Turning 40 on the 20th of July was the most amazing birthday experience of my life. Not necessarily because I got to spend it in Jamaica with my beloved family, or that my experience there was epic! But more so because I felt and still feel an awakening, a growing sense of unbridled potential, and a renewed source of energy and creative power.
I feel as if I’ve connected with an awareness of my mind, body, and soul’s synergy, and deep down I feel more at peace with myself than I have ever felt before.
During the couple of weeks leading up to my birthday, I engaged in some self-reflection, and as a result, I created 40 lessons that I’ve learned in 40 years.
This was not an easy task!
How often does one stop to really think about the things they feel they’ve learned over the years? Some lessons were easy to incorporate into my daily life, and some were very painful. Many mistakes had to be repeated several times over in order to get it through this thick skull of mine, and I’m still a work in progress.
So, here are my 40 Lessons in 40 years:
1. Being comfortable with saying no, even when it’s tough. Too many past years spent giving away that power.
2. Drama is no longer luring me, it’s merely repetitive and gets old fast (like the old saying, “save the drama for your momma”).
3. Accepting responsibility – because if you keep doing what you’re doing you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting!
4. Happiness is a choice – so Go Find Happy!
5. Beginning to trust myself and my intuition more – So what if I’m wrong, hopefully I learned something in the end.
6. Simplicity reigns supreme! The more simpler we make things, the less complicated our lives can be. So keep it simple stupid (this is self-talk by the way). 🙂
7. “I’m sorry” doesn’t fix everything, but it certainly helps!
8. Being okay without receiving a “thank you.” Why do we do the things we do? Do we do them for recognition or to be genuinely kind.
9. I believe in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 10th, or even 100 chances and attempts at getting something correct or at attaining what we want. Keep trying until you get it right…keep on keeping on.
10. Things don’t have to be perfect. Certain preconceived notions and expectations can often ruin an experience.
11. Being able to reflect on my accomplishments AND my failures. By taking the good along with the so-called bad, I’m able to redirect and clearly focus on my goals.
12. So now I look at so-called “mistakes” differently. We can’t win all of the time. And that’s okay, but again, we can learn and continue to build.
13. I’m now better able to understand many life lessons thus far (not all, that’s another post) and make them work for me. 🙂
14. I can appreciate the preciousness of time, and it’s amazing how fast it seems to fly. But the real deal is understanding how to make it slow down – by living in the present). This is something that I’m beginning to learn how to master.
15. People pleasing no longer serves me! I’ve learned to be just fine if someone does not like me because guess what…you won’t be about to please everyone.
16. Friends are important and I wish i had more. Deep connections are one of the major keys to happiness.
17. Let me tell you that I’ve had a total shift in my idea of beauty. Before it may have revolved around external appearances and such. Now it entails more intangible things like wholeness, vulnerability, and grace, all of which I aspire to be. So when I comment that someone is beautiful, rarely is this statement solely based upon physical beauty. And as the quote from the movie Color Purple goes, “If you ugly on the inside,
you ugly on the outside.”
18. Fear begets more fear. Fear is the opposite of love. Either you are coming from a place of love or you’re coming from a place of fear. The choice is yours!
19. I don’t have to be the story of my past. My past doesn’t define my present. To God be the Glory.
20. I no longer think about the past in a “shoulda, coulda, woulda” kind of way. I now focus on “I shall, I can, and I will.”
21. I now ask for what I want, instead of tip-toeing around the subject. Who are we not to expect to get what we wish to receive in this life?
22. Along the same lines, learning how to ask for help and understanding that it’s okay to feel vulnerable enough to receive it. This one have been a tough lesson for me.
23. I now take the time to acknowledging and expressing appreciation to those who have made a moment, my day, or even my life so much better.
24. That nasty thing called PRIDE. Recognize it. Lose It. Detach ourselves from it. It is still a struggle sometimes, but at least I often recognize it and make a conscious choice to work toward a better outcome.
25. There is no such thing as being taken advantage of if you’re giving from the heart and without expectation.
26. Holding on to grudges and having malice in our hearts, only hurt US individually.
27. Owning the fact that our body IS our temple. Don’t let the hour get too late before learning this. It’s the only body we’ll ever have. Let’s treat it kindly and with respect.
28. People learn to treat you by the way you treat yourself.
29. Once you’ve found yourself, only then can you work on creating yourself.
30. Sometimes you have to loose in order to win. Success can come from failure.
31. To live my life being the person I want to be and doing the things I want to do is my definition of a successful life.
32. Discovering our purpose in life usually lies within those things that motivates us and brings us joy. A certain level of self awareness is necessary.
33. Prayer changes things. Mediation changes things.
34. Per TD Jakes, you can’t expect a gallon from pint sized people. You have to meet people where they are.
35. “Just Win Today.” Currently, my favorite motto that Marc taught me. Sometimes you can’t see the forest, for all the trees. Don’t worry about anything else, other than what’s right in front of you.
36. My family is one of my greatest blessings and purposes. They teach me there’s a greater depth to Love than I have ever known.
37. We are deserving of ALL things good.
38. The places in our personality where we tend to deviate from love are not our faults, but our wounds. God does not want to punish us, but heal us. And this is how we should view the wounds of others (Marriane Williamson).
39. Look not to the seen but to the unseen. For what we see is merely the effect. The cause is created by our conscious & unconscious thought, beliefs, and faith. If we
think lack, poverty, and limitation, then that’s what we’ll manifest. Likewise, if we think abundance and positivity, that ‘s what we’ll manifest. It all begins with our thoughts. – A Return to Love
40. Age ain’t nothing but a number! You are as young as you feel you are!
I feel so blessed to have had such an amazing 40 years, enjoying both the sweet things life has to offer and also feeling the strength of resilience of enduring the challenges. I am ready to embrace this next 40 plus years of my life and the many more lessons that I have yet to learn. I look forward to the continual discovery of all life has to offer.