For the most part, I’ve always embraced turning another year older. But this birthday — my fortieth — seems a little bigger than the rest.
Life is a rush, if nothing else. I continue working to take it all in, let shit go and embrace the messiness. Reflecting on the last forty years, my twenties seem like almost a completely different life, my thirties provided a huge amount of growth and learning, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.
Here are 10 lessons I've learned over the years — may they prove helpful to you in some large or small way, no matter your age.
1. Life is hard.
But, no matter how hard it gets, don’t let it harden you.
2. Life might not always seem fair, but you always need do your best to keep your mind and heart open.
Look for the opportunity to learn and grow — it’s always there.
3. You always have a choice about how you see the world.
Is it happening to you or for you? When you choose to look at life as happening for you, you empower yourself. You go from victim to owner of your life.
4. Treat yourself to a proper bra fitting — it’ll change your life.
This one’s a game changer. I went through life for far too long believing my girls were incapable of finding a comfortable, flattering home. Who knew that a trained bra-fitting professional was all they really needed? Go. Now. Your girls will thank you.
5. Allow yourself to FEEL what you feel.
Don’t push the feelings away — they're a part of your human nature. Be with them. Observe them. Just don’t wallow in them or allow them to hold you back from moving forward.
6. Never allow anyone to make you feel unworthy.
You were born into this life, just like everyone else. Never forget that you have a divine right to be here.
7. Recognize that there is a big difference between physical and spiritual success.
The two have entirely different sets of rules. Life’s not about keeping up with the Jones’ as much as it’s about growing into your highest self. Move in the direction that your inner voice guides you, and watch the rest fall into place.
8. Take the time to cultivate friendships.
This one's important. Find friends who accept you as you are — who won’t give a crap about how many times you mess up, fall down, wipe out. Take time to laugh until you cry, cry until you feel better, and do every crazy thing you’d like, together. It’s these relationships, these memories, that you’ll hold onto when you’re older and you’ll want to continue making for the rest of your life.
9. If you’re a mom, be really (and I mean, really) kind to yourself.
Do the best you can, and know that it’s enough. Heck, you don’t even have to be a mom for this one.
10. Let shit go.
You’ve probably heard this one before, but I honestly believe that THIS just might be our purpose in life. Let all of your baggage go — physically, mentally, emotionally. Life is so freakin’ short, and before you know it you’re forty. Don’t waste time stuck in the past, in a relationship that’s not serving you, in a job that you hate, or in some lie about yourself that you took on as a child. Be here now. See each day as an opportunity for spiritual success, and each experience as a gift. If someone’s trying to give you a crappy gift, you can decide to accept or return to sender.
At the end of the day, remember that no one else can make you feel anything. You decide how you respond, what you allow in and how you show up. Respond with strength, courage and integrity, regardless of what happened yesterday and despite what might happen tomorrow.
May you be happy at 20, 30, 40 and beyond.
- 10 Habits For Your Most Vibrant Life
- 9 Life Lessons I Learned In My Twenties
- 10 Steps For Loving Your Age
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