August 17th, 1991. I have officially been on this planet for 25 years in this body. That is a lifetime for some, and a mere blink of an eye to others. For me... it's simply that odd place in life where society has tried to define what my "adulting" should look like, yet to the core of my existence I am something completely different. This used to torment me with thoughts of defeat, doubt, and the constant feeling that I was doing life "wrong". I am so grateful that in the past 4 years I have embarked on a journey to define for myself what adulting will look like and release myself from society's mold. Adulting for me looks like footie pajamas and hot chocolate at the end of a long day instead of wine and a bubble bath. I prefer late nights at playgrounds (or any type of outdoors event) over lounges/bars/clubs. My partner in love and I have given up our corporate jobs, moved in with my mom, and taken a head first dive into the entrepreneur/artist life. I have 2 degrees that I'm virtually doing nothing with (third times the charm though; shoutout to my Yoga Therapy certification :D). And guess what?!
I. Am. HAPPY.
Happier than i've ever been to be completely honest. There are days that are a struggle, but I guarantee I would trade a blissful day of society's version of "adulting" for my hard days ANY DAY. Embarking on a journey to follow my passions and manifest my dreams has been one hell of a ride. I have made many mistakes and fallen into (and thankfully out of!) several bad situations. Yet a few great things have remained consistent: I am always surrounded by an abundance of wisdom from which I learn daily. My resiliency is my greatest strength. & I do not make the same mistake twice.
In honor of making it to a quarter century here are 25 life lessons that have changed my life for the better forever.
6 things/ideas I removed from my life:
1. Meat & dairy. This is not a push for veganism. Eat meat & dairy IF it serves you well. My sole point is for you to eat mindfully. Pay attention to how food affects you. If it makes you feel good (energized, mentally clear, hydrated) from the inside out, continue it. If it does not (food coma, sluggish, bloated), delete or decrease it. Simple.
2. The idea that I had to prove myself to anyone. I found that when I did there was still a lingering dissatisfaction because I had not yet accepted myself. And when I did not I was so broken that it would often stand in the way of my purpose. Seek only to evolve yourself and prove to YOU that you are worth all you seek.
3. Comparison. It blocks love, and love is everything. Comparison breeds insecurity, jealousy, and division amongst people unnecessarily. There is an old yogic proverb: "By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked the mind may know calmness." And it is that calmness that breeds peace, joy, and love.
4. Lying. First and foremost to yourself. Even the little white lies. Lying automatically puts you in a position where your reality is no longer your own. You surrender yourself to the obligation of faking your reality until you choose truth. Truth is the essence of freedom
5. Pessimistic people. The people around you influence you no matter how strong you are. Removing negative vibes makes space for positivity and abundance.
6. Quick fixes. They always lead to solutions that quickly fade away, which causes you to go in circles as you find yourself back again at the core of the issue. You get what you put in. Put in longevity, and the solution will last you a lifetime.
6 habits that have changed me:
7. Yoga, meditation, & self-care! Creating a sacred space where I could just be has allowed me to fall head over heels in love with myself. It is the space where I get to know what my being needs to be and create the best life for me.
8. Loving myself first and gently. Your relationship with yourself determines if and how others will love you and how you will love others. Be gentle as you navigate that journey. In a world that has strongly taught us to hate ourselves it is no easy feat to fall in love with self. Be determined. Be patient.
9. Learning from my anger. Everything that annoys/perturbs/angers you is a reflection of something within yourself with which you are unhappy. Choose to locate that place, AND make a change. Watch how anger virtually dissipates from your life and compassion multiplies abundantly.
10. Boundaries. This was HARD for me, but boundaries are KEY. You must know yourself to learn them, and you must trust yourself to enforce them. Allowing people past your boundaries is like holding so tightly to a glass bottle that it shatters in your hand. It turns once good things into terrible ones. Love yourself enough to protect your space.
11. Following my intuition. E V E R Y T H I N G you need to know is inside of you. People, situations, and things may pull it out or bring it to your awareness; yet it resonates with you as true because deep down inside you already knew. Create that sacred space, get to know yourself, and follow your instincts.
12. Limiting my time on social media. It's a beautiful tool of communication and empowerment, but everything exists in polarity. It's full of slander, gossip, and the opportunity to compare. Find your own balance that truly serves a purpose.
6 lies I STOPPED believing:
13. Suffering and/or struggling is necessary. To suffer is a choice because at the end of the day the way in which we perceive things is our choice. To struggle is a mindset plagued with the idea that you are unworthy of the desires of your heart, of your dreams, of your purpose. Birth and breath gives you the right. Trust that, and leave the struggle mentality behind.
14. Being wealthy is having money. It is no coincidence that health and wealth have a mere one letter difference. Mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health are true wealth. For some to be healthy in all those aspects includes the abundance of currency, and for others it does not. Know yourself, trust your journey.
15. Thousands of followers on social media = wealth, joy, & influence. It doesn't. The E N D.
16. Health declines with age. Our bodies are magic. Our cells are constantly dividing, dying, and regenerating. Each at various stages, and some that may not regenerate ever. Yet the point is we are provided with opportunity after opportunity to treat our bodies well and age with grace.
17. Love and respect are contingent on agreement. "Our opinions and thoughts mean very little if there is nothing we disagree upon." Diversity makes our world go round, and love is the gas in the engine. The unconditional love we all seek is found at the core of being able to love through differences.
18. Pain is normal. Stop living in pain, seriously. Stop numbing it. Stop ignoring it. Pain is communication from your body that something is wrong. Listen to it, and know you have the power to make a change. All it takes is discipline, care, and commitment.
6 truths that changed me:
19. Balance and perspective are everything. Few things in life are "bad." In most situations things become bad when there is too much or too little. Perspective changes everything. Try seeing the worst part of your day with positivity. It changes everything.
20. There is no right or wrong. Everything is simply a series of decisions that lead to varying outcomes. If you like the outcome, continue. If you do not, change. Old, but true: insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result.
21. Birds of a feather really do flock together. You ARE influenced by those around you. Point, blank, period. Make sure your feathers evolve and/or enhance you for the better, support your passions, and tell you the truth.
22. Your life is YOUR choice. Peace, joy, freedom, and love are choices. The life you live is a reflection of your inner being. Take care of yourself from the inside out and your life will reflect it.
23. It's okay to be selfish with your time and protective of your space. Some people are like leeches, and they will suck you dry given the chance. Stop giving people that chance. Saying "no" is a right we should all exercise.
24. People's actions mean more than their intentions. Trust who they SHOW you that they are. The purest of intentions/motives can still bring forth negative reactions and situations.
And my number 1 rule to life:
25. Be gentle with yourself. Life and this society is so hardening. Brining gentleness even one being at a time lights up the world. "Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as real strength."
One love, keep the faith. <3
[Side note: Totally met Corinne Bailey Rae on my 25th birthday. It was UH-MAZE-ING!!]