I've experienced a lot of ups and downs over my 45 years here on this crazy planet and I've learned quite a lot along my journey! I've continually pushed myself and explored the world around me and I think that is the key in finding yourself and understanding the meaning of life.
No matter what, don't take anyone's word on anything, figure it out for yourself!
1. The only person you should compare yourself to is you.
2. Nothing is ever as big a deal as you think it is at the time.
3. What other people think of you doesn't matter.
4. Everybody fails. It's what you do after failure that matters.
5. Go with the flow.
6. Take nothing personally. Everyone is dealing with their own shit.
7. Let that shit go.
8. Trust your gut and your intuition.
9. Live in the moment. Forget about the past and don't worry about the future.
10. Don't worry, be happy.
11. Fake it till you make it!
12. Spend time outdoors in nature. Nature moves at a slower pace than we do. We need that in this fast paced world.
13. Wake up early. Sleeping in may feel good at the time but you'll be more alert, healthy and productive if you wake up early.
14. Eat healthy natural foods as much as possible but don't deny yourself treats.
15. Exercise even when you don't feel like it. You'll always be glad you did.
16. Make love not war. We are here to love each other, not kill each other.
17. Be kind to everyone. Even the mean people. You have no idea what demons people are battling.
18. Explore all that the world has to offer - travel, learn.
19. Keep an open mind. If history has taught us anything it is that people always think they know it all, but they are constantly proven wrong. Even now, we don't know it all! People 100 years from now will know much more than us and even then they will not know it all!
20. Live authentically and embrace who you are. Don't try to be what other people want you to be. You are important and valuable just the way you are.
21. Every human being is valuable. No one person is more valuable than anyone else.
22. Giving is better than taking.
23. Find time to laugh. Laughter really is the best medicine.
24. We can have more than one soul mate.
25. Natural is better than synthetic.
26. Friends and family and pets are what life is all about. Love in all its forms.
27. Start saving money when you are young. Save for a rainy day and save for retirement.
28. Material possessions are worthless. Don't obsess over having the latest, greatest and best of anything.
29. It's never too late to start over.
30. Think positively. What you think becomes your reality.
31. Don't live in your head. Your ego loves to tell stories that are simply not true. Let your thoughts come and go like clouds in the sky.
32. Keep it simple stupid.
33. Life is cyclical. If things are going poorly for you, remember that things will change. And if things are going well for you, remember that things will change.
34. Look for the beauty in the little things in life - the way the sun shines through the clouds, the way a bird sings a song in the forest.
35. There really is nothing to fear but fear itself. Fear will keep you from living an amazing life if you let it.
36. Let your kids be who they want to be and do what they want to do.
37. Don't try control everything. It's impossible.
38. Let go of anger as soon as you notice it. Anger hurts you more than the person you are angry with.
39. It's ok to be vulnerable. Don't put up walls. The only person you hurt with your walls is yourself.
40. Be ok with not being right.
41. Be open to constructive criticism. The only way to learn, grow and improve is listen to feedback.
42. Change is good. Change can be exciting. Change will happen whether you like it or not.
43. You can handle anything thrown at you. You have no idea how strong you are until your are tested. You are so strong!
44. There is no such thing as perfect. Just do your best.
45. Instead of trying to avoid pain, lean in to it. Feel it fully. Understand it. Learn from it. Then let it go.
Comment below with your life lessons!
I've always been impatient. I rush through everything in life. It's a race for me. How fast can I drive to work? Ooops! I got a speeding ticket. How fast can I get my work done? Oh, you say I work too hard and I don't socialize enough? Hmmm. How fast can I make dinner? Oh no! I burned dinner! Again!
Do you remember the Adam Sandler movie Click? In the movie, he gets a magical remote control that allows him to fast forward through his life. So he starts using the remote control to quickly get through the parts of his life that he deems unimportant. Just a little at first. And then more and more. And then suddenly he's old and alone and he realizes in hindsight that he fast forwarded through all of the important parts of his life. Of course he regrets ever using the remote control at all.
That movie touched me deeply at the time because I have always focused on the end result. I want to get to the finish line and I don't want to waste time getting there. I turn into a machine sometimes, checking tasks off as I go without much awareness of anything going on around me. Multitasking, working on auto pilot. Not tuned into the present moment at all. Missing out on important parts of my life.
I can't help it! Sometimes I would love to be able to fast forward through certain things in life. Like driving. I hate driving! But I have to remind myself to slow down and be present. The entire journey is the goal, not the end destination. Every minute of every day is important. Even driving. I don't want to look back at the end of my life and wish I hadn't sped through most of it.
Three Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy Your Journey
Take Time to Wander
I rush to and fro every day, taking my daughter to preschool on the same route, doing the shopping at the same places. I pass by interesting coffee shops, grocery stores and restaurants and think "Someday..." I'm too busy today. Years pass by this way. Well, guess what? I'm always going to be too busy! Someday is today! We are here to learn and grow and explore, not just get through the routines of life. I finally took a Nia class last week and I really enjoyed it! Nia is a barefoot cardio-dance workout combining dance arts, martial arts, and healing arts. It's a workout for your body, mind, emotion, and spirit. Nia is an excellent way to slow down and be present. Another good way to slow down and be present is to drive a different route than normal. Whenever I find myself driving around Portland looking for something I automatically slow down to admire all of the beautiful homes and yards. People really take great pride in their homes here so it's a joy to wander through neighborhoods. Get out of your routine and step out of your comfort zone. Explore your world. Open your mind and your heart and try something new. Nourish your inner wanderer!
Reconnect with Nature
I run at a nearby park several times a week but I rarely pay attention to what's going on around me. Running is just another task I need to complete. And I'm usually in my head plotting and planning my life away! But upon the suggestion of a friend, I've started to walk more than run. I get out of my head, put my to do list aside for a few minutes and really tune into nature. I watch the squirrels gathering nuts and running up and down the trees with ease. I watch the wind blow the leaves on the trees and smell the flowers. I listen to the birds sing. Nature moves at a slower pace. Being present in nature helps you slow down. Get outside and walk around the block, take a hike, or even just sit on your porch and be attentive for a couple of minutes. You'll feel refreshed and energized.
Simplify Your Life
Sometimes I like to think I'm superwoman, able to handle anything and everything that gets thrown at me. And then I get so frazzled, running around like a crazy lady and I wonder why I always have so much to do. But I do this to myself! And I can stop doing it to myself too. I am in control. I don't have to subscribe to every newsletter, join every writing group, take every writing and marketing course I learn about, read every magazine and newsletter that gets sent to me, use every coupon I come across, and be on every social media platform out there. I get to a point every now and then where I have to cut back and simplify or I'll go stark, raving mad! Pick and choose what's most important to you and just say "no" to everything else. Throw away, give away, unsubscribe, cancel and downsize whatever you can live without and simplify your life. You'll find more time for the important things in life like making memories and having fun with family and friends. And you'll find that you're enjoying the journey more.
I've been living with a lot of broken things lately. My car's Check Engine light was on for almost a month. My ice maker stopped making ice a long time ago. And my computer kept freezing up on me for 30 seconds at a time off and on, all day every day for at least a month.
For a while, I chose to just live with it all. I had lots of excuses. I don't have time. I can live with it. It can wait. It's not urgent. I can't afford it. Other things are more important.
This procrastination mindset started affecting other areas in my life. I had a goal to write a new blog post once a week but I've been putting it off for a couple of weeks now. I started a new blog post one day but I didn't really like the direction it was going - so I just stopped. I wasn't in the right mood. I didn't have the motivation. Something was off.
Finally last week I hit a breaking point. I could no longer put up with my computer freezing up on me all of the time. I was tired of not having ice readily available. And my car was jumping as I accelerated and I realized that whatever was wrong with it might get worse if I didn't take it in.
So I called a computer guy who remotely cleaned up my computer. It took an hour or so and $150 but now my computer runs like new again. And my sanity has been saved! This one repair is worth its weight in gold to me.
I called about the warranty on my ice maker and a repairman was sent out to fix it free of charge 3 days later and now I have all the ice I want again. Why didn't I call months ago?
And I took my car in to the repair guy down the street. I had to leave it with him for a couple of days and that meant that I had to drive my husband's car and he had to drive his big truck. But we survived. My repair guy fixed a couple of small things which cost me $253. My Check Engine light is off and the car is driving well again. Relatively painless.
Now I feel as if a ton of weight has finally been lifted off my shoulders. I am free!
These are all minor problems to have to deal with. But still, they each added up to more and more stress on me. The question is - why did I live with them for so long instead of dealing with them as soon as they became problems?
Procrastination is a slippery slope. A vicious cycle. You don't feel like doing something so you put it off. You think that by putting it off you are saving yourself from stress or grief. You put it off for so long that you start to feel guilty about it. The stress builds because you still have a problem to deal with and time is running out. You start taking your frustrations out on people around you. The guilt and the stress overtake you until you finally do what you should have done days or weeks ago. Only now you are rushing and anxious about it and probably not giving 100% or doing your best work. You just want to get it over with.
Even the best of the best face the old procrastination monster from time to time. Victor Hugo, the great French poet and novelist, whose masterpieces include the epic historical novels Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, had a unique method to stave off procrastination: he had his servant strip him naked in his study and not return with his clothes until the appointed hour.
I started writing my first novel, Naupaka Blooming, seven years ago. I procrastinated A LOT over that 7 years and now that I've finally finished it and published it I desperately wish I had not procrastinated for so long. I wasted a lot of time.
If you are anything like me then you want to figure out how to overcome the procrastination beast the next time it creeps up on you.
First - figure out the why. Why do we procrastinate? It all comes down to fear. We fear the task will be too time consuming or too difficult. We fear we are not capable of handling the task. We fear that we are not smart enough or strong enough. We fear the outcome - the expense, the grade, the opinion of others.
Then - just start. No matter what. Move past the fear. The only thing to fear is fear itself. Wise words from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Fear will keep you from reaching your potential if you let it.
Stop the negative self talk and start thinking positively. Your attitude determines your direction. You are more than capable. You are smart enough. You are strong enough. You can handle this!
Remove the obstacles in your path. If you need to go to the library, coffee shop or park to concentrate then get going.
Get organized and make to do lists. Break your project down into small manageable tasks. Start with simple easy things. Checking tasks off your list will help build momentum and give you the confidence to finish.
Whatever it is that you are currently dealing with - fixing a broken car, starting on that term paper or novel you've always wanted to write, or starting an exercise or diet program - I promise you will feel a million times better if you just get going on it. Right now! Today! Don't let procrastination talk you into putting it off until tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month. You will regret it.
Whew! I feel great now that I finally got my next blog post done! One more thing off my list...
On that note, I'm off to join that local gym I've been meaning to join for several months now...
What are you putting off?
Interested in checking out my first novel, Naupaka Blooming? Read the first chapter for FREE!
I realized last night as I sat re-reading Eat, Pray, Love for the first time in ten years that my debut novel is being released almost ten years to the day that the book that changed my life was released. This seems somewhat monumental. Even more monumental is the fact that I started writing my novel seven years ago. Self doubt plagued me and I put it away many times thinking it was a waste of my time. Thank goodness I didn't give up on it! It's interesting to me that I finally published it now. This month. This year. Ten years after my life changed. Seven years after starting it.
Number seven is considered a lucky number. It's popular too. There are seven days of the week, seven colors of the rainbow, seven notes on a musical scale, seven seas and seven continents.
Snow White ran off to live with seven dwarves, there were seven brides for seven brothers, Shakespeare described the seven ages of man, Sinbad the Sailor had seven voyages. And James Bond's secret code was 007.
Multiple anniversaries are occurring for me this week. Nine months ago I found out that I was pregnant with baby number two and I was ecstatic! My husband and I were living in Hawaii at the time but we decided that if we were going to grow our family then we needed to move back to Portland to be near family again and so we immediately started making plans. Unfortunately several weeks later I lost the pregnancy (on the same day that my husband gave his notice to his boss) It was too late to change our plans to leave Hawaii and it was too late to have any more kids. I am 45 years old this year and while some people might say that 45 is the new 35 and women in their late forties can still have kids, I know that my time has come and gone.
I have absolutely nothing to complain about because I have already been blessed with the most beautiful, amazing daughter. I feel incredibly lucky every day that I get to be her mom. She is everything that I never knew I wanted! What's funny is that I never really had the desire to have kids until my late thirties but I always knew that I would have a daughter. You see, when I was a young girl a friend made a paper fortune teller and we told each other our futures with it. I was told that I would have 1 daughter. Ever after that, even though I didn't have the desire to have children, I knew I would one day have a daughter.
As I look back on my life now I can clearly see a pattern. Through heartbreak come breakthroughs and the universe is always there, guiding us along. If I hadn't gotten a divorce in 2006 and moved to Hawaii with a broken heart, then I never would have experienced the Aloha of the islands which transformed me, inside and out. And I never would have met my soul mate and we never would have had our beautiful daughter. And if I hadn't thought I was pregnant again last year then we might not have made the move back to Portland and I might not have felt compelled to finally publish my novel. And if I hadn't finally pushed past my fears and limiting beliefs to publish my novel then I wouldn't be pursuing my dream of writing full time now. I believe that the universe has been leading me to this point for a very long time. I was just too stubborn to listen - until now.
The week before I published my novel I was near to having a panic attack, fearing for the reaction I would get to my writing. I sat down to read A Camino of the Soul in the middle of the day one day because I had promised to read it for a friend and I just wanted to escape my fears for a while. I read straight through the book. I was so inspired by Katharine's story about listening to the universe and how she was able to follow her dreams in spite of life's setbacks and her fears that my own fears for my writing completely dissolved. I contacted Katharine on Facebook and we had an amazing and intimate conversation and instantly became friends. Once again the universe sent me what I needed to keep moving down the path I was meant to be on.
I'm getting better at listening!
We are all interconnected, a part of something bigger and we all have purpose in this life. If we pay attention the universe will guide us. There is great joy to be found in fulfilling our purpose, following our dreams, and making a difference.
I highly recommend you read Katharine's book if you want to learn more about her experience with the universe. You'll see why it's a 5 star best seller on Amazon!
What is the universe trying to tell you? What are your big anniversaries and lucky numbers?
Want to read my first novel? A five star love story set in Hawaii and based on the myth of the naupaka flower. Read the first chapter for FREE!
I'm a romantic at heart with an overactive creative mind and an artistic soul. I've always been an avid reader - I read as much as I can as often as I can! Writing has been a life long dream that I haven't allowed myself to pursue until just recently. In April I finally published my first novel - Naupaka Blooming, a Hawaiian Reincarnation Romance. And now I'm working on the first book in a new fantasy thriller series called Summer's Shadow.