In one week I’ll be 36. It feels like I’m growing more and more into myself with each passing year. It feels like I’ve learned a lot so far and I can’t wait to see what I continue to learn.
I love taking time around my birthday to reflect on where I’ve been, where I’m going and the impact and legacy I want to create. In that spirit of self-reflection here are 36 pieces of advice from me to myself. Things I’ve learned that I’ll probably need to keep hearing again and again. They’re in no particular order, but maybe you need to hear these lessons too?
1) If you’re not changing, you’re probably not growing
2) There are times that you must ask for help, it might not always feel good but it’s necessary and if you can’t ask for help you’re creating an even bigger mess than if you had swallowed your pride and asked for help.
3) It’s all about love. Choose love over hate, fear, jealousy, anger, feelings of lack, and sadness. Love is the universal antidote for everything. The more you choose love the better life will be with no exceptions.
4) You might think you’re doing a lot for others, but there is always more you can do. Find the thing you love doing that’s useful to other people and find ways to give it away. Find ways that you can make a positive impact on the world around you.
5) Send as much snail mail as you can. Even if people don’t write you back when you write them a letter doesn’t mean it didn’t brighten their day. Keep sending snail mail. The impact is immeasurable.
6) Don’t take your grandparents for granted
7) Don’t take your parents for granted, they are doing the best they can too.
8) Love on your siblings, they need you even if they aren’t saying it. Love them hard, show them you’re there for them. Make sure they know you love them, even when they irritate you.
9) All of the closed doors had as much to teach you as the open doors. It’s cliche, but when you looks back at those closed doors you can see what a blessing it was. Embrace the cliche on this one.
10) Let go of the fear Alisha, you’re not being chased by a tiger. The fear is just holding you back. Keep moving forward, but do it without the fear.
11) keep walking up the staircase in entrepreneurship and life, especially when you don’t know what the whole stair case looks like. If you knew how big the staircase was you probably wouldn’t even take the first step. You don’t have to have the plan to start the work.
12) Rest is as important as the hustle. Don’t forget to take naps, eat good food, take days off and get bored.
13) SLOW DOWN. Really whatever pace you think you’re moving knock it down by 10. Most of the time you have to go slow to go fast.
14) Your self-worth IS NOT determined by how hard you can work, how much money you do or do not have in the bank, or if you’re married or not by 36. You are worthy just as you are. Take a deep breath, put your hand on your heart tell yourself “I love you”. Even if you don’t feel it, keep doing it. Eventually you’ll feel it because you are worthy.
15) Keep meditating. Keep pausing in the day for a mindful moment, trust me this makes everything better. It’s the most important thing you learned at yoga teacher training and it costs you nothing to do and it’s the thing that will make your life the most rich.
16) Continue to take time for creativity every day. It’s the root of everything.
17) What you focus on grows. Look for the good in yourself, in others and in everything you do. Focus on what you can control ignore the rest, it’s a waste of time.
18) let go of what wasn’t meant for you. You’re gonna love hard and when those loves end show your love by letting go faster. Trust me this is better for everyone involved.
19) Acupuncture is your friend. That on-going chronic thing can be relieved by a good chinese medicine dr. If you’re not feeling well scrape up the money and go see your acupuncturist. She will save your life.
20) Dogs make life better. You don’t need to buy a purebred, but a four legged friend might just be the key to lasting happiness.
21) Your friends shouldn’t all look like you, believe what you believe, be the same ages as you, or have the same background as you.
22) Stop telling yourself you’re not intuitive. Flex that muscle more often because you’re intuition is more powerful than you ever knew.
23) Happiness and joy are choices. If you’re present and mindful you can choose them. Choose joy.
24) Believe in yourself. Others may or may not believe in you, but most of the time others won’t believe in you until you believe in you. Stop waiting for approval of others to do what you were called to do.
25) Follow the call of your heart it will never ever not lead you home. Listen to the whispers of your deepest desires, they are the trail to your personal pot of gold.
26) Travel is one of the best investments you could ever make in yourself. Stop focusing on how you don’t have the money and focus on what will get you to where you want to go. Where there is a will there is a way.
27) Use your voice. You spent way to long being afraid of sharing your truth, of taking up space. You have wisdom within and it’s wisdom others want to hear. Share what you have to say and don’t be bashful about it.
28) Take up space. For the love of god Alisha don’t starve yourself ever again. You will never look like you did in your 20’s. In your 20’s you had disordered eating and the body you had was because you weren’t feeding yourself. Love the strong, soft, curved body you have now because this is the body of a healthy woman. She is nothing to try to shrink from.
29) When you let go of needing to be certain in life, in work, and in love you will find joy. Trade your certainty for joy Alisha, it’s worth it.
30) Find a way to practice gratitude for what you’ve been given, what you know will be given and what isn’t given. Gratitude is a dance, listen to the music.
31) There is power in unhappiness. When you’re unhappy it’s a signal, pay attention. Listen deeply
32) Failure is where you learn the most. Get excited about failing because failing means you tried.
33) Don’t force things. If it ever feels like you’re forcing things it’s probably not meant for you. There is a fine line between working hard and forcing. Work, hard don’t force it.
34) Embrace magic. Embrace the things you’re pulled to that can’t be explained by science or backed up by something concrete if it calls to you. It might just plain be fun, it might be rooted in the mystical realm but if it’s meaningful to you enjoy it. You don’t need a permission slip from someone else to believe in signs, or enjoy animal spirit cards and tarot card readings or even to believe in god for that matter. Listen to your heart, listen to what your inner being is telling you and ignore the rest.
35) Morning pages. Just do them. Keep doing them and share them with anyone who will listen. They continue to be life changing.
36) The universe is conspiring in your favor. The sooner you trust this, the better life will be. Stop resisting, stop making it hard for yourself. Drop the fear and lean into trust.