If I had known 2011 was going to be my year for self-discovery, I would have planned a little better. Perhaps things like turning 39 later this year, struggling with having baby No. 2, getting invited to my 20-year high school reunion and watching the final season of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” were all signs I ignored. Before I knew it, I ran smack into a roadblock that forced me to shift into a whole new direction. Suddenly, the road I was taking just stopped. I had no idea which way to go or how the hell to find a new road. It’s taken me a little while to get back on track, but I have realized some things along with the way that I’d like to share with you.
We make mistakes our entire lives. Some mistakes can be easily forgotten like cheating on an algebra test in high school (don’t judge…you did it too!). Some are not like marrying the wrong person at a young age or accepting a job where you had to work with the worst-boss-ever. Others are too painful to say out loud. Whatever the mistake, no matter the heartache from it, forgive yourself. You forgave your best friend in college for ruining your favorite silk skirt, right? Why don’t you give yourself a break and do the same? It’s not easy, but you can let go. When you do, you will feel liberated and see your future in a new whole way.
Learn from your parent’s mistakes.
If you looked up parenting in the dictionary, you would never find the word “perfect” as part of the definition or even as a synonym. Parents make mistakes, just like the rest of us. They didn’t (or still don’t) always have the skills needed to help you through the happiest or saddest times in your life. Instead of spending time holding grudges, ask your parents why they made the mistakes they did. This doesn’t mean forget about the mistakes they made particularly if those mistakes are hurtful to you, but rather learn from them as you embark on your own life’s journey. For instance, I never thought I could own a business because my dad’s company failed. I finally asked my mom questions recently about why it failed and realized that his mistakes don’t have to be my mistakes. Because I asked, I now feel I can make my dream of business ownership a reality.
Suck it up and meditate.
“I can’t shut my mind off long enough to meditate. Who has time to sit quietly for that long? Every time I try to meditate, I just fall asleep.” Sound familiar? Those were my exact words anytime someone tried to convince me to meditate or read an article about the power of the practice. It wasn’t until earlier this year when I couldn’t sleep or think clearly that I realized I could meditate. It’s still true that I can’t sit for hours in order to find clarity. However, I have found that practicing colour therapy meditation, a form of chakra yoga, and listening to meditation music from iPhone’s Ambiance app is a dynamite duo for me. Don’t be afraid to explore different ways of meditation. Once you learn to do it, you’ll never look back.
Watch your favorite comedy movie. Go see a comedian or improv performance at your local theatre. Sing a Justin Bieber song out loud in your car and laugh at yourself afterwards (don’t judge…you do it too!). Laugh with your kid about anything. Go out with friends and laugh about your day. Whatever it takes, just laugh. And don’t just chuckle. Laugh until you snort and almost pee your pants. Laugh so loud that others around can hear. There’s something about laughter that heals the soul. You deserve a good laugh. We all do.
Bottom line, peeps…life is too short. Like you, I’ve made mistakes and like you, I’ll continue to make mistakes. Instead of blaming karma or my parents, I now look inside to find the lesson learned from every situation. Today, I see my life as a whole new road trip. The universe helped me find great people and the strength to help me do just that. I have amazing, loving people in my life who support me in my new adventures and laugh with me (and at me when appropriate). I started my own PR consulting business. I meditate daily and am always looking for new ways to get better at it. I don’t look back anymore. I only look forward at the new road ahead. Wanna join me?