Yesterday I turned 35.
I can honestly say I’m in the best place I've been and with each year that goes by, life just keeps getting better and better.
Looking back to where I was just 5 years ago - on the brink of a divorce; flat broke + utterly miserable, I've come a loooong way.
Thing is, without all of the crap I went through, I would never have realised just how freaking grateful I am for everything in my life today - my amazing partner (and now fiancée!); friends; family and a business that I adore.
Life is good.
I know I'm not perfect and I have also come to realise that life will never be *perfect*. No matter how happy you are, there will always be challenges you have to face and rather than pretending they don’t exist, avoiding them, or worse - letting them consume you, the trick is mastering how to ride the waves of life.
Happiness is fleeting and available to you at any moment; but a deep sense of joy and peace is something you cultivate when you accept that life is one big adventure + it all comes down to what you make of it.
So, in what has become somewhat of an annual birthday tradition, here are the 35 lessons I learned in life + love this past year.
I hope they stir some tiny ember of a flame inside of you and give you the courage to create your own version of an extraordinary life...
1. Be kind to yourself.
The more kind you are to yourself the more love you will have to give to others. Honour your own needs - you deserve your own love as much anyone else.
2. Be kind to others.
3. Less judging, more acceptance.
4. Invest in yourself.
You are your greatest asset - invest in your health; education and your future. You are worth every cent.
5. Less stuff, more adventure.
6. Throw out the life plan.
Planning the details of where you will be in the next 5+ years leaves no room for spontaneity, adventure - and the greatest of all - a wonderful romance with life.
7. The present is where it’s happening.
It is also the place where you will find the most joy.
8. This too shall pass.
No matter how bad things get or how bad they appear, remember that this too shall pass.
9. Challenging yourself is the only way to grow + the only way you learn.
If you are feeling stuck it’s a wake up call you need to do something different.
10. Learning to live with uncertainty is necessary for your sanity.
Get good at this and you will become the master of your life.
11. It’s not about the goal, it’s about the process.
Being fixated on the goal or the outcome you are seeking saps the joy out of everything you are doing and you will only end up resenting it.
12. It is ok to fail.
More than once. All of your failures are lessons - use them wisely.
13. Loving the right person won’t make you whole...
...But it will raise you up and together you will become unstoppable.
14. Always celebrate how far you have come.
15. Even the best relationships take work.
16. Some people can't see your dream as clearly as you can.
This will throw doubt on everything you believe: trusting in things you cannot see is called faith.
17. Lean in to discomfort rather than resist it.
The only way out is through.
18. Perfect the art of saying ‘no’.
This is mandatory for being able to master your time and manage your energy.
19. When it comes to relationships, love is not all you need.
You also need honesty, trust, compassion, vulnerability, passion and respect - all of which lead to intimacy which is the greatest reward of any relationship.
20. Sometimes you need to get offline and go live in the real world.
Real life is not happening in front of your computer screen. Switch off, unplug and start paying attention to the people in your life who love you.
21. True friends are the ones you who you sometimes don’t see for 6 months...
...Because, well, life - and then when you do see each other, you pick up from exactly where you left off.
22. Never lose your sense of wonder or curiosity.
Seeing the world through this lens allows you to let go of expectations and enjoy the present.
23. Your relationships are your greatest assignments.
They will uncover all the layers of yourself that you need to work on to become the best version of you.
24. The only person who will make you truly happy is yourself.
Do not give this power away to anyone else.
25. Meditation is the best way to improve productivity; reduce stress + anxiety.
My life has transformed since I started a consistent and regular meditation practice this year and it’s now my favourite part of the day that I look forward to. And I'm not a morning person! Which leads me to...
26. A good morning routine will set you up for your best day - everyday.
Create one that works for you and inspires you to start each day in the most positive way.
27. It is impossible to do everything.
You will never be able to make everyone happy, so focus on what is most important to you; accept that you are doing your best and give it all you’ve got.
28. It all starts with what you believe about yourself to be true.
If you can master the art of bringing a positive mindset into each day you will not only believe you are worthy of amazing things, but also start attracting miracles into your life.
29. Love where you are right now.
Don’t rush things. Everything is perfect - enjoy this moment for what it is and quit wishing your life away. Life is happening now!
30. Conformity is the enemy of growth.
Stop getting caught up in other people’s expectations of you. Don’t be afraid if your truth looks wildly different from the person next to you.
31. Forget the ‘woulds’ ‘shoulds’ ‘coulds’ and what might have been.
Do what feels right for you.
32. You can either be a passive participate in life or get on board the adventure: you choose.
33. Consistency + persistency pays off.
Some things take longer than planned or expected - don’t beat yourself up if you’re not where you thought you would be or haven’t achieved what you wanted - it will pay off if you #keepgoing.
34. The key to losing inches off your waistline in your 30’s is cutting out (or at least cutting down on) sugar.
Beware of the hidden sugars in so-called ‘healthy’ foods + juices - even natural sugar is still sugar! And yep, sugar is addictive, so the more you eat the more you crave it. Get off the merry-go-round!
If you are feeling anxious, stressed, angry + consumed by emotion - stop; take a deep breathe in and slowly exhale. Rinse and repeat 5 times. You will feel like new person. Remember, we are always in motion and everything in life is temporary.
To taking your next best step,