My 20’s were messy. They were that and they were also filled with marvel, leaps of faith, and hard earned lessons. I have often wondered what I’d say to myself if I could go back in time and dispense some of the wisdom I gained over those years of breakdowns, breakthroughs, and breakups. So I gave it some thought and here’s what came forth; a letter of advice to myself (in three parts).
1. You don’t have a career. You have a LIFE.
First off, sweet one, I want to share a few words with you by author, Cheryl Strayed, who later in life becomes one of your favorites. “Don’t lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don’t have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue.”
There are times where you will forget this, you will be so hard on yourself. You will compare yourself to others, criticize yourself, and complain about how hard it is to keep up — and this will hurt. It will make you feel confused about whether or not you should keep going or just find another path. You will keep going. You will keep teaching — because even though you don’t believe it now, you’re a natural teacher. You will keep inspiring and writing — because you believe life lessons are best taught through example and stories. And you will keep creating — because life calls you to it everyday. Just know you’re not alone. Just know it doesn’t have to be so hard. Just know, you are right on track.
2. There are no failures. Only Feedback.
You will let go of a lot of unnecessary suffering once you get this in your brain and in your bones. Life is a continuous lesson. You get to decide how you perceive things. You can either look at the experiences that don’t go exactly the way you wanted as a testament to your worth and abilities, or you can learn something. It’s as simple as that. Simple, but not easy. It will take practice. So, my dear, start today so you don’t spend the rest of your twenties and first half of your thirties judging and second guessing yourself. You are already enough. And by the way, later you will learn that some of the most successful people, people you admire deeply, have failed over and over again. They are the ones who will teach you this powerful truth.
3. The highest form of yoga is Gratitude. Practice Daily.
You will nearly torment yourself with ‘shoulds’ about how much self-care practices, such as yoga and meditation, you ‘should’ be doing daily. You will start morning rituals and you will break them. You will have moments of really being on track with a regular schedule of yoga asana, meditation and writing and then moments where it’s not as strong. There will be weeks that you don’t write. There will be months that you don’t meditate. You will feel guilty and that guilt will drive you to judge yourself harshly.
The truth is, the most powerful thing you will ever feel in your body, and the most impact you will ever experience in your life, and the most important thing you will ever teach…is gratitude. It will change your life in your thirties. I mean like MAGICAL changes. It will change the lives of your friends, students and clients. It’s something you can do in any moment, on any day, at anytime and within moments you will be on the same vibration as love. You never have to operate with a ‘should’ for this ritual. It will be one of those practices that just captures you and embraces you, effortlessly. It will bring your life to life. The highest form of yoga is not found in a position or a mantra. The highest form of yoga is who you are being in every moment of your life and there is no better way to be, than grateful. Practice this daily.
Oh, and one last thing. Breath and enjoy the ride. You may not believe me now, but you grow up to be just fine. Better than fine actually. You grow up to be something you thought you could never be…an inspiring teacher. A devoted leader. A creative changemaker, and most important, a real good, solid, happy human being. You got this!
Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com