Part 1 of 4: 40 lessons I’ve learned in 40 years (ON LIFE, LOVE, & LEADERSHIP)

{Part ONE of FOUR}

On August 4th, 2019 I turned 40 and if you’re following me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll know I transitioned into this new phase of my life in a very special and unique way. After returning home from my ceremony and celebration, I decided I wanted to write down 40 lessons I’ve come to learn and live by in the past 40 years.

Since that would be a lot in one read, I’ve broken it up into four parts that will be sent out each Wednesday over the next four weeks (you can sign up for my email list here if you want to be notified about my blog posts and also receive special gifts, practices, and discounts that only my community gets access to).

Though lessons are learned best through experience, I hope these words find a way into your heart and remind you - you’re not alone (we are all learning in this game of life together).

  1. You don’t find a fulfilling life, you create it - and to do this you will have to be different than you have ever been before. You will not create the fulfillment you desire by simply attaining extrinsic things (money, relationships, titles, fame, accolades). Fulfillment is an inside job, and when you start to do that work, things start looking very different on the outside.

  2. There’s nothing successful about being overwhelmed all the time - We live in a world where ‘being busy’ is seen as successful. It fuels an illusion of worthiness and it traps us in a nervous system ‘high’ that always eventually takes us down. It’s not about getting rid of overwhelm - it’s about becoming aware of it and managing it. When I feel anxiety creeping in, I ask myself two questions: Do I really need to solve this problem right now? And, What would this look like if it were easy? Both questions help me align with the truth of my capacity at that time, to focus on the reality of what is needed, and to be in a space of sustainable solution-seeking versus problem dwelling and overload creating.

  3. Think BIG, yet embrace tiny steps - every person I admire who has created extraordinary things, has shared this wisdom… ‘There is no such thing as an ‘overnight’ success.’ I particularly love what Lisa Morton, an American horror author and screenwriter said, ‘some say I’m an overnight success. Well, that was a very long night that lasted about 10 years.’ This lesson took me years to embrace because I wanted to ‘hurry up’ my dreams, thinking I would be happier, seen as worthy and successful, and my life would ‘slow down’ when I finally just achieved this or that. I now know that’s a painful illusion that keeps us from creating our best and most meaningful lives and work in the world. We never ‘get it done,’ because life itself is made up of one tiny step after another. We came into this world knowing this inherently, practicing it (baby steps) and then we forgot. But we can remember too.

  4. How you create is what you create - if you want to create beautiful things in this world, then you’ll need to first create a beautiful state of mind. If you’re creating your relationships, your businesses, your art, your home, your family…from a place of shallowness, fear, worry, resentment, competition, entitlement, and so forth…then your creation will hold within it, that vibration. Be mindful of how you are creating. Are you full of anxiety as you build your business, rather than full of possibility and appreciation? Are you full of ‘shoulds’ and fear that isn’t really yours as you step into motherhood, rather than embracing your truth and learning to listen to your inner wisdom at a time when it is most needed (and heightened)? Are you designing your health and fitness plan based on some physical ideal that society has put on you, rather than enjoyment and the vitality you feel? Are you engaging in relationships that don’t align with your values, rather than creating clear boundaries for yourself and your energy so that you have space for those who will truly lift you up?

  5. Start before you’re ready and remember that hard things get easier - People are always amazed when I share that I use to be terrified of teaching. I would get up in front of people and my heart would begin to race so fast that my armpits would sweat profusely and I’d speak 100 miles an hour. My inner critic - what I refer to as my ‘Itty Bitty Shitty Committee’ - would be having a meeting of the minds and the topic was ME and how awful I was at teaching and how everyone must hate my class. Needless to say, when I started teaching, I did not feel ready. That has been a consistent theme with all the places I stretch myself. You know what else is a consistent theme? ALL those hard things that I thought I sucked at - they got easier. Some of them even became an outlet of expression for my life’s mission. Just because things are hard, does not mean you’re bad at it or that you’re off track - it means you’re growing.

  6. An experiment mindset is a success mindset - This insight was everything to me. Once this was in my bones, I began to actually enjoy creating - imagine that! It brought me into the present moment, the process of creation, rather than operating in the future, the outcome of creation. When I’m embarking on something big and new, I think like Einstein. I dive into it with a deep curiosity and sense of wonderment. I have an outcome (a hypothesis) I’d like to happen (just as scientists do), but I am not committed to forcing that outcome. I’m committed to the process of discovery and growth - and I’m ready to pivot at any moment if needed. I have a plan of action, a timeline, experiments…and I also know I’m learning along the way, so I can not be rigid if I want to achieve anything worthwhile and sustainable. When we have our attention on the outcome, we tend to ask the wrong questions and end up making moves that are not aligned with our capacity and our truth. This actually ends up causing us to take longer to get there and also creates a lot of suffering along the way. When we are in the process of creation, we know it, because we feel in the zone. We feel appreciation. We feel curious. We feel open to pivoting/making adjustments as needed. That doesn’t mean we don’t have an outcome we’d like to achieve. It simply means we are in the present moment with our creations and although this is an advanced practice, if we truly love what we say we want to create - then we will do whatever it takes to be present with it.

  7. Set fewer goals - One of my favorite things to say when I’m teaching a D.R.M. class is, “focus, not force.” I’m reminding my students to use their breath, like a soft caress, to create a strong and concentrated focus in their practice (which is a metaphor for their life). Even after saying this, I will inevitably see students forcing themselves into shape after shape, rather than using patience and breath to discover their sweet spot of truth in that moment. And let me be clear…there is a difference between effort and force. Effort will stretch you and challenge you, but you can still be present in that space. You can still find ease in that space. Force feels weak and scattered at its roots, and well…forced. I feel this can be likened to the way most of us have been taught to set goals. We use force, rather than focus, to plan our life’s aspirations. Sometimes this can look like us forcing our way forward with a goal that just doesn't fit us anymore (or maybe never did) or forcing too many goals on ourselves at a time because we think we will be seen as worthy and happy if only we accomplish this or that. We then pull up our boot-straps and think, 'I just need to be more disciplined.' The answer is not to become more disciplined - the answer is to set fewer goals. Give yourself the gift of focus. If you don’t want to feel muddied with your intentions, creations, and growth then do the work to become strong and concentrated in your pursuits, rather than weak and scattered.

  8. Acknowledge & celebrate the ‘milestones’ and ‘headlines’ from your past - If there is one place I’d encourage you to dwell in the past…it would be here. If you can not give yourself the permission to reflect on, honor, and own your past accomplishments and successes (in your relationships, careers, personal projects, adventures), then how do you think you will ever feel ‘good enough.’ Worthiness comes from looking at yourself the way you look at a child you adore. Really SEE YOURSELF and give yourself the love you deserve. You are bigger, better than you think.

  9. Stop talking about it and get on with it already - This lesson is as simple as this…the talker says to the walker, “I can do what you're doing” the walker replies, “Yeah, but you're not.” The life you most want to live, the things you most want to create, will not come true by thinking about it in your head. If anything, you will just start to feel envious of others and think to yourself, “well, I could do that.” And yeah, you likely could, because this world was created by people no smarter than you. So I lovingly say…then get on with it already.

  10. Seek out people who tell you the hard truths you need to hear - Surround yourself with people who stretch your vision of possibility and hold you accountable for being your best. These will be the people who hold a vision for themselves and show up consistently with values that align with that vision. They have clear standards of integrity that often make people both uncomfortable and in awe. When these moments come, we get to choose…either we let the discomfort keep us from our next level of growth or we get curious about that part of us that is in awe. I am so grateful to the many humans who have taught me this and have helped me to rise up.

Over the years of my own personal, professional, and spiritual growth, I have found tremendous strength and sustainability with my vision and transformation when I received support. There is something very powerful about being able to inquire, reflect, redefine, and redesign with the help of someone who has been there and who is devoted to enabling ambitious creatives and visionary leaders to bring their full self to the world.

If you want to create more depth, meaning, and whole-hearted courage in your life and projects Fill out this exploration application and I’ll reach back out to you with more information. 

Now I ‘d love to hear from you.

Which of these lessons resonated with you the most? Share in the comments below.


To bringing our full selves to the world…together,

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