Every year for the last few years, I've been inspired on my birthday to put together a list of lessons and reminders for myself - ideas I've learned and habits I've cultivated up until that point in time. My birthday always feels like such a good time to reflect back and see how far I've come as a human. I need a constant reminder for how to live my best life. Plus, lists make my heart happy, so there's that.
So, it only seemed fitting that today, on my 29th trip around the sun, I would put together my annual list of lessons. And I wanted to share it here with you as well, because hey, we could all use a gentle reminder sometimes!
I'm of the mindset that growth is the only worthwhile goal.
Change is inevitable, but growth must be intentional.
And since ya'll know I am ALL about that intentional living (Live On Purpose is quite literally the name of my podcast lol), this list will be no different.
So without further adieu, I present to you...
MARIE'S 29 LESSONS FOR LIVING A GREAT FREAKING LIFE:
1) A houseplant's needs are not unlike our own: water, sun, nutrients and attention.
2) Sleep is hands down the most important aspect of our wellness. (7-8hrs, bed by 10ish)
3) Never underestimate the power of a good playlist to change (and uplift) your mood.
4) Anxious? Overwhelmed? Take 10 slow, deep breaths and then reassess how you feel.
5) A solid morning and evening routine to bookend your day helps you enjoy your life more.
6) Scheduling around your menstrual cycle helps you honour your energy, do less and achieve more. (for a great book on this, read "Do Less" by Kate Northrup)
7) Being busy isn't synonymous with being successful. (Also see item 22)
8) Unplugging from your phone for 24-48 hrs a week makes a big difference in mental health.
9) Warm lemon water first thing in the am wakes and hydrates your body (liver, digestion, etc.)
10) There is no "there". Wherever you go, there you are. Always, without exception.
11) Pausing when you feel triggered to ask "what's this really about?" can save relationships.
12) A diagnosis is not the be all, end all. Self advocacy with your health is everything. (finding a holistic health care practitioner who's in your corner really helps)
13) Judging others or ourselves is merely our fear showing up. The cure is compassion.
14) There are no gold stars at the end of the ongoing to-do list. So you might as well enjoy each task fully and practice being present in the moment as often as possible.
15) Everyone you meet has a scared little 4 year old self inside of them, just wanting to be seen, heard, safe and loved.
16) Discomfort IS the way. The obstacles ARE necessary. Embrace it all, don't avoid or hide.
17) Practicing "zooming out" can help a person gain perspective and react differently.
18) IT'S GOOD TO FEEL GOOD. IT'S GOOD TO FEEL GOOD. IT'S GOOD TO FEEL GOOD.
19) Our emotions run on a scale from 1-22 (depression and fear all the way to bliss and joy). We can improve our mood simply by choosing a better-feeling thought and moving "up" the scale. (read "ask and it is given" if you're curious about this)
20) Use a journal to track your food, mood, poo, cycle and gratitude. Tracking is everything.
21) Appreciation is the antidote to depression. Notice, appreciate, repeat.
22) Slow down. Be where you are more often. You're a human being, not a human doing.
23) You shining your bright ass light doesn't negate from anyone else's bright ass light. Also, people who aren't comfortable with their own bright ass light yet will often try to throw shade on your bright ass light. It has nothing to do with you. Keep shining your bright ass light.
24) Occasionally going without something (booze, chips, shopping, etc.) can be very healing.
25) Feeling scattered? Declutter your physical space and your internal space will follow.
26) Every morning, repeat "I love you and life loves you" Into your own eyes in the mirror.
27) The food you eat has a DIRECT (and slightly delayed) impact on your mood, skin and joints. Pay attention to which foods make you feel crap and then eat less of those.
28) You're worthy exactly as you are. You don't have to DO anything in order to deserve love, happiness, joy, abundance and wellbeing.
29) The story you're living is 100% yours to create, embrace, experience, improve and enjoy.
And there you have it. 29 of the lessons (not all) that I have lived, learned and implemented this last year.
Always learning, always growing.
Cheers to 29 years, and feeling better than I ever have.
The adventure continues,
ps - I would LOVE to know which one(s) resonate with you most! Tag me in your stories on social media @mariebarkerwellness