Recently, I spent an entire weekend spinning around and upside down in a tornado of emotions. All of them.

I was pouring through boxes and boxes (and boxes) of photos.

I laughed. I teared up. I completely broke down and sobbed.

I sobbed over 5th grade.

5th grade was a time when I felt completely free to be myself, unguarded from expectations, norms, and judgments. The future was bright. I felt untethered, optimistic, and free. Life was light and fun.

Wow. 5th grade. Several lifetimes ago.

My “trip down memory lane” inspired me to write down the top 10 things that I’ve learned on my own that I wish I’d known about life way back then. Maybe they’ll help you now.

Here we go.

1. Life will take countless unexpected turns.

Sometimes you’ll turn down a dirt road and find magic. Other times, you’ll be on smooth pavement, a sharp corner will appear, and you’ll find yourself in a ditch. Assume both will happen.

2. You can’t control other people…

…not even your partner, kids, co-workers, friends, or parents. You can guide, suggest, and nudge, but everyone get to choose their own path and make their own choices…even if you don’t like what they do.

3. Every unwanted obstacle is a priceless gift.

There will be times when you’ll face unbelievable pain. Trees will fall and block your way. You’ll fall down, crawl on hands and knees, and cry more tears than you ever thought possible. Later, you’ll look through the rearview mirror and think, “Holy shit, I did some tough stuff. I’m stronger now because of it.”

4. Everything in the universe is connected. Everything.

We live in a vibrational universe. Energetic, invisible ripples extend outward from every thought, belief, plant, animal, planet, moon, and star. All of our experiences intertwine, influence, and attract. Put out good juju; receive good juju. Good juju make the universe a better place.

5. Our brains lie to us.

Stupid brains. They tell us lies like, You’re not good enough, Who do you think you are? or You’ll never be able to do that. Instead, you can override them with intention. Examples: I can figure this out. My experience, knowledge, and insights are enough. I can handle this.

6. Education is available in many forms.

I’m not anti-college, but I’m not pro-college either. There are countless alternatives to getting a solid education. Education is not just a fancy degree (which often comes with oodles of debt) but education can come from books, experiences, jobs, travel, relationships, experiments, and the pursuit of curiosity. All of it is education; all of it is meaningful.

7. Everyone has a story.

Many of us hide our pain, protect our secret shame, and never share our most haunting fears or deepest regrets. But everybody has them, and they have shaped us. Let’s be kind to everyone we meet, even if they’re nasty; there’s a story there you don’t know about.

8. There are many paths to a single destination.

There’s never one perfect “right” way to do anything. Some people may get “there” in a fast, straight line. Others may meander. A few will get lost first. All of the paths are good and can lead to the same place. Choose your own way. Make your own rules.

9. Everybody has an “outer” and an “inner.”

Know how that “person” you show to the world isn’t really “you” at all because deep inside, there’s way more to you? You know: your heart’s desires, deep wisdom, and funny quirkiness. Same holds true for everyone else; there’s always more to a person than you can see.

10. “Space” is more effective than “hustle.”

We’ve been led astray and led to believe that we have to work hard, “grind,” and “pursue” to have a good life. Turns out, meditation, letting go, living in the moment, and having fun are what lead to greater happiness and more meaning. Try it; see what happens.

Have anything to add to the list? Send it my way!

Last, no matter your ethnicity, holiday traditions, or religious affiliation; whether you’re celebrating this time of year with snow or sunshine; if you’re experiencing warm or cold climates, I hope you’re enjoying this time of year, and I wish you the best.

The Winter Solstice—and the darkest day of the year—is tomorrow, and then we’ll start gaining more light. Hallelujah!

Warmly,
Jennifer

P.S. There’s still time to grab a seat and save $50 in Your Life Your Way. We start January 13th. This program is for you if…

…you want something you don’t have.
…you’re not sure where to start.
…you need suggestions and/or a system.
…you’re afraid to take action.
…you feel overwhelmed or confused.
…you have a history of self-sabotage.
…you lack confidence.
…you don’t believe what you want is possible.

We’ll work through all of this, and a whole lot more. Register now and save $50!