Each year I like to write a list of things that I’ve learned in as many years I have lived. This list is purely for me, but I think it can offer some lessons or inspiration for others as well. Usually, I look back on my previous years but due to a shuffleboard incident (oooor a weird, random thing that happened when I moved my website from one platform to another) I’ve lost all of my writing. Losing something you’ve put years and tears and heart and soul into is tough BUT it leads me to my first (in no particular order) of 34 things I’ve learned in 34 years.
Let Shit Go - Let go of the old, dated, stale, trite, negative stuff. Let go of the good stuff too if it’s not truly serving you. Old stories, ideas, shoes, relationships, or anything that is taking up space can go. Clear it out, pack it up, walk away - this isn’t an easy process but it’s healing allows more space for newness (and room for activities, of course).
Seriously, nothing is personal - Nothing other people do is because of you, it’s because of them. If you take this seriously, you are free.
Lead with Kindness - For most of us our first reaction toward someone else is often judgement or annoyance. Make your first and every interaction a kind one. This can change the way you communicate in total.
Eat the freaking cookie - If it’s warm and fresh and chocolate chip and you want it - eat it. Don’t talk incessantly about how or why you shouldn’t eat it, just enjoy every bite.
Don’t forget to have fun - If you’re like me there is always a work thing to be done or a pile of sweaty spandex to be washed or an inbox overflowing but create space for fun every day.
Allow people to take care of you when you need it - Sometimes, it’s ok to let someone cook you dinner or hold your hand or drive you through a snowstorm on the day your father dies. We are all here to help each other, it’s okay to allow it.
Stop saying yes when you really mean no - If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no. Don’t spend your time putting in a half-effort here and a wishy-washy effort there.
When you let your freak flag fly you allow yourself to play on the next level - Get weird and wild if that’s who you are. Authenticity is the name of the game and we’re all just trying to get to King Koopa’s Castle. But seriously, why spend your time trying to be a lesser version of someone else? Go big, go weird!
If a compliment pops into your head, say it out loud - One tiny, nice thing can make someone's day better. Don’t hold it in.
Everyone and everything can teach you a lesson - In every person, animal, and situation there is a lesson to be learned. Put on your sleuthing trench coat (I see you Carmen Sandiego) and learn as many as you can!
The way timing situates itself is unreal - The timing of all the things that happen in our lives is relentless, brilliant, and fucking hilarious. It may take some time and space to see the brilliance or humor, but it’s there.
Empower people - Give them the confidence and tools to be the best versions of themselves. Lift people up with you and support them. Empowered people undoubtedly empower people.
Your stories belong to you - You’ve created these stories and told them repeatedly until they’ve become (in your mind) who you are. You can rewrite your story any time you want.
Be still - You don’t always have to do. It’s ok to just be. Be still until it’s no longer uncomfortable to be still.
Be silent - You don’t always have to speak. I have a lot of opinions, but something I’ve been practicing is before speaking, I ask myself if my words will add value to this situation. Will my words add more beauty than the silence that fills their space?
A reset goes a long way - Sometimes I reset my nutrition or my fitness or my sleep schedule but also I reset the day if it’s going wonky or the week if it’s not been a great one. All you have to do is pause, collect your thoughts, think of what you can do right now to improve the situation, take a deep breath, and reset.
Change is inevitable - Nothing stays the same. Respect what you have good or less than good because it probably won’t last forever. This statement can elicit alllll the feels, but that’s the most comforting part, I believe.
Failure is inevitable - I fail daily. Big fails, little fails - fail, fail, fail. It ain’t no thang. The more you fall, the faster you get up. When you get good at standing up the fear of failing isn’t so great. Just know that we all fail all the time.
Spend time alone - Take time to learn who you are just as you are. Not who you are as a daughter, partner, parent, bestie, dog dad, or lumberjack but who you are as you exist on this planet at this time in this body.
Beliefs are like an Instagram filter for your reality - Don’t let your beliefs completely inhibit your truth.
Always choose yourself - If you’re not true to you then you can’t be the person everyone near you needs. You have to do what’s right for you don’t just hop on any old bandwagon… unless it’s headed to the donut store then ride for a little while but don’t stay longer than necessary.
Practice empathy not sympathy - Try to understand how or why others are feeling the way they are instead of just feeling sorry for them. The better we understand each other the more we can support each other.
You can always be grateful - No matter what is happening there is always something to be grateful for. Write it down, say it out loud, or make a mental memo - practicing gratitude is a game changer.
Everybody wants to be loved - Can you think of something you value more?
Make choices based on love - Don’t make choices out of fear, envy, guilt or anything that is not whole-heart love.
Nobody knows what they’re doing - We are all winging it. If nobody truly knows whose to say there is a right or wrong or better way to do something. So come get in the deep end with me (and everybody else) we’ll all flail about together.
Resistance is necessary - I teach cycling - on a bike you have to add resistance to support yourself so you can stand up. In life when you face resistance it means it’s time to stand up. What you resist, persists. Likely wherever you are experiencing resistance is a place where you need to grow and learn.
Meditate - When I’m not meditating I can tell I’m not meditating. There are a million ways to do it, but all you have to do is be still, breathe, and notice without judgement the movie that your brain shows you.
Rituals are grounding - My morning routine is pretty nonnegotiable. It helps me set a rhythm for the day and usually allows for more productivity and also creativity. I believe in energy in before energy out so I do things that help me feel well. Rituals are great any time for touching base with yourself and bringing you back from wherever you may have drifted.
Consistency is key - Consistency builds routine and momentum. Health, business, and relationships thrive when you’re consistently putting in time and effort.
Your words matter - The words you use are powerful. They can crush spirits, open minds, and pump people up. Choose yours wisely.
Be flexy - Things will not go as planned, stay flexible and open to adapting your vision.
Get uncomfortable - Do things every single day that make you uncomfortable. All the really good stuff lives outside your comfort zone.
Your health is everything - Your physical and mental health dictate your life. Sweat, eat real food, and take inventory of your emotions every day.
Another year is a gift and I feel the luckiest for all the good, bad, funny, hard AF, absurd, and crazy shenanigans that go along with the journey.