I turned forty-five years old this past week.  This website saw its second birthday, though I’ve been coaching as the main focus of my business life for three years now.  There is something super celebratory in using my own birth-date as the beginning point.  It’s like having my very own fiscal year.

My first post here in the blog was about five lessons I learned on my journey from 42 to 43.  Last year, I shared 20 Pearls of Wisdom learned on the road from 43 to 44. This year I wanted to share 45 Lessons in honor of my 45th birthday.

Though these are lessons I know to be real truths for living a fully engaged life, sometimes, I have to relearn them.  And, there are some lessons I find more challenging than others.

  1. Take good care of yourself because you’re the only YOU you’ve got. And in fact, the only YOU the world has.
  2. Choose love. Always.
  3. If you are tired, go to bed. Listen to your body instead of letting the clock rule your life.
  4. It’s worth getting up early to see the sunrise.
  5. Stop being “so busy”. Busy does not equal worth.
  6. Smile.
  7. Eat good food.  Choose whole ingredients.  Choose cooking over over-processed drive-through foods. Ditch anything in your pantry with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
  8. Drink. More. Water.
  9. Be kind. To yourself. To loved ones, friends, and acquaintances. To Strangers.  On any given day, you may be the only voice of kindness or gentle gesture they receive all day.
  10. Have faith. In a higher power. In yourself. In the human spirit. Be willing to take a flying leap of faith.
  11. If you have to choose between doing what’s easiest and what feels right, choose what your heart tells you is right.
  12. Listen to the story an elderly person. Their family may be “tired” of the story, but it doesn’t mean they are tired of telling it!  If that elderly person is part of your family, listen carefully even if you’ve heard it.  You may hear a detail you didn’t catch before.
  13. When you are feeling anxious, it’s your body’s clue to you that it’s time to slow down.
  14. If you are finding yourself cranky, it’s your heart’s way of telling you that your body needs movement.  Take a walk.  Do some jumping jacks.  Climb stairs.  Exercise – even a quick walk to the corner – will also help you clear your mind.
  15. Say yes to cupcakes. Always.
  16. Do something that scares you. The real juice of life is in the fear.
  17. If you’re avoiding something, delete it, delegate it, or lean into it. Either it doesn’t serve you or you’re avoiding it because you’re afraid of what it may mean if you’re successful.
  18. Stop flirting with the edges of the smoke and walk through the fire.
  19. Ask for help.  It’s ok to admit you can’t do everything.  Even if you can do everything on your own, you don’t have to.
  20. No matter how intuitive those who love you may be, they cannot read your mind. Ask for what you want. Ask for what you need.
  21. If no one can give you want you want, buy it or create it yourself.
  22. Say “I Love You”.
  23. Don’t wait. Don’t put it off. Do it today.
  24. Comparison cripples your creativity.  Comparison cripples your zest for life. You are unique, darling.
  25. Create a parenthesis around your day by establishing solid morning and bedtime routines.  These routines (habits) are not meant to stifle you.  They set you up for more productive days.  And allow your mind to focus on what’s most important.
  26. Create rituals within each day.  It connects you to the sacred part of yourself.
  27. Darling, it will be OK.
  28. Institute a weekly meeting with yourself. Check in with yourself. Prioritize what’s important. Celebrate your accomplishments. Luxuriate in it. Make it a grand affair with a favorite beverage and sexy hors d’oeuvres.
  29. If in doubt, throw it out. No matter how much physical clutter you may have purged from your life, if you are feeling bogged down, it’s time to look to your environment for what can go.
  30. It’s ok to be afraid.
  31. Be gently disciplined with yourself.  If you allow your inner 2 year old to get her way every day, you won’t be happy.  And if you constantly chide her, your inner child will refuse to come out and play.  This may seem like a delicate balance, but it’s critical to joy.
  32. You must allow yourself to be vulnerable if you want to grow.
  33. When you plant a seed, the first thing to come up is the dirt. Push through the resistance.  Don’t give up.  Have faith.
  34. It’s ok to be happy.
  35. Allow yourself to feel. The good and the bad. Especially the bad because if you numb the shadow emotions, you also numb the good stuff.
  36. Be curious.
  37. Life ebbs and flows.  There is give and take.  If people are always asking from you, yet unwilling to give, then it’s time to examine your relationship.
  38. You are worth it.
  39. You’re never too old to make new friends.
  40. You’re never too old to create a life you love.
  41. Reach out to those who intrigue you.
  42. We all need creativity in our lives. Sometimes, it isn’t about creating art but living artfully.
  43. Let go of the idea of needing to be right or needing to be cool. Needing to be cool forces you to betray your soul’s needs. Needing to be right just leads to arguments and tensions.
  44. Hug. Kiss. Show your affection.
  45. Baby, it’s all about the love.

I’d love for you to share some of your life lessons. Leave your lessons in the comments!

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