In reflection of my 27th birthday today, I wanted to share 26 lessons that I've learned in the last year of life. Some lessons I ended up re-learning, as hard headed kids often do, and others were newly experienced. I'm a firm believer in the power of transparency, vulnerability and sharing stories. This is one method of learning, story telling. I hope that if one lesson resonates, you hold fast to it. If not, pass this on to someone else because they may need it. There's so many lessons I've learned that's it's going to be in my second book, Journey of a 20 Something which I will be releasing next year. Comment and let me know if you anything resonates with you.
1. Intuition is your greatest GPS. Listen to that little voice inside because it's more than likely correct. This is one foundation of self love. I value lessons but I know I could have prevented some pain, struggle, amd strife if I would've listened to my spirit. When you get that feeling to avoid something, some place, or someone, please follow it. Your spirit knows what's conducive for you.
2. Never say never. You will be humbled.
3. Don't mix finances in relationships. I already knew this but I let my emotions overcome knowledge and now I'm paying for it...literally.
4. If you ask for signs to help you, don't ignore them once presented.
5. Comparison really is the thief of joy.
6. It's OK to feel. BE truthful and experience both ends of the spectrum, pain and joy. If you always block out the negative feelings, you may eventually experience a breakdown, and an emotion overload.
7. Admit you don't know, when you don't know. I experienced a period of anxiety and depression I wouldn't wish on anyone, and so many times people would ask, How do you feel? What's next? What's going on? What are your plans for etc.? I would dread thinking of something that sounded nice to appease them and protect my ego, I got to a point where I didn't care anymore and wanted to respond with honesty and admit that I had no clue about what was next. Everything was what it was. In light of letting go of judging life, I stopped responding, " I'm good or Everything is good." I'd respond, "I'm living or " I'm blessed." People feel pressure to give acceptable answers or these b.s. filler answers, when they may not be truly aligned with their current experience. You don't have to fake the funk, just don't sit in the funk.
8. Doing your best will really prevent you from experiencing self judgement, doubt, or regret
9. Joy will always begin with you. It's source CANNOT be in people, places or things. My world got turned inside out this year. Ended a 3 year relationship. After the fact I found out my partner cheated on me for half the relationship and I took on massive debt because of decisions I made. My credit score went from good to poor. I gave up my apartment. My car gave out, leaving me car-less. I've had to live on faith and the support of friends and family. Learning to let go of my attachment was the most difficult but refreshing experience. Now my joy is not in all the things that I used to think helped define me. It's in the source of my being, source of love, stillness of my peace, and power of God in my life.
10. Nurture relationships because those who really will be there, are really angels. I never really realized how many people really cared about me until I had to depend on others, but I believe they were there because of the love we've shared collectively. Naturally when you're depressed, you remove yourself, but few people checked on me, encourage me, and emotionally supported me. The world responds to you. People will care for you when they feel respected, honored, and cared for by you. Never burn any bridges, but absolutely make sure to pour into relationships that mean a lot to you. I know it's challenging because of life, sometimes we want to reach out to people, we think about them, but we get distracted and don't reach out. Make time. I've gotten better, but I still need to improve. You may never know who you are to someone nor may others know who they are to you, but give love no matter what.
11. Self love is the key to live a life worth living. Check every past blog post :)
12. Perfection is a construction that exists in your mind, and collective minds of those who try to define it.
13. Happiness is the offspring of joy. Joy comes from deep down inside. Just because your smiling and look happy doesn't mean you have joy, and just because you don't smile a lot doesn't mean you don't have joy.
14. Learn to let go, in every way possible. This is kind of like like (9) but different. Letting go of anyone, anything, any thought or any behavior that doesn't serve you is empowering. Whether these sources bring you joy or not, it doesn't matter, you just have to let go. For some people, that could be letting go of walls and letting others in. For others that can be releasing yourself from being so serious, and having more fun and exciting experiences in your life. Just let go, and don't hold back who you can be, what you can, and what you can experience.
15. Living by the four agreements will change your life: Don't take ANYTHING personally, be impeccable with your word, don't make assumptions and do your best. Google it.
16. Continued learning is fundamental. Reading, listening to audiobooks, watching documentaries/ history channel/animal planet, taking free online courses (Coursera) and reading articles of substance will help you continue to grow and expand. There's always something to learn.
17. What you do impacts others whether they (the ones being impacted) admit it or not. I think about others all the time. I reflect on their social media post. I think about current and past conversations with people and they don't even know. Sometimes I send random hi texts because those people have crossed my mind, but it reminds me that people will remember what you say AND how you make them feel.
18. Vulnerability is tough for most people.
19. Not having healthy examples of love will shape every relationship you have, but you won't know that they we're unhealthy until you know what a healthy relationship looks like.
20. Forgiveness opens abundance in your life. Letting go of ill feelings against someone else shifts your energy and how you react to the world. When you hold onto anything negative, it deteriorates within your soul, and interrupt the flow of positivity that could possibly be in your life.
21. People will treat you how they want based off their own experiences and self worth, whether negative or positive.
22. The ways of nature and the patterns that exist in it really are great teachers for the human experience. We tend to separate ourselves from nature but we are really all connected. Understanding the functioning of the seasons, sexuality, nurturing and hierarchical patterns of different animals, the growth of plants, etc. really are symbolic of how we can understand are own lives.
23. Eating well and exercising really do enhance your mood, concentration, skin, body, and overall life. Pay very close attention to how you feel and operate when you're on your healthy tip. You feel great. When you feel great, you look great, and life seems better because you're making great decisions. Turning your healthy phase
into a lifestyle opens up a whole new world.
24. Life is better with controlled use of social media and smart phone technology. The best days came when I intentionally decided to unplug. Social media creates fantasies you get caught up in. It creates an obsession with caring about what others think. Plugging in distracts you from creating authentic connections and having organic interactions. Phoning someone is so much better than texting. Texting has too many politics nowadays.
25. When you find out what gives you peace, keep doing that but it's OK to add something to your regiment. Dancing, jazz and gospel, listening to sermons and reading my Bible works for me. When I let those things go, I started going a little off the ringer. They are my foundation and keep me sane. They are my truths and allow me to feel secure and feel connected to my source. I've picked up other sources of inspiration, but will not veer from those practices.
26. When you learn to genuinely love yourself, you will develop a confidence that no one can shake. People will make suggestions, they will try to challenge you, they will try threaten you and they will pass on doubt to you. If you are insecure then what they say and do will impact you. This insecurity is normal until you intentionally enter some walk in purpose. When insecurity exists, you will enter in relationships that are unnecessary. You will walk in fear. You will feel confused. You will feel guilty about little things. You will have struggles around perfection. Even though we are constantly evolving, when you get to any point of being connected to your highest, you live with purpose, boldness, and confidence in who you are. You will stay away from people, places, and things that don't serve you, and you will be OK with it. You're wise enough to know that you know, what you know but you know there's more that you don't know about life. You know that people will tell you what they think is best without living those truths themselves. Most importantly you know without a doubt that you are not perfect and you are OK with whatever the perfect imperfect you looks like; it doesn't care for judgements from others.
Life is a canvas, and you are the artist.