As I grow older and time seems to pass by faster than ever, my desire to soak up every moment has intensified. I want to feel it all — even the bad days and sad experiences.
I want to be fully present for the friend that shares her story, for the coaching client that grieves the loss of her marriage, for my mother as she moves into the early stages of dementia. I want to celebrate milestones with the love of my life and not feel guilty about an afternoon nap. I don’t want to waste a minute in growing up and into the fullest and best version of myself.
I’ve realized that it’s too late in my life to expend energy on some of the pitfalls that would consistently trip me up in my younger years, and it's never too late to make some changes — or continue certain habits — that can dramatically improve your life:
1. It’s not too late to stop faking it and start being real.
It is exhausting putting on a mask each day and hustling for approval — at work and among the people that surround me. When I let people see me — really see me — I’m able to stop the never-ending performance of trying to be someone that I’m not and what they experience is better than any story I could fake.
2. It’s not too late to accept the size of your butt.
I spent decades trying to find the bottoms that would fit or the tops that would cover it. I told myself I couldn’t wear certain jeans or certain bathing suits or couldn’t pursue certain passions (like dancing). Seriously? I have got big things I want to accomplish in my life, so I'm accepting that my booty isn’t the size of a supermodel’s.
3. It’s not too late to tell the truth.
Love people enough to just tell them the truth. Even when it’s difficult to say and even more difficult to hear, just be honest. First be honest with yourself (because that’s where every awakening begins), then everybody else.
4. It’s not too late to practice self-care.
When I’m not taking care of myself, I’m not able to be fully present when my stepdaughter needs help with her homework, or when my partner wants to share a part of his day. Filling my own tank is one of the most logical, enriching and least selfish things I can do.
5. It’s not too late to follow your dreams.
Our dreams aren’t going anywhere; they’re going to keep talking to us. For me, that message just kept getting louder and louder until I found a profession that not only paid the bills, but also fed my soul.
6. It’s not too late to forgive.
It is only once I could truly love, accept and forgive myself for all the missteps, doubt and fears that I was able to open my heart enough to love, accept and forgive everybody else. Forgive yourself; then forgive everyone else.
7. It’s not too late to share your story.
As soon as I told my story through my memoir and self-help book — a beautiful thing happened. I had women introducing themselves to me and saying “me too.” They thought they had been alone in what they were experiencing. But the truth is that we’re never alone.
8. It’s not too late to acknowledge that there’s something bigger than you at work here.
There are far too many things that I cannot explain, but exist. There are far too many experiences that I know to be true, but have no proof. You can call it God, Universe, Source — it doesn’t matter because it’s all the same energy that is constantly pulling us through our lives by the heart.
9. It’s not too late to love yourself.
It’s too late to beat myself up and think that I’m not enough in some way. It’s far too late to wait for someone else to love me enough so that I might love myself. And it’s too late to desert the one that’s always been there for me and isn’t going anywhere: me. I choose to love her, handle her with care, and honor the beauty she brings to the world just by being in it.