December is always a month full of reflection for me. At the beginning of the month, it's my Birthday and I enjoy taking some time to look back on the events that unfolded in that particular year of life, and I also spend time at the end of the month reflecting on the past, planning for the future and setting goals and intentions. This year I turned 31 - and while this is the first year that I felt the twinge of panic when I say my age out loud - I am also really amazed to think about all the things I have been fortunate to experience in my 31 years on the planet. Keep reading to hear 31 life lessons I have picked up on my journey so far!
1. Always say thank you - in person, in writing, with a small token of appreciation - it goes very, very far.
2. Time does not heal all wounds. Time and work, on the other hand, does. You must do the work, and over time, wounds will heal.
3. Try not to take life so seriously, it sucks all the fun out of it.
4. Growing pains - both physical and emotional - hurt a lot, but the results are worth it.
5. Be brave enough to follow your dreams - I've followed mine to a lot of different places, like the stage, the film set, the runway, and the yoga studio - and I can't say I regret one minute of it.
6. Collect memories not things - this is especially true when you're travelling - spend the money on experience.
8. Go on lot's of dates when you are young- it really helps you figure out what qualities you value in other people - and which ones you do not.
9. Understand that when people want to set you up with people they know - it's a compliment - even if it feels like a punishment.
10. Say yes more - you'll figure it out when you get there.
11. Be on time. It shows others you value theirs.
12. Do what you say you are going to do. Integrity is important.
13. Acknowledge your fear and do it anyways. I like to visualize myself standing on a very high diving board - terrified - and jumping off, safely landing in the water, excited and anxious to do it again.
14. You can't know what you don't know - ask questions without guilt or fear.
15. The answer is always "no" if you don't ask. Ask for what you want - you will be surprised how often it works.
16. Forgive yourself - genuinely.
17. Forgive others- everyone is just trying to do their best on their own journeys.
18. Eat ice cream - or whatever food you love but restrict yourself from eating because it isn't healthy. I'm not saying to binge and only eat crap that is delicious, but please don't deprive yourself for your whole life. If you were to die tomorrow I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be mad about the ice cream you ate the night before. (*note: unless you are deathly allergic to ice cream - then just ignore this whole point :))
19. You will never please everyone. If you walk into a room full of people, some will like you, some will not like you and some will not pay any attention to you at all. Focus on the ones that like you and enjoy yourself.
20. Always smile in Tree Pose - it helps with balance and makes it more fun when you fall over ;)
21. Try new things and start new hobbies - how else are you to know what you like to do!
22. It's important to get up, get dressed, and keep moving forward, even when your world feels like it's exploding. Just. Keep. Moving. Forward.
23. Being happy and fulfilled in your life, really is the best revenge.
24. Don't get a tattoo unless you are 105% committed to what you want - because a) it hurts a lot and b) seriously, it hurts. I love my tattoo but it almost said "Tr" as I didn't think I could make it through the next three letters ;)
25. Dance at weddings, socials (for my Manitoban readers ;)), parties etc. Do not sit in your chair because you don't want to look un-cool or you think you are a bad dancer - it's so much more fun to be on the dance floor - even if you look like a dork.
26. Yoga will literally change your life if you let it.
27. You are enough, just as you are.
28. Set goals. Make vision boards. Send your intentions into the universe. It can't do any harm.
29. Be vulnerable, open and sometimes, even soft. Especially, if you are more comfortable building walls, shutting down and getting defensive.
30. Sometimes it's hard for people to differentiate between shyness and disinterest. Work on your ability to be open with new people.
31. To be honest, I am shocked I was able to write these 30 lessons and truly mean each and every one. I guess the lesson is that you learn a lot in your life, from your pain, your celebrations, your peers, your mistakes, and the risks you take. Here's to another 31 years and all that comes with them!