Choose to see your beauty now.
As a gift to myself for my 33rd birthday, I have decided to not waste any more time focusing on the things that don’t matter. I looked at my life from the perspective of my 90-year-old self so I can really weigh in on the value of life. Here is what I learned:
1. Your happiness has nothing to do with things. There will come a time when the most beautiful thing you can imagine is the sound of your grandkids’ laughter.
2. Don’t listen to what others say, listen to your heart. If we live from our hearts, looking back on life’s journey will bring us pleasure, not pain.
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff, cause it’s all small stuff. One day you will kill to get back all of the time you have wasted on worry. Focus on the ones you love, they are all that matters.
4. Let go of all hate and grudges. Don’t waste your precious memory on negativity—use it for the things that are truly unforgettable.
5. Your jealousy says more about you than anything else. If you are jealous of someone who is smarter than you, it is you who looks stupid. Being jealous of someone’s beauty makes you feel ugly on the inside and out.
6. Avoid anything that will make you scared. Life is best enjoyed in a state of love, not fear. Don’t watch movies that make you scared when you are home alone or in a parking lot. Life’s too short to be afraid.
7. Appreciate your parents and family. They are the source of all that you are and all that you will become.
8. There will always be someone better than you. It’s okay, no one is perfect. But you have something no one else in this world has, so focus on that!
9. If you feel down just smile. It takes years off your face, stress out of your heart and makes the world want to embrace you.
10. Believe in your beauty. One day you will tell your grandkids how beautiful you were. Choose to see it now. No one will benefit from you not believing in yourself. Try it and miracles will happen.
11. Appreciate your body and use it in every way possible. It is one of the greatest ways to express gratitude for your life.
12. Trust your intuition. It is a compass given to you by your creator, it will never steer you wrong if you learn to listen.
13. Goodbye on this earth is never the end. It is just the beginning of a new chapter in the soul’s history.
14. War doesn’t solve problems. Love and understanding does. This is true in the world, in your home, with your friends and within yourself.
15. Forgive, forget, embrace, love completely and most importantly be yourself. There is only one you on this planet, so give it all you have while you have it.
Born in Ontario, Canada, in 1980, Ashley Cooper (ashleycooper.me) is a yoga instructor, artist and the Co-Founder of Peace Love and Photography and “The World’s Largest Art Project For Charity” (peaceloveandphotography.tv). She has been featured in over 50 newspaper articles worldwide for the ABCharity project she is doing with her partner, Filip Cederholm. Her dedication and commitment to art and the need to help others throughout her life has been unwavering. Heavily influenced by her extensive travel, volunteer work and experience with other cultures, her art and writing is an extension and blend of different experiences and teachings.
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Assistant Ed: Stephanie V./Kate Bartolotta