18 Life Lessons I Want My Daughters to Hear.

Via Rebecca Lammersen
on May 11, 2012
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I’d like to give a gift to my daughters.

I want to give them 18 little light bulbs to illuminate their journey…

1. Don’t strive to be popular, settle for being yourself, settle into yourself .

Over the years, I’ve learned that the popular people are the most insecure. The popular girl or boy surround him or herself with others to hide from their own insecurities. When you settle for yourself, you will never settle for anyone who is not themselves.

2. Eat your dessert every day.

Every day, have a treat. Not as a reward, but as a privilege. It is an honor to taste, to enjoy, to salivate and dance with sweetness. Don’t deny yourself this privilege. You have a mouth, you have taste buds—use them.

3. Say No at least once a day.

Don’t be a people pleaser. You can’t do everything and you can’t please everyone, so say, No. By saying no, you are respecting yourself and your energy. Trust me, people will respect you more because when you do say yes, you will mean it. No one will ever question your presence or intention.

4. Never feel guilty for moving away from me, for traveling or going on an adventure.

I want you to leave me, to travel far away and only send a post card once in a while.  I didn’t birth you to burden you. I birthed you to release you.  My love is here whether you are two feet from me, or 20,000 miles away, go be you.

5. Know that you are absolutely right when you think that the calculus class you are taking is boring…and is information you will never use in real life.

You are right, yet understand that the patience you cultivate when sitting through the class, and the discipline you strengthen to solve the problem, will be the foundation that will allow you to persevere through every challenge and experience in life.

6. Please don’t wait until marriage to have sex.

Just wait until you meet someone who makes you smile, makes you laugh, respects you (as your father does), holds your hand and isn’t afraid to cry in front of you.

7. If you go shopping and you like something, don’t buy it right then.

Put it on hold. Go about your day, go to sleep, and the next day if you are still thinking of it, buy it.

8. Choose something to have faith in.

If you have faith, you have hope, and when you have hope you always see a way. When you see a way, you never give up.

9. Listen to the whisper, the churn in your belly and the goosebumps on your arms.

Those sensations are not sensations at all, they are you speaking. Don’t listen to the second voice, that is just doubt, and definitely don’t listen to the third voice, that is just someone else’s opinion. Always and only trust yourself.

My girls. Photo: Kevin Sutton

10. Cut your hair short at least once, it will free you.

11. Find Your Yoga.

I don’t care if you ever do a down dog in your entire life, just find something that calms your mind, and devote yourself to it. Find something that keeps your mind and body connected, healthy and working together, because in the times when everything else seems disconnected, it will keep you centered and grounded.

12. Acknowledge your gift.

God put you on this Earth with a legacy, you just have to see it. How do you see it? See this life as a journey. Learn as much as you can, read as much as you can, dance as much as you can, speak as much as you can, listen as much as you can, do as much as you can, travel as much as you can because that’s how you will see it. It’s already inside of you, you just need to spark it, so ignite as many flames as you can, and notice which one keeps burning. That goes for your life partner and your friends too.

Say hello to strangers, smile at the person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, or the person behind you at the grocery store. You never know, not only could they be your everlasting flame, but they could help reveal your gift. Your gift is your legacy, the legacy that will help serve the world.

13. Look around you and see the world, as you do now.

Point and rejoice as you see a bird fly by. Stand with your nose pressed to the glass as the rain pours down. Pick up a leaf or a flower and hold it as you would a piece of gold. Put it on your nightstand and cherish it. If you do this, you will take care of our earth and you may even heal it.

14. Always cheer for the underdog

…because they have courage to stand up to the top dog.

15. Check in with yourself when you leave someone’s presence.

Ask yourself,  Do I feel uplifted and happy? Or, do I feel depleted and lethargic? If you feel uplifted, the person you were just with is a supporter, keep them around. If you feel depleted, the person you were with is an enemy to your heart, don’t associate with them and make no apologies.

16. Write.

Your thoughts are precious and important. The best guidance you will get, is from yourself. Write them down and read them.

17. Clean your room.

How you keep your space, is how you keep your mind. When things are neat, clarity will walk with ease.

18. If you only remember one thing, remember this: You are the most important person in the whole world.

You determine your own direction, and if you trust your own compass, you will always remain on your path.

Emma and Ruby,

Thank you for making me a mother.

I love you,


Bonus: Three things I wish I knew when I was 22:


Editor: Brianna Bemel

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About Rebecca Lammersen

Rebecca Lammersen is the founder of Yogalution, an intimate, boutique style yoga studio in Scottsdale, AZ. I love being alive. I love being a mother. I love teaching yoga. I love to write. I love to know. I love to not know. I love to learn. I love to listen. I love to read. I love to swim. I love to travel. I love to dance. I love to help. I love to serve. That pretty much sums me up. For daily inspirations, check out Rebecca's website. Visit her yoga studio website and peruse her articles at The Huffington Post. You can also find her on Facebook. Subscribe to Rebecca's feed and never miss a post!


125 Responses to “18 Life Lessons I Want My Daughters to Hear.”

  1. Love this, Rebecca.

    Posted it all over the place.


  2. @BextahWah says:

    This is possibly the best thing I have read in ages

  3. Thank you:) these are the things I wish I had been told… I am so appreciative of the support, honored actually. Thank you Bob, Rebecca

  4. Wow, thank you so very much 🙂

  5. EmmaRubyDad says:

    Those are some lucky girls!!! 🙂

  6. Well, Emma and Ruby are sure lucky, they've got you;)

  7. […] these 18 life lessons & want to give especially this one to “my” children too: Never feel guilty for […]

  8. […] My daughter is a good mother as well. A natural. Watching her give birth to two children without drugs and with tremendous dignity was one astounding experience. I have always said that giving birth has been the foremost important learning experience of my life. It takes you so far beyond what you think you are capable of. […]

  9. Absolutely moving–I am not (yet) a mother, but this piece speaks to the mother in me and reminds me how lucky I am to have the women who raised me in my life. Thank you and many blessings

  10. Thank You Candice. Happy Mother's Day 🙂

  11. Allison says:

    I just wanted to tell you– You are such a good person! Thank you for writing and sharing this.

  12. corinne says:

    Great list. I have two girls, and I’d like to remember to take some of this good advice myself, as well as pass it along to them.

  13. […] friend linked me to this list on Elephant Journal, 18 simple life lessons written by Rebecca Lammersen for her […]

  14. smitha says:

    Beautiful…uplifted me & my day…thanks

  15. Thank you Allison 🙂

  16. Thank you Corinne! Happy Mother's Day to you 🙂

  17. Thank you, I'm happy it brightened your day!

  18. samantha says:

    someone posted this on facebook, and it found it’s way to me. i’m 25 and i just had to end a friendship that had become toxic & was “an enemy to my heart” – i’m so glad that i read this today! thankyou!

  19. Thank you for sharing Samantha. It takes courage to walk away from a toxic relationship. Hug to you!

  20. Sarah says:

    This is absolutely wonderful, and has made me cry and made my day. Thank you.

  21. Margaret says:

    this is just utterly beautiful. And good advice for me to follow, myself, as well…

    Thank you!

  22. Thank you Sarah, for taking the time to read this and to let it in and let it out;) Have a beautiful day!

  23. Thank you Margaret 🙂 I am just honored it resonates!

  24. Rajni Tripathi says:

    love this. beautiful reminders for ourselves too

  25. Tracie says:

    As the mother of two girls, I thank you for this. I will absolutely be printing this out and giving it to them. I whole-heartedly agree!

  26. Thank you Tracie:) I'm touched you would share this with your own children. Happy Mother's Day!

  27. Paul Miller says:

    Thanks for this great list of positive suggestions.

    As a dad, I’m tempted to hold off on discussing #6 until she’s 35 or 40.

  28. Thanks Paul:) Just so you know, you are not alone. That is exactly what their father said;)

  29. kitonlove says:

    I adore you for #6 alone. It's a brave stance to take on a blog, but I'm glad you are taking it.

  30. Hey thanks 🙂 Just being realistic! Thanks for taking the time to read and share…Happy night, Rebecca

  31. Sara says:

    Cute! My daughter is 10, so I think we will gloss over that one. Sara

  32. Denise says:

    Wonderful! But, I will say I disagree with #6. I believe chastity is a wonderful thing. Waiting for love and a commitment (preferably marriage) is best. While you may be acting realistic, sometimes as mothers we need to set a high standard for our daughters. If my daughter asks if I was chaste, I will be honest and say no, that I regret not waiting for the right one. However, after my mistakes in my 20s, I did wait until I met her father and until our wedding night. That the wait was worth it. Anyhow, that is just my 2 cents on that issue. 😉

  33. Amy says:

    Denise, I agree with you wholeheartedly. #6 is not good advice. Sleeping around damages your soul. The rest of the article was beautiful.

  34. Ujjwala says:

    Loved it…beautiful one. Especially loved "i did'nt birth you to burden you". Will always remember that.

  35. chezwalton says:

    I am a mom of two sons and let me tell you this will work for my boys as well as all the daughters out there.

  36. Krista says:

    Love this, especially about not feeling guilty about leaving. I have friends who ask how I could “let” my daughters go away to college so far from home and travel all over the world. They currently live in VT, CO, and SC. They constantly tell me how much they appreciate how I support them in all they do. They are all smart, giving, beautiful women. What more could I want. I know they have so much to offer the world and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold!

  37. Thank you for sharing this Krista:) You are living it and that is something I admire and aspire to as my girls grow. I have a hunch your girls are BLESSED to have you.

  38. I totally agree!! Boys/Girls it applies to all. Thank you for reading:))

  39. Thank you. Yes, that is a thought I carry with every action I take with my girls. Am I burdening you right now? or am I freeing you? I appreciate your thoughts!

  40. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts Denise. The beauty of childrearing is, there is no rule book. Make your own rules and I bet your daughters will appreciate the love and thought you dedicated to them:) Happy Belated Mother's Day!

  41. Kimstetz says:

    I read this a few days ago and am reading again. So happy to have met you.

  42. sheri says:

    so brilliant. your daughters will cherish this gift you gave them.

  43. Deborah says:

    Every one of these spoke to me . . . as if myself as Mother was speaking to myself as child. It's a whole new Truth to realize that we birth our children to release them into the world!

    And, I do hope I instilled most of these life lessons to my own daughter and that she can do the same with her children.

  44. RFMullane says:

    OMG, thank you for this! These are the same lessons I would like to impart to my children… <3

  45. gypsee says:

    beautiful. period.

  46. Thank you Sheri. That is so kind:)

  47. Thank you Deborah!

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