I encounter as a teacher. I will certainly be putting that to practice.

      That’s wonderful! How long have you been in South Korea and where do you plan on becoming an au pair?



      • I’m open to anywhere! I want to see all of Europe!!! I would really love to work in Switzerland or France! I am also looking into a teaching program in Spain! The first dream I remember having was to travel to Europe… so Im going to make that happen!

        I have so many quotes, books, movies Id love to share…. but you do not seem lacking in passion, inspiration, or motivation!

        We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us!

        Thanks for sharing your journey with us! I look forward to following you. 🙂


  7. It seems you’ve mastered one of life’s biggest challenges, especially in today’s IM, past-paced world: Enjoying the journey. Cheers to you, Andrea — and all your future adventures!

  8. oh my, I have to admit, I’m a little bit jealous! This is the kind of life I want to live! Good for you. I hope you’ll continue your fun and exciting journey this 2013!

  9. i Stumbled upon you/your blog through first watching a Drunvalo Melchizedek video on YouTube which led me to the Conscious Conversation video you and Megan did… which was wonderful by the way.

    Anywho, I just read this post and something you said really resonated with me. I can feel that these words came from your heart and i am glad you shared…. Thank You!

    this is what you said, “My self-exploration lead me to realize that nothing I will ever achieve academically, monetarily, or relationally will ever determine my intrinsic value.”


  10. I randomly felt called to check out your blog today… AND NOW I KNOW WHY!!! 😀 You are an *angel*
    I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE you *SOOOO* much sweet soul ❤ You are in my heart always. I thank the universe for your magnificence ❤ You emanate acceptance and such a profound willingness to expand all that you perceive this Life experience to be (-*-)
    You are a truly authentic Being whose grace and sense of adventure are unmatched- and I honor your path and all that YOU ARE! (-*-)
    I thank you for all that you did for me and all that you taught me as well ❤
    namaste beloved spirit ❤
    *~2012 was magical and so expansive & paved the way for truly authentic living!!! (-*-) I'm excited to see how juicy 2013 will be!!! ^.^ hehe

    LOVE YOU beautiful goddess sister ❤ ❤ ❤
    Keep flowing ~~ You're beautiful! 😀
    All my love,

  11. Last fall in 2011 I too was thinking about grad school and studying for the GRE. I was excited for another opportunity to learn, but didn’t feel at peace about my decision. So I decided to put grad school and the peace corps on hold for the freedom to travel and explore myself and a new career path. It’s tough to leave conventional ways of life sometimes (college, career, family life, etc.) but also so rewarding! Thanks for sharing your adventures!

  12. Hi Andrea, I came across your blog through the All Seasons Cyclist. Your decision to put off graduate school and the process you’ve described resonated with me. I’m much older than you and wanted to congratulate your decision to follow what you know feels right. I also have been a long term academic-just finished graduate school in my 40s! It felt right at the time for me and I don’t regret the journey I’ve been on, even if it’s taken longer. Also, love Eckhart Tolle-beautiful words to live by (especially for type A personalities :)) Nice to meet you!

    • I’m thrilled that you’ve discovered my blog and look forward to further interaction! It’s wonderful to get connected with you.

      Congratulations on getting your degree! One of my friends who is also in her 40s just got her masters.

      It’s wonderful, that you’ve appreciated every aspect of your journey!

      Tolle is spectacular!

  13. I love the pictures! You inspire me because you do what feels good for you, that’s not something a lot of people (dare) to do…It takes a lot of courage but you’re the proof that it pays off.
    I wish for you a beautiful year with a lot of love and spirtualiti

  14. Thanks for following my blog. I thought your ideas about grad school are interesting. Grad school is a big risk–but with lots of benefits. I did my PhD–it took me 9 years. I don’t work in my field in academia, and I’ve had to go all over the country (and beyond) chasing jobs for several years. And I was married with two kids the whole time. I don’t work in academia now. I had to get a job in IT to make ends meet.

    But the time was by no means wasted. I love what I learned! I learned my strengths and weaknesses, ways to deal with high amounts of stress (and still spend time with my family), and fantastic research skills. Plus I just love my field, so I try to work it into conversations from time to time.

    If you don’t mind my saying so, I would recommend going to grad school for the knowledge and experience. I would offer two caveats. Don’t borrow money! Student loans are a beast, and the education probably won’t pay for itself monetarily. Don’t expect to work directly in your field! You will find a way to apply your education, though.

    A good book about how to look for jobs after grad school is, “What are you going to do with that?”

    BTW I hope you have an awesome trip to Europe! I did a couple 3-month trips through Europe back in the day. I lived in Ukraine at the end of one, and in Morocco at the end of another. Enjoy!

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