- Published in Be Inspired Blog
The top 5 insights on my journey so far...
The big 4-0!!! The day has finally arrived and I find myself choosing to embrace this day as a real celebration, reflect on fourty years of life and share a few strokes of insight that have become the truths that illuminate my path today. I chose this title “Fourty is the New Fourty” because for me, I feel it’s time we stopped being so negative about aging and start appreciating and embracing what a gift life really is! Take the negative stigma out of the “O” word and choose to look at life differently. Fourty or any age for that matter doesn’t have to be deemed good or bad...it just is!! Honestly, I’m pretty excited to see what this next decade has in store and I wouldn’t want to wind back the clock. Here are the top 5 insights on my journey so far...
1. Feeling “old” is a choice of perception...nothing more.
If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard someone use the word “old” to describe themselves...and some are younger in age than I am! Most of the time these statements happen as a result of the person experiencing an ache, stiffness, lack of energy or some undesirable physical symptom. The association automatically goes to well “I’m just old”. Now....hold on a minute!!!
As a personal trainer by day, I think I’ve developed a good sense of what it means to take care of the body. Proper exercise and nutrition are areas I coach and encourage people to embrace and make a priority in their lives. Beyond the physical comes the mental and spiritual aspects of wellness. I’ve spent years exploring and embracing these aspects thanks to a wide variety of amazing teachers and experts sharing their wisdom and knowledge. I dare say that these aspects are in many ways more important than the physical because our outer world is a direct reflection of our inner world.
Some of the questions I pose to those so quick to conclude that it must be that I’m “just old” are, how’s your exercise routine going? How are your eating habits? What do you do to manage stress? Do you meditate or follow a spiritual practice? The list could go on and on! The point is people are so quick to perceive their experience as a result of aging and completely disregard the fact that there are sooo many components that influence how we feel physically.
2. What other people think of me is NONE of my business.
Let that statement sink in for a second. How does it make you feel to even, just for a second, exercise the notion that what others think of us will have no influence on us what so ever because we don’t need to know? It’s none of our business!!! To me it screams...freedom! The minute I heard this statement, it stuck. I can’t recall which spiritual book or video it came from but it resonated deeply. For the first time in my life there was a real sense of relief, clarity and acceptance about who I was and how I chose to live my life.
For so long, like so many, I allowed other people’s judgments and opinions about me influence the decisions I made and ultimately how I felt about those decisions. It got so bad that I would draw conclusions about what others might think without ever actually hearing them. Once the shift occurred I realized I didn’t have to try to change or alter people’s opinions at all to suite my emotional and mental agenda. People are entitled to their own opinions and that’s just it....it’s their opinion, not mine! This sense of freedom grows with every passing day as I embrace my authenticity and passion for the path I’m called to walk on.
3. Life is about service - what can I give, not what can I get.
It feels so good to come to a place in my life where I really get what this means. Even as I’m writing this, there’s a feeling in my heart that is present. It’s the same feeling that comes each time I chose to do something that comes from a place of love, not fear. The “what can I get” mentality comes from a place of lack that’s driven by fear. The “what can I give” mentality comes from a place of compassion, driven by love. It wasn’t until a year after my debut album release that I began to realize something was wrong. I had just released an album, my first single was being played on the radio. I should have been more than excited and happy but instead I found myself sitting in my kitchen one Sunday morning in tears and I couldn’t understand why.
Like most aspiring artists I fell in to the allure of ego driven stardom. I was living in a constant state of not good enough, always in competition, completely driven by fear of failure. I’d discover over time that the emptiness and lack of fulfillment that I felt in that moment was showing me the intention and motivation I had towards the music wasn’t fully aligned with my soul purpose. If I was to continue perusing my calling in music, it had to be about the music, not me. Now I get it! I am to use my gifts with the intention to be of service to others and the best part is, the happiness and fulfillment I feel now, words can’t describe.
4. The most important relationship you’ll ever have, is the one you have with yourself.
Have you ever just sat with yourself? No devices, no distractions...just you and your thoughts? If you’ve ever meditated or attempted meditation you can appreciate how difficult and downright uncomfortable this can be. A number of years ago I was forced to go within during a long recovery from acute anxiety and chronic back pain. One of the most difficult times of my life but also one of the most liberating. Through the struggle, life gave me an opportunity to uncover who I wasn’t and opened the door for me to discover who I really am.
The countless hours I spent alone on the path to healing were the true beginning of an amazing spiritual journey. A journey that continues to reveal the true essence of who I am, who we all are. When we get to know ourselves, we begin to understand we are so much more than we could ever imagine. I believe that’s a big part of the reason we are all here. Today, quite and reflective time alone is a top priority in my life and I'm so grateful for the challenging times that brought me here.
5. Have a mind that’s open to everything and attached to nothing.
This is one of my favorite quotes by spiritual author and teacher Dr. Wayne Dyer. It’s become the fundamental principle on my spiritual journey and one that has completely changed my life, for the better! Something shifts inside the moment you begin to trust yourself. To be able to think and decide for ourselves apart from the status quo takes courage. I believe one of the most important things we can develop for ourselves is our own discernment.
Trusting in this heart centered guidance has led me to places and down paths I never imagined I’d explore. There are so many amazing things to learn and experience in this world and the world beyond. I have no idea what the next fourty years has in store but I live life now with a real sense of genuine enthusiasm and excitement trusting in my intuition and divine inner guidance to guide me every step of the way!