Lessons Learned Along the Way…I want a do-over!

If you have children or have ever been near them on the playground, they dole out wonderful life observations as a continuous stream of consciousness. That’s not fair. I want another chance. Let’s have a do-over. Let’s take turns on the jump rope. Along the way, some of these valuable lessons get lost, and some are deeply ingrained.

Life’s not fair. Well, that’s true. There are often grave injustices (and some minor ones too). You can stomp your feet and refuse to play, or you can work for change, let it go, or some combination. But the sooner that you learn that life is often unfair and that you are not a victim but someone that has the power to change your circumstances or to make peace with the discord, the better.

I want another chance. Yes. Let’s give this to the people in our lives that we love when we can. There will be some people that really just don’t deserve another chance. They are manipulative, duplicitous, and deceitful. You can wish them well and walk away. But, for the rest of the humans who just screwed up, another chance can open the door to all sorts of wonderful adventures and happiness.

The Do-Over. One of childhood’s best ideas. Whether the ball went out of bounds or you said something that you wish you hadn’t, a do-over is a great reset button. I use this with my boys frequently…going both ways. If they mess up, they almost always get a do-over. Say they tell a “story” that is a bit of stretch of the truth, I have been known to say, “let’s go back in time two minutes and you can start that story over, a little more truthfully please.” And if I mess up, I ask if I can have a do-over to try to make up for or fix whatever my transgression was. A great tool for forgiveness and second chances.

Other life lessons learned along the way:

Happiness comes from within. We spend way too much of our lives looking for outside validation and approval that eludes us. Turns out, it’s been an inside job all along. Go inward.

Be grateful for everything. The good, the bad, the ugly. Our entire life is a precious gift. The pleasure, the pain — it’s all part of our path.

Subtle shifts in perception will transform your entire life. When feeling fearful, angry, hurt, simply choose to see a situation differently.

In being true to yourself, you can’t possibly make everybody else happy. Still, it’s better to risk being disliked for living your truth than to be loved for what you are pretending to be.

The world is our mirror. What we love in others is a reflection of what we love about ourselves. What upsets us about others is a strong indication of what we need to look at more closely within ourselves.

Everybody comes into our life for a reason. It is up to us to be open to the lesson they are meant to teach. The more someone rubs us the wrong way, the greater the lesson. Take notes.

Trust. In troubled times, just know that the Universe has your back and everything is going to be alright. If you’re not there yet, trust in hindsight you will understand. Your higher good is being supported, always.

Never take things personally. What others do is a reflection of what’s going on in their own life and probably has little or nothing to do with you.

A walk in nature cures a lot. Taking in some fresh air and the beautiful landscape of this earth is amazingly head-clearing, grounding, and mood-lifting. Bonus: You can learn a whole lot about life in your observation of the awesomeness which is nature. This is why skiing is one of my favorite sports. The scenery and quiet are amazing. My favorite is when cell phones don’t work at the top of the mountain so you have no choice but to be present and to absorb the incredible beauty.

Hurt people hurt people. Love them anyway. Although, it’s totally okay to love them from a distance.

You have to feel it to heal it. Bring your fears and weaknesses front and center and shine a blazing spotlight on them because the only way out is through. The hurt of facing the truth is SO worth it in the long run, I swear.

Perfectionism is an illusion. A painful one at that. Ease up. Strive for excellence, sure, but allow yourself room to make mistakes and permission to be happy regardless of outcome.

Take the blinders off. Don’t become so laser-focused on your own goals and desires that you miss out on the beauty in life and the people around you. The world is stunningly beautiful when you walk around with eyes wide open.

Celebrate the journey. It’s not all about the destination. Savor all of your successes, even the small ones.

Forgiveness is not so much about the other person. It’s about you and for you so that you can gain the peace and freedom you deserve. Forgive quickly and often.

We are all incredibly intuitive. When we learn to become still and listen, we can tap into some pretty amazing primal wisdom. Listen to the quiet whisper of your heart. It knows the way.

Let your soul shine! Be authentic. There is nobody else on this earth just like you. Step into your truth wholeheartedly and live and breathe your purpose.

We are powerful creators. Seriously, bad-asses. With intention, focus, and persistence — anything is possible. Know this.

I am full of light. You are full of light. We are all full of light. Some cast shadows on their own brightness. Be a beacon of light to others and show them the way.

Don’t take life too seriously! Nobody gets out alive anyway. Smile. Be goofy. Take chances. Have fun.

Surround yourself with people who love and support you. And, love and support them right back! Life is too short for anything less.

Learn the delicate dance. Have big beautiful dreams and vision. Chase them with much passion. But, also hold on to them all ever so lightly. Be flexible and willing to flow as life comes at you.

Giving is the secret to receiving. Share your wisdom, your love, and your talents. Share freely and be amazed at how much beauty in life flows back to you.

On that note, be careful not to give too much. If you empty out your own cup completely, you will have nothing left to give. Balance is key.

Say “YES!” to everything that lights you up. Say “no,” unapologetically, to anything that doesn’t excite you or you don’t have the bandwidth for. Time is one of our most precious resources that we can never get back. Manage it wisely.

Sometimes we outgrow friendships. It doesn’t mean they’re bad or you’re bad. It just means you’re on different paths. Hold them in your heart, but when they start to hurt or hold you back, it’s time to give space or let go.

Fear is often a very good indicator of what we really want and need in our life. Let it be your compass and enjoy the exciting adventure it leads you on.

Overcoming your fears is one of the most empowering things you can ever do for yourself. You’ll prove to yourself you can truly accomplish anything! Major self-confidence booster.

Our bodies are our vehicle to our dreams. Treat them with love and fuel them with the best health to feel vibrant and energized. But, never obsess over image. Looks are subjective and will fade in time, anyway. Feeling good, healthy, and comfortable in our own skin is what matters most.

Let those that you love know it often and enthusiastically. You can never say it or show it too much. Your time, total presence, love, and genuine concern for their wellness is the greatest gift of all.

The present moment is where it’s at. It’s the only one promised to any of us. Learn from your past and enjoy the beautiful memories, but don’t cling or let them haunt you. And, dream big and be excited about the future, but don’t become obsessed. Love this moment, always.

Life is full of highs and lows. We need them both to grow to our fullest potential. Just hang on tight and enjoy the ride.

We are all connected as one human family. Nobody is better or worse than anyone else — just at different stages of our journeys and dealing with life the best way we know how. Recognize that the other person is you.

Practice daily gratitude for all the blessings in your life, large and small. Not only is this a high vibe practice that feels amazing, in practicing regularly you are creating space for even more abundance — of joy, love, health, and prosperity.

We are not the center of the universe, although our ego can make us feel that way at times. Step outside of that way of thinking and see the world and other people’s perspective in a whole new beautiful light.

The world needs more love, light, and laughter. Go be love. Sometimes it just needs more cow bells.

You are the guru. For much of our lives, we have been told what do, how to think, what looks good, what “success” is. You don’t have to buy into any of it. Feel free to peel back the layers. Think for yourself. Break the mold. When you stop doing what everybody else wants you to do and start following your own intuition, you will be ridiculously happy.

Love with your heart wide open. Sometimes this means being open to hurt, but do it anyway. I believe that it is far better than to risk your heart by getting hurt than to live with a closed heart that is locked and cannot feel.

That is all. Carry on!


Colleen Walsh