39 Life’s Lessons on my 39th Birthday.
This is “what I know for sure” at this point. I expect that with time it may change. I encourage you, not necessarily to read my list, but to create your own. Maybe you will be surprised how much you have learned, and how many things still remain to be learned.
1. Some of our dreams are born to be realized. Other dreams take up a lot of energy and inner struggle, and once you have a chance to realize them, you see: they were only a dream, and will die as a dream.
2. Other people will get annoyed with the most innocent of our passions and preferences. Listen, observe and continue with what fuels your fire. For me it’s reading. Books bring comfort to me, bigger book = softer comfort.
3. Meditation. Yes, please. For 23 years it has been a place ( a state ?) of discovery, recovery, equanimity.
4. Yes, less is more, Mies. I love luxury but it changed it’s meaning for me over the years. Now luxury means to me: time and freedom. Luxury as I understood it before was really a hassle, requiring maintenance. Now only because I love something, it doesn’t mean I need to trade my time to own it.
5. Once I became clear about HOW I want to live: it became surprisingly easy to live it every day. With the inner light on… I guess it’s what Camus called “living on a high tide.”
6. Our critics are doing us a favor. Only recently I started listen to them with greater attention: they show us our weaknesses and faults – something that we are often completely unable to see on our own.
7. What we do with the critique (#6) is a different story. Sometimes the critic is right about us, and sometimes they are blindly projecting their issues on us. A healthy dose of critical thinking on our part will move us forward (in our search for greatness) or move us away from them.
8. “What gives meaning to life, gives meaning to death.”
9. Stepping back and observing ourselves helps us to see when we are hitting with a head against a wall, while it is easier just to change the direction. We think that we are giving up something by doing that- but the truth is: we would not get it anyway!
10. Not everything can be learned right away. Some lessons take years to learn, maybe because our minds have to put together some lessons like puzzles.
11. When we are open to acknowledge our weakness – the weakness loses it’s power.
12. Journaling – priceless! In any form. Writing thoughts, feelings, experiences, conversations. Why? We won’t believe how we changed. It warms my heart to go back to old journals and conversations I wrote down. Some of the people are no longer here, some are no longer in my life. Some I have forgotten.
13. It’s worth to keep old letters. For the same reason as in #12.
14. Feeling the unbearable lightness of being can be ours, no matter how painful life is now. But it may take some work.
15. Self love and kindness is important. In the beginning we love ourselves thru the eyes of another person. We create a new reality when we fall in love with ourselves, without them.
16. It doesn’t make sense to put anyone on a pedestal. People like to present themselves as fair, understanding, smart. But they will also disappoint. And in the end they’ll turn to be a completely something else, for reasons you will not understand. Sometimes even they won’t understand.
17. At the same time, it costs us nothing to give them another chance and another. I believe people can change, just as I change, just as I would like someone to give me another chance. Of course nobody has any obligation to anyone. Just because you live this way doesn’t mean I need to.
18. The body was made for moving / dancing!
19. We are not responsible for someone else’s happiness, peace, etc. However we are responsible for our words and actions.
20. Good friends – one of the best gifts life can give us.
21. Just like a good conversation, good friendship is not created without some effort.
22. Inner peace is not a coincidence. Though it’s a part of inner life, it is directly affected by our actions or lack of them.
23. It doesn’t make sense to blame others for something they did or didn’t do. We often did exactly the same thing to them or to others. Example? When you wonder why that person never calls, there often is someone you never call.
24. “What do I want?” is often a better question than “What should I do?”
25. We don’t want to see certain things because of fear. We are scared of fear. But if we dig out a bit of courage, beyond the fear is always a wonderful discovery.
26. Insecure people are annoying and I try not to be one of them. Now when I hear the voice inside me saying: “you can’t”, I order it: to kindly go away and multiply itself!
28. If you observe those that try to appear perfect in order to be loved or accepted, you realize that such pretending is actually counterproductive.
29. Hypothetical questions don’t make much sense. We really learn about ourselves when we are right in front of a challenge.
30. Create or visit a little paradise to recharge.
31. “We experience in life what we’re deeply convinced is so.”
32. A compromise may be the right answer sometimes, but if we let others direct what we do too often, then… who are we really?
33. It is easy to create an illusion of happiness, but true happiness takes work.
34. The most exciting thing is to see how we can change. Maybe soon I’ll write: X things I was wrong about 10 years ago.
35. Celebrate simple things. (I mean the simple things that are priceless)
36. Being alone has nothing to do with being lonely; it often is a gift. If we know how to use it.
37. It is fun to have secrets.
38. Always elevate. Levitate.
39. When we surround ourselves with beauty, in any form, it’s easier to be in “here and now.”