I went to Wanderlust this summer, the festival whose purpose is to inspire and create a community through shared values of mindfulness, self-growth, yoga, music and the arts. I went with my 40-year-old cousin and her two friends of the same age. Despite our numerical difference, we bonded over the transformative shifts we experienced throughout the weekend. It offered me some profound revelations that greatly enhanced my relationship with myself, while allowing me to have fun and get lost in the moment.
One especially significant conversation for me happened when I asked the women to give their 20-something selves a few key pieces of advice. Here they are:
1. Have more sex.
Be safe and responsible but live it up. You’re young and hot, be free, have fun. One day you'll wind up with your last partner for the rest of your life. Make sure you get everything out of your system before you find him (or her).
2. Get less sun.
The higher the SPF the better. Discoloration, wrinkles, scarring: it’s all the stuff you can’t reverse, so be preventative and keep your skin safe.
3. Stop thinking it’s all about you.
Everyone is always worried about themselves, even though you think everyone’s judging you. That’s just the ego in the way. Feel confident in who you are and what you’re doing, then you won’t be worried about other people’s approval anyway.
4. Realize that you can’t control anything.
There are different issues at different ages, but at the end of the day, the root is still the same: what’s going to happen will happen, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Stop spinning and enjoy the moment you’re in.
5. Relax and let go.
Learn that it’s all good. There’s no right way, and the goal is to be cool with anything. Your path shifts and you want to learn to move with it. If you’re constantly resistant, you'll build up a lot of resentment that takes you away from receiving the abundance of your process.
6. Be comfortable with yourself.
The art of letting go doesn't mean you don't care; it means you don't let anything outside of yourself rock you or shake your self-esteem. It is total acceptance of the moment no matter what's happening. That can only really happen if you're completely comfortable with yourself.
7. Never say never.
Don't have the opinion that you would never do something; drop the judgment. Always keep the door open, because as soon as you verbalize your criticism towards someone else, you’ll be a hypocrite. Most likely, you’ll be in a similar situation one day, so don’t be afraid to change your beliefs as your experiences broaden.
8. Find the balance.
There’s a steady point in between giving and receiving, pushing and letting go. Find that. If you anchor down into that energy, you have to do very little to move forward within your own flow.
9. Take responsibility for your baggage.
Face the truth, then accept it. It’s there; it exists, but be conscious of it so you aren’t blaming others for where you are in your life. Own your stuff, feel good about how you do you, and let everyone else figure out how to go with it.
10. Be here now.
Pay attention, don’t move too fast, and adjust your relationship with time; it’s all an illusion.