While I was in a grocery store line, the clerk was attempting to list a lesson/principle for every one of her 22 years of life and she asked me if I thought I could come up with a list for myself (34, given my age.)
In about 20-30 minutes of scribbling on receipt paper and bar napkins I came up with 52.
They’re not particularly profound, but it was interesting to see what came from me thinking “What have I learned in my 34 years of life that I would want to pass on?”
1. Let go of what’s not meant for me.
2. Be honest.
3. Find out what my heart wants.
4. Have the courage to follow it.
5. Pay attention to enthusiasm, anything that gets me excited.
6. Trust myself, my intuition, my instincts.
7. Learn to say “no.”
8. Say “yes” to anyone asking for help.
9. Admit when I’m wrong.
10. Think of others.
11. Help others.
12. Do my work well.
13. Accept that I have faults and weaknesses and those are probably my greatest assets
14. Share the bad things about me, not just what I think makes me good
15. Use my body in as many ways as possible (it’s the greatest instrument I’ll ever own).
16. Be active, be playful and dance (even if it’s alone in the kitchen).
17. Hang around anyone who inspires me.
18. Work with people who inspire me and learn what they do.
19. Read a lot (paper books, not online).
20. Get out in nature, often.
22. Numbing the negative emotions also numbs my capacity for positive ones (sadness is part of joy).
23. Make efforts to share physical contact (romantic and platonic), hugs are good!
24. Love as if my heart has never been broken.
25. Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts; don’t put up with someone who’s reckless with mine.
26. Practice faith (by listening to the quiet voice of intuition) and trust that I will be taken care of.
27. Take care of others, ask for help when it’s my turn
28. Play with children, look at them, smile at them and talk to them.
29. Never tell anyone what’s right for them.
30. Practice what I preach; my actions speak louder than words.
31. Practice gratitude, list 5-10 things I’m grateful for every day if possible.
32. Stop trying so hard.
33. Accept that I have limits and know that that the very acknowledgement of my limits is what allows me to go beyond them.
34. Rest when I’m sick, take care of my injuries like I would a dear friend.
35. Share my passion and enthusiasm, if I’ve discovered something that makes my heart pump blood, let others know.
36. Pay attention to physical attraction/chemistry in the present moment, as it feels (don’t evaluate it).
37. Pray and meditate (with sincerity).
38. Don’t tolerate violence (verbal, physical, whatever).
39. Rest. Whole days of doing nothing!
40. Show up when I’m asked or invited, don’t act like no one cares if I go.
41. Keep my commitments.
42. Bring a gift to a wedding, say “I’m sorry” at a funeral and follow the universal rituals of social behavior; they make us connected.
43. Go to museums, look at art, especially well-known art.
44. Be kind and respectful toward plants, animals, trees and water.
45. Understand that money is a flow, it comes and goes, treat it responsibly, spend less.
46. Learn to make something, or fix/repair something that I use every day (a food item, personal hygiene product, car, household item, clothing, whatever!).
47. Do periodic sweeps of throwing away old papers, old clothes, cleaning my living space, donating what I no longer use and practice living with less stuff.
48. Travel every chance I get and embrace the challenges and headaches of travel.
49. Go somewhere exotic alone, any trip/adventure, alone.
50. Watch less television, listen to more storytellers, speakers and comedians.
51. Follow daily and seasonal rhythms, my body’s rhythms, don’t expect everything all of the time.
52. Be prepared to change plans on a dime, as soon as it’s clear, change the plan, let go of the old one and do it instantly/immediately.
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Assistant Editor: Sanja Cloete-Jones/Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Holstee Manifesto