Time is simply a way to mark the passing moments in our lives. As we transition from one decade into the next, it’s an opportunity for us to reflect on everything we’ve accomplished, to realize what we gained from each experience (even during challenging moments), and to express gratitude for all that we have in our lives.

To celebrate the passing of a decade, here are 10 inspiring lessons I learned over the past decade.

Of all the experiences I’ve had over the past decade, the one thing I’ve learned is that the present moment is all we have. We’re often so busy planning for the future or dwelling on the past that we forget to embrace the here and now.

Let’s stop to take a moment and think about where we’ve been, where we’re at, and where we’re going.

Self-Care is Essential to Our Well-Being

While the term “self-care” has recently become a trending topic, it’s something I discovered years ago. I’ve realized that self-care is truly essential to living a happy, fulfilling life. When we give ourselves time to slow down, go within, and take care of our own needs, we’re able to give more to others. Whether it’s a walk on the beach, a massage at the spa or even that extra 20-minutes doing a face mask in the bathroom – self-care helps us to look and feel our best.

I’ve also learned that self-care goes beyond taking care of our bodies. When we learn how to meditate, write in a journal, read inspiring books, and take time to get centered, we give ourselves the chance to become our best selves.

This is why self-care is essential to our well-being – on a physical, mental, and emotional level.

Never Underestimate The Power of Faith

Having grown up in a Catholic school, being raised as a Christian, and then learning about world religions – there came a point in my life that I was simply confused and uncertain about what I believed in.

That all changed when one of my family members ended up in the ICU for a life-threatening illness several years ago. At that moment, I knew I had two choices – faith or fear. Through this challenging period, I discovered that my sense of spirituality wasn’t so much about religion, as it was about a belief in a higher power. Because of my newfound commitment to faith (and my belief that the Universe is always there for us when we ask), I was led to a miracle that saved this person’s life. Since then, I was given a few more opportunities to test my faith, and as a result, experienced ever more miracles.

Of everything I’ve learned (including the most challenging moments in the past decade), I’ve realized I should never underestimate the power of faith.

Family is the Fabric of Life

Growing up in a close family, I’ve learned that they are the best support system I could ever ask for. While it’s not always easy getting along (especially when we have different viewpoints or opinions), the bottom line is this – the bond we have with each other is truly thicker than water.

Whether I need a shoulder to cry on, a person to cheer me up, someone to counsel me, or just a companion to spend time with – my family has always been there for me. They are some of the smartest, funniest, most talented and unique people I know. For these reasons and more, I’ve learned that my family is the fabric of my life.

Love is a Verb

I’ve always been a hopeless romantic. Ever since I was a young girl, I believed that Prince Charming exists and fairytale endings happen. Over the past decade, I’ve experienced one of the deepest romantic relationships I’ve ever known. I am so grateful for everything I’ve experienced and learned in this relationship. While it hasn’t always been easy (and we’ve certainly had our share of challenging moments), I’ve realized that love is a verb.

Love isn’t what we imagine it to be. It’s not always about bouquets of roses and candlelit dinners. It’s not necessarily about picture-perfect settings and dream vacations.

It’s the comfort of being with someone who wholeheartedly cares for you. It’s saying sorry when you need to. It’s being there for someone when they’re going through a rough patch. It’s about encouraging the other person to follow their dreams and find their happiness. It’s about celebrating the good moments and getting through the bad ones.

Most importantly, it’s about loving unconditionally and accepting someone exactly as they are.

Furry Friends Bring Us Joy

Over the course of my life, I’ve had all types of pets – from a bunny rabbit and a cat to dogs and even a horse.

In the past few years, another furry friend (this adorable Frenchie named Wellesley) came into my life. His outgoing, assertive attitude, cuddly demeanor, and passionate personality have made me fall in love with him. Whether we’re snuggling on the couch, playing fetch at the park, or walking on the beach, this furry friend brings me so much joy.

While I don’t have kids yet, being a dog mom has brought a new meaning and purpose into my life. For these reasons and more, caring for this little guy has enriched my life in so many ways.

Home is Where the Heart is

Over the past decade, I finally moved out of my family’s home into my first place. While I was a bit of a late bloomer (compared to my peers), by the time I moved into my own home, I was ready to learn what it was like to be an “adult” (in the traditional sense).

I learned how to create a beautiful, modern space that exuded a sense of warmth and coziness (and it re-ignited my passion for home decorating). I learned how to take pride in caring for my home, including enjoying mundane daily chores and tasks (like grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning). One of the things I was most excited about was buying my first dining table, so I could entertain family and friends.

While most people take these little things for granted, I realized that creating a home I love was a dream come true.

Life is an Adventure

I never expected to ride a motorcycle in my life. I never even had the desire to go camping. I always thought vacations were best spent lounging poolside, enjoying gourmet dinners and elegant outings. But I came to learn that sometimes the most memorable getaways are the exciting adventures.

Over the past several years I learned to overcome fears, find my courageous side, and even explore places (like Joshua Tree and Yosemite Valley) that I had never imagined visiting. These adventurous experiences made me realize that I’m tougher than I thought, more adaptable than I realized, and have a pioneering spirit within.

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We Are Stronger Than We Know

I grew up doing sports and being active but hadn’t found my passion for fitness until a few years ago. I discovered my love for exercising as I learned to build my strength and balance. Exercises like yoga, Pilates, Barre, and TRX have been a few of the activities I’ve come to enjoy the most, and continue to incorporate them into my fitness routine.

In addition to re-igniting my love of being active, I’ve also made great friends in the fitness community who continue to inspire, empower, and educate me. As a result, I’ve even featured several of these awesome gals in original fitness tutorials on I&C (check out the “Yoga in the Vines”, “Barre on the Beach”, and the “The Fit Physique Guide to Pilates Reformer” fitness series to learn more).

Our love for our bodies is a never-ending experience. One day we might feel strong, capable, and fit. The next day, we feel tired, weak, and sluggish. I’ve come to realize that despite my self-criticisms, my body is an amazing vehicle – one that I am continuing to learn how to love and care for.

Pursue Your Passions

When I was a young girl, I dreamed of becoming a magazine writer. While I didn’t get a degree in Journalism or move to New York City, I realized I could still pursue my passion for becoming a published magazine writer, even while living on the Monterey Peninsula.

As a result of spending time honing my craft, making connections through networking, and submitting article pitches to editors, I’m proud to have become a contributing writer to several publications including Carmel Magazine, Shakers Magazine, The Los Angeles Fashion Magazine, and even The Huffington Post.

Beyond this, in 2011, I launched Inspirations & Celebrations as a way to share my knowledge with the world (and give me a creative outlet). My lifestyle blog-turned-business has grown in ways I only dreamed of. I’ve had the privilege of working with 300+ incredible brands and retailers, I’ve traveled the world collaborating with top hotels and resorts, and I’ve reached hundreds of thousands of readers. When I first started this blog just 8 years ago, I never knew how it would change my life and bring me a sense of higher purpose.

Becoming a blogger, digital content creator, social influencer, and writer has been such a fulfilling and enjoyable experience, which I’m so thankful for. Because of you, I’m able to pursue my passion for inspiring women to live their best lives. So thank you for joining me on this journey and for being a loyal reader.

Dreams Do Come True

Since launching my blog, one of the first goals I set was to host a party in collaboration with a brand I respect and resonate with. In the Fall of 2019, this dream came true when the opportunity to host a party at the Cynthia Rowley boutique in Carmel-by-the-Sea came to be.

After a series of collaborations with them (on style guides for I&C), the store manager asked if I’d want to partner with them on a party. Of course, I jumped at the chance to throw a fun and memorable celebration. This was such a great way to thank the people who have supported me on this journey, to celebrate with friends and family, and to connect with people in my community. It was definitely one of the highlights of the past year and a realization that dreams do come true.

While there are so many more experiences and impactful moments that I’ve had over the past decade, these are some of the most meaningful lessons I’ve learned. My hope for you is that this post reminds you to savor the present moment, to feel thankful for the past, and to look forward to the future with a sense of enthusiasm.

Wishing you a wonderful New Year and a new decade filled with joy, fulfillment, and positivity.

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