Tomorrow, I turn 30.
30! As in, the age that grown ups are.
At least, in my head.
And if you’ve been following me for a while now, you know that birthdays are always a sweet little time for me.
I’m a firm believer that it’s a sacred little day to celebrate, do all of your most favorite things, and take a moment to soak in exactly where you are in life, and take a little inventory of what’s really happening- big and small.
Not to judge it, but to just kind of observe it from afar.
It’s a tiniest pause in the year to let everything swirl together as you look at it as a whole piece of life, instead of just daily to-do’s and worries.
Every year for most of my adult life, I’ve had a little morning ritual.
I go to a special little coffee shop with my journal.
Wear my favorite outfit workout outfit.
Bring my favorite pen.
And just write down everything I am grateful for.
Ridiculous small things. Big things. Lots of medium ones too.
It covers the good things, yes. But also the things I struggled with, or didn’t come easy- the things that I thought were negative or bad at the time, but seeing it as a whole, I can start to see that those things were always part of a bigger plan.
It’s always a fascinating, humbling, uplifting day. All mashed into one.
So, tomorrow will be that day. But because tomorrow feels like now a decade to look back on, instead of just a tiny year, I knew I had to start a bit early on this process of mine. At least on the lessons and things I hope to take into this next decade ahead, because honey—there are lot.
And if even one thing I say below is exactly what you needed to hear today, I’ll consider this wide (maybe a bit too much) outpouring of my heart worth it.
- Love is the literally, the most important thing. Not blindly, or flippantly. But, to learn to give more of it out into in to the world. Every single day. To wake up and start your day with the question- what can I do today to lift, encourage or love on someone else today? You know– instead of immediately looking at your phone, and all your emails, and everything you have to do today. Or how important you are, and how much stress you have. It’s more about learning to see all situations with love instead of fear. To wrap yourself and others in, as much as possible, in a true and genuine way. If I had to pick the single most profound lesson in this last decade, this would be it.
- Fear sucks. And can be the biggest life suck. It’s at the center point of all things negative. And most of the time, the fear isn’t even real. We literally make up situations in our head, assume the worst possible outcome, and get completely paralyzed/stressed/anxious because of it. From a fake thing! I love the saying, “Feel the fear, and do it anyways”. I’m about to ask my calligraphy friend if she can make me a sign I can just hang above my desk, because I feel like owning my own business can be a true testament to this. I honestly can’t think of a single thing that this doesn’t apply to. Fear usually comes when we embark on something new or strange, but if you let it dictate your actions, it makes it really hard to grow or move forward in life. I am convinced that the more you push through fear, the happier, more successful, more brave and confident you will be. And the better life you will have.
- Moving forward in life, although scary and unknown- is always the best route. Whenever I look back on the times that I was the most scared of change (ending a relationship, leaving a bad work situation, starting daunting project like the cookbook, moving somewhere new, learning a new skill) those things always ended up to be the very best decisions in the long run. Mostly because of what they led to next in life. Change is always good because it means you’re moving forward.
- Not everyone is a nice person. There are people out there who will try to take you down, criticize, and swarm you with toxic negative energy. Life lesson: This almost ALWAYS has absolutely nothing to do with YOU, and everything to do with THEM being dissatisfied or frustrated in their own life. Don’t take it personally. Detox from those that bring the negative storm clouds and fly sister. Can’t nobody hold you down, oh no. You got to keep on moooving.
- Don’t take life so seriously. Have some fun. Let loose and be weird. Make fun of yourself. Not everything is as urgent or as scary as you make it out to be. Do things that bring you joy, without guilt.
- Write them down somewhere where you see it often. What do you crave? Then be on the lookout for people, opportunities and little ways you can bring more of those feelings into your daily life. Read The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte. It’s life changing.
- Take vacations. Multiple times a year, even a few times a day. Without the stress of daily life, your body and nervous system can finally relax and recharge, giving you the space to re-asses how you’re doing, feeling and if you need to make any adjustments. Make note of the things that take you to that blissful state, and incorporate it into your daily life.
- Clearly identify your 3 favorite loves, food and drink wise. What things make life worth living, and that you love every bite or sip? Mine are healthy cocktails, thick French fries and chips and guacamole. No shame in that game.
- Clearly identify everything else that is not one of your 3 loves (and is not nutrient dense and helpful for your body) as clutter food and drink that you just don’t care about. Eating this stuff, just because it’s around or culturally acceptable will always make you feel bad (or guilty) the next day. Be clear on the distinction of the two.
- If you’re not hungry enough to eat roasted vegetables, you’re not hungry. That is all.
- Cultivate your non-negotiables, so that everyday isn’t a free for all and that you don’t waste your decision power on dumb things. What daily or weekly actions make the biggest difference in you how feel? Is it drinking enough water, eating vegetables multiple times a day, having an actual lunch, a workout, great sleep, etc. What behaviors have the biggest impact in your life that you can automate?
- Listen to what your body is saying. Always. It is never wrong. Transition to eating real food first, and this becomes so much easier to do. Don’t rationalize or justify. If something feels off, or your body is giving you signals of illness, digestion problems, sleep problems, pay attention. When something is not right (in your relationships, at work, etc), your body will let you know. Don’t ignore it. It is way wiser that you will ever be.
- Do whatever you have to do to have good digestion and get amazing sleep. They are gold. Or better.
- Let yourself feel what you actually feel. Most of us are taught this, from a very young age: the moment anything feels uncomfortable (slightly hungry, tired, stressed, anxious, bored, etc) our instinct is to QUICK! Distract yourself. Entertain yourself. Drink too many glasses of wine. Comfort yourself (often with food). Ignore it . Push though it. Stuff food down and forget about it. All of this totally backfires. The minute you feel anything uncomfortable in your day, really FEEL it, fully and hard. Welcome it. It’s surprising how much of it dissipates when you do.
- Have a weekly time to connect to God. Or the universe. Or the energy particles around you. Pray. Meditate. Give yourself the time and space to release your tight handed control on life and know that you are being guided in the right direction, at the right time. Ask for help and more guidance when you need it. It’s not a sign of weakness.
- Get rid of stuff that isn’t serving you. Weekly. Monthly. In every capacity.
- Quality over quantity. With food, with friends, with hobbies, with clothes in your closet. See # 16.
- Surround yourself with people that inspire you, have good energy, and make it a point to encourage and celebrate others. These friendships will be more rich, supportive and inspiring over time, allowing you to be your best self and put amazing work out in the world.
- Drink more tea than you do coffee.
- But drink more water than you do everything else. As a non-negotiable.
- Eat something green everyday.
- Workout in ways that make your body feel strong and energized, not exhausted and in pain.
- Use natural body care products and cleaning products.
- Make a list of the things that bring you little bursts of daily joys. Keep it on your phone and go to it when you feel stressed, anxious, bored or totally tapped out on life. Infuse more of those good things in to your daily world and observe how much can shift.
- When you go out to eat and there is a vegetable side dishes part of the menu, always order off of it. A sign of a great restaurant is always how well they make their veggies, and it gives you inspiration for new things to make at home.
- Everytime you go to the grocery store, buy something new.
- Cultivate your own signature healthy cocktail or drink order. And never more than 3 in one evening. See # 14.
- Have a hobby outside of your work life and personal life. Those who are curious and interested in growing and learning are always the best, most fascinating people.
- Girls need sisterhood on almost a soulful spiritual level. Guys need manhood. Invest in great relationships and friendships.
- Be completely and utterly and honestly and openly YOU. You’re weird, quirky little self. Your funny self. Be real. People reflect it right back to you.
Have anything to add to this list yourself? Or thoughts on any of the ones I mentioned above? As always, chime in in the comments below my friends.
The biggest birthday gift to me? You. Reading this right now. That no matter which side of 30 you’re on—something might have caught your eye as a little reminder or extra encouragement.
And that ice cream birthday cake? From the dessert section of the cookbook of course.