On my the eve of my 40th birthday, as I leave the 30’s and enter into a new decade, I share with you the 30 things that I learned over the last 10 years:
- There are way more than 30 things that I’ve learned in this decade.
- I believe in miracles.
- Get a second opinion. ALWAYS get a second medical opinion.
- When in doubt, sleep on it.
- Practice compassion towards yourself and others–everybody is doing the best they can with the tools they have.
- Meditation can save your life.
- If meditation doesn’t save your life, find something else– anything else– that grounds you and helps you cope with life’s ups and downs.
- Find what sets your heart on fire and do it. For me, that’s traveling and I want to have adventures all over the world with SHL.
- Do what you want to do, when you want to do it, as long as you’re not selfish or hurting anybody else. Life is filled with responsibility and crap; the rest of the time, enjoy yourself.
- Surround yourself with people who are not just like-minded in how they treat you and others, but who have positive energy/vibes. Life is too short to get caught up in bullshit. Leave that in middle/high school.
- When you feel like life throws you a curve ball and you’re in the trenches, do something nice for somebody else.
- Clean up your side of the street (as Gabby Bernstein says). It’s the only side you actually have any control over.
- Have an open mind. If I didn’t, I never would have met my husband through Facebook. After all, he lived in Canada! Where did I think that relationship could go? Turned out, this random guy from Facebook is my soul-mate.
- Be authentic. You don’t have to write a blog or post your every feeling on Facebook, but just be yourself in whatever way feels good to you. It’s way too much energy and effort not to be. And for what? This is the only life we’ve got, we mine as well make it our own.
- The deeper you go with the people you feel safe enough to be vulnerable with, the greater the love and support that you will feel in your own life. Guaranteed (if you open yourself up to the people who “get it” and “get” you).
- Nobody’s life is perfect, even though it may look like it.
- Find others who you can look up to; I have learned so much about love, self-compassion, healing, forgiveness and being in the present moment from Kris, Gabby, Lolly Galvin, Ella Woodward, Brenee Brown, Glennon Doyle Melton, Geralyn Lucas, Matthew Zachary, and many others who are constantly striving to live their best lives possible while helping others. We don’t know it all; admit that you don’t and learn from others.
- If you have a miscarriage, even before hearing a heartbeat, you’ll never stop loving that baby that could have been, and wondering who they could have grown up to be.
- Show up for anyone and everyone who means something to you. Whatever that looks like, just show up, in any way.
- Say you’re sorry. Oh man, I know this is hard, but it can be so freeing, so humbling, and it can even take your closest relationships to a whole new level.
- Give second chances. Boy am I glad that I have and that others have done so for me too.
- When life hands you lemons and you don’t know what else the f*ck to do, follow these steps: 1) Take out some small candy bars of your choice 2) Put them into a zip lock bag 3) Put the zip lock bag on a sturdy cutting board, 4) Proceed to smash candy with a rolling pin or a cooking pan. 5) If your tears don’t taint it, turn that smashed candy into the best g-d damn ice cream cake your friends have ever tasted.
- Cry, when it comes naturally. Let it flow. Let it heal and ground you. Don’t ever force it back inside; it will only come out in other, unhealthy ways. As painful as suffering is, suffer. Face it. It allows you to be more in the present moment.
- Have gratitude for everything– I mean the big stuff (your family, spouse, kids, health, money to take care of your basic needs and then some, home, friends, job, whatever) to the “little” stuff (warm shower, running water, birds singing, a dog’s smile, crocuses blooming, a funny movie, a beautiful meal, coffee with a good friend, a warm embrace, a note from a loved one, a cat-like peaceful nap, a great piece of chocolate). Then remember: There really is no such thing as a “little” thing after all.
- Let the gratitude rise to the surface in an organic way. It’s nice to keep gratitude lists and have a daily practice (I do), but there will be some days when life hands you a big bag of shit and you don’t want to say “thank you.” That’s OK. Be true to your soul. Say thank you when you mean it. That’s the best kind of gratitude, the authentic kind. The kind when you’re eating lunch with your best friend and you realize how freakin’ lucky you are that tears just melt down your face. That’s gratitude.
- If there is something that you want, go after it. Our only limitations are in our own minds.
- Take your own advice.
- If you only read one “self-help” book, let it be something by Thich Nhat Hanh.
- There is no map. Really. We may think we are destined for one thing, but if a door closes, promise yourself that you will still live a great life, despite what you think you don’t have. You create your own journey, nobody else can tell us what great is.
- Love. Love deeply, gently, authentically, without expectations, passionately, and with abandon.
31) Bonus: Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Extra bonus: If you ever need to spend the night in the hospital, bring your own toothbrush. For the love of g-d, BYOE (bring your own everything!).