In honor of my 35th birthday, here are 35 of the most beautiful life lessons I've picked up along the way. Read them all or skim through to pick up the insight you may need right now!
1. Welcome change
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, "the only constant in life is change". The more I've tried to control my life because I feared change, the more life would find a way to change anyway.
Welcoming change is very uncomfortable at times, but we must trust the change we experience is happening for a reason and we'll grow because of it. And life will just get better 😊
2. Pay attention to discomfort
When something feels uncomfortable, that energy is trying to tell you something. Either to steer clear because it isn't right for you, or there's a truth coming forward that scares you. Sometimes we're just as scared about being happy as we are about being unhappy.
Pay attention to when something feels uncomfortable because it will help you on your path.
3. Embrace your struggles
You will fail over and over again.
Our struggles are not meant to break us - they make us. The strength we gain from difficult times and situations help us grow into who we're meant to be. It will feel far more uncomfortable if you try to wish away the pain.
I've met struggles just like everyone else. But when I look back through those hard seasons, I wouldn't change them if I could. They taught me more about what I stood for and that I can do hard things.
Something my mom said to me after my parents got divorced when I was 14, still sticks with me today. My siblings and I were split into three different households and it was a pretty defining moment in my life. She said to me, "no one goes through life without getting $h!T on. You're getting some of yours early but it's teaching you what you are made of".
My mom is a wise woman 😊
4. You're not the only one
Don't think you're the only one who has gone through something or are feeling the way that you are. Most of the time people aren't sharing how they really feel and are in the same boat as you.
If you're open, you will most likely find someone else who feels the same way as you, their life experiences may just be a bit different.
At the end of the day, we are all one and are having similar life experiences.
Be open and don't be afraid to share how you're really feeling. You might be surprised to learn others feel the same way and you'll feel less alone.
5. Be ok with short-term friendships
There are some people who come into your life for a short time and are not meant to stay forever. You're not going to be able to keep everyone as friends and you must respect that.
I've watched many friendships come and go, and it does make me sad every time it fizzles. You move on, away, or you (or they) change and the relationships isn't meant to carry on.
Honor the times you've had with them and the lessons you've learned, and be ok letting them go when it no longer feels right, even if it wasn't your call.
6. Go the extra mile for your long term friendships
Then there are the friendships that last a lifetime 😊
Cherish these relationships and always go the extra mile for them. They're the ones who are always in your corner - no matter how much time has passed or how much physical distance is between you. They always make the effort to be there and support you.
Make sure you always do the same for them.
7. You can optimize anything 😊
You can make positive changes to anything in your life - from your health, relationships, work, home life, external environment and even your kids.
There are certain patterns you can pick up on in each area of your life and you can absolutely optimize everything to your liking.
How can you make positive changes that last? It starts with you and your energy.
It may take some research, but you can make any situation better.
For example, after Dylan was born, I felt our home was too chaotic and it stemmed from how Tyler and I responded to him crying. We weren't use to a crying baby and it did feel very stressful. We hadn't learned his language yet and were still learning how to respond.
I sat with not rushing in right away. And read the amazing book "Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting", that helped me learn how to respond in a calmer way. It helped me set boundaries early on between being a parent and still having what I need to feel happy.
One rule we now have in our family is that everyone has a right to live their life. This lesson alone has helped optimize a baby! You really can improve any situation in your life so it fits with how you want to live.
8. Recognize when you're projecting
When you haven't fully processed a certain emotion or situation, you can internally feel stressed or be recognizing fear. This can lead to projecting our emotions on to others as a way to not feel the pain within ourselves.
This is a valuable lesson to learn because it gives you more power and control over your emotions, which will improve your relationships. Realize when you're projecting your pain on to others instead of feeling it for yourself. It will lift you higher.
9. Feel the energy in the room
A powerful tool women have is the ability to feel the energy in the room. You can walk in and just by observing first, feel if the energy is tense or light.
This pause gives you insight on how to direct YOUR energy. Which is powerful.
You can either help cut the tension and bring a more collaborative vibe to the setting or lean into the lightheartedness and further lift up the room.
10. No one has it all figured out
When I was 27, I made friends with a few women who were already 35. One of them told me, after one of our many discussions as I was in my own life crisis with what I wanted to do with my life, said, "it may look like it, but no one has it all figured out". And she is so right!
Social media has created this facade that everyone is out there living their best life and it appears many people have their whole lives figured out. They never do. Everyone is trying to figure out how to live their best life and we only see snippets of the journey. It's then curated in a way to make you feel like your life doesn't measure up or you've somehow got your life wrong.
Keep leaning into what feels good (even when you can't explain why) and I promise you, you will live a happy life.
11. You're never alone
You've worked hard to create friendships and positive relationships. When we go through something - either transformational or traumatic - we can think we have no one to turn to. It often comes from the belief we are not meant to share our real feelings and don't want to be a burden to others.
But one of the best ways to deepen a relationship is to open up. Our life experiences - especially when we are open and speak from our heart - is the best way to create a bond with others. The people around us are meant to help us on our path.
When Tyler and I had a miscarriage in February 2020, I wanted nothing more than to hide and cry by myself. But I knew that would only lead me deeper into despair and I needed to challenge myself to remain open to the help of others, no matter how painful it felt.
So I started small by calling my mom.
Then my brother and sister. My dad. My best friends. Tyler's family. Then after two months, I filmed a YouTube video I never thought I'd ever record. The outpouring of love from our family, friends, and complete strangers lifted me during one of my darkest moments. It was truly beautiful to watch the love unfold, which is exactly what I needed.
By opening up about what we were going through, I had girlfriends go through the same experience a few months later. It turns out, I was one of the first people they called so I could be there to help them. This give and take of love and support is something each of us needs. Don't forget to take support because only giving will rob you of the gift of receiving the warm glow of love.
12. Embrace vulnerability
Like the queen of vulnerability Brené Brown says, "Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage."
By embracing your vulnerability it will open you to connection with others and your own growth.
13. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
Have you ever noticed when you achieve a goal the feeling of success often feels short lived? That's because with each milestone you achieve, there comes new lessons and responsibility with it. Which will make you feel uncomfortable.
Being uncomfortable keeps you grounded. It helps you stay in a constant state of learning so you can evolve into your best self.
14. Stop trying to control everything
How I wish I learned this in my twenties! I went through season after season trying to control everything - from my grades to my weight and appearance to the job I would get to my salary to my relationships... it made me feel too stressed out. It felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders and my life suffered.
Seeking control is another way of trying to run away from what makes you fearful. Learn how to face life head on and deal with your fear, and you will avoid trying to seek control - which only brings you grief.
15. Find a little routine that works for you
Finding little routines will keep your energy grounded. It will stabilize you in the constant flow of change that appears in your life.
I love the ritual of making a matcha latte in the morning. No matter where I am - either traveling or a regular day at home - I wake up and make my tea. Then I try to take a few quiet moments with those first few sips to ease into the day. In my mind, I recite simple phrases of gratitude and thank the guides around me for giving me this life.
It only takes a few minutes but this simple part to my morning routine makes me feel open and ready for the day. Find whatever works for you to feel grounded - you most likely already have a few routines in place!
16. Learn to ebb and flow
It's more than going with the flow - sometimes we need your energy to be direct so life can be pushed forward. But learning to ebb and flow is an art. You must pay attention to the ease of a project working and realize when it may need to stop for awhile, or be tweaked in some way because you meet resistance.
That resistance is there to redirect you into an even better outcome.
Our cycle already has this built in to how our hormones fluctuate each month, and it is the grounding energy you were born with. If life feels too chaotic, mastering cycle syncing will put you back in the drivers seat. It's a beautiful way to balance your masculine and feminine energies so you can ebb and flow easily.
17. Pay attention to the seasons in your life and enjoy which one you're in
We go through so many different seasons in our life. On a monthly basis, you go through your cycle seasons. On a yearly basis, you go through the summer, spring, fall and winter seasons. You go through happy times. And then challenging times.
But then as women, we have different life experiences that bring us to new seasons. Like graduating college, starting a new job, getting married, having a baby, owning a home, having another baby, etc.
Each season comes with its own joys and challenges. Embracing which season you're in will make it much easier to flow through it.
For example, if you're in a season of being single, but know you want to be married - enjoy the season of being single as much as you can. You can enjoy this season while putting yourself out there to meet your person.
The same with the season before you become a mother (if you choose). Enjoy your time and then enjoy your time with your baby. You'll want to remember their childhood, and not be mentally checked out because you miss your single, carefree days.
18. Move your body once a day
Even if it's a short walk and some light yoga - get your body moving. Your mood will be lifted, you'll release happy hormones and you'll just feel better.
You're not meant to stay stagnant so move your body at least once a day.
19. Get to know your cycle
Your monthly cycle is the foundation of who you are in this time period of your life. By getting to know your cycle (and you must be off birth control in order to do so) you will get to know yourself on the deepest level. You'll know what makes you tick and what lights you up.
You'll understand your patterns with sleep, your mood, food cravings, emotions, energy, and just about everything else you can think of.
You'll appreciate this knowledge because it'll help you during times when you don't have a cycle like pregnancy, postpartum and menopause. You must understand yourself as a woman in order to be the best one you can be 😊
20. Identify your crutches and ask yourself if you really need them
You can also think "vices". Like coffee, wine, or always dating the bad boy!
Learn what you lean on for comfort and ask yourself if you truly need them. Are they just a crutch? A way to escape? Avoid something you don't really want to deal with?
It's ok to let them go.
21. Know when you're avoiding your emotions
We've all been there. A crutch can be convenient because it's what we perceive as a safe space to avoid feeling pain. Most often it's truths about yourself and your life you don't want to deal with in the moment.
But remember, change is constant. You are always evolving and always growing. Know when you're avoiding your emotions so you can be open to your own potential.
22. Eat for energy
Will that sugary treat really give us energy? Sadly, no.
Eating for energy - by paying attention to foods that lift you up and don't make you feel tired - will change your life.
If you don't know what foods steal your energy, start by keeping a food journal for a few weeks. This exercise is profound in learning what foods are right for you.
23. You'll get stuck. Know how to get out of a funk
Not knowing how to direct a certain situation is inevitable. It'll come up over and over in your life and you will need to know how to listen to your intuition. It's the best tool you have in order to get out of a funk and move forward.
If you've been in a funk, the best way to get out of it is to go out and do something you don't normally do. Drive home a different way. Try a new restaurant. Take a walk in a different route. And better yet - take a weekend or week long trip. Break up your normal routine and you'll gain a new perspective over whatever you're dealing with.
24. Seek inspiration and pay attention to when your motivation is ignited
We've all had those times where you just lack motivation. By looking around and surrounding yourself with people and life experiences that inspire you, this will ignite your motivation.
If you've been feeling stuck, the best way to re-ignite your passion is by seeking inspiration. It can come from your home, images and articles you find on Pinterest, a podcast, friend, YouTube video, etc. Keep your head up and your heart forward.
Life feels so much better when you feel motivated and inspired by what you're doing. But it can sometimes take work to stay in that high vibe state.
25. Not everyone will see your dreams right away and that's ok
Dreams are a funny thing - you feel them so strongly and can see the outcome vividly. But when you first open up about something you want to accomplish, you may come across people who don't understand them.
I'm a woman with a lot of dreams and I often don't talk about them at first. I go out and put the wheels in motion because I need that momentum in order for others to see the potential.
When I wanted to move from New York City to California in 2012, my friends and family thought I was nuts. I didn't have a job lined up. I had never actually been to the San Francisco area where I was looking to move. And I only knew two people. But I did it anyway. I believed in that dream even if I couldn't explain the outcome.
Go out and show them anyway. And if you fail, you can always start over 😊
The same came forward when I started Balanced Bombshells. Cycle syncing and teaching women about their health wasn't as popular in 2016. Quitting my job was scary. Doing something new and different gave me all the fears. But when you have a dream planted firmly in your heart - that doesn't even feel like you chose it - you owe it to yourself (and the world) to explore it. Who cares what other people think if they're not going to support you.
26. You're the only one who lives with the consequences of your decisions - choose wisely
I rarely ask others for advice on what they think I should do with my life. Far too often because the choice is not something they would do, they - without realizing - project their fears on to you.
Just because your path may be different than someone else's, doesn't mean you're choosing wrong. The only wrong step you make is not following what is in your heart.
27. Become diligent on managing your time and energy
You're the gatekeeper to your time and energy. Those around you will try and soak up as much of you as they can, or lighten their load by adding to yours.
Be ok with saying no and setting boundaries. It'll make you a much happier person.
28. Say no more often
Which leads us into lesson #28. Say no more often. A "yes" woman is one who is burnt out and doesn't know how to say no.
29. The only person you should care about pleasing is yourself
Don't do something just because it'll please someone else. You'll only sacrifice your own health and happiness. When you show up to give to others because it genuinely feels good, that joy will spill over into their lives and make yours more enjoyable.
30. Your mindset is everything
One of the primary areas of your life to get right is your mindset. How you think about yourself and your journey, will dictate how you experience life.
I've walked through many experiences where my mindset was poor and it robbed me of truly enjoying the process. It separated me from connecting with others and brought a negative energy into the situation. By working on my mindset, it made me a much more positive, balanced, giving, and happier person. That energy can be felt by others and it lifts us all up.
A woman's mindset can dictate how others in her life and home experience their life. Make sure yours is positive and on point.
31. Take breaks - like way more than you think you need
Women don't take enough breaks, and I've been guilty of it too. I'd push through work or my need for rest in the pursuit of my goals. Not listening to my body only hurt me - my health and how I experienced the present moment.
Today I aim to take short breaks during the work day. Longer breaks before and during my period to read, nap or walk around the block. Breaks from social media and technology. Breaks from people so I can hear my own thoughts. Breaks from cooking. Breaks from my son. Breaks from trying to achieve and just be for a moment.
Little breaks will change your life.
32. Ditch your timeline
We've all had one. Whether you've planned out when you'll achieve each life goal and exactly how it will come about or you've just had a general idea - life rarely works out how we plan it. It only guarantees you'll feel stressed and disappointed if life doesn't go exactly how you think it should.
When you ditch your timeline, you'll allow life to work out even better than you can see right now 😊
33. Age is just a number
One of the reasons I focused on hormonal health was because it could answer my questions... and I had a lot of them! Thankfully, understanding your hormones IS your fountain of youth. I wish more companies would sell us that rather than products and programs that don't actually give us the results we want.
When you tackle your insides, age really is just a number. I feel in an eternal state of being 27 and I'll take it!
34. You may need to reach burn out in order to appreciate balance
I've hit rock bottom of burn out more times than I'd like to admit. But through this challenge it gifted me with the wisdom to know and appreciate balance.
Be grateful for your journey - even those time periods you don't feel 100%. There is knowledge there and growth to be had. Burn out teaches you what habits you need to ditch, how to set boundaries and know how to take care of yourself so you don't go backwards.
35. Never be afraid to ask for help - they want to help you!
It's the natural law of giving and receiving - you feel good helping others and others feel good to help you. We just get too scared to reach out and ask for help when we need it. Or feel too proud. Or you're the one who always has their stuff together so you don't want others to know you're human.
There will come many times in your life where you do need help. Save yourself the anguish and get comfortable asking. You will feel the support you need and will deepen the connection with the other person because they truly want to be there for you.
Bonus #36: You are meant for great things
Own this truth and believe it with every ounce of your being 😊
As you skimmed or read through all of these life lessons, which one sticks out to you the most?