Hello beautiful people and welcome to this dose of Celestial Goodness. As always thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. And what a journey it has been… today—the day that I am writing this blog post and filming this week’s video is my 40th birthday. See this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/oYV17TvBj68
A lot of people have asked me how I feel turning 40. To be honest, I don’t feel any different than I did yesterday when I was 39. I do however sense in the subtle and inner sanctuaries of my spirit that I am perhaps or would wish to be a tad bit wiser, healthier, more courageous and more devoted to bringing love and beauty into the world than ever before…or at least highlighting those things.
Two things also come to mind. Mary Oliver’s poem, “The Summer Day,” in which she says,
“Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?” That question has stayed on my mind since I heard it—what will I do with my one wild and precious life?
I also think of a beautiful piece by Oriah Mountain Dreamer:
“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”
These two pieces among countless others have been a guiding light over the past several years. Arriving at 40 is definitely different than when I arrived at 10, or 20, or even 30. There were different concerns, different aspirations, and different yearnings. I arrive at 40 and I feel like an actual adult. I feel that I have a good sense of who I am even though I am still learning more about myself each day. I do know that arriving at 40 lets me have a good range of life experience from which to draw, and so today I will share some of my favorite lessons.
1) Love is real and it is important. Give it, be it, and receive it, each and every day.
2) Gratitude is a deeply fundamental practice that enhances all that is beautiful about your life.
3) You are needed on this planet, and there are people that love you.
4) There will be people who don’t like you for whatever reason, and it is truly none of your business.
5) Friendships are vital. Be a good friend to have good friends.
6) When people show you who they are, listen…
7) Allow people to leave your life graciously…
8) Allow new people to come into your life. You have not yet met all the people who will add light, love, and joy to your life.
9) Travel if you can—near and far. The world and its people are beautiful, amazing, and spectacular.
10) There is more that connects us, than divides us. Dig deeper and you will see.
11) Genuinely care about the details that people share with you about their lives. Listen.
12) Have hobbies or interests or both. You do not need to monetize these if you do not desire, but truly it makes for a fun and interesting life.
13) Drink your water. I cannot stress this enough—it is the miracle drug.
14) Tend to your physical health. Shoutout to my trainer for showing me that slow and steady progress makes a big difference over time!
15) Tend to your mental health. The world will not fall apart while you take the space and time that you need for yourself…trust me on this.
16) Tend to your spiritual wellbeing. Whatever this means for you…
17) Spend time in nature.. the trees are amazing, and nature is beautiful, but there are also an abundance of wonderful life lessons.
18) Tend to your financial well-being. Life feels better when you have a solid foundation—a security net of your own building. Start small if you need. Read, “The Richest Man in Babylon.”
19) Pay your debts… be a Lanister.
20) Stand on your word and your promises.
21) Be honest.
22) Do not be afraid to have difficult conversations.
23) Set up healthy boundaries for your life.
24) Do a periodic review of the people that are in your life. How is the relationship? Do you feel safe—mentally, emotionally, and physically with these people?
25) Do something nice for yourself too…
26) Be of service in some way to the rest of humanity—small acts of kindness are important too!
27) Dance frequently.
28) Sing when you feel.
29) Sit sometimes without feeling the need to do anything productive.
30) Find your joy and hold it close.
31) Learn yourself—who are you—beneath your roles and your titles? Who are you really?
32) Laugh at least once a day. It is true what they say, a day without laughter is wasted.
33) Don’t neglect to see the magic in life—the magic all around us.
34) Tell people that you love them—in whatever is your love language. Do this often.
35) Give genuine compliments.
36) Believe that good things can happen for you…this takes time to cultivate for some, but life can be so miraculous when you do…
37) Write out your goals. Don’t be afraid to dream big.
38) Take the trip. Wear your nice clothes, perfume, and shoes. Use the things.
39) Cry if you need to. Sit with your grief, pain, shadow side… know it because without the darkness there is no light.
40) Be open… life is constant change, constant evolution, constant transformation. You got this.
Thank you for sharing in these lessons, and if you have any that you would like to share—drop them in the comments. I make wishes all the time, but birthday wishes feel extra special. I wish that as a world, as a connected people that we would live from a place of love rather than fear, that we see each other deeply, truly, and genuinely for who we are at our core, that we help one another, that we remind each other of our greatness and our beauty, that we have courage to face whatever comes, and wisdom to handle life with grace. I wish we all get what we need when we need it, and get what we want because our desires are real. I wish we all live in love. I am looking forward to this next chapter of life—to see the unfolding. I hope it is sweet, and that it delights me each day. May the stars shine brightly over you, and may you have a delightful week—until we meet again. Thank you!