On Saturday I will turn 57. I don’t feel 57…whatever that is actually supposed to feel like. When I put my life on a timeline and see that I am closer to the end of being in this body than the beginning makes me, not only appreciate each day I get the privilege of waking up, but also reflect on what I have learned and who I have been up until today.
I believe life’s most powerful lessons can only be learned and understood through layers of pain, failure, humility and change. That is the gift time gives us. Society tends to portray learning these life lessons as simple, beautiful epiphanies, pretty Pinterest quotes and happily-ever-after experiences. Life does gift us happy moments but the life lessons are the ones that test us and put us in the fire so that we can be transformed and grow and change into, we can only hope, someone better, stronger, more badass and of service.
So after 57 trips around the sun here are some things I have learned along the way. Maybe you can relate to them. Maybe you are not quite there on your journey. But wherever you are, know that we are one big human family sharing this human experience and if I can help you along the path please reach out your hand I you will get one back.
- Life is not fair and it was never meant to be. No apologies for this one.
- Failure is the most effective path to success. My mentor says, “fail forward.” Why? Because that means you’re taking action and not staying still.
- Stop trying to make other people “feel” comfortable. It will only cause you unnecessary pain.
- There IS a difference in true friends, good friends and friendliness. Be wise. Not everyone is on your side.
- Sometimes you have to learn to love people from a distance. And respect the boundaries of those who need to do the same of you.
- Regret is more painful than fear.
- You are right on time.
- Live on purpose. There is NEVER “the right time” for anything.
- Endings are really new beginnings in disguise.
- Change is a given. Surrender and it will set your free. Let the Universe do it’s thing!
- Distraction is a mindset caused by lack of purpose. It happens when we are out of alignment with our dreams, vision or purpose. Pay attention.
- Don’t be a victim. Own it all and make it better.
- Make a life, not a living. Find the thing that PULLS you more than PUSHES you!
- It’s okay to disappear for awhile. Go off the grid. I recommend every 90 days at least for a weekend.
- Be grateful – ALWAYS… even in the hard times.
- Know your values and live them. Write them down and look at them.
- Choose your thoughts. Remember affirmations are powerful tools.
- Life’s most important lessons are the one’s you learn the hard way.
- Your worst breakdown can be your greatest breakthrough.
- It’s never too late, ever, for anything.
- There is power in turning your mess into a message. Think of the people you could help!
- You can’t outrun your problems just like you can’t hide from change.
- Find your voice and celebrate it.
- Don’t judge yourself. Human is human warts and all.
- You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find the prince. This is true for love and work.
- Practice gratitude. List them in a journal at the end of each day.
- Knowledge, strength and talent only come AFTER doing the thing…
- Self care is not selfish.
- Learn something new every day.
- Create goals monthly – personal and professional.
- Read and read some more. Challenge yourself to read a book a week.
- It’s okay to ask for help. Burnout and bitterness are avoidable when you realize you are not alone.
- Write notes and letters to people you love and care about. I don’t mean texts or emails either! Pick up a pen and stationary.
- Block out time for the things that feed your soul. Paint, sing, dance, take pictures….
- Be honest.
- Treat others with respect.
- Follow your dreams.
- Be a role model.
- Contribute to your community.
- SHOW UP!
- Learn from the masters – Read the Bible, Merton, Jung, Buddha, The Dalai Lama, The Bhagavad Gita, Frankl…
- Meditate. I like to do this early in the morning and then at the end of the day.
- Savor everything. Sharpen your senses so you are fully present in the moment.
- Exercise for your health. Make it intentional and appropriate for your goals. My exercise routine has changed and changed again!
- Lift as you climb. Always have a mentor and then look back and bring someone else along.
- Remember what wise E. Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
- Visualize your best future self in three words – what would they be and live them. Mine are gratitude, love and matter. I live my life in gratitude for everything not just the good because it’s the uncomfortable, the pain, the fire that is our teacher. I live in love because that is what we are called to do. The highest vibration is love, all love and that is where I want to live. I choose to matter which means I make time for others. You can’t matter in a vacuum. It’s being of service and showing up for those you love and those that need you that makes life matter.
- Dogs are the best teachers. If you don’t have one try and spend some time with one. You will understand unconditional love.
- Eat dessert first. If you take that literally that’s cool!
- Once a year write a letter to yourself. Maybe your five year old self or your awkward thirteen year old self or even your seventy year old self.
- The only way to eat the elephant is one bite at a time. So take it all one thing at a time.
- Know God and have a relationship with Him or whatever you conceive Him to be.
- Go to the doctor. Have a physical. It may safe your life.
- Write your manifesto.
- Moderation in all things is good.
- As my mom said, “garbage in, garbage out.” What are you feeding yourself? And I don’t mean just food.
- Say thank you!
Thank you for your visits, your presence, your love.
Cheers to the next 365 together.