Lessons to Take with You on Your Journey
I usually cry every year on my birthday.
This year was different, but not because I didn’t cry- I did. It was that the tears I was shedding were different. The meaning behind them all along came to the surface. A shedding of the past. A whole year comprised of so many memories, happiness and heartbreak, all coming to an end. This was my way of saying goodbye and starting anew.
At the same time, I also realized the expectations I set on myself to have a “good birthday”. Yet again I was seeking some sort of validation to give me peace of mind. It must be extravagant. I must be doing something interesting- even when all I wanted was to relax.
A switch turned on inside me. I had a delicious breakfast that filled my belly with warmth and joy. I was full with love. I treated myself to a sweater I really wanted. I had one of my favorite desserts- creme brulee. And took a good nap, followed by a trip to visit the plants in a garden nearby. In that same place, I sat by a koi pond and just watched them swim to and fro, so elegantly. Simple, but that is what I wanted for myself. To do the things I loved and spend it with people close to my heart.
Over the years I’ve seen myself shed and grow and transform. But 2020 is special. 2020 is the year of unveiling everything, of letting go and learning, of growing and ultimately transforming- both on small and large scales.
I find myself having to completely trust the universe because, to be honest, I’m not sure of anything anymore. Things come and go. The pendulum swings back and forth and knocks whatever it wants out of the way. I do not know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that I need to stay positive.
Although I have not been on this planet for a super long time (20 years; a little baby in the grand scheme of things), there are lessons I’ve picked up along the way that I deem to be extremely helpful. So with that, here is the wisdom I carry in my pocket.
20 Life Lessons
- Go SLOW. Savor every second of your day. Take the time to be present with everything, and soak it in. There’s no rush. You don’t need to move so fast. Plus, I guarantee that the faster you move, the less you’re taking in, and the less you’re getting out of whatever you’re doing.
- Discover What Matters Most. And once you do that, don’t waste any time. Make space for it. Do it. Embrace it.
- Say, I love you. Tell the people you love that you love them. Over and over again.
- Don’t hold onto fear. When you let fear overcome you, you give away your power. I know it’s a scary time. I know there’s a lot to worry about. But it’s important that you don’t give in.
- “Be the Light”. Share good things. No more fighting. Inspire a bright light and cast it out into the world to see positive change.
- The Universe Works Around You. Through your decisions, actions, and thoughts. You are constantly creating. What you put out, you will receive, and what you believe is what you will get.
- Don’t Make Judgements. Making assumptions about people, or about yourself, will never be good for you. Keep an open heart.
- Be Honest. In any way, shape, or form you can- be honest. You will feel better and lighter.
- Make the Plan as You Go. There’s no telling what tomorrow might bring. Just be here today. Set goals, but don’t set yourself up for disappointment.
- Set Intentions, Not Wishes. When we set wishes, we are hoping for something else to grant it. In truth, we don’t know if those wishes will ever come true because we’re placing the ability in someone else’s hands. When we set intentions, we are planting seeds. We care for these seeds until they’re fully grown. Yes, it may take quite a bit of time, but you can be assured that it will happen.
- Work Hard. If you want it, it will come, but you also have to work for it. The outcome of what is thoughtfully put together is much greater than the outcome of what is half-assed and done through a shortcut.
- The Way People Act is a Reflection of Them, Not You. This is not an excuse for being shitty to people then wondering why they’re upset. This is saying we need to stop blaming ourselves and feeling bad (and making assumptions) when it’s not our fault. Sometimes people place judgments when they feel some way about themselves. And although it hurts, it has nothing to do with you! Sometimes someone is having a rough day, and they come home upset, and you wonder what you did wrong. But guess what! It’s not you!
- Don’t Hang Around People Who Don’t Make You Feel Good. It’s not worth it. You could be taking this time to make new friends or immersing yourself in a hobby you really love.
- Stand in Your Power. Standing in your truth is something no one can take away from you. Stand firmly in your decisions. Know in your heart what’s right.
- Take a Hike. Align yourself with nature. She will help you heal. She will lift you up. Listen to her, and look for signs. And in reciprocation, protect her. Tend to her. Love her back.
- Explore as much as You Can. Within yourself and the world. Take that adventure, big or small. The time is now.
- Value Silence. Where there is “silence”, a gift awaits.
- Overthinking Won’t Change the Past and Won’t Affect the Future. Your worry only burdens you. It can’t go fix a past mistake. It can’t change what’s already happening. The only thing your thoughts can do is change your perception.
- Eat Good. Eat whole foods that were responsibly harvested and produced. Your body and the Earth will thank you. This is another way we can nourish ourselves. (P.S. Cook at home!)
- Laugh It Off. Something my friends taught me was to not take things so seriously. Life was not meant to be so harsh. And it’s really not worth your energy to constantly stress or be upset. Just laugh. Laugh hard. Laugh good. Let it out.
***Bonus*** Be Open-Minded. The world needs more people who are willing to listen rather than emit mindless chatter. Being open may help you to understand someone else’s way of thinking and being.