This year I turned 40...pretty unbelievable moment I have to say.
Nevertheless, with this being such a milestone, I could not miss the chance to stop and reflect on all the life that I left behind.
And because the exercise turned out to be quite fruitful, I thought some of you might benefit from it if I share my conclusions with you.
Thus, here are 40 lessons I learnt in 40 years of life in no particular order:
No external input or person can give us real happiness. We are fully responsible for our own happiness. Fulfilling our dreams and having loving people around us is definitely very important and positive. However true happiness and genuine fulfillment can only come from within, when we are deeply connected with our essence and centered and have a pure loving relationship with ourselves. Let go of the idea that happiness can come from outside. Nobody can fulfill you. You are already complete, whole.
Remember to dance, dance and dance every day. Even if you don’t like to dance or you don’t consider yourself a dancer, dancing is one of the most healing, most joyous things you can do for yourself. It reminds us not to take ourselves so seriously, it puts us in touch with our bodies, it boosts our health, wellbeing and confidence and it improves our mental health and functioning. To be honest I can’t find one reason why not to dance.
Pay attention not to take yourself too seriously. Life in itself can turn out sometimes to be so, and if on top of that we take ourselves too seriously, as well, we can easily loose inner balance and joy.
Be mindful of how you might be giving your power away. More people than we can imagine look for validation externally. And this is only one way we can give our power away. And because this is such a rich topic, my next blog will be dedicated to it.
Read every day. Well, where to start…reading is one of my long-life passions and, to be honest there is rarely any day when I don’t read and I could speak endlessly about the joy, growth and satisfaction reading can bring into your life. But I won't go in that direction; instead, I will challenge you to read for at least 10 minutes every day for the next 21 days and you will notice these benefits for yourselves. The people I’ve coached in this direction have thanked me for changing their life.
Move every day. Mind, body and soul are one and they are constantly impacting each other. By moving our body we rebalance all of them. When you feel you are too much in your mind or that you can’t stop your mind or your emotions are taking over too much, just move. It doesn’t matter what kind of movement you do, even a walk will do.
Keep your independence. While some still need to learn how to receive, and being able to receive is equally important, keeping your independence is invaluable. Remember that everything around you can change in any moment and while friends and loved ones can temporarily help when needed, if you stay dependent on anybody else but you, you can end up in an unhealthy relationship with them and with yourself. Independence gives you self-confidence and self-esteem, it sets you up for even further growth and success, it makes you flexible and adaptable and more than anything, it gives you the joy of getting to know your true potential.
Learn at least 1 foreign language. Speaking 3 languages fluently has given me the freedom of educating myself even further without the limitations of only my native language, it has opened my mind to how cultures see the world though the words they chose to use, it has given me access to connect with people from all over the world and to travel. And I think the list of benefits can continue. Plus many other neurodevelopmental benefits.
Don't place all your eggs in one basket. When I say that I don’t mean you should not honour your commitments or stay loyal to them. Far from me that thought, especially when loyalty is one of my important values. What I am saying is to make sure that you leave doors open, bridges to cross and that you have options in whatever area of your life you think that might be important for you. To be even more specific, ask yourself ‘In this specific area of my life, if I lost everything tomorrow, what would I do?’. You want to make sure you have some options to answer that question.
Our life is a mirror of our thoughts and beliefs. About this one I might as well write not only a blog, but a full book. But that won’t be needed because hundreds of books have already been published on this topic. I won’t even explain it. If you don’t believe it, just have a look at your life and you will see that behind everything that is happening in your life there is a thought that supports that experience. And if you still don’t see how that happens, get in touch with me and I would be happy to offer you a free consultation on this.
Unless they are very present and conscious, people see us as they are, not as we are. When we are born our mind is pure, free of worldly impressions. But with time, in order to save effort, our mind will look to structure all the information that it was exposed to and it organises it into patterns and ideas. That is why, unless we bring conscious awareness to it, we tend to see people through our own filters / patterns and not always as they are.
Build a self care ritual and keep to it with the same frequency. I am not sure if the importance of a self care ritual still needs to be explained since it’s quite obvious what the benefits of taking care of ourselves are. Maybe the lesson for me was to make sure I turn these rituals into habits. You don’t want to take care of yourself once you have finished taking care of everyone or everything else or whenever you have little time or a tiny bit of energy left. That’s why self care rituals need to be turned into habits, built-in in your life and that they happen automatically.
Whether you do anything about it or not, you will change. Change is the only certainty in life. Everything changes all the time and so do we. Some of you might think you never change but if you look back you will see that you have changed. That’s why, stay open and never say never, because we don’t know what version of ourselves life might bring to light.
Listen to your body, pay attention to the signs it gives you. We are all different and while it might be tempting to aim to achieve as much as others, only our body can tell us where our limits are and what it needs in order to support us achieve these goals. While somebody might be able to thrive on 7 hours of sleep, maybe you need 9 to thrive. The same about everything we give to our body: food, information, self-care. It’s all individual. That’s why you can only know what works for you if you listen to your body.
Speak up. Speaking up is a huge one for various reasons. You can speak up for yourself or for someone else. The reason we need to speak up is because in order to fix a problem we need to speak about it.
Stand up for yourself. Because you love yourself.
Educate yourself on money consciousness. Whether you were born poor or rich, very interested or not interested in money at all, the sooner you educate yourself about money the better. Money is energy and it is a facilitator for us to experience life in a certain way or another. Money and our relationship with it is a reflection of our ability to receive and give, a reflection of our self worth. That’s why, if you are serious about self-development, money has to be a chapter in your life.
Save, save, save. This one is a very personal one. I usually don't have regrets in life but if there was one, even a tiny one, that would be that I haven't started saving earlier in life. I only started taking saving seriously when I was about 28 and that only delayed some of my goals and my financial independence.
Aim to be healthy and fit, not to fit into a template.
If you are a woman, follow your natural monthly cycles. If you are a man, educate yourself about it.
Sometimes break your own rules. Sometimes we need to break our own rules to understand if the rules are the same.
Learn to listen to your intuition and keep it as your guide. While advice from wiser or more experienced people can come in handy at times, in the end we all have the right answers for ourselves inside us. We just need to slow down and learn how to hear and understand the language of our Soul.
Be yourself. What a clisee, Ha! But what does it mean and most importantly what does it take to be authentic? Life is too short to waste it trying to be somebody else
Go into nature as often as possible. Nature is the most powerful and most magical healer and a means to divine inspiration. Don't waste it trying to be somebody else, your uniqueness is needed in the world, that's why you are here.
What you resist persists. This one you won’t like…nobody likes it, because when we feel resistant we don’t want anyone to take that away from us. What that means is that when we resist something, energetically we are stuck with its energy, therefore we will perpetuate the same situation because we always attract the same energy level that we vibrate at.
When you get sick or something happens to your body try to listen to its message before you go into traditional medicine..If you take drugs or go for an operation, you won’t lose the lesson because unfortunately it will come back to teach you what it has to teach you again and the next time, even louder...because it is your lesson and it cannot go anywhere. It comes from a place of love because it has a message of self love, trying to show you the direction where you might have taken a wrong turn or missed to listen to your own needs. While traditional medicine is absolutely essential in severe emergency moments, with other diseases, through traditional medicine interventions, we only remove the symptoms, not the real cause.
Everything is impermanent so say ‘Yes’ to life today. Nothing will be the same tomorrow, say ‘I love you’ today, dance the dance today, take that trip, hug your family and take that naked dip.
This too shall pass. Because everything is impermanent, this too shall pass. Even when it seems that you are living the worst time of your life and it feels painfully permanent, remember that, just like everything else, this too will pass. Also it is actually in the difficult moments that you are most open to feel guided and carried by the good Grace / Universe (however you prefer to call it).
Be patient. In this fast moving world patience is such a precious rare gift. Especially if we start comparing ourselves with other people, we tend to think that something hasn’t happened for us fast enough. That is because we all have our own individual journeys and very unique gifts and set of skills. Looking back at your life you will realise that everything happens at the right time; as years pass by, you understand why you only got that job at that time, why you met that person only during a specific time of your life. Trust the timing of your life.
Don’t keep anything for a better day or occasion, the best occasion is now. Make every moment special because it is, because it is the only moment you have.
Be and let be. Most often there will be things that we find difficult to accept, however life has taught me that despite how impossible it might seem to accept a situation or a certain trait in a person, the solution of the frustration we feel inside is always acceptance. Accepting does not mean that we agree with what we accept, it means we understand that nobody asked for, nor needs our permission to be or do something. Things that need acceptance remind us that our power lies in controlling how we feel about a situation not in controlling the situation. It reminds us where our power lies: in ourselves.
Everything is possible. You mean everything? If you thought it, you can create it in your reality. Don’t focus on the how, focus on getting ready to receive it.
Do the integration work. Most of us have been conditioned to show up in the world and even in front of ourselves in a certain limited way. We have unconsciously taken over from our family the model of what ‘good’ looks like, either by following the family model or by going against it. In both cases the tie and the conditioning are there. If we stay only with the views we take over unconsciously from our family and from the surroundings we grew up in, we limit the way we view life and we limit the ways in which we could live life. Not only that, but often there are parts of us that never get recognized, accepted or acknowledged because they did not have a place in our family. These are the parts that will usually keep us stuck and which will be mirrored by hurtful situations until we stop and look at them, give them a voice, listen to them, embrace them and integrate them. Actually these are the parts that, once healed, will bring the most extraordinary transformations in our lives and often prove to be decisive. So ask yourself: ‘Which part of me needs a voice?’
Everything is learnable, you just need a good teacher.
Relationships are for Love. Often during a relationship it may happen that we take the other person for granted and our expectations on the relationship or on the other person get bigger and bigger and we forget that relationships are meant for Love. They are not meant to fill the inner gaps left by unresolved trauma, nor to bring us the happiness we cannot feel on our own.
Make time for fun and play. This is something that is work in progress for me but I discovered its importance because if we don’t give playfulness its part in our life, life can start to lose colour and perspectives become narrow. Playfulness develops our creativity, restores our health and energy and makes us more resourceful.
Learn how to manage your energy. You don’t have to be hypersensitive like me to realise there are certain actions you take, situations, environments or people that uplift you, that give you good energy and others that, on the contrary, give you bad energy or pull you down. Learning how to identify these situations and people and how to decide whom and with what you share your energy is the key to a high quality life. Not only this, but also learning how to cleanse and restore your energy once you’ve been in touch with some bad energy is equally important.
It’s never too late to become who you really want to be. Sometimes getting to know our true self is a lifelong journey and what’s been holding us back have been our conditioning or long held limiting beliefs. Once you’ve done that inner transformation and unveiled your true self, nothing should stay in the way of your authentic self expression.
Express gratitude. Nothing is ours, everything is borrowed. Every morning when you wake up, look around you and see, feel, hear, smell how gifted you are. Take time to savour the blessings in your life while they are there.
Never stop learning. As a lifelong learner and nerd I could speak for hours about the benefits of learning, about how it develops and keeps your memory active and alive, about how interesting your life gets, about how much your horizons get expanded and about how limitless the world can be when you never stop learning.
I hope you found my insights inspiring and that you could relate to some of them.
What about you? What are some of your important life lessons?