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Before I fully welcome in 2017, I want to send off 2016 with a look back. This will be my tenth year doing these yearly recaps and they remain some of my favorite posts. I love having all my big moments – both highs & lows – gathered together in long posts that share the whole of the year. The fullness. The brave-in-sadness moments. The brave-in-love ones, too.

The early recaps (2006-2009) show my life unfolding from hospital social worker to newbie artists and all the ups and downs of fully being in the FLOW for perhaps the first time in my life. There’s a lot of drama in those years, divine happenings, knowings, fearlessness and confidence. The middle years (2010 – 2012) reveal my journey into new motherhood, navigating a growing business, challenges with confidence, remodeling a home, and setting into (and often struggling with) my creativity. The later years (2012 onward) reveal a woman in her late 30’s coming into herself, depending her spiritual practice, and learning some hard truths about what it means to live through hard stuff while keeping her heart open.

I am proud of these ten years. And I’m so glad I’ve captured some of their pivotal moments in these recaps.

For those of you interested, you can take a look at the recaps below:

2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006

Today’s recap is for 2016.

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Dear 2016,

You were a hard, beautiful, lesson-filled, grace-filled year. I  want to share some highlights and lowlights from the year before bidding you farewell…

Here are some highlights from the year:

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*Celebrated TEN years of being a working artist. This felt huge, and we celebrated accordingly with a fun party (the video above shows the highlights), lots of sales (including an epic 90% off sale that broke our website given all the traffic!), original painting giveaways, and so much more. Super grateful to have celebrated, reflected, and paid tribute to these last ten years.

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*I traveled to NYC for a few days and while I was there I spoke at an event about the idea of unlearning our way back to our original brilliance. Loved every second of it

* Often felt like a train wreck but still worked to see the delicate beauty of my life.

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*Wrote a little bit about Trust and soul whispers – our Intuition, our Sacred Inner Voice, our Truest of True Wisdom.

*Launched a brand new website. Holy smokes, that was hard, ya’ll. So much detail. So many working parts. But I love it. I really really do. Here’s the story of how it came to be.

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*Created the #ArtistsForLove movement with a few of my friends. I am really proud of this work, of speaking up for (and with) the most vulnerable among us, and for standing, always, with love.

*Embraced the chaos of life, fully.

*Wrote a Soul Care Manifesto to go along with all the others.  Totally need to read it on the daily.

*Created a bunch of new paintings, including mantra paintings, angels/guides, and work for the True by Kelly Rae Roberts ® collection.

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*We are tender and fierce. We are soft and strong. We are fragile and courageous. We are beautiful paradox. A blog post

*Launched a brand new weekly painting video subscription service called Kelly Rae Unscripted: Weekly Videos & Shenanigans. Hands down, one of my favorite things I’ve ever offered.

*Toward the end of the of the year, I had a life-changing session with an energy healer. I will never forget it.

* Feel deeper in love with Instagram and rounded up all of my favorite grams into my new website.

*Considered the magic and hard work of our unfolding.

*Shared about my very first unplanned conversation with a medium/intuitive. It continues to teach me.

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*Continued my Wear Your Joy practice and even made a video about it!

*Wrote a prayer for our stories.

*Continued to re-calibrate in the quest to stay true, always.

* I wrote about how protecting our time is a spiritual process. Because there is NO glory in hustling, no awakening in a full schedule, and no divinity in spreading ourselves thin. 

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* *Did some reflection on fearlessness and becoming a warrior for what is possible.

*Launched and shared a whole bunch of new products. 

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*Attended The Brave Girls Symposium. Had THE BEST time as both a speaker and a participant.

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* Endlessly celebrated a little boy named True, including his 6th birthday.

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*Did something super scary and attended a five day retreat in NM with world renowned transformation speaker coach. My friend Beth MADE ME DO IT and I’m so glad she did. It was hard yet insanely valuable to me.

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*Giggled a million times at our English Bulldog, Lulu Butter Butter Bean. She brings so much joy to our family.

*Celebrated being nationally ranked #7 in the gift industry as a top seller in the gift book category. We were up there with Compendium (I’m a giant fan of their gift books), Random House, and Chronicle Books.

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*Enrolled True into Kindergarten/first grade at a school that is held outdoors all year round. Best. Decision. Ever.

*Recorded lots and lots of episodes for The Possibilitarian Podcast. A lot of giggling. A lot of soul talk.

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*Celebrated 15 years of marriage with John and shared my thoughts on how the universe (or God, Spirit, Light, Source – whatever you want to call it) puts people in our lives who are in direct service of our healing, even when it’s hard, perhaps especially when it’s hard.

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*Celebrated friendships, new and old.

*Joined a gym and Weight Watchers. Loving it and feeling the momentum of feeling stronger in my body.

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*Launched #SoulCareSeconds and enjoyed every single day of the practice. It continues…

*Struggled, celebrated, embraced the chaos, learned, cried, cheered and lived a full year. Grateful

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Before fully releasing 2016,  I want to answer a couple of questions that my dear friend Andrea Scher introduced me to many years ago (can’t recommend this practice enough!).

1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2016? (What did you create? What challenges did you face with courage and strength? What promises did you keep to yourself? What brave choices did you make? What are you proud of?) 

My word for 2016 was devotion. I wanted to be all in, committed to my choices, to my time with those I love, to soul care. It was a good word for me and I honor all the choices I made throughout the year that embodied the spirit of devotion.

I am proud of all the ways I took care of myself, and deepened my relationship with my family. I am proud of my motherhood journey and the ways I parented and connected with True. I am proud of the boundaries I placed around work and family, as well as the time I carved out for my soul/body wellness. I proud of all the ways I leaned into Trust, allowing life to unfold without the control that I often sought in my younger years.

This was the first year in many years that my creative biz struggled financially. Despite this, I’m really proud of the risks I took to grow my business. I learned SO MUCH. I’m also incredibly proud that despite having the highest expenses we’ve ever had in ten years of running a business, we remain debt-free with savings in the bank. I know this is hugely in part to the support of our community and customers and I will forever be grateful.

2. What is there to grieve about 2016? (What was disappointing? What was scary? What was hard? What can you forgive yourself for?) 

I forgive myself for all the times I could have been more caring in my approach, more gentle – both with others and myself. Also, there were many disappointments along the creative path – the projects I wanted to finish, the frustrations of time management, managing a team of many players.  I forgive myself for the many many stumbles along the way as I struggled with making decisions.

3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete? The next step is to say out loud, “I declare 2016 complete!” How do you feel? If you don’t feel quite right, there might be one more thing to say…

Thank you, 2016, for being the year that taught me SO MUCH about what I want and also about what I don’t want. You were a fantastic year of experimentation, taking risks, growing, and toward the end, intense clarity. Sometimes we need to receive what we ask for (growth!) in order to discover what we really really want. I am clear now. And I have 2016 to thank for that.

I declare you complete!

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Big love,

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Hi, I’m Kelly Rae Roberts! Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my whispers and started playing with paint, and everything changed.

I’m now a full-time artist, author, and Possibilitarian who helps women explore their creativity, nourish their souls, and build thriving creative businesses.

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