There have been a lot of twists and turns in my life. I have experienced success and I have experienced tragedy. I have flown outside my comfort zone and looked fear in the eye. I have worked for the boss and I have been the boss. I have experienced many highs and also many lows. There have been some hard lessons I have learned. There have been some incredibly rewarding experiences I have been blessed with. And as I find myself reaching a point in my life where it all comes together - where all the paths have led to this intended destination of where I am supposed to be in - I reflect and feel grateful for all of the lessons I have learned. Some, I learned quickly and some it seemed God really spelled out for me over and over again, but my faith always brings me back to a place of reflection and gratitude.
1. Live your life for YOU! As a “yes” person, I always wanted to do for others. For a long time, I lived my life based on what I felt was expected of me. Sure there were times when I would go against the grain and do what I felt was best for me. I will never forget the discontented remarks and lack of support when I made the decision to leave college and pursue a career as a motorcycle and small engine mechanic - something that I absolutely loved and always wanted to do. There were plenty of other decisions I made (some were doozies!) that did not feel right for me but because they felt right for everyone else, I obliged. It is nice to reflect on these contrasting feelings now and realize that as long as I am making decisions with MY best interest at heart, then I am winning. I will never make everyone happy. In fact, every time I have strayed from following my heart and instead followed the pressure of others, it never, ever ended well. So, today I focus on what makes me happy. Those who truly love me will stick around.
2. Life is a balancing act. You need to think carefully before adding to the load. This is a tricky one for me. Again, always wanting to make everyone else happy ,I often say yes when I should be saying no. I have always felt fulfillment from helping others and I often find myself trying to do too much. Once I became a mom, this became even more problematic. I rarely took time for myself and would run myself ragged trying to take on way too much. It is imperative that you take care of you first and foremost; then work to find a healthy balance in all other areas of your life.
3. Live in the moment! Have you heard that saying about your yesterday causing you anxiety and your tomorrow causing you fear? What if we just lived in this moment right now? You cannot control the past, nor can you control the future. Find peace in the moment you are in.
4. Perspective is powerful. The glass is always half-full. Even in the toughest of situations, there is always something positive to discover if you look hard enough. The more you pick out the positive things, the easier it will be to recognize them. Before you know, your cup will not only be half-full, it will be over-flowing.
5. Stop over-analyzing everything! I think as long as we are really following #3, this will be easier and easier to do.
6. Think before you speak. I remember as a young child growing up and learning the phrase “Silence is golden”. I didn't put much thought into what this means until I was an adult and started to see how damaging words can truly be. Now, in the world of social media, where it is commonplace to spout your opinions and engage in banter as fast as your fingers can type, we all need to take a pause and truly think before we “speak”.
7. Surround yourself with positive people. I have found that it really is true - you are the product of the people you spend the most time with. Positivity is contagious and negativity can spread like wild fire (just check Facebook). You make the choice which you want in your life.
8. You can only control what is in your control, so stop trying to control everything! If you are not familiar with the serenity prayer than become familiar with it:
“God grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Enough said.
9. Your thoughts are powerful! When you are faced with a challenge, remind yourself that you are capable of anything! Believe in yourself. Encourage yourself. Let go of the negative self-talk and open the door for abundance.
10. In all things have gratitude! You must learn to appreciate and recognize the good in order to make room for more good. By feeling gratitude, you are raising your awareness that you deserve good in your life and you are making room for it to show up.