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29 Courageous Lessons of Being a Woman, from 29 Years of Being One

“I like the stories where the women save themselves” — Neil Gaiman

Photo: Frank Mckenna

“I like the stories where the women save themselves” — Neil Gaiman

1. The world will try to make you quiet. What the world doesn’t know is that when you speak it will be with the gravity of that silence. It will be more powerful than the pull of the moon.

2. Take up space. With your laugh, with your hips, with your hair, with your opinions, with your elbows on the conference table. Only wilt when you decide you need a break. Flowers don’t wilt because someone tells them to, they do it when it’s time.

3. Gray hair is proof you’ve lived through it, don’t hide that shit.

4. Shame and guilt are two of our biggest enemies. Understand your shame and your guilt, and you will find the key that unlocks the door to living fully.

5. The future is female, but don’t be convinced that we will always have to keep running for it. Demand that the present is female too.

6. We are all still learning. Love your husbands, fathers, and brothers and show them your truth by learning it alongside them.

7. Your period is your greatest advisor, stop hiding from it, instead learn from it. Track it. Watch the woman you are unfold through the cyclical rhythm of the month. You’re not crazy, you’re cyclical. You are not meant for the linear world, so stop being convinced you’re crazy because your body doesn’t fit that line.

8. Do not underestimate the power of a warm bath.

9. Unfollow, unfriend, and ignore anyone and anything that makes you feel lesser for being who you are. You don’t have time for that kind of negativity in your life.

10. You are not required to be the woman you were yesterday. Change your mind, do it repeatedly until you feel confident in your choice.

11. Cultivate your inner voice, your instinct, your gut reactions. This is your body and your truth talking, do not ignore it.

12. We have less power when we blame and judge.

13. When people are bad to you, they’re showing you their relationship with themselves. It usually has nothing to do with you.

14. When you’re bad to people, look inward. Your reactions to people are a direct result of your relationship with yourself.

15. Hold on to your sexuality, don’t let the world convince you that you are not worthy because you’re older, graying, sagging, plumper, or more wrinkly than you were before. Age on a woman is the echo of the wild, don’t ever let anyone take that away from you.

16. Your voice is your weapon. Wield it with as much care, devotion and caution as you would a loaded gun.

17. Get acquainted with the little girl you turned your back on when you grew up.

18. Just like the moon, we are always becoming and unbecoming. Don’t get overwhelmed by the process, but instead lean into the joy of what it means to be recreated over and over.

19. You will teach people how to love you by how well you love yourself.

20. You are not confined to others definition of who you are or what you should be. Rattle your wings against that cage until it breaks. It could take years, but that is the journey.

21. Always question your bad habits, they are the clue. They will show you were you are keeping yourself small, where you are hurting, they are the teeth marks to the poisonous bite.

22. Just like the moon has its shadow side, you do too. Get to know it. You will learn more from your shadow side than you will from the side that is in the light.

23. Feed yourself, for goodness sakes. Feed yourself with nourishing foods, and listen to your body FIRST before you listen to another blog post about the evils of carbs. Your body is the almighty truth, forged from the Universe, listen to it.

24. You will fuck up. Consider this your hall pass. You no longer have to be perfect to start living.

25. PS: perfection is the excuse we cling to in order to keep playing small. You will fear your success more than you will your failure. This is your invitation to step out and know that you will fail over and over and over before you get it right. Your failure is the only way forward.

26. Go to bed at 8pm and wake up at 5am. Sit with yourself without your phone, your partner, or your kids (dogs and cats welcome, as always). Learn to be you in the stillness of the morning, with only yourself as the witness. This is how we prepare to be our best selves in the world.

27. Your body is a Universal creation, without the imperfection of the human mind. Love your body like you love the mountain, the ocean and the river.

28. Busyness for the sake of busyness is your mind running from your truth.

29. We are just getting warmed up.

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