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Lessons from last year (for this year)...

As we enter a brand new year, I thought it would be good to share some of the lessons I learnt in 2022. TBH, they are mostly sound bites overheard in podcasts and tv shows, read in books and blogs, told to me by friends (as I cried or laughed with them over one too many wines), in classes, and, of course, from from my own brain when the anxious part quietened down for a few blissful moments...I can't remember them all verbatim, so here is how I experienced them. To quote Fear The Walking Dead, 'take what you need, leave what you don't'....

1.Speaking without thought and expressing your truth are not the same thing...(Emily In Paris- I think, maybe it was The Square)

I'm not gonna lie, I heard this during that hazy 'Twixmas' sofa slobbing period and I can't quite remember which show it was, but I'm pretty sure it was Emily in Paris or maybe it was the movie, The Square. But the sentiment really struck me. There are so many 'Insta-rational' (Instagram/inspirational) posts about speaking your truth out there, but no one tells you that this can be pretty explosive if our 'truth' is coming from a reactionary place. It is so important to speak our truth, and I want to do more of that this year, but that truth has to be tempered but self-wisdom, clarity and empathy. I think that's the hard part.

2. If you want to give something up, just give it up. If you want to start something, just start it... (Marcus Veda, yoga teacher)

I made a vow to myself to start the new year with a two-hour yoga workshop at 11am on January 1st 2023. No matter what state I turned up in, I promised myself I would do the class. And it was a brilliant sweaty two hours, set to some magnificent music from philosopher-DJ-yoga teacher, Marcus Veda. Laughingly he said, 'if you want to give something up, just give it up. If you want to start something, just start it'. I know its simple. But it is that simple really. Simple and easy aren't synonymous though, are they?

3. Don't choose people who can't choose you... (Mark Groves, and my mum, and my therapist)

This one hit like a lightning bolt last year. I have always been attracted to unavailable things, from the people I date, to the profession I chose. At one point, I found myself walking home and thinking "Oh my god, am I a rejection junkie?". I knew things had to change at that very moment. This year I will choose people who choose me, and in turn choose them fully. Whatever I chose to do with my time, I will show up fully.

4.You can't be successful without experiencing failure... (Justin Basini on the How To Fail podcast)

I know we talk about failure all of the time and how we need to embrace it, but hearing Justin Basini say that some companies won't hire a business manager unless they've had at least two business failures was weirdly comforting. I am sure I have countless failures ahead of me this year, and I look forward to how they contribute to the tapestry of my life.

5. Anxiety is the price of responsibility...(also Justin on HTFP)

I hate having anxiety, it dominates my life, but of course, there is a place for it. If you own a business and you employ people, of course you will have anxiety because you want to keep everyone's jobs safe. If you worry about your family, it's because you've arrived in a place where you have people to take care of. Being a grown-up is scary and overwhelming but looked through the right lens, it's one huge adventure. One that we have to treat carefully and respectfully.

6. Grief is the price of love...(Alain de Botton- and lots of other people)

It just is. It doesn't hurt any less but maybe it makes grief taste a little sweeter...

7. There's a YouTube tutorial for everything...(my friend's fiancé)

There really is. I used a Youtube tutorial to help file my tax return and honestly it changed my life. Don't be afraid of not being able to do something, someone out there will be able to teach you, and it feels so empowering to learn those life/admin skills.

8. Love and Pride don't mix well...(Daisy Jones and The Six but also the dramatic climax in every romcom ever)

Oh, it's so hard to be vulnerable and to love well isn't it. Next time you get into a mess with a loved one, ask yourself if your pride is the one calling the shots. If nothing else, it will stop you being that weird love-bomby loser with a boom box.

9. Wear Sunscreen every day (Phoebe BB, and medical advisors)

Those UV rays are stronger than I thought. I've ditched lots of overpriced cremes and serums for a good ol' lick of sunscreen!

10. Like your job, create some financial stability, have hobbies, love and be loved well...(my best friend's dad)

Again, I know its simple, but this had to be the single most important thing that I heard said last year. I have got so hung up in the past about 'success', 'achievement' and 'validation' as well as over thinking so many things that I haven't seen how simple life could be. Of course, you need to like your job otherwise the opportunity to be happy will be near impossible. You need to have a little bit of money saved (or be in the process of sorting out your finances) in order to feel safe. It can be easy to stick your head in the sand when it comes to money, but I realised last year how important it was to become financially literate (see above for YouTube tutorials). Hobbies or the things that give you joy will help you to cultivate a fulfilling and interesting experience of life. And most importantly (and it is NEVER too late), build meaningful relationships with people you care about, and who care about you. You don't need anything more than that. Everything else should be things that make your life better. Play, find joy. Your life is a gift, but so often we treat daily life itself like a burden. Find balance, for where there is balance, there will be peace. At least, that is what I am aiming for.

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*I proofread all of my posts but I am dyslexic, FYI x

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