What I am taking with me from 2021

The only way I can remember what I have accomplished over the year is going back through my calendar. I cannot tell you how many times I said, “oh that was this year?”, or “I forgot all about that!”. If you have 30 minutes, use it to look back and take notes on what you have accomplished. From the small to the large, we have all done so well to carry on, change, adapt, survive, grow and be there for one another.

Here’s my list and what I have learned;

  • Built two new studios- Seven years of developing this building, learning building regulations and finding good trades people is the key. It has been great to grow with the community– many of which have been in Tribe for over 5 years. This also reminded my how unhelpful Edinburgh Council’s Building Standards are and how bad they are at their job.
  • Filmed a signature video and had 5 case studies produced- I am uncomfortable behind the camera but learned so much about delivering a message without sounding boring and looking emotionless.
  • Commissioned a bike shed, new outdoor seating and planting- It is fun to work with great people who are ridiculously talented.
  • Tried some EFT to shed some blocked emotions- I know some really wonderful people and can recommend a practitioner if you want to try tapping. It is a strange and wonderful way to heal.
  • Saw a rheumatologist about my alopecia areata- Another reminder that modern medicine is so dissected that it does not even consider the whole body or wellbeing. I will stick with my complimentary health professionals.
  • Participated in a 3 week design sprint about the Tribe community and Covid
  • Worked with Napier University students on a mentoring programme for Tribe Porty (Final Report) –I would love to see this happen. If you might want to be involved, get in touch.
  • Delivered 2 webinars about community and networks for the Social Enterprise Academy for the Swedish entrepreneurs
  • Rebranded Tribe Women to Keystone
  • Built the Keystone website and ran some user testing- Feedback is essential, great and always hard- even when it is good.
  • Had new internet installed at Tribe- Teething problems are a pain in the ass.
  • Turned 44- not sure what to say about that.
  • Started a movement class that has changed me called Move to Feel- A firm highlight of 2021.
  • Ran 3 groups of women for Keystone- I am always impressed and amazed by the women who come to the programme.
  • Did another #100dayprojectScotland doing body illustrations
  • Books that changed me this year- Black Elk and The Body Says No

So despite feeling dull and full, I realise I have accomplished quite a bit.

At the same time, a new understanding of what is important has emerged. I found new wisdom in moments of connection, or a good conversation and when I sense my insignificance and significance at the same time.   I have found a way of letting go and understanding that I am nothing and everything at the same time. 

“You only lose what you cling to”–Buddha

Another way to reflect is to look back at your notebooks or in Amanda E. Machado’s case, she started composing end-of-year poems out of the fragments found in her phone notes.

“Sometimes language can just hold what is” — Phone notes and fragments from 2021

Bless shared air 

Kim TallBear says she needs a wide sky…my body feels at home with storms. 

I have been an adventurer all my life, but I have never been a daredevil. I have always wanted to know how to feel safe and fully alive. 

this happened for me, not to me.

“All men are secretly bottoms.”

There are so many parts of me I haven’t indulged.

“So many times we’re told as kids “we’ll give you the keys to the kingdom, in return, we’re going to ask you to leave parts of yourself outside. I’m telling you, that bargain isn’t worth it.” (Casey Gerald) 

Read more here.

What I am letting go of from 2021


Eckhart Tolle believes we create and maintain problems because they give us a sense of identity. Perhaps this explains why we often hold onto our pain far beyond its ability to serve us. He also said,

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.”

Questioning how your stress serves you may help you let it go. We are all well practiced at having things be out of our control. Over the past couple of years, we have all had plenty of opportunities to adapt to change. This in theory makes things easier, however, fear can also make letting go even harder.  We can be afraid of what will happen to us if we lose something that we depend on for our survival, or happiness. So, we hold on as best as we can.  Intertwined in our attachment to things is the illusion of control.  In reality, the only thing we have control over is ourselves. Remember, letting go leads to freedom.

Here’s How to Perform a Burning Ceremony In 4 Simple Steps