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As promised, the following represents a few nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned over the years. Forty of them, in fact. One for each year I’ve been alive, although I probably learned most of them in the last ten years.

It seems one’s 30’s are about the getting of wisdom. So I’m guessing the 40’s are when that wisdom is consolidated…

Most often I learned these things the hard way, which seems to be just how it is in my life. 😉

Here’s 1-20, with 21-40 being posted in another day or so…

  1. We all know there’s no handbook to this thing called life. But it’s not until you start hitting your late 30’s that you really, really wish there was.
  2. If you know what you want to do when you grow up, then you’re fortunate. Pretty much most of us don’t and feel awkward and weird about it for the longest time. If only we realised how many others were in the same boat, maybe we’d be more okay with it.
  3. Don’t choose a career just for the money. Find what you love and go for that with all of your heart. Honestly, I think it’s the only way to avoid the pitfalls of modern life, which is hard enough!
  4. Take time out of your life and your own problems to help other people. Do volunteer work of some kind. Donate money or clothes to people in need. It will help put the world and your place in it, into perspective.
  5. Regardless of what you believe or don’t believe, we’re all interconnected. Truly. Our molecules are the same as those found in outer space and the air you breathe has been inhaled by everyone else. We are water, space, fire, ether and air. We are no different from mountains or comets or oceans or ants. Everything is a part of the whole.
  6. Never ever take anything on face value. Which is not to say you shouldn’t trust people, but always question and confirm what others tell you, for yourself.
  7. Life must be experienced directly and first-hand. Advice can be useful, but ultimately your experiences of being alive are unique to you. So go out there and have them.
  8. Most of what we call life is a series of perceptions layered with our projected meanings and ideas. Very rarely do we know what’s really going on. This is one of the main reasons I do yoga – to strip away the filters and stores so that I have a clearer view of reality as it really is. Which often has no bearing on what we assume it is!
  9. Be stubborn. Don’t back down when there’s something you really want. The reason I think I’ve managed to heal myself from PTSD and depression is because I refused to believe that I couldn’t. I’m applying that same principal to healing my thyroid condition. I don’t know how successful I’ll be with that, but I’m certainly much healthier than I was when I was first diagnosed.
  10. However, balance your stubbornness with self-reflection (you mightn’t always be right), softness and sometimes even yielding (even when you’re sure you are right).
  11. But also, be curious about yourself (I borrowed this one from Kerry). Get to know yourself, the way you’d get to know a friend. Find out what makes you tick.
  12. Be truthful with yourself, always. In your yoga practice, and in your life. In yoga, this means you’ll happily accept where you’re at without pushing and forcing (and possibly causing yourself an injury). In life, it means always making the best decisions for yourself.
  13. Allowing your life to be dictated by fear or anger makes for a very small world. I know beautiful and brave people who suffer anxiety, PTSD and other mental health conditions that make normal life really hard. But they find ways to keep living anyway.
  14. Never get involved with someone unless you’re genuinely interested in them. And not just because the sex is good. It isn’t in your best interest, nor theirs. It never turns out well and sometimes it can turn out really badly. Read some of the archives of this blog if you don’t believe me.
  15. There are endless layers to everything, contrary to the Hollywood version of life. The healing of grief, pain, trauma, anger etc… there’s no magic pill. Just when you think you’ve worked through it all, there’s more. Keep going.
  16. Clichéd as it sounds, you will be happiest when you can accept yourself as you are – perceived warts and all. Although not the STD kind of warts. Go see your doctor about those. 😉
  17. All those things you think you need to hide from the world – they are your strengths. Be okay with being vulnerable and imperfect. Everyone else is, too.
  18. If anyone ever tells you that you’re too sensitive, giggle and explain that that isn’t it. Actually, it’s just that you’re just more sensitive than most people and you were born that way.
  19. Actually, if someone ever tells you that there’s ANYthing wrong with you, give them the same kind of response. Lady Gaga got it right! Baby, you were born this way!
  20. You never really lose touch with your inner child, you just forget about them a bit. Remembering is important. Make friends with Mini-You. She/he will tell you all of your secrets. Honouring Mini-You will bring you happiness. Promise.

[Read 21 – 40 here]


P.S. Feel free to share some of your own hard-earned wisdom!