This a post has actually been inspired by my favourite blogger Zen Habits who recently reflected on what he has learnt during his life time in one of his posts. I thought I would spend my time doing the same. In March I turned 37. Unexpectedly my 30’s have proven to be a real turning point in my life, almost as if I have finally acknowledged my soul purpose this time around. The journey has been both complex and yet simple, happy and also sad, above all it has been a continuous series of lessons and teachings, which I finally have found the strength and wisdom to acknowledge in my 30’s. Today I simply share 15 of them with you.
1. A kinder person is a wiser person. Always embrace loving kindness in everything you do, even if you are frustrated, irritated, annoyed, tired, sad or even feeling emotionally challenged. Loving kindness is one of the true foundations of our core being, being kind to others is in truth being kind to yourself. So embrace it wholeheartedly every single day.
2. Be grateful for what you do have, rather than frustrated with what you don’t. There is nothing wrong with having goals and desires, but don’t allow them to become the sole focus of your happiness. If you continually seek something as your main reason for finding happiness you will never truly find that peace of which you search. Happiness comes from feeling content and grateful for everything you do already have in your life. The moment you let go of wanting more, and simply just allow yourself to feel happy for everything that has already entered your world, you move a step closer to the inner peace you desire.
3. Don’t de-value de-cluttering your space. Everything is energy within our world. Understand it or not, it’s how it is. Clutter in your home, in your office, or in your car actually reflects a similar kind of energy back at you, in short if affects how you function and how you feel within yourself. Spend a little time de-cluttering your space. Clear out a draw in the bathroom, or the space under the bed, go hoover the car or simply spring clean a whole room. You may be surprised how it makes you feel afterwards. I love de-cluttering, in fact I am probably the official de-cluttering queen of the UK. I do these kind of tasks every week (particularly in my office), it keeps me focussed, organised and motivated.
4. View every challenge in life as a valuable lesson that is teaching you something. Sometimes life is good and sometimes life is a challenge, I think most people accept that that is simply life. However, occasionally when the challenges are sent we can find it hard to cope and many of us may call upon the ‘why me’ attitude. In my 20’s I shared this attitude, but over the years something changed and now I try to view every situation, every challenge or negative, as a lesson, as lesson that has been sent to help me learn something along this complex journey of life. A few years ago when my husband was having a massive heart attack, and there I was, sat in the emergency room being told by doctors with worried expressions to simply ‘expect the worst’, I knew, wholeheartedly that, even though it was a particularly mind blowingly worrying moment, it had in fact been sent to teach me something. That acknowledgement deep within my core kept me calm, it kept me present and it simply enabled me to cope a little better. Try and view your challenges in this light, even if you don’t understand the lesson that is being taught. Just accept you are a student of the process of life and in time the lesson will become clearer.
5. Anger is a pointless emotion. It really is. Anger reflects our need to control the actions and opinions of others. Don’t get me wrong, I still get angry. I am human after all, but when I feel my emotional response to any given situation as anger, I try my hardest to step back from the situation and ask myself ‘why I am actually feeling angry in this situation?’. Nine times out of ten it’s because someone has said something rude, or acted in a way I consider inappropriate and I simply haven’t been able to control what they have said, or done. So I have to ask myself the questions, “is my anger going to help the situation as a whole in the positive light? Is it going to effect the other person involved in a positive way too?” Probably not. Anger eats us up inside, and more often than not it has more of a negative effect on us than it does the other person involved. If you let go of the need to control what others actually say and do, you are half way there.
6. Stop trying to control. So you think you can control your life? You think you can master how your day, week, year is going to pan out? You are wrong. The fact is you cannot. Yes opportunities may be sent to help you along the way, just as things may arise which you may consider to be getting in your way. We spend so much of our life simply needing to control we in fact end up feeling as if we are loosing control. It drives us nuts, it wears us out, it makes us frustrated when things don’t go ‘right’, so why keep doing it? Just allow life to flow, nothing is right and nothing is wrong, it just simply is. Try and view everything that comes your way, whatever it is, is actually how it should be.
7. Listen to your body. Your body is a complex piece of equipment and if you take the time to really keep in tune with it, it will certainly give you the heads up when it needs you to take some time out. When I first opened my spa I worked like a trojan, I had no time for anything but work and more work. Although my body started to ache and creak, moaning at me to curb the 80 hour weeks, I simply ignored it – until one day I found myself flat on my back, unable to move, following a harmless sneeze. Two bulging discs and 4 weeks of complete bed rest later, I started listening to my body.
8.Meditation is great for the soul. I started my own meditation journey with a some guided meditation CD’s I purchased from Amazon, and I was simply amazed at the instant affect it had on how I felt within. I later took meditation classes and one on one spiritual development classes with a tutor. To this day I still meditate on a regular basis, mostly daily. Meditation doesn’t have to be complex, it can just start with 10 mins of quite time, just focusing on the breath or some gentle music. Meditation lowers blood pressure, quietens the mind and allows the body to be still and simply in the present moment.
9.Try not to judge. Judging others is more of a reflection of oneself than it is of the person you are judging. Be mindful of why you are judging the person in the first place. Remember people aren’t you and you aren’t them. Honor their individuality, you don’t have to like someone, that isn’t the rule here, but just try not to be judgemental of others actions or words.
10. Sometimes we don’t have all the answers, and that’s o.k. Sometimes we have to accept that outside forces, lack of knowledge, or other people involved in a situation may mean we simply don’t know how to handle or deal with something as well as we would like. It doesn’t make us a bad person, it doesn’t mold us into who we are. It’s just simply another lesson in life we need to embrace.
11. Love animals as if they were your friends. Animals are amazingly effortless in bringing us joy, laughter and loyalcompanionship. I always had pets as a kid, I grew up surrounded by dogs, cats, rabbits and horses. In my early years they taught me much about caring for others, embracing responsibilities and also death. Animals should be shown respect with their role and place on this earth. They teach us much and bring us joy.
12. Eat well, feel well. You are what you eat. We hear that a lot and in my experience it is true. Don’t get me wrong, I do eat rich and fatty foods, but in moderation. If I want to feel energised, happy and balanced then I eat wholesome, low-fat and vitamin enriched foods. Lots of protein, vegetables and foods that are packed full of the kind of fuel my body craves. If I want my body to function well, then this is what I need to do to support it.
13. Spend as much time with your children as you can. I don’t actually have kids, but I do have a nephew, who I adore. He brings me much joy and laughter and I truly value every single moment we spend together. Children don’t stay children forever, and I believe they can teach us so much about the child within ourselves, they help us reconnect with a moment in our own lives that was once free from financial worries, commitments and stress. Children find fascination in the simplest of things, and sharing that thought process can also help us acknowledge the moment of the here and now, and remember how magical life can truly be.
14. Karma, what goes around comes around. Live life honestly, compassionately and with an open heart and good things will come your way. It doesn’t mean you won’t experience challenges in your life, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be rich, or have the 6 kids you want, or win the lottery but if you live life embracing these values it will also open your eyes to what you should be grateful for and what true happiness is all about.
15. Our enemies can be our most valuable teachers This one can be a hard lesson to learn, but quite often it can be a very valuable one on a soul level. People that frustrate us, annoy us or even upset us by being unkind, can in fact bring us some of our most valuable lessons in life. The whole process may be a hurtful one at the time, but on reflection it can be a process that really enables us to grow on many levels. It can teach us the art of patience, kindness, compassion and eventually bring us wisdom.
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