41 Life Lessons Learned In 2017 From Many Different Walks of Life

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We are all here living the experience of what many in the conscious community have coined- Earth School. A damn good title for this human experience, if I do say so myself. In every moment of life, we find ourselves in new experiences that allow for an opportunity to grow. Hopefully, we learn from the experience; sometimes we don’t- that’s okay too… that lesson will be back around to teach us again until we learn it and integrate it.


How can we integrate new information and lessons? Some great reflection questions to work with: What did I learn from this experience? What can I take away from this that will make me better? How can I apply this into my life more? How can I be a better person now that I know this lesson?

Reflecting on my year… I have been employed by two employers, and now work for myself. I had a summer of spiritual festivals/experiences and I have spent a month traveling in India. I also attracted a partner that was very high frequency that had dynamics that were never easy, but the love was deep and changed us both. It is fair to say that so many lessons and moments of self-awareness came from this- after all, relationships are our biggest teachers. That relationship went south… the main cause? Fear. Bigger discussion on that at another time soon.

At all times, we are changing and evolving. And what is so beautiful about this experience here is we have the opportunity to take the lessons we are given (sometimes gently, and other times… well, sometimes we just have to learn the hard way) and really learn from them so we can keep moving in our lives as a better version of ourselves. Lessons are a blessing, even when they don’t feel that way.

I’m blessed to have a community of loving people of many different walks of life. Answering “what was your biggest lesson of 2017?” was received with open arms and deeply reflective answers. With permission, these answers have been compiled together as a way to be able to all learn from one another on a grand scale. After all, that’s what this Earth School is really all about — experiencing life, love, and lessons from one another. Right? What I found most interesting and comforting, is that as I read these responses, I saw a reflection of myself and my own experiences. I feel confident in saying you most likely will have a similar experience. Because at our core… we are all the same.

There are 3 main categories I was able to break these lessons into: Self-love, Community, and Personal Development.

Looking at the common themes, my heart is overflowing because as a collective, we are all waking up to our ability to love larger and step into our full potential. And it all begins with the love for ourselves. One of my favorite quotes is by Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous. Actually, who are you not to be?”

So, here we go… I hope you are able to relate to these lessons. I hope you are able to reflect on them, and begin to integrate them as we roll into the new year. And please, share your biggest lessons learned at the end to help continue this snowball of learning from one another and loving one another. Because Sharing is Caring.

My biggest lessons: always choose love over fear, always listen to your intuition, alignment is key, and I am magical and powerful beyond belief.


  1. Always Choose Love Over Fear

This lesson is one that shows up in our lives pretty much a daily basis. We are given the opportunity to chose love over fear all the time. As a society, we chose fear a lot. Call me an optimist (no really, call me one… I am) but this is beginning to shift. More and more people are opening to the awareness of this daily debate within ourselves- and myself include, are doing the internal work to be aware and consciously choose love.

We are in a position of rapid awakening… and love is the key. We must love ourselves. Love one another. Love everything. Love Mother Earth. Just Love. Choose love over fear. The world just needs more love. We don’t need to be afraid of love anymore…we are afraid of it because it’s powerful. And we as a whole are TERRIFIED of how powerful we really are-but we don’t need to be. You know why? Because on the other side of fear is love… and it’s beautiful. And it is everything we want and need.

2. Always Follow Your Intuition

That little soft voice inside our heads when we allow ourselves to be still and silent… that sensation in our bellies when something just feels “off”… the goosebumps all over the body when something just feels “right” — yea, trust that shit.

3. Alignment is Key

When we are fully aligned within ourselves, we are energized. We are clear, excited about life, and the best version of ourselves. This is something that I have learned and re-learned, knowing that the lesson has been LEARNED and INTEGRATED this year. If we are to fulfill our true purpose here on the planet, it is crucial that we find our alignment and consistently maintain our alignment by nourishing our minds, bodies, and spirit with things that are aligned with our truest self.

4. “That it is okay to say no to things. And by saying no doesn’t mean that it is necessarily wrong… just isn't right for me”. — lucy shelby

5. “50% of my problems are solved with 8 hours of sleep” — mike rosen

6. “Mindfulness is what you do. Not what you practice — mike rosen

7. “Create spaces to make mistakes (lots). To seek new adventures. To take risks. To build relationships. To be broken and break right back.To quit. To push through. To leave. To stay. You may regret a few of these over the year — some more than others. But you’ll accept the value it added to this experiential road called life.” — zoia parvez

8. “Biggest lesson.. Surrender. Oh, and love into everything unconditionally” - vinny calogero

9. “One word: presence” — mustafa faheem

10. “After nearly thirty years of this earth, I’m most thankful for regular bowel movements, good sleep, and hearty laughs with my friends and family”. — anonymous

11. “I learned to pay attention to all the little ways I was lying to myself. As a result of those lies, I was so mentally preoccupied with maintaining them that it was no wonder I was exhausted and enthused all the time. Only after soul searching and making peace with things I felt the need to cover up did I feel more at peace and in tune with myself”. —francis aud

12. “2017 Lesson: Me First. Fill up my well so I can then provide to others”. - vinny bonnano

13. “Self care is CRITICAL to success. When you get lazy on taking care of yourself; it has serious trickle down repercussions on every aspect of your life. A ‘deeper’ way to look at that- you have to be Selfish, to be a giver.. I’ve at times put all of my energy into care of my family… fallen apart, and realized, I cant take care of anyone when I’m a fucking disaster. All aspects of self care too. Physical & Emotional. From hygiene and grooming, exercise, stretching, eating right, vitamins, to deep breathing and ‘down time’… kinda like the airline oxygen mask thing? Cant help anyone if you’re passed out on the floor”. — matt lepselter

14. “Live. Love. Learn. Repeat” — cal constanzo

15. “Always trust my first instinct” — maximillian webster

[ Community ]

16. “Seek comfort and support. This year has certainly taught you that you cannot do all things alone.”- zoia parvez

17. “Be present for your tribe. Create strength so that there is no guilt whenever its time to introvert into your own self. Recognize the strength in the relationships you have built. They will be there when you return from teh solitude of self-exploration”. — zoia parvez

18. “Gratitude. Simple. The most beautiful and priceless things are the little faces that wake me up in the morning. It won’t always be like this, and that makes it all the more precious”. -dawn fluck

19. “I think that it was more a lesson re-learned. No matter how much you try, sometimes life sucks but just put a smile on your face and push on because there is always someone out there who has it worse than you and maybe that smile will give them faith”. -rose romaine

20. “Being present for my family is most important. I made huge life decisions to quit my job for another job, which has allowed me to get an extra four hours a day with my daughter and husband. It’s allowed me to be a better mother, wife, and person all around. I’m happier and less stressed- I am able to be there for my husband more and since this new job I have never had to miss my daughter’s bedtime (something that happened one too many times at my old job).-melissa sullivan

[Growth/Personal Development]

21. “Courage is a choice” -adam thomas

22. “Show up everyday” -adam thomas

23. “Make one choice and then stop choosing” -mike rosen

24. “Reflect and sink into the bittersweet pain you find looking back in this year. Embrace it. Celebrate how far your experiences have brought you to where you stand. Acknowledge that the road ahead is long. Be overwhelmed. It’s okay.” -zoia parvez

25. “Set goals with a general timeline. Self worth” — Jamison Goodnight

26. “To let others help you, even if it’s not what you think you need at the time, or even if you don’t actually need it at all, or hell, even if it’s somewhat detrimental in the moment. The experience you share by letting them try to help is the most important part, and ultimately draws you closer to each other”. — rebecca caldwell

27. “About decisions or hard choices… to not beat it to death or try too hard trying to figure it out in some strategic, methodical way. It’s happened that the universe really beats me over the head with the answer but I just have to stop and look and realize that’s what its doing, that the signs have been building all along in so many different places and ways. Listen to those signs and the feeling you get once you realize that’s what they’re telling you”. — steph sheng

28. “Doing new things is uncomfortable, but that discomfort is an opportunity to grow”. — kyle somersall

29. “There are a lot of illusions in my day-to-day life, “shiny objects” that steer me away from my life’s purpose, and other people’s insecurities that I tend to latch onto and call my own. These distractions can seem very real and are very misleading. I have learned to see through these illusions. I have learned that real magic exists in the hearts of the courageous, to follow your dreams and not conform to society’s image for us is real courage”. — alex lorenzo

30. “Do it and keep doing it until it’s done. Then do it again. If it works, don’t stop making it work better and just keep doing it”. — ethan krane

31. “I’ve learned that a year will pass a lot sooner than I think, and it’s really easy to underestimate what i can do in a year. And hard to measure who I can become within that time as well”. — rodney agnant

32. “Biggest lessons of 2017 has been to just FLOW and let all expectations go. The universe has my back: — val capuano

33. “If you let go of trying to look good and please others, and instead step into a space of vulnerability and service, you’ll be amazed by what you can achieve and, more importantly, the person you become”. — gly gabriel

34. “Whenever I’m procrastinating on something it usually means I’m fearful. Investigating and leaning into the fear will allow me to see how rational my fear is and empower me to take more action”. — kyle somersall

35. “I believe my biggest lesson of the year was understanding that my heart is the only thing I should listen to if I want to build an existence that reflects the essence of who I truly am. And I learned that once I start listening to my heart nothing is impossible”. -patricia baloge

36. “Time waits for no one… you may need to take a step out and pause- but that doesn’t mean that anyone else is”. — kelly keefe

37. “ I learned to not read the news first thing in the morning. I noticed on weekdays I don’t read the news, I was calmer for most of the morning. Now I only read the news at lunch or on my way home from work. Has been tremendously helpful in keeping me from feeling depressed in the morning”. — karina garden

38. “Good things and happiness are allowed to keep going and keep happening. Just because you’ve ridden the roller coaster of highs and lows in the past, doesn’t mean its going to keep happening. However, complacency is the enemy of this. Growing, evolving, asking the questions, making sure that the happiness you have is mutually understood by those involved are all part of the things going well process. Last year at this time, I was unemployed, and just got out of a long relationship that ended horrendously sour. This year, I got to learn about the amazing network of friends and acquaintances I have. I have a job that is mutually excited to have me on board, as I am to be there. I’ve been in a relationship for about 9 months, that isn’t perfect, but we’ve come to some mutual agreements about our lifestyles, I love her and who she is. We both know the challenges of the upcoming year, and will face them as they arrive. In short, happiness requires work, and thanks to 2017, I’m not going to forget that”-matthew fruithandler

**side note: this was one of my favorites. that reminder that when life is going good… like really really good, we don’t have to wait for the other shoe to drop. We are worthy of life being and feeling good! In fact, that is what it is suppose to be and feel like!

39. “Without fear there wouldn’t be an opportunity to be courageous”. -matthew solomon

40. “ I think, learning that I can heal, that I have the power to heal and there are so many tools readily available. It’s just tapping in to those resources and putting myself out there. That it’s OK to be vulnerable and through being vulnerable I can connect with others in a really special way”. — kim ennis

41. I am magical and powerful beyond belief.

We create our realities- through the stories we tell ourselves, the thoughts we think, and the emotions that we feel. And the best part about it is that we are able to manipulate our experiences by taking the reigns on these things. This year, I made the choice to step into my power. This year I have also found myself step back when I saw just how much power I really have (the adjustment can feel overwhelming, again, I am still human). But with the cha-cha that I have done, one lesson was indeed learned and integrated… I am magical. I am powerful. And I am following my life purpose of helping others believe in and embrace the magic and power that is within them. I am fully committed to living aligned, fulfilling my purpose here, and always choosing love over fear.

So here it is, all… 41 lessons from 2017 from a collection of others walking their own journey, having their own experiences that will lead them to the same lessons that we are all here to learn.

Fear less, love more. Embrace and get excited about the fear… it is pushing you to be a bigger and better version of yourself. Do you! Connect with your heart and navigate from there. Love and support your tribe.

Wishing you all a wonderful last couple of days of 2017, and looking forward to experiencing another year of life, love, and lessons with you all.

Kelly Keefe is a skilled mindfulness and reiki teacher. She's the founder of Heartspace Healing and co-founder of my innerglow. She's passionate about helping people break down barriers.

Kelly Keefe