I recently celebrated my 40th birthday. I also recently spent a month off of work and recovering from surgery. I had a lot of time to slow down and reflect and during that time, I came up with 40 things I have learned in 40 years:
1. Be kind to yourself.
The world has enough critics and judges already.
2. Love yourself first.
You can’t give to others what you don’t already have yourself.
3. Everything you need is already within you.
Stop looking outside of yourself for fulfillment, knowledge, love, etc.
4. You have all the answers you need inside of yourself.
Constantly searching outside of you is like telling yourself “You are not good enough.”
5. A strong conviction in your belief has more of an impact than having a loud voice.
If you want to change the world, be the kind of leader that people want to walk side by side with.
6. Rules are meant to be guidelines.
Don’t be so rigid in the expectations you put on yourself. Instead of saying “I don’t ______.” try saying, “I choose to _________” and make it a practice versus a rule.
7. Less is more.
Having less belongings free up energy and time needed to care for, maintain, or clean the objects.
8. Make everyday a special occasion.
Life is too short to use your China only once a year. Celebrate everyday.
9. Listen to your heart.
Your head doesn’t have any answers and your heart doesn’t have any questions.
10. Make decisions by listening to your body.
You are full of infinite wisdom. When faced with a decision, bring your awareness inwards and ask yourself, “Does this feel heavy or does it feel light?” Go with the answer that makes you feel light and expansive.
11. Self care is not a luxury – it is a must.
You can not offer to others what you don’t already have yourself. If you are not getting enough rest, nutrition, or tending to your daily practices like meditation, you are not in a healthy place to support others. (Same as #2 in this list)
12. Spend time doing what you love.
It will replenish you. The things you love are your passion. Stifling your passion smothers your soul and instead of happiness you find yourself merely surviving.
13. Spend money on experiences not things.
Experiences help you grow, things can weigh you down.
14. Busy-ness is self abuse, not a badge of honor.
Being busy is a way to keep you from meeting your true yourself and keeps your heart closed to people and experiences.
15. Your thoughts and actions create your reality.
You have so much more power in creating the world around you than you can imagine. What you focus on truly does grow.
16. It is ok to be spiritual and say fuck.
Being spiritual is being in tune with your feelings. If your feel like the word fuck expresses what you are feeling, by all means say what you feel. (Although the Thanksgiving dinner table with your 84 year old Catholic grandmother, may not be the best place to express this feeling. True story.)
17. Your words have power.
Are you constantly telling yourself: “you have to,” “you should,” “you need to”? What would happen, instead, if you “chose to,” or “got to”?
18. Closing your heart does the opposite of what you think.
Protecting your heart only prevents others from receiving your wholeness ends up hurting yourself in the process.
19. Self Abuse is harmful to your soul.
Be aware of the words you use and the tone of your inner voice. Would you speak to others the way you speak to yourself? Be gentle.
20. Spend time in nature.
Nature teaches us a lot about ourselves. It shows us how we are a part of a much bigger picture than our job, relationships, challenges. It is a place where we can learn to just be and connect with our true nature.
Tune in for part two on 4/12!
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Amy Erickson is a Dream Curator, Teacher, Speaker and Coach who helps others grow into their full potential. She's an extraordinary woman whose life work combines passion, humor, and authenticity in order to empower those around her to live a joy-filled life. Amy has known loss, deep heartache, and the despair of living life according to other’s expectations. She has transformed herself into an amazing inspiration and wants to help you Live Your Life on Purpose.