“In a fact of doing well, you do beautifully” – Marilynne Robinson
No matter our race, gender, place of origin, experiences, cultural influence, we are all unified by the same desires in life: love, validation, a sense of purpose and significance. So, in theory, life should be simple. But then we muck it up and make it complicated. After all, we are driven by our emotions. I wonder when it will start to get easy and why we can’t live in a continuous state of flow. Have you experienced this state of ‘flow’?
When we are in complete alignment within ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually, that is flow. When our inner world matches our outer experience, there is not a more beautiful state where we can live each day from a secure, thoughtful place. A state of pure bliss and delight, filled with peace, goodness and authentic power. That’s what I strive for each and every day. I’ve had glimpses of these moments and it’s a beautiful thing. Beautiful enough to carry me forward, in memory only, until my next blissful state of simply being, accepting, and loving. In essence, living my best life, radiating my most authentic and powerful self.
My hope is that you too would experience your most authentic and powerful life in your work, your relationships and in your everything. That you would dream for the stars and believe whole-heartedly that you can achieve anything you wish, and then come up with an effective strategy that will take you to the next level. I believe it with all of my heart and I hope that no matter how you feel about your life in this moment, no matter how bleak or how blissful, you know that the life you desire is waiting for you. It is in your hands. You are powerful. Your only limitation is you.
What I Know For Sure
You are the most important relationship you will have: Do you realize that the only person guaranteed to stay by your side during your life’s journey is you? Have you thought about this deeply? Your parents, your siblings, your friends, there’s no guarantee that they will stay by your side forever. Some may leave by choice and others involuntarily. We will spend more time with ourselves than anyone else. So make sure that you treat yourself with love, kindness and compassion; that you take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Your body is precious; it houses your wondrous heart. Your emotional health dictates much of your life’s unfolding. It’s nice to think that once we find our dream man or our dream job that our life will become complete. The thing is this: only you can complete your life. Only you can be the love that you seek. Everything else is icing on the cake but not guaranteed. So, make the most of what you’ve got every day. Don’t take it for granted.
Your intuition will steer you in the right direction if you choose to honor it: Trust your gut. Don’t be talked out of what you feel. With every situation that has not worked out, however you define not working out, and every scenario that ended unexpectedly, think back to a time long before that defining moment, and you will see, in retrospect, the signs that were there all along. The signs may have been a flicker of a light but it was present. Those are the red flags. They are instincts you chose to ignore because you wanted temporary gratification. In other words, you chose to trade the long-term pain - the pain you will feel later on - for the trade-off of a short-term, temporary gain. Next time, when that small voice says to you, “Something isn’t right,” trust it. Honor it. Believe it. And act on it.
Living in the present will help you to live abundantly: Fully participate in the here and the now. Take a deep breath. Renew your sense of you. Be fully awake and mindful. Slow down. In the quiet, in the pause of life, when you are centered, grounded and clear, the answer will come to you. When you live in the present moment, you don’t let the past dictate your choices today and you don’t worry about the future. Worrying does not change the outcome. Instead, it detracts from your energy to be able to focus on the here and now. When you are fully present, you are not making decisions driven by fear. You are coming from a centered and calm place, a place of love. You are enjoying each and every day. If you live each day with the intent to experience it fully, to honor your feelings, to just be, you will see extraordinary things come to pass in the most unexpected and simple ways.
Love is not hard: Many of us were taught that love is hard. Love requires work and it can be painful. I learned this notion of “conditional” love when I was a child and when my parents disowned me right before I headed off to college, just because. Trust me, as a kid, I was as good as they come. What I learned from my parents was that love is hard. The people who should protect you and support you unconditionally abandon you. Although we understand intellectually that this shouldn’t be the case, life is messy. Human beings are messy. The thing is this: love is a lot of work. But it is the good kind of work. Just as in your career, you have to put in the hours at the office, get along with your boss, and schmooze with the right industry influencers to get ahead. Yes, all of this is work. But it is the good kind of work that brings you the right rewards. Relationships require real work. Every day, you choose to love your partner again despite his annoyances or faults. You commit to the life that you have chosen with the person who may or may not be the same person as the day you met. However, what love is not is painful. Real love is sacrificial and unconditional. It does not cause pain. It uplifts us and elevates us to be better. It does not tear down, hurt or belittle. The pain being caused is what lies deep within the person causing the pain.
It starts with gratitude: No matter what your situation is today, you can find things for which to be grateful. Studies have shown that it is neurochemically impossible to hold concurrently in the same mental space gratitude and anger or gratitude and any negative feeling. If you don’t appreciate what you already have, no matter how small or big, you won’t make room for all that is to come. Believe it, gratitude is the unspoken rule of life. Start and end each day with gratitude. Find three simple things to be grateful for daily. Eventually, it will change your perspective and your life’s trajectory.
There is no such thing as failure: Everything that happens to you was supposed to happen to either change something about you or to help change someone else. Some experiences needed to take place to heal a part of yourself that needed healing or to shed light on something that needed more visibility in your life. Even when a relationship doesn’t work out, your experience is never wasted, unless you refuse the lessons. There are always lessons, so pay attention and be open to learning something new about yourself and the world. In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you. What you needed to experience will prepare you for what is to come. I believe in divine order and know that my life is unfolding exactly as it should be. Have faith in yourself and in the universe.
Be kind: Be kind to everyone you meet because everyone is fighting some kind of a battle. Take the time to smile and notice people in your every day journey. In the hustle and bustle of New York City or wherever you may be, it’s so easy to see others as a distraction or an object getting in the way of our final destination. Slow down, pay attention and notice everyone around you. When you’re as kind to the janitor as you are to the CEO of your firm, then I know you’re on to something good.
Don’t give a f*ck about what others think of you: Stop comparing yourself to others. Someone else’s success does not mean she has taken a piece of your pie. There is plenty to go around for everyone. Think and live from a place of abundance. Trying to keep up with the Jones’ is a useless endeavor. Your career or your relationship status is not greater than or less than that of your friend or the expectation of your parents. Stop worrying about what others think about you. It does not matter. You’ll know you’re on the right track when you piss a few people off along the way. If you please everyone, I guarantee you’re holding back.