15 Life Lessons to Live By

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking these past few weeks. It always seems that right before a big transition or move in your life, we reflect a lot on the past and where we are presently…and what it all means to us moving forward.

In this past year and a half, I’ve learned a lot. About myself, about others. What I want to do, what I don’t want to do. What I like to do, what I really don’t like to do. What’s important to me and what I couldn’t care less about. I’ve been happily single, happily not single. Felt completely fulfilled and then completely empty and lost. Cried tears of joy, tears of anger, tears of sadness and tears of laughter. Had countless new experiences and countless days to realize I actually like my routine. Made some bad decisions and some good ones. Drank tequila like it was my job and chugged water the next day as if my life depended on it. Had moments where I knew exactly what I was doing and moments where I couldn’t find the strength or motivation to move from my “beached whale” position face down on my carpet pondering the meaning of life.

All in all, I’ve learned a lot this past year. Here are the 15 things I’ve come to realize:
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1. You find happiness and fulfillment from within, not outside of you. Finding yourself is an inside job and won’t happen by constantly jumping from one place, job, person or thing to another. If you are feeling unsettled, vulnerable and like there is a void in your life, it won’t be solved or filled by changing your external environment. It may help for a while, it may ease those emotions and provide temporary relief, but those kinds of feelings need to be settled from within, not outside of you.

2. Everyone has a different version of happiness. What makes me happy from the inside out can be completely different from the next person. And that’s a beautiful thing. If we all were made happy by the exact same things, where would our unique energy for life go?  Remember this lesson when you are giving advice to someone about their life and what you think they should do…their path to happiness may not be the same as yours. And remember this too when receiving advice from another person…What made and makes them happy (decisions, actions, experiences) may not be what makes you happy. That’s ok. Find and create your own happy.

3. Peace comes from within you, not from outside of you. Sure, it’s easier to be zen in a zen space, but you can still experience chaos in your mind when you’re in a tranquil environment. Same goes for feeling calm and at peace when you’re in a hectic, stressful environment. Not ideal for the long-run, of course. But when you’re seriously at peace with yourself, your life and present situation, sirens, shitty bus rides, crazy people yelling at you and long, slow-moving lines at the grocery store don’t screw with your zen. Find silence and peace within you and not only will you see it outside of you, you’ll react to things with that peaceful mindset, no matter where you are.

4. Go with your gut. Always. Whether it’s a feeling about a person, place, thing, job, experience, environment, decision…ALWAYS. GO. WITH. YOUR. GUT. It’s that tiny, intuitive voice that comes from your heart and belly. It NEVER steers you wrong. Even if you can’t explain it or justify it to someone else (although you shouldn’t have to justify your feelings to anyone, ever), don’t go against it. It is divine, intuitive, Universe-sent wisdom that will have a profound impact on your life. It’s there for a reason. Like, I’m seriously wanting to put the fear of God in you right now to never abandon those gut feelings. Your intuition/gut is your first brain. Your real brain is, well, second.

5. Revealing and sharing your vulnerability, even if it’s in hopes to inspire and help other people, can make those closest to you uncomfortable. That discomfort can be manifested in anger, misunderstanding, worry, control, patronizing, disrespect and scorn. Anything that brings you down. Even if those reactions are meant out of love and protection for you, it can hurt. So share your heart and vulnerability wisely, with an audience and community that you hope to inspire and that you know will support you and raise you up even higher. On our path to greatness and happiness, we don’t need those kinds of negative ego-triggers (i.e. people who don’t understand or appreciate your vulnerability and message.) There will be a time when you can share with them, or maybe not. But don’t ever dull your shine to avoid negative reactions from certain people. Block their negativity, whether it’s through your sparkly energy field or the Facebook privacy settings, and keep doing YOU. #forrealztho

6. Self pity gets you no where. Wallowing in your shit without doing anything to clean it up is about as productive as drunk texting. (Read: not productive at all.) You can feel bad, be sad, be angry and resentful…feel those feelings, you’re human for God’s sake. But then, move on. Take action to make changes. If you’re upset about something in your life or if you’re wallowing in self-pity over how things never work out for you, you don’t like your job, you can never lose weight, you don’t have self-control, you had a bad childhood….figure out those feelings and do something about it. You and your life are worth so much more than a crappy song being played on repeat. Here’s my opinion: If you’re constantly complaining about something(s) but not doing anything to change it, shut up and stop complaining. #realtalk But if you complain (again, we’re human) and then DO something about it, great. Keep going.

7. There is no one right path for everyone. There’s the societal/family norm and expectations and then there is your path. It is yours and yours alone, so follow it. Everyone’s path is different, and whatever they do is right for them in that time. Just because society dictates a certain way you should go about your life, doesn’t mean that’s necessarily right for you or even what you want to do. But sometimes it is! It’s all up to you. Your life, YOUR path, your decisions. As long as you support yourself, do good in this world and are happy and fulfilled, you’re all set (IMHO). Take time to find out what path is right for you…journal, meditate, talk to a objective third-party, but make sure to clarify your voice. No matter how well-intentioned those other voices, expectations and opinions are in your mind, clear them out, you don’t need them. Don’t go through your life based on what other people expect you to do. Last I checked, it’s YOUR life…go have fun with it!

8. Limitations are in our mindset, in our emotional experiences and what we’ve been taught by family and society (consciously and subconsciously). If you want to work past those limitations, you have to go through the process of poking around in those sometimes deep/dark places that we’d rather leave alone. It may not be a walk in the park, but in order to heal, transform, grow, be happy and fulfilled and see your life flourish, you have to get your hands dirty. Consistently. But you know what else will be consistent then? Your happiness and self-awareness, growing and growing. Everyday. Read personal development, see a counselor, attend seminars, listen to podcasts, seek spiritual advice and surround yourself with an uplifting community…this will raise your vibration and support the inner work you do. Don’t mask those deeper feelings and limitations with booze, food, shitty relationships and self-pity. Your potential for awesome is too strong to do that.

9. You can’t make people change. They have to want it themselves. You can provide the tools, the support, the loving supportive environment, the real talk, the inspiration and kick in the ass…but they aren’t going to change until they’re ready. And that usually comes when they’ve worked through their emotional limitations and self-pity. Be there when they’re ready, but don’t expend any extra energy on people who aren’t ready to change or grow. It’s not cold and unfriendly, it’s respectful to both of you.

10. When you go through periods of growth and you honor and follow your intuition (aka stepping outside of your comfort zone to get closer to your zone of fulfillment) your ego, or brain, goes cray cray. Like, it throws psychological shit fits and tries to tear you back down to a place of comfort and familiarity. A place of safety. It may throw a tantrum by creating a series of unfortunate events in one single day, pummel you with negative self-talk, put relationships on the fritz, give you a nasty cold, fill your head with self-doubt…but this mental chaos actually means you’re shifting and growing. You’re doing something right. So keep going, despite the shitiness that may come around temporarily. Thank your ego for wanting to protect you, but don’t listen to it. Follow your intuition and  your ego will quiet down once it realizes you’re actually safe and know what you’re doing.

11. The greatest gift you can give yourself in life is the gift of finding, following and honoring your true voice. Owning your true voice, speaking your mind, following your heart and staying true to YOU is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Finding your voice and listening to it will lead you to life-long fulfillment.

12. Dating and relationships are a two-way street. If you’re always left wanting more, wondering if they like you, worried about where you stand, confused as to “what are we,” continually doubting yourself, your story, your job, your voice and dulling your sparkle because you feel less-than…hell to the no girl. If a relationship (even if it’s just dating) is constantly creating anxiety and you’re expending more energy worrying about why they haven’t texted you back, when you’re going to see them again, etc., end it. If you’re compromising something that is important and necessary for you in a relationship, walk away. If you’re always making time to see them based on their schedule, but they aren’t making time to see you on yours, WALK AWAY. This sort of thing will eat away at you, cause anxiety, build resentment and begin to chip away at your self-worth. Don’t settle. You accept the love you think you deserve. And you deserve someone who will lift you up, believe in you more than you do, be equally as interested in your life, passions, hobbies, ideas and opinions as much as you are in theirs, they will make the next date with you during your current date, MAKE time to see you, adore you, disagree and fight with you but want to mend it and grow together. A relationship does not (and cannot) fill a void in your life. A healthy relationship is a positive addition to your life. If you and your partner aren’t providing each other with all that you want and need in life and more, I have two words for you: BYE FELICIA.

13. Everyone has their own battle. No matter who they are. For example, I dated a guy for a short time who was working on his post-doctorate with one of the best pharma companies out there, made good money and was setting himself up for a successful career. Shit, he was valedictorian of his college class at a very good school. On the outside, and to society, he was successful. He had all his shit figured out. But you know what they didn’t see? His crippling OCD. His need for order and control. The fact that his entire identity was wrapped up in academics, career growth and success. If someone took all those very “material” things away, he would have no fucking clue who he was. His identity would be lost. This may just be me, but I’d rather be going against society’s idea of “success,” than be living with that kind of pressure and control my entire life. To me, that doesn’t lead to true fulfillment and happiness. Again, that’s an inside job. And coming at this from another angle: if someone is mean, angry, talks down to you, acts entitled and all-around awful…that’s their deal. It has nothing to do with you. It’s coming from deep insecurity and unhappiness on their end. Let it roll off of you. Find your peace and security from the inside out, and then you can deal with everyone’s crazy much better. lol

14. Dealing with adult stuff. AKA: how to survive getting your car towed (when it still had your wallet lying on the passenger seat), paying a $750+ ticket and making it back to your apartment in one piece. Then making an incredibly strong drink. And then not vandalizing the apartment of the crotchety old woman who said you were “blocking her driveway” (my ass), because you know Karma will come around and do its thang.

15. It’s ok to not know what you want to do. It’s ok to not have a clear path or direction. It’s ok to write your story in the moment as you’re living your life. Do what you have to do to support yourself, but give yourself love, space and respect to figure out your purpose and path. It will come to you. And in the meantime, before that lightbulb moment happens, do what fulfills you. Do what makes you happy. Pursue your passion because that will lead you to your purpose. Whether it’s doing theatre, volunteer work, a pottery class, writing a blog, going skydiving…do what fulfills you and makes you happy. Because you may realize, your passion is simply to pursue your passion. And your “work” is to do something that you enjoy and something that supports your passion-pursuing. In the end, if that makes you happy, then keep doing it.

<3

 

What do you believe about yourself?

12289642_10207804085036185_3305789669791416043_nOur beliefs about ourself are incredibly powerful.

They may seem like they just float around our heads, hidden from the world, but in reality, they actually create our reality. What we think and believe about ourselves is a direct reflection of how we carry ourselves throughout life.

Your thoughts become things, actions, decisions and beliefs.

If you want to start feeling happier or creating radical shifts in your life, look on the inside. What stories are you telling yourself (and believing) about YOU?

Do a little digging and reflecting on those beliefs, find out where they’re coming from and switch that shit up. Life is too precious to tell yourself you’re not good enough. Because you are, in fact, incredible.

You hold so much power as a human being…power to diminish yourself or lift yourself up. So respect that power and use it to brighten your life and the life of others.

Start with little affirmations that you say on a daily, consistent basis.

Here’s an example: I am strong and smart. I believe in myself.

Alright, Happy Monday. *Gets off soap box*

Starbucks Has Ruined Christmas

Peet's Christmas Coffee Cup

(Dear Beautiful Readers, this is a satirical post. I intend for it to be humorous ;) )

Peet's Christmas Coffee CupDear Starbucks,

I have waited 10 months for your red Christmas cups to make their appearance. To me, they really represent the true meaning behind the festive holiday season. But when I went into my local store the other day, I was shocked and angered by what I saw. There was no delightfully decorated red cup to drink my decadent beverage from. Instead, I was given something that proves to me there is, indeed, a war on Christmas. How could you do this to your loyal customers?

Thank GOD Peet’s Coffee still has snowflakes and tree ornaments on their red coffee cups, because Starbucks has single-handedly RUINED Christmas for me with their plain, all-inclusive red cups. No amount of Nutcracker-listening, gingerbread-making or pine tree scented candle snorting will make up for how they have just stripped Christmas of all its meaning.

Sincerely,

I Literally Can’t Even

‪#‎sarcasm‬ ‪#‎letsgetrealpeople‬ ‪#‎itsjustacup‬ ‪#‎frostyandrudolphdontlikehaters‬ #starbuckskeepdoingyourthang

*Again, this is satire. I repeat, this is satire.*

Transitions

Lindsey

Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters of our lives won’t have a title until much later – Bob Goff

When going through a transition, there is an inherent ebb and flow. Of emotions. Action taken. Fear, joy, stress, excitement, uncertainty. Sometimes all felt in one single minute.

LindseySuch is how I am feeling now. I’m leaving San Francisco in less than a month to move back home to San Diego. Although it is a wonderful move, everything now is bittersweet. I want to savor each moment, each feeling, each place, each view of where I am in the city. And for some reason, I mostly want to be doing this on my own.

I’m continually pulling myself back from floating around in the future, which is either filled with excitement and joy over what my life will/could be like in less than 30 days or burdened with fear and the lack of having it all figured out. It’s as though my brain is doing some sexy, high-energy salsa dance between the present and future.

I don’t find myself dwelling too often on the past year and a half in Napa and San Francisco. It seems like yesterday I was in Napa or just moving to SF, but it also seems like eons ago. I was a different person then. Young and unsure. Swayed more easily than I am now. Over this past year I’ve felt heart ache, my temper raging, my soul filled with contentment, my eyes watered with tears, my heart bursting with joy and my senses filled with all things new and undiscovered.

But I’ve learned this past year and a half. I’ve grown. I’ve transformed from a young woman to a woman. An adult doing adult things. There’s a groundedness and assuredness in my spirit that wasn’t there before.

Although I still find myself “looking for the adult in the room” sometimes. Anyone else?

What I’m most proud of transforming this past year is my voice. A voice that I’ve nurtured, developed and grown into. My ability over the past several months to lean into some weird and wonderful, dark and beautiful emotions to discover what is really inside me. What really want. What fills me with joy, passion and happiness. Not what I think should fill me with joy, passion and happiness. Not what others, despite their good intentions, think should and will fill me with joy, passion and happiness. Those are all very different things.

I’m proud that I’ve learned that my path is my own. I’m in control of my life. I respect and take to heart what people say and the advice they give. And I can ask for help when I need it. But I am far too savvy now (or strong-willed?) to be confined by other’s expectations of what a life should look like. Or the path you take, so to speak.

As Louise Hay says (and this is my version of it): “I love myself enough to go beyond my parents’, family’s, friends’ and society’s limitations.”

I don’t mean to say my parents, friends, family and society have placed outrageous restrictions, limitations and pressure on me about what I should do with my life. Although there are spoken and unspoken expectations I feel, I’ve been blessed with an incredibly supportive, loving family and community.

Regardless, there are more conventional or unconventional paths people can follow. But that’s their story and choice, not yours.

I’ve learned there is no one “right” path. There is a “right” path for everyone and that is the one they decide to take. It is the one that is right for them. What’s right, logical and fulfilling to one person may not be that way for another. And that’s the beauty of life.

I’m proud that I’m following my voice and truth. Despite not knowing all that it is I want to do. Despite not seeing my path clearly. The vision is there. The emotions are there… But the stepping stones to get there are a bit hazy and uncertain.

But rather than giving up on my vision because the path isn’t clearly defined at this moment (will it ever be?), I know by focusing on my what and why and taking positive action in ways that feel aligned and fulfilling to me, the “hows” will become very clear.

View at the Chart HouseI can embrace the belief that I have no idea what I’m doing with my life, or I can say what is full of actual truth: I know exactly what I am doing with my life because I am following what I know to be true to me.

It’s easy to fall into the “I don’t know what I’m doing with life” slump, whether you’re being humorous or serious about it, because that is the simplest answer and emotion to feel. It’s harder to believe for yourself and explain to others, “So this is what I want, how I’m getting there is unknown, but this is what I’m doing now and even though it’s not all clearly defined, I’m happy because I’m following my gut.”

But in whose eyes is that phrase, “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life” even looked upon? Is it your eyes or society’s? Look upon your life with your eyes, not through an external view. That’s not the most positive or productive one.

Looking at your life through the eyes of society or your family is morphed. It breeds limiting beliefs and leaves you feeling stuck between what they want, and what you want and know to be true for you.

In my opinion, if YOU are happy and content with what you’re doing, no matter what it is, keep doing it. It’s your life. If you’re not happy and content, do something. And don’t “do something” based off of what other people want for you or are telling you to do. Do what YOU want to do. It’s your chance to create something that’s aligned with you and your happiness. It’s an opportunity to fly, not fall into an abyss.

Look upon your life through your eyes. Tune in to your own intuitive wisdom. By doing so you’ll be gifted with one of the most precious realizations: you know exactly what you’re doing.

A picture is worth a thousand words (almost)

Girl in the woods

Girl in the woods

A picture can be worth a thousand words. Evoke specific emotions. Stir up feelings from deep within. To me, this picture says:

chance, precipice, waiting

beginning, start, new journey

awaiting, open doors, discover

fear, hesitation, expectation

wonderment, anticipation, bewilderment

timid, stepping, crossing

beginning, carrying forth, starting again

continuation, journey, open arms

strong, strength, holding

step forth, begin, listening

hearing, seeing, opening

creating, leading, following

wondering, uncertainty, adventure

breath, depth, silence

breathe.

What does it mean to you? 

One-Word Inspiration: A little goes a long way

Lindsey

I was given these words as a prompt…what do each of them mean to me? Well, let me tell you below.

HOPE
REGRET
HOME
CHOICE
ABUNDANCE
SECRET

Hope is the flicker of light that warms your soul and keeps you moving forward, even when you feel like you’re falling backward. Hope turns to abundance and truth when you firmly believe in your hope and know it will manifest into being.
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Regret is the thing I am scared of the most in my life.
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Home. It’s where my heart is and always will be. Home is where I am the puzzle piece fitting exactly into the puzzle. Home is on stage performing. I feel more at home when I am open and vulnerable on a stage that when I am sitting in an audience watching.
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Lindsey in SevillaChoice. I believe (almost*) everything is a choice. Our emotions, mindset, thoughts, patterns, actions, decisions, reactions, words we say and write. The words we choose to hear and believe, from ourselves and others. We always have a choice. There is always a way out (or in.) There is always a choice that you can make. If you make the “wrong” one, you can make a “right” one again. We all have a choice. It is one of the most empowering and powerful things when you realize you have a CHOICE. Don’t like your job? Make a choice to realize that you deserve to do what sets your soul on fire and what makes you feel happy and healthy. Make a choice to make a change and do what is aligned with your truth. Make a choice to take action in that direction. Make a choice to not accept anything less that what you WANT and dream of. Choice. You have a choice. So make one and know you’re making it. And know you can un-make it as well. But don’t sit in limbo waiting for other people or the Universe to choose for you. It’s your life, YOU choose what you want to do with it.
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*I know not all things, including emotions and certain circumstances, are not our choice. I do believe however, we have a choice in how we react to those emotions and circumstances…what actions we take and what we believe. 
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Abundance is waiting for you around every corner. You just have to see it in front of you. You have to believe that it is there and will always be there. You will always have abundance (whatever that means for you), even it feels like it’s out of reach.
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Secret. The secret to happiness is living your truth. Living your life on your terms and in alignment with your voice and what ignites your soul from the inside out. There’s always a way. There is no right path for everyone- that’s the secret. The “right” path for you is what you know is right for you…not anyone else.
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What do these words mean to you? Did anything resonate with you?

Things I Like

Pearl and Daisy

I decided to compile a list of “things I like.” Not normal, boring crap. Like, unique stuff. Things that find interesting, intriguing and likable. A little glimpse into my brain, I guess.

  1. The smell of Fall when it first arrives, the crisp cool evenings and chilly air.
  2. Sunrises over the buildings in San Francisco
  3. Slow, early weekend mornings at my apartment: all is quiet in my neighborhood, the fire-escape door is open, curtains are drawn back and I can sip my coffee while journaling or on my computer.
  4. The chills and goosebumps I get while listening to show tunes and Broadway musicals on my iPod.
  5. Singing and dancing to said show tunes and musicals.
  6. Performing. Auditions, rehearsals, tech week, the final performance…all fill me with an indescribable passion that nothing else in my life has ever matched.
  7. Allowing myself to do nothing. And being ok with that.
  8. Dreaming of a life with my soulmate…who will be a Simon Baker look-alike. LOL
  9. The smell and taste of pumpkin flavored everything.
  10. Coffee and scones with my mom at The Blue Mug in Escondido.
  11. Late-night political/societal chats with my dad.
  12. Making people laugh
  13. The look on someone’s face when they have a light-bulb moment
  14. Dancing and singing in a bar or club with friends and having a moment where everything is perfect and wonderful
  15. Margaritas, chips and guacamole
  16. A good Tempranillo or Beaugolais
  17. Cosy, warm evenings with my family, especially during the holidays
  18. Spending time with Pearl every day, waking him up in the morning, kissing him good-bye, seeing him after a long day, scratching his neck before he goes to bed.
  19. Learning something new about myself. Self-discovery. Self-empowerment.
  20. Clearing old beliefs and patters
  21. Being able to identify your true, authentic voice and follow it
  22. Harry fucking Potter
  23. Ella Enchanted (the book, not the movie.)
  24. Hyperbole and a Half blog (one of the greatest blogs ever written)
  25. Notes from the Universe in my inbox every morning
  26. Spanish guitar music
  27. The magic that Sevilla, Spain holds over me.
  28. The beauty, energy and magic that happens when you travel to a new place and discover things you didn’t even know existed
  29. Pinning my dream home on Pinterest. I’ll be real. lol
  30. Those perfect days where you don’t even notice the temperature because it’s just so perfect.
  31. Writing something that impacts someone positively
  32. Memes and GIFs. I seriously pee in my pants from laughter sometimes. (Not really, but almost.)
  33. Trying local, unique coffee shops and cafes
  34. The smell of fresh mountain air and pine trees

….and that’s about it for now! :) I’ll keep adding to it.

What are some of your favorite things?