The more sorrow you carve out of your life, the more you make room for joy (Khalil Gibran)
First of all happy birthday to me! A year older, or younger, depending on the perspective, maybe smarter, maybe wiser, or maybe not ;-), maybe more beautiful, more confident, more understanding, more loving, and more forgiving.
Here are my tales of wisdom for today and since it’s the 27th, I made it an even 27 because I happen to believe that numbers have meanings and colors behind them. Enjoy!
1. Celebrate! Always, always celebrate yourself! Whether that means celebrating your birthday or celebrating something you achieved, it doesn’t matter what it is, just celebrate it. As someone who’s gone back and forth about celebrating things this year, because if they weren’t my way, what would even be the point in celebrating them, I’m telling you, don’t ever miss an opportunity to celebrate something. Even if it’s not exactly the way you envisioned it, just make the best of it, let go of the expectations and enjoy the moment.
2. Don’t get stuck in the details! I know sometimes if not all times, we want some big thing or some little thing to be different. Sometimes we can change it and other times we can’t. Even more times, that thing only changes things in our minds, not in reality.
3. Love with all your heart. So what if you got hurt in the past? So what if you’ll get hurt again? It will all be worth it for knowing how it feels to love and to be loved. Nothing compares to it! And tell the people you love that you love them. Or if you’re not a words person, show them! Actions say more than words anyway.
4. Make room for joy in your life. Some days, joy comes easy. You wake up and you’re happy, just like that. Other days, you have to make a little room for it. You have to really try, as if you’re trying for your life.
5. Surround yourself with beautiful people. Not physically beautiful (even though that’s not a bad idea either), but people who make your heart sing, people who bring joy to you on the days when it can be hard to find it, people that make you smile when their name shows up on your phone.
6. Stop apologizing for who you are. You don’t have to explain why you want your life to be this way, or why you want or don’t want certain people in your life. Do what’s best for you, be a little selfish and at the same time try not to willingly hurt anyone.
7. Stop putting yourself down and comparing yourself with everyone around you. We’re not meant to be the same, we don’t grow up the same, and we don’t evolve the same. We don’t even have the same genes so what’s the point in comparing ourselves to the people next to us. You can’t be the best version of other people, you can only be the best version of yourself.
8. Take care of your body, your mind, and your soul. This is it. This is the body you got, the mind you got, and the soul you got. Isn’t it time you started taking care of it. Go to the gym, do yoga, meditate, find what works for you and stick with it. Believe me, in the long run, it’s more important than watching TV.
9. Make mistakes the right way. Sometimes mistakes are how we learn, how we move forward, how we figure out the right way. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, just make sure you don’t make the same mistakes over and over again and learn nothing from them. Albert Einstein said “Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new.” So by all means, make mistakes, just make them the right way.
10. Accept that the past is in the past. It can either move you forward, if you choose to learn from it or it can keep you stuck if you choose to hold on to it. People often say that you have to let go of the bad things in your past, but I believe you have to let go of both the good and the bad. Let go of the bad because all it can do is hurt you and let go of the good to make room for more good. I’m not saying this will be easy, I’ve been trapped myself in some version of a past that either made me a victim or a hero, but kept me from being who I really am in the past, but “every time you are tempted to reach in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future” – Deepak Chopra.
11. Do nice things! For friends, for family, for people you don’t know…just do nice things. Not because of karma and all that stuff, but because it feels good right here and right now. Help out a friend even if they don’t ask for help, invite someone to your Thanksgiving dinner even if they’re not your close family or friends, give your old clothes directly to a homeless person along with a warm meal, help out a friend who’s new in town.
12. Stop being so afraid of everything! Nelson Mandela said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
13. Be excellent. Stop trying to be perfect and be excellent. Try to be better every day, be competitive, be resilient, and keep going even when you don’t feel like it. Be excellent in your trust, in your commitments, in everything you do.
14. Take time to pamper yourself. Sleep in, go to the spa, get a mani-pedi, stay in bed all day and watch movies. Whatever it means to you, just take time to pamper yourself.
15. Be kind! If someone has hurt you, learn from that experience, but don’t return the pain. People who lie and provoke pain have their own pain to deal with, be kind to them and be kind to yourself.
16. Take lots of photos. Our experiences take us to amazing places with amazing people. Save those memories so that when you’re randomly looking on your computer or your iPad you stumble upon your own version of Proust’s Madeleine.
17. Make time for the people you love. Sometimes we sacrifice the people we love because we know they’ll understand; yet the people we love are the people we need to make the most room for. They are the ones who bring joy to our lives with just a smile, a call, a message.
18. Break the rules! Or at least bend them. Unless we’re talking about universal laws like gravity, all the other rules were created by other men, just as flawed or maybe even more flawed than you. Be creative, break the rules, see where life takes you when you dare to go for more than you’re given.
19. Stop writing inspirational quotes on your Facebook wall and start living them. And with that in mind, stop giving advice as if you know exactly what the other person in feeling in a particular situation. You don’t. You’re not them. Maybe you experienced something similar, but you’re still not them.
20. Remember that good people do bad things at times. We all have chapters in our lives we’d rather keep unpublished. We all have moments when we say or do things we’re not proud of. Instead of judging people through those moments, remember you’ve had moments like that too.
21. Stay humble, but believe in yourself. There’s nothing more important on your road to success than believing in yourself. Just make sure you stay humble and grateful at the same time. The ego can play tricks on you.
22. Be willing to follow a different path. So what if you prepared all your life for this. So what if you planned on being a painter, but in the middle of things you realized that you’d rather be a math teacher. Who you are at the beginning of the road is not who you become during so allow yourself to follow and test out different things.
23. Travel to remote destinations! There’s a reason for which kings used to send their sons abroad to travel and learn. Traveling opens your horizons, it expands your thinking, and it makes you happier.
24. Spend time around kids. They’re awesome and they will give you a perspective on life that you forgot a long time ago. Plus they will make you laugh and act in ways you haven’t done in a while.
25. Don’t take shit from anyone. Not your parents, not your boss, not your friends, not strangers, not anyone. Stand for yourself and for the people you love.
26. Stop defining things into good and bad. There is not good and bad, there is only balance and unbalance. When you stop defining things as good and bad and start striving for balance, everything starts falling into place.
27. The answer is always no…unless you ask. So start asking. Always be kind and mindful about it, but never hold back. Just ask. The worst thing the other person can do is say no.
At the end of the day, your birthday can be just another day or it can be a day you make new choices, new beginnings, the day you spend with the people you love, the day you let go of the old, bring in the new, accept all the good and let go of the bad.
Celebrate! Enjoy! Love! And make room for joy in your life!