My Year of Personal Development


Last year I spent a lot of time on personal development and self-improvement seminars. I started jotting everything I did down as an exercise a few days ago and when I saw the length of the list I knew I wanted to share my thoughts with everyone.

I've always believed you need to invest in yourself if you want to "level up" and stay sane. I found myself in such a new life last year that I think part of me did a lot of self-help to process all the changes. 

What did I learn? Wow, so much. As for this year I think i’m doing less PD and spending time putting things I learned last year into practice. 

Disclaimer: Of course, these things cannot replace therapy and psychiatric care for those of us who need it. That was another one of my lessons sometimes we do everything we can and still find that we need more support. That’s ok too! 

Here is a recap of a lot of the things I did: 

Rapid Transformational Therapy with Elizabeth Valdez:

This is a 3 hour-session that can produce massive results with the use hypnosis. Think of it as talk therapy, cognitive behavior, and meditation combined. Founded by Marissa Peers, this practice, “embraces many of the positive aspects of hypnosis and hypnotherapy that are known to produce a transformative effect on clients: the use of trance, regression and hypnotic conditioning. However RTT goes beyond, diagnosing what works with clients to build a new therapeutic approach.”

It promises to deliver permanent change 1-3 sessions. I conducted a session with Elizabeth Valdez in October to tackle feelings of unworthiness and a feeling of being undeserving of happiness. In 3 hours through hypnosis we uncovered a few incidents hidden deep in my subconscious mind that occurred before the age of 7 that may have contributed to those feelings. This was an intense experience for me as I experienced a regression to the womb, where I actually heard a conversation that my mother had when I was in utero. But it's not just the regression after you visit those events you go back and re-condition your mind to interpret those events with an adult lens and begin the process of healing. After the 3 hour session, I received a 25-minute meditation with affirmations related to the topics that had been addressed during the session. This was super helpful as it reinforced all the re-conditioning we did during the session.

Benefits: This session helped me find calm, and be fully present and happy on my wedding day. I would love to go back for another session to address money block and continue working on the issues that were revealed in the last session. It also kick-started me on a  more regular meditation practice. 

Works Great For: If you have done talk therapy and still seem to have blockages or issues that are recurring this is a great way to not just discover them but begin to overcome them. You can book her here.

Pranic Healing with Marcela Arrieta

This is a practice the cleans your energy and assesses your chakras to see if there’s areas that need clearing. According to the website,  “Pranic Healing® is a highly evolved and tested system of energy medicine developed by GrandMaster Choa Kok Sui that utilizes prana to balance, harmonize and transform the body's energy processes. Prana is a Sanskrit word that means life-force. This invisible bio-energy or vital energy keeps the body alive and maintains a state of good health.”  

How it Works? It can be done or person or over the phone and this how it works its a “powerful & effective system of no-touch energy healing. It is based on the fundamental principles that the body is a self-repairing living entity that possesses the ability to heal itself.” When I had my sessions with Marcela she would work on issues with me and she would normally be pretty spot on about which areas needed work for example I have frequent back aches and she told me this is where I hold fear and anxiety.

Benefits: After my 2 sessions with Marcela I had a sort of euphoric feeling and it seemed that many of the aches I experienced went away for a while. Of course, like everything it requires maintenance. She also had good tips on overall wellness and she’s a lovely human. You can book a phone or in person session here.  

Tony Robbins: Unleash the Power Within

Unleash the Power Within is one of the best gifts I ever received. It is a 3-day seminar put on by Tony Robbins and his team of personal-development professionals. In this intense workshop, you tackle personal roadblocks and start planning for the life you want. The website describes it as a workshop “designed to help you unlock and unleash the forces inside that can help you break through any limit and create the quality of life you desire. Learn how you can surpass your own limitations to achieve your goals and take control of your life.”

The first day you actually go through a series of exercises and meditations to lose fear. This ends with the famous fire walk! Really, even Oprah did this! Participants are invited to walk on hot coals as a metaphor to overcoming fears we have in life. This might sound a little crazy but it was one of the most adrenaline filled moments of my life. You feel unstoppable after! The energy at these events is incredible. It is part concert, part revival, and part lecture. You also walk away with a booklet of tools and exercises that you can revisit after. It also has you rate areas of your life, identify your main drivers, and why achieving “peak state” is essential to success.

It is a really great way to stop and assess where you want to go in life and if you are on a path to get there. I found I came back more decisive and self-aware of patterns that have caused me grief etc. It led to me making decisions for myself without fear of appearing selfish. It also compelled to make major changes like giving up coffee for 6 months and eliminating meat from my diet for most of the year.

I wasn’t a Tony Robbins believer before attending and of course there’s some points that seemed to reflect a certain white-male centric view but for the most part I really enjoyed my experience and even purchased a few additional materials to bring home.

Benefits: A retreat to think about your life and tackle your relationship with fear.

Works Great For: People are who are truly committed, as going to the seminar is just one step and if you are making the investment (it’s a few hundred dollars to attend) you should make sure that you are ready to spend time on this after the seminar. You can actually hear more about the experience here, this year it’s happening in San Jose.  A few things to note: Tony Robbins isn’t there the whole time, it is a very loud stimulating environment. They don’t force you to do the firewalk but I think you really should!

Evolve Conscious Parenting Conference

Dr Shefali has been on Oprah and written best-selling books about the idea of “conscious” parenting. Essentially, she encourages you to put your baggage aside and parent the kid you have not the one you had made up in your head. It’s an illuminating weekend where you hear from Dr. Shefali and other personal development, spiritual speakers that give you tools, tips to be a better you so you can be a better parent. It’s mostly lecture and not as interactive as Tony Robbins. It is helpful if you are familiar with some of the concepts she shares and are open to hearing various perspectives about parenting in a less dictatorial manner than many of us are accustomed to. You can hear about our experience here. Josh and I shared our thoughts about it on the Somos Padres podcast.

Benefits: Amazing parenting skills, and if you can go with whoever you co-parent with even better. You hear from a lot of other engaging speakers.

Works Great For: People who need support with their parenting and are open to challenging their own idea what “good kids” and “good parenting.” Dr. Shefali is very straight forward about how a lot of things we think are good for kids might be damaging to their psyches. Note: I had a hard time sitting still the whole time so I would get up and stretch in the back of the room.

The Period Coach

Stasha Washburn helps you understand your body, your hormones and your menstrual cycle better. I had a phone consultation with her and my period got back to normal after months of irregularities. She recommended dietary changes to help with lethargy, and constant exhaustion and a few vitamin supplements. She also taught me about the way our energy levels fluctuate depending on the time of the month.

Benefits: Alleviate PMS or other related symptoms. Learn about hormonal balance and why it matters.

Works Great For: Anyone who suspects they have symptoms that might be related to hormonal issues, if you have irregular periods and want to learn probable cause. She also has lots of info on her site. For example, did you know migraines are associated with hormonal issues in women?

Essential Oils:

I started dabbling with these for my son and his sleep issues. But this year I incorporated into my daily life for stress relief and migraines. They have a lot of benefits and I met an amazing mama who has gained tremendous benefits from using them. Here’s what I use daily:

  1. DoTerra Tension Blend: This is great if you have a headache or moment of stress. It’s a roll on that you can drop in your bag when you need it. The smell is invigorating.

  2. My Favorite Mix: Lavender, Balance and Vetiver. Great for focus, and anxiety.

  3. Other Favorite: peppermint


I did this on an off for the whole year as it was pretty much recommended by every seminar, book I read. I really enjoy the Calm App and guided meditations with Dr.Shefali. You Tube also has some great ones. You have to find the right tone for yourself.

Stuff I Read About:

Hope you enjoyed this recap! Happy to answer questions about this send me an email or DM on Insta